Awards presented to young refugees at Foundation House
At the Foundation House End of Year Celebration held on December 13, Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley MP along with Mr Danny Pearson MP (Essendon) presented 2016 study grants to a number of outstanding young people from refugee backgrounds to support them in future education and career endeavours.
In announcing the recipients, CEO Paris Aristotle acknowledged “the great determination, courage and tenacity in a range of very challenging fields” of all study grant recipients.
Eight recipients received study grants under the guidelines of the Quentin Buckle Study Grant Award (QBSG), a program designed to honour the contribution as a founder made by long time board member, the late Quentin Buckle.
The recipients include:
Mr Bariso Abdurahman, 18, is from Ethiopia. He spent twelve years living in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya where he attended school and learnt English. As a result he has strong language skills and helps his family with their new life in Australia. Bariso has continued to be a hard-working and diligent student and will undertake VCE Year 12 next year.
Mr Amir Atabaki, 19, is from Iran. Amir is studying English and would like to eventually join the healthcare profession as a nurse. Amir is very focussed on making his new life in Australia a success.
Mr Joel Bawi Hrin 18, is from Myanmar. Joel is also studying English and would like to become a plumber sometime in the future. Joel takes pride in his Christian faith through significant involvement in his church community as a youth leader.
Mr Erfan Kaboli, 24, is from Iran. Erfan wishes to study advanced electronic surveillance systems. He has had a disrupted education due to his pre-arrival experiences but is an intelligent and motivated young man who is determined to pursue advancement.
Mr Joseph Mabil, 24, is from South Sudan. He is part way through his Diploma of Aviation and the grant will assist him to achieve the requisite flying hours. Despite displacement and very difficult pre-arrival experiences, Joseph is on track to fulfil his dream of becoming a pilot.
Ms Bushra Matti, 25, is from Iraq. Bushra was attending university in Baghdad but had to leave because of the war. She is now studying, working part time and caring for her mother who is very unwell. Since arriving in Australia Bushra has demonstrated great aptitude and commitment – she learnt English quickly and is now at RMIT studying dentistry.
Mr Reza Rezaei, 34, is from Iran. Reza is in Australia without his family and faces significant difficulties due to his pre-arrival experiences. In the face of this, however, Reza is clearly motivated to study and is undertaking a Bachelor of Health Science in Bio-Medicine at Swinburne University. He is hoping to one day train to be a heart surgeon.
Mr Reza Shaams, 21, is Hazara from Afghanistan. He arrived in Australia alone in 2012 and has no family in Australia. Reza is an impressively bright young man with an open and enquiring mind. After completing Year 12 on a scholarship Reza was offered a place at Swinburne University to study Psychological Sciences. Reza has completed his first year and has seized this opportunity with great enthusiasm, commitment and determination, achieving outstanding results.
Designed to honour the creative legacy of long time board member, the late Ian McKenzie OAM, The Ian McKenzie Endeavour Grant was presented to Mr Aref Ramazani. Aref is an outstanding young man of great talent and drive. He is nearly 22 years old and from Afghanistan. Aref is currently studying media, photography and film making at RMIT. He is also involved in the Centre for Multicultural Youth’s ‘Shout Out’ program which trains and nurtures young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to share their experiences and views through public speaking.
The QBSG is currently supported by long term philanthropic partner The Portland House Foundation. The Ian McKenzie Endeavour Award is funded by a bequest made by Ian himself prior to his passing and additional funds from Sean Hogan and ISPT Super Property. Foundation House will be seeking additional funding sources in order to increase the pool of funds for 2017 and beyond. If you can assist, please contact Siobhan O’Mara (Study Grant Co-ordinator) on 03 9388 0022.