CEO Blog –03.09.21
Supporting Afghan refugees to settle in Australia
I’m sure the thoughts of many Australians this week have been with the people of Afghanistan; with the members of our Afghan communities in Australia, with those who have recently fled their homeland and with those still in Afghanistan facing an uncertain future.
Many of us at AMES Australia have been working overtime in preparation for welcoming and supporting Afghans being evacuated to Australia to escape potential harm that is the result of their work with Australian military or diplomatic missions in their homeland.
We are supporting these people during their first days in Australia; some still in quarantine and others setting out on their new lives in the Australian community.
Our Humanitarian Settlement Program staff as well others from across our organisation have been working tirelessly to support and empower what is a particularly vulnerable and weary cohort of people to ensure that they have everything they need to begin to find their places in our society.
I’d like to thank all of our staff as well as the numerous individuals, community groups, businesses and others who have been donating material goods and services to support this work.
We have seen donations of clothing from Sussan and Sportsgirl, Korans and prayer mats from the Islamic Council of Victoria, offers of welcome and friendship from charities like ‘thewelcomegroup’, and even treats for kids from 7Eleven – just to name a few.
I’m incredibly proud of how our organisation has risen to the challenges of providing support for these Afghan refugees, especially because of the difficulties wrought by COVID-19 restrictions.
But we have a long history of accepting refugees who have come from situations of conflict and persecution and we are committed to continuing to do this.
It was pleasing to hear the Prime Minister say that Australia’s initial intake of 3000 Afghan refugees would not be the end of our contribution.
The coming months will be difficult for Afghan communities and for those who arrive in Australia but, as always, we stand ready to support them in whatever way we can.
Cath Scarth, AMES Australia CEO
3 September 2021