Rahaf Alrifai still remembers how lucky she felt when she was told that she had a job with SSI. Ms Alrifai was referred by Centrelink to SSI Jobactive in Campsie to get support to start her job search.
Rahaf Alrifai arrived from Syria in 2016
"I was supposed to come here three days a week and develop a plan with my assigned recruitment officer to look for a job," Ms Alrifai said.
"They asked me what type of job I would like to do and when I told them about my background, they offered me the data entry assistant vacancy they had. It was incredible!"
In Aleppo, Syria, Ms Alrifai was a computer engineer teaching at university and doing research. War, however, forced her family to leave Syria and she, her husband and three children waited in Lebanon for two years before being granted a humanitarian visa.
Aware that things would probably not be easy in Australia at the beginning, Ms Alrifai prepared herself for a tough life and studied English to give herself a good head start.
However, with the support of SSI, things have been much better than what she expected and after just four months her family are settled and very happy in their new home, she said.
"My children have been enrolled into mainstream school, and I already have a job that I enjoy, where I can keep improving my English, which is my main objective at the moment."
"Besides my technical skills, it is also an asset that I speak Arabic so that I can act as an interpreter when it’s needed for many of the clients that come to the SSI Employment offices."
"SSI helped me to be able to dream again; now I can dream of a better future here in Australia."