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SEE program changed Thekrayat’s life

By Fiona West | September 28, 2023

Bilingual Support Assistant Thekrayat Alhashimi is an inspiration to the students at Navitas Skilled Futures (NSF).

At age 64 and less than four years after arriving in Australia on her own as a refugee from Iraq, Thekrayat has improved her English, gained employability and employment skills, enjoyed work experience and volunteering, and has now found the job of her dreams.

She puts it all down to a positive attitude and the help she got from Navitas Skilled Futures.

“When I arrived here as a refugee, I started my study journey at Navitas,” she said.

“This company has helped me with my goals in developing my English, specifically within the Australian community. Navitas also helped me to reach more goals that I never thought of reaching before.

“Thanks to Navitas and their extracurricular courses, such as the customer services course, I now have my first job in Australia as a Bilingual Support Assistant for Navitas Skilled Futures.”

With good English, having learned it in school in Iraq, Thekrayat progressed quickly from the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at NSF Liverpool to the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program.

“The quality of the SEE program matched my expectations and has exceeded them because I have learnt more than I expected to learn,” Thekrayat said.

“I was able to learn about workplaces in Australia, develop my digital skills and participate in mock interviews to build my confidence when applying for jobs.”

Thekrayat worked in a bank in Iraq but when she came to Australia she was happy to do anything “to feel useful”.

After completing the SEE program she felt confident to enter the Australian workforce and she volunteered at a “Save the Children” charity shop in Liverpool, serving customers, stacking shelves and hanging clothes.

When she saw the Bilingual Support Assistant role at NSF advertised on Seek, she used the skills from SEE to apply.

The first time she wasn’t successful. But she didn’t let that stop her. She had learned about resilience and how to deal with rejection. Later she applied again and this time got the interview – and the job! 

Thekrayat works two days a week and she loves it – and the students love her too.

“I help the teacher if the students don’t understand what she means; I translate for them,” she said.

“And I help the teacher with the checking their answers when they have things to write, tests or anything like that.  

“I enjoy it, because you know, I see myself when I see them. The first time they come in they are confused, not knowing everything. It’s hard in the beginning but I tell them, ‘It’s OK, you can do it. I’m happy to be with them.”

“I am more than happy to recommend the SEE program to others as it was really beneficial for me, and I feel as if I would be a different person if I hadn’t taken these courses with Navitas. They changed my life.

“Navitas has now become my second home and family and they are always offering me new courses to gain better skills and expand my knowledge, so I will always try to take these types of opportunities. I am very grateful.”

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