Small change makes a big difference for David Sier Fellowship recipients

25 May 2017

Congratulations to Vivian, Linda and Sobeydo who have been awarded the David Sier Fellowship. The newly launched annual fellowship aims to create small change for recipients from a migrant, refugee and asylum seeker background.

Vivian, one of the recipients of the David Sier Fellowship, holding her certificate.
Vivian, one of the recipients of the David Sier Fellowship, is looking to get her driver’s license enabling her to travel to school, become more independent and support her family.

The fellowship celebrates the legacy of the late David Sier and his impact during his time as a volunteer mentor in our Brain Bank program. Alongside Rob Hudson, Brotherhood Group General Manager of Programs and Policy, David’s widow, Fiona Sharkie presented the awards.

“He just wanted to help people in any useful way he could. David was a huge supporter of migrants and refugees; he truly believed they make Australia a better place,” Ms Sharkie says.

The $1,000 fund awarded to and shared between Vivian, Linda and Sobeydo will help them to become more independent and pursue further education and training.

Sobeydo and Vivian will invest in driving lessons to assist in day-to-day life, widening the location of jobs they can apply for and supporting their families.

Vivian hopes that through lessons she will be able to get her driver’s license and also help her mother and four siblings with transport. 

“This will help achieve my goal which is learning to drive because the driving lessons costs a lot and I wasn’t able to pay for them,” she says.

Linda’s goal is to improve her English and begin working in Australia. After 5 years of experience in branch banking in Iraq, Linda’s hope is that further education will help her secure employment in her field.

“I am studying an English course already, and I think that a bookkeeping course will open many doors for me in the job market,” she says.

The Multicultural Communities Team (MCT) announced the award recipients, who were nominated by the Brotherhood volunteer who supports them, during National Volunteer Week in May. MCT Senior Manager Hutch Hussein says the inaugural David Sier Fellowship is a new, annual ritual. “It allows us to recognise the role of volunteers as well as honour David’s legacy through the awarding of funds from his bequest to people pursuing their education and employment goals. It’s a lovely way to keep his memory alive amongst a new group of people who haven’t benefited from his presence, but do from his present”.

David Sier mentoring Justina, a participant of our Brain Bank program.
David Sier mentoring Justina, a participant of our Brain Bank program.


To learn more about the programs we run, visit our page for Refugees, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Visit our Act page to learn about volunteering or contributing to our work.

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.

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