Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
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News from AMES Australia

29 October 20190 comments

AMES contributes to FECCA Conference

AMES was well represented at the recent 2019 Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) conference held in Hobart.

AMES Australia General Manager Settlement Mirta Gonzalez moderated an important session on employment solutions for migrants and refugees during which she gave an overview of AMES Career Pathways Pilot for professionally qualified refugees.

Mirta also gave speech at the conference dinner. She told the audience of the important role community groups played in welcoming refugees and the need for more work on supporting refugees to improve economic participation outcomes while also remembering that the reason refugees settle in Australia is for protection from conflict, torture or trauma.

AMES Senior Manager Prevention of Violence Against Women Wendy Lobwein told the conference of the amazing work AMES Australia is doing in equipping and empowering community leaders to tackle violence against women in diverse communities.

AMES ILC Project Coordinator Tessa Hughes and Client Support Worker Elizabeth Jeroboam told the conference about their work in ensuring people from CALD communities have access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Tessa and Elizabeth told the conference how their team had delivered an NDIS Awareness Project since November 2018 in communities’ first languages through the recruitment of ‘Community Champions’ who deliver information sessions to their communities.

“It is all about educating people about how to access disability support. We have 12 different champions from our seven target communities. These are Iraqi, Afghan, Syrian, Somali, Afghan, Chin and Karen,” Tessa told the conference.


Skilled Migrant service holds first networking event

Around 40 professionals, Skilled Professional Migrant Program (SPMP) alumni and international students attended a recent networking event held by AMES Australia’s Skilled Migrant Service (SMS).

The attendees to what was the first SMS networking event shared their employment journeys and job seeking experienced in the Information Technology field.

AMES General Manager Settlement Mirta Gonzalez said it was a great first event.

“There was an unbelievable buzz. It was very interesting and useful with lots of information shared and an excellent turn out,” Mirta said.

“We are definitely pushing the boundaries and taking AMES’ brand into different spaces,” she said.

AMES Australia Senior Manager Development and Innovation Lucia Haliburton was MC for the evening and did a fabulous job with her usual wit, warmth and humour.

AMES’ IT team, including Mabel, Aaron and Tuan generously shared their expertise with the attendees who were grateful for the opportunity.

“Thanks to everyone involved in making this a great success, a very significant step for our fledging Skilled Migrations Service,” Mirta said.


AMES accommodation team sets records

AMES Australia’s accommodation team settled 116 newly arrived refugee families in their own homes in the month of July, an all-time record.

Over the past two months, 214 families have been housed, in a particularly busy period for the team.

A morning tea was recently held at Flagstaff to celebrate the achievement.

HSP housing Team Leader Chris Stonier said finding homes for refugee families was rewarding work.

He said that AMES’ on arrival team, the basic household goods delivery team and the long term and short term accommodation teams have all worked together to achieve great outcomes for AMES clients.

“This is the very beginning of people’s settlement journeys so having a safe and secure environment in which to settle into life in Australia is vital,” Chris said.

“We are pleased to have been able to assist some many families settle into their own homes,” he said.

This entire year has seen a great effort from the accommodation team with both short term and long term teams working closely to achieve positive outcomes for our clients.

The Short Term Accommodation Team, lead by Lyn Gao, has managed to accommodate 355 cases which equates to 1538 individuals – a fantastic effort considering what has to happen to turn properties around, in some cases on the same day with as little as a few hours between outgoing and incoming clients.

The Long Term Accommodation Team has also achieved some remarkable results. This year, the team has found 660 properties for clients to move into and commence their settlement journey. This represents an increase of more than 21 per cent on the previous year.