The power of hope - a former Fairfield student's story

Posted by Ashley Calabria on 14 July 2016

Maysoon and her family migrated to Australia in June 2013 from Iraq. Soon after, Maysoon commenced studying English at Navitas English Fairfield. Since then, Maysoon has achieved a Certificate III and IV in Community Services Work and is currently studying a Diploma in Community Services, Case Management. Read about her journey from Iraq, to working as a volunteer and providing support to other refugees. 

Since we have arrived in Australia in June 2013, we faced big challenges as a multicultural family for each aspect of our new life in Australia, which gave us everything. It gave us the peaceful life that we had lost in our country, self-sufficiency, and to live our life normally, to achieve our goals in life.

I started to study the 510 hours at Navitas English College in Fairfield (in the Adult Migrant English Program). It was an amazing period in my life because I started studying again after all these years since I had my bachelor degree in 1987 in the administration and economic college in my country (Iraq). I met my friends who have become very close to me till nowadays.  The staff in the college was wonderful and I learned a lot from my teachers, improved my English language, my accent, my computer skills and many skills I gained. Also I studied Customer Service Course with Navitas, which gave me the opportunity to work in a big shopping centre for experience.  After that I got Certificate III in English language and I was very happy to get the first Certificate in Australia.

Finally I met with a Pathway Advisor who advised me to complete studying at TAFE but at that time I was a little bit of frustrating and confused because of the negative opinions around us from relatives and some friends, but fortunately the Pathway Advisor’s words were more powerful to listen.

Then I started to study again at Wetherill Park TAFE and I got Certificate III and IV in Community Services Work. Now I am doing my Diploma of Case Management. I started doing my volunteering work at Campsie and Fairfield SSI Centres (Settlement Services International). After five months of volunteering, I was interviewed by a journalist from Fairfield Advance Newspaper and the article was published in 17/05/2016. This is some of what was published in the article: “There’s no better feeling than helping someone through tough times, it makes me truly happy”.

The main reasons to keep studying and volunteering work are: help new arrivals from Arabic and Assyrian cultures to settle in Australia especially with poor English language, improve my communication skills and my English language as well , more knowledge about Australia and its rules, be active helps me being healthier physically and emotionally and finally but not the last I hope that I did a good job and I was a perfect model for my multicultural community to engage and share Australians in the development of this great nation.

By Maysoon Elia, Former Fairfield Student

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

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