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.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse. Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Brotherhood Books
Brotherhood of St Laurence Communtiy Stores
BROCAP
Hippy Australia
Given the Chance

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.