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This volunteer tutor and student are a perfect match!

22 December 2022

Samer was a qualified lawyer with his own practice in Syria, and he has found his perfect match in the AMEP Volunteer Tutor Program. William is a practicing lawyer in Melbourne, who not only tutors Samer in English, but is also encouraging him to requalify as a lawyer within the Australian system.

Samer: I used to be a lawyer in my home country, Syria, and upon my arrival in Australia in 2020, I started working directly as a legal assistant. Due to the different legal systems between the two countries, I have to equalize my certificate to become a lawyer again in Australia.  I am very happy to be working in the field of law again, even if as a legal assistant, because I was not able to work in my profession during my 8 years as an asylum seeker in Jordan.

Samer enrolled in the Volunteer Tutor Program looking for help to understand Australian culture and was matched with William.

William: I wanted to do some volunteering and I thought Samer seemed an interesting person. He was a lawyer in Syria and was only a refugee because he helped people so I thought I would try to help him.

Samer’s initial goal was just to understand Australian culture better, but William often discusses law cases with him and has encouraged him to requalify as a lawyer here.

William: Syrian law is based on the French system but Australian law uses the English system. This makes it harder for Samer but I encourage all overseas lawyers to requalify here.

Swinburne initially wanted Samer to do 13 subjects but with further submissions and a good look at the rules we were able to obtain more credits. Now he only has to complete 6 subjects. He is an extremely intelligent guy and will succeed here and be a great lawyer.

Samer: William has encouraged me very much, both as my friend and a fellow lawyer. I will start my study in the next semester and hope to be a certified lawyer in Australia within the next two years.

William: I learn so much every time we talk. We talk about the legal system in Syria, Samer’s family, culture and religion. I’ve learned about his struggle for 8 years as a homeless, jobless and stateless person in Jordan. We talk about soccer and politics too. He is a well educated intelligent person and his drive is incredible.

Samer: What most distinguishes my relationship with William is that our relationship is not limited to learning the language only as fleeting conversations. With great thanks to him we discus all aspects of life in Australia, which expands my knowledge and awareness of this new culture that I want to integrate into. Our conversations allow me to learn English in a practical way through talking about work, study, sports and Australian culture. I have two young daughters and I feel very happy when I see them making their way in their new country, while preserving our family traditions. I wish my family to have a bright future along with the feeling of safety in our new country. William is a wonderful support for me in any new step I take in my new country.