Newly arrived refugees in Australia, especially from war-torn countries like Afghanistan, often find integration into Australian society a challenge. One of the greatest difficulties is finding meaningful employment.

In response, the Edmund Rice Centre has conducted a series of orientation programs in Western Sydney, to assist new arrivals understand the norms of mainstream Australia and have their questions answered by former refugees. Farid Ghalib, Coordinator of Refugee Programs and a refugee himself says, “Often people struggle to understand the cultural nuances that Australians take for granted, which can make communicating with mainstream Australians, let alone prospective employers, a very difficult exercise”.

ERFA supports the Edmund Rice Centre’s Settlement Cities program which assists newly arrived refugees by enhancing confidence and providing skills and knowledge to help find employment. One program volunteer says “Our role is to help build the people, and they will do the rest”.