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Refugee Week 2020 - Insight into a Refugee Experience

Published Tuesday 16 June 2020
  • Education and Employment

Each year, Australia welcomes over 12,000 refugees1. This week we celebrate and recognise Refugee Week and the theme Celebrating the Year of Welcome. We sat down with Wesley Mission Queensland employee, Lubna, who migrated from Iraq to Australia in 2018. Lubna shares that it’s not easy arriving in a new country for a new life.

“Being a refugee is not an easy job, it takes time to adapt to a new country, new lifestyle and working environment. Everything is different; new currency, new language, accent and often a completely different culture,” says Lubna. 

Lubna has been working for Wesley Mission Queensland as a Project Administration Officer since February 2020. Her journey started by connecting with Multicultural Australia, where they advised her to apply for Building Australian Skills for Employment (BASE) Work Skills Traineeship program managed by Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ).

“The Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland’s BASE Work Skills Traineeship program will assist unemployed professionally qualified migrants and recent university graduates by providing training in Business Administration skills. It is designed to create employment opportunities and to further develop skills in an Australian Workplace,” says Lubna.

“I found out about Wesley Mission QLD (WMQ) through ECCQ and they connected me with Bilge Ozgun, WMQ’s Diversity and Inclusion Lead, where I then went for two interviews and soon began working for WMQ.

“I wanted to work for WMQ, as it is a values-based organisation. I always like to work in an organisation with strong values - Innovation, Hope, Integrity, Compassion, Justice, Empowerment, Respect."

WMQ offer free workplace English classes for the West End and Logan community, as well as WMQ employees. It provides a safe space for people where English is their second language, a place to learn and improve their literacy, resumes, cover letters and to connect with others.

“There is a great support at WMQ, especially having access to the free workplace English classes. These classes prepare employee to be confident at their job, as well as teaching them the English they need at their work place to build their English skills,” says Lubna.

“I am grateful to be a part of WMQ, I have learnt a lot from this community organisation and I have built many professional contacts. Thank you for giving me a chance to become part of this organisation.”

Now, more than ever, is the time to learn more about refugees in Australia. To learn more, visit the Refugee Week website. Let’s build a future that includes everyone.


1Settlement services international, Refugee FAQs