Media Releases

Multicultural Foster Care Service acknowledged

SSI staff with Minister for Family and Community Services Gabrielle Upton (centre).

“As I walked up the stairs I saw her joyfully dancing with the three children to African music that connected them so authentically to their culture – it was beautiful.” Tari, SSI caseworker.

Settlement Services International (SSI) was today recognised for the innovation and positive impact of its Multicultural Foster Care Service on children and families in out-of-home care.

Read more: Multicultural Foster Care Service acknowledged

Free community-based legal help reaches new arrivals

A partnership between Legal Aid NSW and settlement services provider Settlement Services International (SSI) has been effective in providing free legal assistance to recent arrivals and migrants, especially in Sydney’s west, an independent review has found.

Almost 2,200 services were provided to clients in the first year of the project and the partners today signed an undertaking to continue the successful collaboration.

Read more: Free community-based legal help reaches new arrivals

Young refugees share their stories

Young refugees share their stories

The lives and settlement experiences of young refugees will be explored at the fourth and final Speakers’ Series event for 2014 hosted by Settlement Services International (SSI).

Titled The strength of youth: young people and their refugee experiences, the event on Tuesday, November 11, will begin with three young people from refugee backgrounds sharing their stories.

Read more: Young refugees share their stories

Seeking asylum and playing cricket

Sport is renowned for bringing people from all over the world together, and now cricket has united two seemingly disparate groups of men. Refugees and people seeking asylum have joined members of Knox Grammar School’s ‘Old Boys’ association to hone their bat and ball skills together in the lead up to cricket season.  

The weekly pre-season cricket clinics at Auburn District Cricket Club on Saturdays have resulted in a mutually beneficial partnership for the 18 or so refugees and asylum seekers, who are clients of SSI, and members of the Old Knox Grammarians’ Association.

Read more: Seeking asylum and playing cricket

One person's food, is another's future

Yoga Raja has a talent for “food carving” that is finding appreciative audiences at Sydney weddings and functions.

Yoga, 32, is an artist and food – watermelons, carrots and white radish – is his medium. From a watermelon he can carve a life-like human portrait, and from carrots and radish he sculpts bouquets of flowers that people approach to smell as if real.

Read more: One person's food, is another's future

New arrivals find a "lifetime" sport

Tony Podesta believes tennis is a ‘lifetime’ sport. So who better to teach tennis to then recently arrived refugees settling into their new lives in Australia?

A group of 8 to 12 children and adults has participated in a Tennis Australia Multicultural Tennis Program for Refugees at the Tony Podesta School of Tennis in Fairfield once a week for the past 10 weeks.

Read more: New arrivals find a "lifetime" sport

Multicultural group enriches Sydney music

Asylum seekers may not be able to bring many material possessions with them when seeking safety in Australia, but many of them bring impressive skills. To give their talents an outlet, and so more people can enjopy them, Settlement Services International (SSI) an a Sydney music organisation have facilitated opportunities for a group of refugee and asylum seeker musicians from Iran and Burma. 

Read more: Multicultural group enriches Sydney music

Foster carers help maintain cultural connections

The importance of maintaining a child’s connection to their cultural heritage, language and religion while in foster care should not be underestimated.

During NSW Foster Care week, September 14-21, Manager of Multicultural Foster Care Service (MFCS) Mr Ghassan Noujaim, hopes to highlight the important work of the services’ foster carers in helping maintain cultural connections.

“Our foster carers are incredible in their dedication to, and support for, keeping cultural links for their foster children,” said Mr Noujaim.

Read more: Foster carers help maintain cultural connections

Success stories

Hameed's Story

Hameed studying with a tutor.

My name is Hameed Cina. My life in Australia today is the life of a normal citizen, ordinary by any standard. I’m married, I have two young daughters and I have a good job that I love. I also volunteer a lot of my free time for my community. But the way in which I arrived at this point in my life was definitely not ordinary.

Read more ...