Hana Sadiq has worked at Miller Intensive Language Centre in Liverpool for more than 10 years, and is now working as the School Support Liaison Officer.
She is responsible for supporting students who are having problems, and families experiencing difficulties with language and settlement.
“Miller Intensive Language Centre is a special school that attends to the needs of newly arrived students aged 12 to 18,” she explained. “They stay with us for one year until they feel confident enough to move on to mainstream high schools.”
Ms Sadiq runs information groups for parents and is deeply dedicated to the families she works with as she understands how important it is to obtain the assistance and support they require in their community language.
Ms Sadiq is a former refugee who arrived in Australia from Iraq and so, she said, she understands the needs and struggles of these families and uses her personal story to gives them hope.
“We deliver culture transition programs for parents,” she said. “We cover topics such as schooling in Australia, housing, managing finances or health.”
“The biggest shocks these families usually encounter are related to Australian law, which is very different from the law in their countries of origin. Many of them are struggling financially as they mainly rely on Centrelink, which is not something they are used to – it makes them feel dependant and affects their self-esteem.”
Additionally, this is aggravated by the cultural shock resulting from not knowing the language and the local customs, Ms Sadiq said.
“I always tell them that here they can do anything they can dream of – study, work, build their children’s future,” Ms Sadiq said. “But the main thing I make sure they understand is that their children are safe now. The rest will come slowly.”
“I’m so happy when I see them to adapt to the country. I tell them that here they can have an Australian future.”
Ms Sadiq’s commitment to the students and parents she supports has made her a recipient of the 2013
Hear Ms Sadiq tell her story at SSI Speakers’ Series.
Speakers’ Series: Inspiring stories of former refugees
When: Tuesday, March 29
Where: SSI Head office, Level 2, 158 Liverpool Road Ashfield, NSW 2131 Australia
Tickets: $15 donation available through Eventbrite