When new refugees and migrants arrive in Broadmeadows, Nurjan Eser is there to welcome them to their new community. Her job is to help families establish their lives in Australia at what can be a very overwhelming time.
“When people first arrive, they face many vulnerabilities – risk of homelessness, family domestic violence, mental health issues, some require intensive counselling due to torture and trauma,” Nurjan said.
“Many of them have young children, different cultures and different languages. We need to help them understand and navigate what support is available.” Nurjan is a Multicultural Service Officer at the Department of Human Services in Broadmeadows.
She works with people from all over the world, including countries like Iraq and Syria. She provides crucial support and access to government services and payments.
“We’re educators, we’re advocates but we’re also support people out there in the community as well,” Nurjan said.
“It’s very community oriented, I have a strong passion for community, making sure that they’re moving forward because knowledge is power.”
This year marks 30 years of the Multicultural Service Officer program. When the program started, there were only a few specialist staff working mainly in Sydney and Melbourne.
Now, 70 officers work in cities and regional areas around Australia. Last year they helped more than 185,000 people.
Nurjan also has strong links with many local community organisations, including the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre based in Dallas. She works with them, hosting refugee seminars to ensure support is reaching those who need it. Krystal Wani from Spectrum said it’s a great partnership.
“Working with the Multicultural Service Officers has been amazing. All of them have a passion, they work well together, they’re always advocating. They have a crucial role to play in the settlement of refugees in Australia,” Krystal said.
Nurjan said she loves working with people from all over the world. Her biggest reward is seeing them settled and enjoying their new lives in Australia.
“Four years down the track you see them somewhere, sometimes in a professional setting, they’re already in a job, they’re working as a teacher or a teacher aide, some of them are working as a nurse and it’s very rewarding,” Nurjan said.
- You can find more information about our Multicultural Service Officers here.