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Surviving the temporary visa protection cycle: Ferah’s story of resilience 

New research has quantified the devastating mental health impacts of temporary visas – something all too familiar for Iraqi-born Ferah* who, despite the challenges, has shown incredible strength and resilience in carving out a life for her and her children in Australia.  

Gambling victim shares story to raise awareness during Gambling Harm Awareness Week

During Gambling Awareness Week, mother-of-two *Mila Ong shared her family’s story to reveal the impact problem gambling can have on an individual and those around them, and to show others that help is available.

New documentary highlights contribution of Ignite success story, First Nations leader Rose Lovelock

Damon Gameau’s latest documentary, Regenerating Australia, has captured the perceptive First Nations voice of Anaiwan academic and entrepreneur Rose Lovelock, an alumnus of Settlement Services International’s (SSI) Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative.

20 years: The SSI Story

SSI’s history is inextricably linked to its membership base.

From the CEO: We are witnesses to history

Last week marked the seven-year anniversary of Australia’s introduction of offshore processing of refugees. In a weird twist of fate, Kurdish-Iranian journalist – and former Manus Island detainee - Behrouz Boochani was granted permanent protection in New Zealand just a few days later.

Refugees and migrants in the LGBTIQ community supported through powerful storytelling

SSI Arts & Culture have collaborated with PYT Fairfield to present a special work-in-progress showing of ‘Carpet Stories,’ a multidisciplinary theatre performance that facilitates creative conversations within Sydney’s multicultural LGBTIQ community.

‘Share a meal, share a story’: celebrating refugee stories

In partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI), the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is highlighting food during Refugee Week (June 16-22, 2019) and asking everyone to ‘Share a meal, share a story’.

Local refugee story featured in Marie Claire Fashion Magazine: “I made Australia home”

Ania Kebabjian fled Syria via Lebanon and arrived to Australia in 2016 as a refugee. She admits that starting up a new life and settling in takes time - but 2017 was different, Ania explains to Marie Claire magazine, as she finally feels at home.

Ability Links NSW storybook shines a light on diverse voices

The voices of people with disability, their families and carers are at the heart of a new Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) storybook, launched today by Minister for Disability Services and Multiculturalism, The Hon. Ray Williams on behalf of SSI.

‘Russ the Story Bus’ fosters children’s love for books

A group of 15 children and their mothers, who are in Australia seeking asylum, took part in a creative excursion to the Auburn Friendship Garden, organised by SSI and the Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF) for the school holidays.

From the CEO – Welcoming refugees, an inherent part of Australian history

While many places in the world are experiencing turbulent times due to the unprecedented displacement of people, it is always useful to stop and ponder what makes Australia such a peaceful corner of the globe and a wonderful place to live.

Success story: John Mashar

John Mashar arrived in Australia as a refugee from Sudan at age nine. Now at age 21, John told SSI how he was using his experience as a young refugee settling in a new country to help other young people through the Youth Collective.  “I was born in South Sudan. Sudan is split into north and south. The north has closer relations to the Arab world, like much of North Africa. They’re mostly Muslims and they have an Arab culture. The south, where I was from, has closer relations to sub-Saharan Africa, so they’re mostly Christians, they’re animists, and they have very strong African traditions.

Essa’s inspirational story applauded at sports awards

Soccer super-coach Essa said he was proud and honoured to be acknowledged at Auburn City Council Sports Awards recently. Essa, who is from Pakistan and seeking refugee protection in Australia, was a finalist for the Senior Sportsperson Award after being invited to make a submission by council staff.

Young refugee Bashir Yousufi shares his story

Bashir Yousufi was just 13 when he set out on the long journey from Pakistan through Asia to Australia. His father had been killed in Afghanistan by Taliban extremists, Bashir said, because he was of the Hazara ethnic group, and his mother had died from cancer

Refugees empowered by storytelling

Refugees and asylum seekers often have compelling stories to tell but for many reasons remain silent. At a special Refugee Week Speakers’ Series event hosted by Settlement Services International (SSI), a panel of writers with refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds and experience will discuss the role storytelling plays in giving voice to this marginalised sector of society. SSI is a leading not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of services in humanitarian settlement, accommodation, asylum seeker assistance, foster care and disability support in NSW. SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said the reasons why refugees and asylum seekers chose not to tell their stories were a challenge. “Sometimes their stories are misappropriated or simply ignored,” she said, “and they often have reasons to fear that speaking out will further endanger them or their loved ones. “With most media now published online, comments by refugees and asylum seekers are easily found by their persecutors in their countries of origin. This can have dire consequences for them if they are returned, or for their family members who remain there. “But it is important that we explore ways to make refugees and asylum seekers feel safe, understood and respected in telling their stories. Sharing life stories should foster empathy and help society better understand the circumstances people have endured.” The SSI Refugee Week Speakers’ Series event on Tuesday, June 17, will feature talks from three writers.

My Story – Nedhal Amir

Harmony Day, this Friday, March 21, celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To mark the occasion, Settlement Services International Case Manager Nedhal Amir tells her story of arrival in Australia.   Nedhal Amir came to Australia from Iraq with her husband and four […]

My Story – Oliver Zvinaiye Maboreke

Harmony Day, this Friday, March 21, celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To mark the occasion, Settlement Services International Case Manager Oliver Maboreke tells his story of arrival in Australia.   Oliver Zvinaiye Maboreke worked for two United Nations-funded organisations in his homeland […]