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Celebrating the contribution of refugees in our community

MercyCare works with a large number and diverse range of individuals and groups who experience significant disadvantage in our community. This includes working alongside newly-arrived humanitarian and refugee entrants in the Mirrabooka area to assist them in their efforts to connect with the economic and social life of the community as they settle into life in Australia.

MercyCare Executive Director, Health and Community Services Mick Geaney said we should look to celebrate the contributions of Perth’s diverse community of refugees. 

"It is challenging enough moving to another country and creating a new life there, let alone when you have been forced to flee your own homeland, which is the case for many of the families who are humanitarian migrants or asylum seekers," he said. 

MercyCare has helped families like Thawng (Henry) Uk Thang Conzo, his wife Khim and their three children, who have accessed many of our support services during their transition to Australian life.

The Conzo family, who live in Balga, are Chin people who come from Burma and arrived in Australia in 2010 on refugee visas. "We first heard about MercyCare from our community, there is a big Chin community in Perth and lots of our friends live nearby so they suggested we go there," Henry said.

Khim initially accessed the organisation’s Settlement Grants Program, which offers settlement services to permanent residents who hold either a Humanitarian visa or Family stream visa and have arrived in the last five years. Later, Khim and Henry accessed the Community Support Program which provided them with opportunities to build their skills, engage with their local community and develop personal networks.

"MercyCare has helped us in lots of ways. They helped us to find a GP when we first arrived and we have also had training for our citizenship class because we are going to apply for Australian citizenship."

"It’s a privilege to work with families like the Conzo’s" said Mick Geaney, "they have embraced every opportunity to enable them to transition to Australian life and in turn are keen to contribute to the community in their own meaningful way."