Crisis an opportunity to help

Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre’s Paul Rafferty and Eric Imani.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d443445
Crisis an opportunity to help
Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre’s Paul Rafferty and Eric Imani.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d443445

The comment came after the Australian Government�s commitment to accept 12,000 refugees from persecuted minorities and provide an extra $44 million toward the crisis.

Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre director Eric Imani said the centre expected an influx of Syrian refugees and that its services could be extended to meet demand.

�We have got the skills and experience; we have been dealing with the project for 20 years and have a big pool of volunteers, bilinguals and other professionals to get together and help these people,� he said.

�Stirling has the largest number of migrants and refugees and most of the people here arrived on refugee status; they know what their troubles are. We worried about these people, we knew they were coming, they should come here, it is a big delay but we are happy to do whatever we can.�

Manager of Humanitarian Settlement Services Paul Rafferty said Syrian refugees were well educated, entrepreneurial and business-minded, so they would be a good fit into the community.

�We look forward to working with Syrian refugees, we don�t know what numbers or when, though,� he said.

�Syrian refugees have been a part, not big part by any means, most of our refugees are Karen speaking and people from the Thai Burma border but Syria has not ranked highly today but we knew it would do eventually.

�This is not a new issue; the Syrian refugee crisis has been a bit of a delayed reaction to the world which I think has been highlighted by more recent events and numbers.�

In relation to the iconic image of the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach, Mr Rafferty said it was the tipping point for action around the world.

Mr Imani said most of these things happen and nobody notices but this one, a little boy, brought a big change to the world and you can see the generosity of the European countries.

�We have these resources here and we need people to be here because the generation is ageing, we need younger generations,� he said.

�It�s a chance for the Australian Government to take these people in, support them in an appropriate way through the program enabling them to be independent.�