Census opens doors for those seeking refuge

05 August 2016

Melbourne is a long way from Mogadishu, the capital of the east African nation of Somalia and Abdul’s home town. So his new role, conducting the Australian Census, is not only a foot in the door to the Australian workforce, it also offers a deeper insight into a very different culture.

Abdul is one of 31 people who have taken part in Brotherhood employment programs and were supported to attain work with the Australian Bureau of Statistics as Census field officers, knocking on doors and offering help to fill out the form for the August 9 Census.

This year Abdul joined our Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program, which helps people seeking asylum who have work rights to find employment. His employment consultant assisted him to apply for this short term ABS role, and continues to support him as he seeks ongoing work. He is hopeful this job will lead to others in the business and administration area.

‘I have a background in administration and have a lot of skills in that area,’ he says.

Abdul arrived in Australia in 2013, seeking refuge from the conflict in Somalia. A stray bullet from crossfire between government forces and militia has left him with serious nerve damage, and he walks with the aid of crutches.

While Abdul waits to see if he will be accepted as a refugee, work is his main focus, and he is grateful for the support provided by our employment program.

‘My main target is finding a job and I want to study as well,’ he says. His role as a census field officer is a step in the right direction.

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