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28 Feb 2022


From the CEO: Standing by to assist Ukrainian refugees

From the CEO: Standing by to assist Ukrainian refugees

My heart goes out to all of those impacted by the invasion of Ukraine, and the many communities both in Australia and abroad who are undoubtedly distressed and concerned for the safety of loved ones.

The sudden military offensive has forced hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women and children, to flee internally and to neighbouring countries. Others have stayed to fight.

Many in Australia feel helpless and are in a state of shock in the face of such turmoil, and are reacting with tears, sadness and anger.

It is therefore heartening to hear that the Australian government is prioritising visa applications from Ukrainian nationals and has flagged a special intake of Ukrainian refugees on top of Australia’s existing annual humanitarian allocation.

It is also heartening to hear that NSW and Victorian premiers are ready to help, with Dominic Perrottet saying NSW will welcome refugees “with open arms”.

Whenever people are being affected by acts of war, violence and aggression, in Ukraine or Afghanistan or anywhere in the world, it is a time for solidarity and care.

As these dreadful circumstances unfold, SSI is ready to play its part to help Australia uphold its proud record of helping those fleeing war and oppression.

We are prepared to respond quickly to a special intake from Ukraine, as we did with the special Syrian intake in 2015 and with recent evacuees from Afghanistan.

Wherever you are, I hope you are able to be with people you love and continue to support one another with kindness and empathy through this difficult time.

Violet Roumeliotis,

To learn more about how SSI and other organisations are responding and what support is available, please visit our Ukraine Response webpage.

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