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AMEP student moves on to work and buying a home in Australia

14 September 2020

The following article is by former AMEP student, Hiba Faraj and tells her life before and after enrolling in the AMEP course.

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My name is Hiba Faraj, I come from Iraq and am married with 2 daughters.
My brothers and I became orphaned when our parents were killed in the Isis war.  That was a very black day for me. I quickly became responsible for caring for my brothers after this and left Iraq for Turkey due to the persecution of Christians in our home country.

In Turkey I worked in a restaurant and learnt the Turkish language and all facets of the restaurant trade, including cooking. This meant that life became better because I could now contribute to the household expenses.
The Australian government then accepted us as refugees and after 3 months we arrived in Australia. It was a huge relief when we landed.

I then started studying at Victoria University where I first heard about Djerriwarrh’s free AMEP class from a fellow classmate.
I enquired about the course and then began my study in Susan’s class at Djerriwarrh in 2018. I found her to be a very friendly and approachable teacher and after 2 terms I was ready to enrol in the SLPET Course.  The SLPET course is a part of AMEP and is all about learning the English needed for working in Australia.

I found the class environment to be incredibly supportive not only from staff but fellow students. I was able to obtain my food handling certificate which accompanied my past work experience well. Along with this my teacher assisted me in getting my police check and a whole range of skills that helped me become work ready at the end of my course.

Although my English is not perfect with my previous cooking experience I had the confidence to work at the Melton Christian College. Here I was placed in a cooking class where I was able to communicate with both secondary and primary school students.

I wouldn’t have been able to make the successful step into employment if it wasn’t for all the staff at Djerriwarrh Community & Education Services.

My husband and I have now purchased a house in Caroline Springs where we plan to live for years to come. I cannot recommend the SLPET course enough to fellow new arrivals looking to study.