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SEE student success story: Shameran Abrim

By Fiona West | April 28, 2022

Shameran Abrim exemplifies the spirit, sentiment and work ethic of many migrants who come to Australia with their families in the search of a better life. 

The 32-year-old Syrian-born waitress has learned English, found a full-time job, cares for her parents and is planning for future study – while also saving to buy a house.  

It is more than she could have hoped for when she arrived with her mother, father and younger brother in 2016 after fleeing war-torn Syria for Lebanon five years earlier and applying for an Australian visa. All she wanted was safety for her family and the promise of a bright future. 

“I came here and I could not speak any English; I was like zero, nothing,” Shameran says. 

“I came to Navitas first and they helped me with English, they helped me with everything.” 

Shameran enrolled in the AMEP at Fairfield where she enjoyed meeting a whole community of people from all backgrounds and walks of life.  

“I learned English fast because we all had to communicate with each other. I tried my hardest because without language you can’t do anything – if you need to work, you need to study, you have to talk to people, you have to learn.” 

Shameran went on to do the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program so she could find work to support her family. After adding jobseeking and work-related skills to her increased competency in language, literacy and numeracy, Shameran had the confidence to apply for a job as a waitress at a Merrylands restaurant.  

Five years later she is still a valued employee at the restaurant, where she helps in many aspects of the restaurant’s operations. 

“I love it,” Shameran says. 

“I get to meet and talk to a lot of people and hear their stories – it has been good for practising my English.” 

She appreciates going to work even more after the South West Sydney lockdown in 2021, when she was unable to leave her house or travel outside Fairfield. Her whole family contracted COVID and her mother was especially sick, in Liverpool Hospital for 18 days.  

“It was a very hard time for us,” she says. 

“I am young. I need to work. I want to work to help the government and to look after my parents.” 

Shameran now plans to return to study part-time in 2022 through the Pathways to Work program. She thinks she would be suited to an office job and is keen to get some skills and experience in business administration. 

And not only does she want to improve her own skills, she is very keen to give back to Australia.  

“I want to do something for this country,” she says. 

“Right now, I am working and looking after my parents, I clean the house and do the shopping. But I hope to now find some spare time to study to be a secretary, to work in an office. 

“I tell all people that from the beginning when you are new in Australia you have to go to Navitas. It has helped me so much. I am so thankful.”  

To find out more about the SEE Program at Navitas Skilled Futures click here.

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