MercyCare’s new Multicultural Services Manager Samira Husic may have two decades of psychology and counselling background working with refugee communities in Perth but it was her personal experiences as a refugee that first sparked her interest in working in the sector.
Samira began with MercyCare this month having worked previously at the City of Stirling managing a refugee settlement program and for 15 years before that, at the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS).
It is her a personal understanding of the experience of refugees, having come to Australia 20 years ago as a refugee from war-torn Bosnia, that drove her initial passion for working to assist refugees in their new lives in Australia.
“I was 16 when war started and we were internally displaced for 10 years,” Samira said.
After a decade living in refugee camps, Samira came to Australia with her mother and two sisters as a 25-year-old.
“I often laugh and say I’m 44 but I should be 34 because for that nine or 10 years my life was stalled,” she said.
Upon arrival in Australia, her mother sought assistance from ASeTTs. That is when Samira saw the impact such work could have on individuals and decided she wanted to be part of it.
Her previous work in the multicultural services sector meant Samira already had some understanding of the work MercyCare does.
In her past roles she would often refer clients to MercyCare services. She was also involved in the Mirrabooka Community Markets which MercyCare and the City of Stirling worked together with the Mirrabooka community on last year.
Samira said the diverse service offering at MercyCare was one of the aspects of the organisation that interests her.
“The different services provide opportunities for connection, it brings more integration and societal cohesion,” she said.
Samira has enjoyed her introduction to MercyCare and said she’s already noticed a positive culture at the organisation.
“There is a real sense of compassion within what the organisation does, staff really seems to live by the organisational values, which gives me a sense of comfort,” she said.
MercyCare assists people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to settle successfully in their new home, to live meaningful and valued lives where they can contribute to and feel part of the fabric of Western Australia.
This support is central to MercyCare’s mission of bringing compassion and justice to life and breaking cycles of disadvantage.