by Noeline Nagle
It’s a daunting task for anyone opening a new business. Consider this situation: a refugee and English is their second language.
Let me introduce you to Sivarasa and his wife Aravinthin . This dynamic duo arrived in Australia about 12 years ago. They have two children. About eight years ago Aravinthin would look at a run-down business in Flemington. She would sit in the seat outside and dream of buying that business and setting up their own. Dreams are free but when the opportunity came along for them to buy the business it was over $14,000 just to remove the rubbish from the existing premises not to add the hours of hard labour to get the job done. Last year the dream became a reality and the DIWIN NEWSAGENCY was officially opened.
The shop is situated opposite Flemington Station. Beautifully presented with chairs and tables outside for coffee. There is also the opportunity to pick up essential grocery items and get that extra key cut! Sivarasa and Aravinthin are on a mission to be successful, contribute to the community and be envioromentally aware. At the back of his premises, he has large containers for the return of bottles and cans. 3 days a week the locals flock to the site, deposit their recyclable bottles and cans, receive their money from Siva and Siva in return gets commission…. Good for the environment and good for the bottom line!
I needed to buy a battery bank, no problem plenty of tech items available. Need to send money overseas, no problem. Just to make the shopping experience even better you can watch the world go by and have a chat with great coffee available.
Aware of the need to be open for the “early birds” the shop is open at 5.30am and closes at 7pm.
Sivarasa has been traveling to Mittagong for years working in aged care. His dream is to study nursing. Aravinthin also works in aged care and still has clients that she cares for. Sivarasa is manager for the Ocean 12 Asylum Seeker Cricket Team and for both their two children are the joy of their life. Sivarasa is active within the Tamil Diaspora and supports the TGTE. Transnational Government of Tamil Elam . This is based on the principles of Peace, Nonviolence, Tolerance, Pluralism, Transparency and Accountability.
Sivarasa is an active member of the ALP …..its values dear to his heart.
While our government is procrastinating the future of asylum seekers, we have this incredible resource of imaginative, determined, and capable folk unable to follow their dreams. Surely the model of expertise that Sivarasa and Aravinthin have shown could be replicated if only their freedom and security was forthcoming. Sivarasa and Aravinthin will hopefully have their RoS shortly (Resolution of Status ) but they along with many of us worry and despair of the loss of a Human Resource we are neglecting to address.