Rami El-Edan came to Australia as a refugee and now, two years on, he’s studying community service and helping other new arrivals as a student placement Social Support Volunteer at SSI.
Rami was born in Iraq and fled to Jordan with his family because they were being persecuted for their Mandaean religion. After two years there, at age 23, his family was granted protection by Australia.
Now he’s studying Community Service and he hopes to work in the sector. “I’d love to become a case manager,” he said.
“I know what it’s like to be a refugee. When I was a new arrival, I really needed help. They’re dying to find someone to help them,” he said.
“When I help them, and interpret for them, I can tell they feel some type of happiness.
“I show them how to use the train, read timetables, I take them to the doctor, Centrelink – it depends what they need. I also help at the SSI orientation sessions.”
He gives a lot but Rami also believes he benefits a lot from his volunteer work, two days a week, at SSI.
“I’ve learnt a lot here,” he said, “how to help others; good strategies based on people’s needs. SSI provides great training for volunteers to be helpful for clients.
“From greeting refugees at the airport, to helping them settle, all of it is great.”