September 3, 2013
NSW Police extends a friendly welcome to asylum seekers
NSW Police officers are available to help members of the community and that living in Sydney is generally safe for newcomers – this was the message delivered by Gladesville police recently to a group of asylum seekers now living in the city.
The Settlement Services International (SSI) Orientation and Life Skills meeting of about 80 asylum seekers in Ryde, was also welcomed by NSW Police Superintendent John Duncan and Senior Constable John Giannaras from Gladesville Local Area Command (LAC).
Supported by the Federal Government’s Community Assistance Scheme (CAS), the clients were taking part in SSI’s Community Integration Program (CIP) which involves regular meetings addressed by NSW Police officers where they outline the role of police in the community, often markedly different to the home countries of many asylum seekers, and how to uphold Australian law.
The involvement and support of the NSW Police is testament to the need for and importance of delivering this information to people new to Australia and often in vulnerable and challenging circumstances.
CIP program coordinator Tabitha Chepkwony said the information sessions have been developed to help asylum seekers recently released into the community acquire the knowledge needed to adjust to life in Australia.
“SSI greatly values the support of the NSW Police in our endeavours to make the transition of our clients as smooth as possible,” said Ms Chepkwony.
Other life skills information sessions include tenancy, nutrition, budgeting, improving English language competency and staying healthy.
The four-hour sessions are delivered in language or with the aid of an interpreter. Community leaders are also invited to meet the newest members of their community and offer support where possible.
Media Information: Rekha Sanghi 0422 304 578