SSI News Blog

Since arriving in Australia three months ago, a Syrian family now living in Blacktown has been exploring the City of Sydney with Welcome2Sydney ambassadors, helping them become more familiar with the city and more confident about visiting locations independently.

Welcome2SydneySept 550

Newcomers to Sydney are introduced to The Rocks.

In an attempt to provide newcomers with increased access to services and information within the City of Sydney, Welcome2Sydney has been helping new arrivals explore their new city with a volunteer ambassador who introduces them to the city's highlights.

Since its launch early this year, the project has welcomed more than 500 newly arrived individuals and toured more than 30 different locations in the city while using over 20 different services.

Participants were able to receive information from their hosts about diverse local communities, venues and events in the city as well as tips about living in Australia.

The Syrian family has already been to The Rocks, Circular Quay, Hyde Park, Darling Harbour and the Australian Museum, as well as taking exciting ferry trips and participating in multicultural community events such as NAIDOC.

They said, "We do not have a car so became more confident about using public transport and getting off in new stations. The activities helped us know more about Sydney, and we always look to go on repeats in order to improve our knowledge and become more familiar with life in Australia.

“Sydney is so beautiful and incomparable to other places, the more we visit and see things the more we like it.”

They said the activities allowed them to learn about Aboriginal culture and Australian nature and history. “This is stuff we see only on TV or hear about during orientation sessions. With these activities we can interact with society, traditions and customs, and get to know more about Australians and local communities.

"Attending different festivals is so much fun and opens us to new cultures.

“We are really glad that SSI is helping us explore and this is a very nice initiative to make us more connected to society. If we stay at home and do nothing, we will learn nothing and we will miss out on what is going on in Sydney."

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