At Marist180 we aspire to bring all the people in our care into the heart of Australian communities. Our Cultural Support and Community Engagement Team come from the same ethnic and religious groups as the clients we are seeking to help re-settle.
Acceptance and integration are at the heart of our approach across the agency. As part of this commitment we have built a multilingual Marist180 team to provide orientation support and assistance for newly arrived migrants who are navigating the complexities of life in Australia. People who have recently arrived need practical support to live independently from taking public transport to get to English classes, registering children at school, assistance in securing a rental property or acquiring a driver’s license – our Cultural Support team helps make the transition as smooth, respectful and welcoming as possible. Our Community Engagement Team also collaborate with other faith-based agencies, community groups, businesses and service providers in the region to celebrate important religious and cultural festivals. By working in a joined up, integrated way we are able to support appropriate and effective referral pathways, ensuring integrated and efficient responses to problems as they arise.
Aram* arrived in Australia in 2013 when he was eight years old. Marist180 placed him in our UHM accommodation with two other boys from the same cultural background, where he has a supportive care team available 24/7.
While this has been a difficult period for Aram, access to a reliable, committed team provided a much-needed sense of stability, and he has adapted to his new home very well. Aram’s connection with his culture is nurtured in the house by regularly providing him with meals from his country of origin and encouraging important cultural expressions and celebrations.
Marist180 has connected Aram to our dedicated mental health team and a counsellor from a specialist torture and trauma agency, who have all helped him settle in to a new school and join a soccer team. Marist180 is also helping Aram stay connected to his extended family in Australia, ensuring he can spend weekends and holidays with them, feels connected to family life and can participate in cultural activities. Aram has great relationships with his school friends and housemates and is growing in confidence every week.
*Not his real name.
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