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TAFE NSW Armidale providing refugees with a pathway to employment

TAFE NSW Armidale

TAFE NSW Armidale providing refugees with a pathway to employment

TAFE NSW Armidale is helping to change the lives of many Ezidi migrants by providing students with access to the training they need to participate fully in the local community and the economy.

After completing the unique Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, Hanna Alqaso, Mirza Hammo, Qasim Qasim and Khalaf Almito are now part-way through a Certificate III in Community Services at TAFE NSW, with two-of-the-four students gaining employment at local community service organisations before completion.

Mirza Hammo said “I am very happy with our new life in Australia and particularly here in Armidale where the community has been very welcoming.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to successfully obtain employment and actively participate within the Armidale community if I didn’t study at TAFE NSW,” Mr Hammo said.

With the practical skills and knowledge, I’ve learnt at TAFE NSW, I’ve been able to assist new refugee families from Northern Iraq to comfortably settle into the Armidale community like I have.”

Two of the students have already gained employment at NSW Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Trauma and Torture Survivors (STARTTS) and Armidale Family Support Services.

TAFE NSW Community Services Teacher Christine Mason said it has been a delight to watch these students build their knowledge and skills and see such an increase in their confidence and expressive English communication through the AMEP program and the Certificate III in Community Services.

“The students are using their practical skills in their respective workplaces to improve service delivery for newly arrived refugees to support them in adjusting to their new life in Armidale,” Mrs Mason said.

“It’s the perfect example of how TAFE NSW is helping new residents to Australia change their lives by getting the skills to start a new career.

For more information about the AMEP program or community services courses available at TAFE NSW, visit or phone 131 601.

Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, 02 7920 5000.