Some highlights of BMRSG 2014 – Part 1

It is about time we had some good news. So the posts over the holiday period will focus on some of the work of the tireless BMRSG volunteers and the successes of some asylum seekers and refugees.

Employ a Refugee

By Grant Medaris   

Meeting about employment of refugees

Meeting about employment of refugees

  • I have been pleased to learn many men have found work through their own efforts – the positive flow on effect is the high likelihood they will help others into work. For example Winnebago (Avida Pty Ltd) now approaches their refugee employees when new staff are needed.
  • Two long-term detainees who had refugee status but detained because of  ASIO “concerns” were released and found work within weeks.
  • Our webpage “Employ a Refugee” resulted in contact from three employers during the year.
  • Bright Employment continues to be a great employment opportunity for people interested in hospitality careers.
  • Resumes continue to be created and updated. Job and interview preparation is being provided.
  • The Nil Interest Loan scheme has recently funded forklift training. Two additional men are about to apply for forklift training.
  • I continue to source the availability of work and employers. This has resulted in high numbers of men submitting resumes and job applications.

Hopefully 2015 will see more asylum seekers and refugees in work. The immediate challenge is to convince DIBP to either grant or restore work rights.

A great example of how we don’t know the impact of our actions, Grant Medaris was invited as a representative of Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group to a meeting held in Auburn in August to consider and address the barriers faced by refugees and new migrants to getting employment.
The meeting was hosted by the Auburn Small Community Organisation Network (ASCON). It was attended by refugee organisations, government bodies, industry groups, tertiary institutions and refugees.
What Grant didn’t realise, was that one of the speakers was Aman Mohammadi. Aman is an Auburn resident, a volunteer with a community organisation and someone who Grant helped into work.

Other news

Winning team

Winning team

Ocean 12
By Noeline Nagle
Oceans 12 won.
After being runners up for 2 competitions we finally did it …we WON.
A courageous effort in both the semi final and final saw Ocean 12 take the crown . The men are extremely happy with this excellent achievement and thoroughly deserve the accolade .
Anne_ Marie and and I are so proud of our team and look forward to starting the 2015 comp with confidence. We always remember the struggles we have had and how these wonderful men have dug in and worked as a team to reach their goal.




Murtaza Jaferi had his art exhibited as part of the Refugee Art Project and his work published in a zine which can be purchased from the same site.

Janaki, from Sri Lanka, is attending art classes and has sold some of her paintings.

Photo thanks to

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