The New Roots Project has been developed to support and build the health and wellbeing of men, aged 18-45, from Arabic, Farsi and Tamil-speaking backgrounds, who have recently arrived in Australia, and to help them overcome the daily challenges as they start a new life.
The app, which is the first of its kind in Australia, is free and available in Arabic, English, Farsi and Tamil for iPhone and Android devices.
The app includes information, tips and tools that help with starting a new life and staying positive in a new country. It has been developed to promote health and wellbeing, to assist with participating in community life and to help men access community and government services. Following a 12-month pilot phase in NSW, it is hoped the app will be made available in more languages and other project components will be promoted Australia-wide.
New Roots Ambassadors
Former Iraqi refugee Dr Munjed Muderis, who is now a leading orthopaedic surgeon in Sydney, is a New Roots Ambassador.
“I think this app is a great new tool that will be very helpful for men from a refugee background,” Dr Muderis said.
“I know from my own experience that this can be a very stressful and difficult period when settling in a new country. The New Roots app can help with staying healthy through exercise and eating well, as well as connecting with people by joining local community and sports organisations and attending cultural activities.
“These things can be overlooked during the initial turbulent period of settling in a new country, but they are essential for reducing stress and embracing the opportunities to make this time a happy, healthy and productive experience.”
Cricketer Hameed Kherkhah, who has played with Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, is also a New Roots Ambassador. Mr Kherkhah moved to Australia from Afghanistan as a boy, when his family was given refugee protection.
“I was young, but I remember that my brothers and dad found it very hard and they had a lot of difficulties finding work, getting driving licenses, meeting other people and finding sports clubs,” Mr Kherkhah said.
“I meet a lot of people in my community who are in a similar situation today to what we were in. They need help to find work, housing, sports clubs and this app can help with these things. I think it’s great; all the information is there in your pocket, on your phone, and in your language.
“I wish this was around when my dad arrived, he would have loved it.”
The New Roots Project has been developed by Settlement Services International (SSI) in partnership with beyondblue and funded by donations to the Movember Foundation.