Refugees from the Logan area visited Warwick with the hope of establishing connections and seeking work that will lead them to settle in the Southern Downs.
Refugees from the Logan area visited Warwick with the hope of establishing connections and seeking work that will lead them to settle in the Southern Downs. Marian Faa

Man who fled violent country looks to Warwick for security

A MAN who left his family and risked his life to escape violence in his home country is one of a handful of refugees looking to establish a new life in Warwick.

The 28-year-old man from Afghanistan, who wished to protect his identity, said travelling by boat to Australia was like "playing with your life".

"It was an old boat plenty of people there in a small old boat - it was very dangerous," he said.

Despite the extreme risk, the man said there was no choice but to flee the violence and terror he faced in Afghanistan.

"I knew it was going to be dangerous but we didn't have an option."

The man's boat was intercepted by the Australian Navy and he was taken to an Australian detention centre on Christmas Island.

Since leaving his wife and children, the man has been granted refugee status and lived in Australia for six years.

But his challenge now is to find permanent work and bring his family to safety as well.

"If I can get a permanent job I would like to move here," he said

The man visited Warwick yesterday along with four others from the Refugee Association of Logan.

 

Southern Downs Refugee and Migrant Network co-founder Emma Yates (pictured) hopes to support refugees in the Warwick and district community.
Southern Downs Refugee and Migrant Network co-founder Emma Yates (pictured) hopes to support refugees in the Warwick and district community. Marian Faa

Council keen to increase diversity

A summary report based on findings from community consultation outlines the Southern Downs Regional Council's vision for growing the population and encouraging refugees to migrate to the Southern Downs.

The Shaping Southern Downs report states outlines the key message of "encouraging refugee families into region" with support services.

Refugee Association of Logan president Chris Miranda said the organisation had established a relationship with Southern Downs Regional Council and the Southern Downs Refugee and Migrant Network.

Speaking to refugees in Warwick yesterday, councillor Neil Meiklejohn said there were many job opportunities on the Southern Downs in the aged care and disability support sectors.

SDRAMN co-founder Emma Yates also welcomed the group.

"We're really excited that this is somewhere you might be interested in living," she said.

Mr Miranda said having the support of SDRAMN and the council was crucial to enabling refugees to relocate, but he said finding secure work would be paramount.



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