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Vrej steps up to Aussie life


This time last year, young Syrian refugee Vrej Iskanian was learning English and trying to adapt to a totally different way of life as his family resettled in Adelaide as part of the Federal Government’s response to the crisis in Syria.

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Heavily reliant on assistance from the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Australian Migrant Resource Centre and with little prospect of employment, the family was considering moving to Sydney.

Today, Vrej has a good job with a family business that imports kitchen components and is playing soccer for Thebarton Senior College Football Club. Last month he took part in the Hutt St Centre’s Walk a Mile in My Boots event, proudly walking alongside his boss Steve Bosley, his boss’s wife Suzie and their son Mitchell (pictured with Vrej, who is third from left).

“I am very lucky – he is a very good boss,” said Vrej, who was offered an opportunity to work with the Bosleys’ company Amorini after he and his family featured in the December 2016 edition of The Southern Cross.

The family also is hopeful that eldest son, Manoel, will join them in Australia, after he was separated from them during the Syrian conflict and forced to remain in Lebanon.

Vrej’s mother Ani received help from migration agent Sister Pat Sealey and subsequently lodged an application to bring her son to Australia.

“We are waiting to hear,” said Vrej. “It will be good to see my brother again.”

Mr Bosley said having Vrej join the company’s young workforce had been mutually beneficial.

“It’s a great opportunity for Vrej to learn more about the Australian culture and get into the work force,” he said.

“In addition, I feel all of us are benefiting by learning about other cultures and using those lessons to grow as a business.

“Our culture is all about helping people to grow and develop so it is a genuine pleasure watching Vrej integrate and banter with the team …….who knows how far Vrej can go!

“Some of his new teammates have been taking Vrej for a few driving lessons recently and the feedback on this has been – ‘he needs more lessons’!”


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