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How a helping hand can pave the way for the future

Adam Bujairami works for a community-based, not-for-profit humanitarian organisation that helps new Australians find their feet.

24·08·2021

Arriving in a new country can be daunting. 

New language, new rules, new customs. 

Add to this the challenge of being a refugee – coming from a country you may have not wanted to leave, to settle in a completely new place. 

For many refugees, community support is key to helping them establish a new life in Australia.

Meet Adam, a Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP)* Reception Team Leader at Settlement Services International – a community-based, not-for-profit humanitarian organisation that provides a range of services for new arrivals.

Adam’s work, which saw him named Case Worker of the Year at the 2017 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards, makes a real difference for people at a vulnerable stage of their lives.

It’s people like Adam that prove the future is In Good Hands. 

 

Help from the first day 

Before COVID, you’d often find Adam at Sydney Airport greeting the newest members of Australia’s community – refugees. 

His job is to help refugees settle in Australia. 

This includes setting up short-term accommodation and essential services. 

“My team provides them with a basic needs package, which includes vegetables, fruits a mobile phone and all sorts of things they need for the first week of arrival,” Adam says. 

By doing this, Adam and the team are able to support refugees in taking their first steps towards independence. 

Paying it forward

What sets Adam apart is his reliability and hard work, and the human touch he displays in his work. 

Part of this is driven by experience – Adam is a former refugee himself. 

He still remembers the first person who greeted him on arrival in Australia, so he tries to ensure new Australians get the same warm welcome he received. 

“I don’t remember his name but I remember the way he welcomed me; how polite and lovely he was; how he made me feel welcome; and I feel I do this for our clients too. A lot of clients are happy and get in touch with me afterwards,” he says.

This sets the tone for their welcome in Australia and helps forge long-term connections in the community. 

Paving the way for a better future

For Adam, it’s all about providing assistance to those who need it. 

“Now I walk into Fairfield and everyone knows me because they always remember the first face they see. No matter what we provide them on arrival, they’re just happy to arrive in this country. They’re happy, they’re excited, they’re over the moon to arrive here,” he says. 

“I make them happy, they make me happy. It’s an interesting job. It’s really exciting for me when I wake up in the morning and go to the airport and pick them up. I do love it. I love what I do.”

Do you have a story of someone working hard for the community? Let us know. We want to hear your story.

*The HSP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. Go to www.homeaffairs.gov.au for further information

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