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

15 October 20180 comments

Dandenong mayor praises AMES’ contribution to multiculturalism

Dandenong’s mayor Councillor Youhorn Chea has praised AMES Australia for its role in supporting the settlement of hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees in Victoria and for promoting the state’s vibrant brand of multiculturalism.

In a letter to AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth, Cr Youhorn congratulated AMES Australia on the role it has played over 60 years in settling new arrivals with a range of settlement, English language and employment services.

“AMES Australia symbolises commitment, continuity, connectedness and strength,” Cr Youhorn wrote.

“AMES Australia’s commitment to accepting, respecting and celebrating diversity is a global model for multiculturalism, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire AMES team for their important work – helping people from right around the world to feel welcome, supported and empowered,” he said.

The City of Greater Dandenong is the most culturally diverse municipality in Australia with residents from over 150 birthplaces, speaking 200 languages and following 100 faiths. As a declared Refugee Welcome Zone, the city has connections to a wide range of customs and cultures.

“This cultural mix is one of our greatest strengths. It brings colour and vibrancy; awareness and understanding; inclusion and support,” Cr Youhorn said.

“We firmly believe community harmony is strengthened by a long-standing, shared commitment across government, community and business to respect and embrace difference, respond appropriately to unjust treatment, and to recognise and celebrate our similarities as well as our differences,” he said.

AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth welcomed Mayor Youhorn’s words saying it was a vindication of the hard work of all of AMES Australia’s staff and volunteers.


AMES Australia takes part in major jobs fair

AMES Australia recently took part in the Melbourne South East Jobs Fair which brought together job seekers, employers, employment service providers and recruitment agencies in the area.

The event gave job seekers the chance to speak face to face with exhibitors to learn about jobs and career options across the south eastern suburbs.

Hap Dan, Mandy Ratcliffe and Tony Lie from the Employment and Education team represented AMES Australia at the event.

Hap Dan, Vocational Counselling and Pathway Specialist, said the event was a great success with around 3,000 people attending. There was a great turnout of AMES Australia employment clients and students from the Work Skills education program.

“We saw a good number of jobseekers and students from our Work Skills education program attending the Jobs Fair. The students had taken on board encouragement and suggestions to attend the Jobs Fair with their resumes and dressed for job interviews”, Hap said.

Throughout the day there were information sessions on how to write a resume, how to find jobs and seminars to develop skills to help with job searching.

Attendees were able to speak to employers and jobactive providers to discuss employment and training opportunities.

“Overall the event was a great experience for clients from education and employment. It is vital for AMES Australia to participate in these events to promote our services and brand to our target audience”, Hap said.


Newly arrived refugees learn about the benefits of volunteering

Recently AMES Australia Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) Case Manager Solomon Kebede, organised and delivered a “Volunteering for Employment” workshop to 12 newly arrived refugees at AMES’ Flagstaff office.

Comprising of six men and six women from various backgrounds, the workshop was highly interactive as participants contributed and asked many questions to Solomon and the guest speakers regarding volunteering in Australia.

One of the guest speakers, Hind Goga, from AMES Australia shared her powerful, personal story as a refugee who began at AMES Australia as a volunteer and has now progressed to become Executive Assistant to the General Manager of Settlement Programs.

Hind encouraged and advised participants of the benefits that volunteering can bring to their employment prospects in a competitive labour market.

Participants also had the opportunity to engage with Gillian Madden, Account Coordinator from Second Bite, one of Australia’s largest non-profit catering organisations, supplying thousands of meals per day to disadvantaged communities.

Gillian shared the benefits of volunteering and the skills and work experience opportunities participants could gain from working at Second Bite.  Almost all participants were assisted in applying for a volunteering opportunity with Second Bite.

Anthony Ferretto, Coordinator Service Development in the Settlement team, said the team are looking forward to working with clients to reach their goals and build successful lives in Australia.

“We look forward to continuing to support clients within the HSP to reach their employment goals and make a successful transition to new life in Australia”, Anthony said.





Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist