Refugee Week

Young refugee mother finds education and employment in new home

Single mother and refugee Janet Ferdosian made the courageous decision to flee Iran in 2014 and seek temporary refuge in Turkey, where she lived for three years while waiting for a humanitarian visa.

Ms Ferdosian was granted a visa to come to Australia with her son and mother in November 2017. 

“In Australia, there are a lot of people that want to help and support you. I received specialised support from SSI and especially Firoozeh, my case manager. 

“At first, I was really confused about the rules in this country. I wasn’t sure how I could make it a safe place for my kid, which was my main priority. SSI really helped me.”

Ms Ferdosian is from the Baha’i faith, a marginalised minority group in Iran that has been subjected to persecution and systemic gender inequality issues. 

Despite socio-political challenges, and since in Australia, she has impressively transformed her life while being the sole carer for her son and mother.

“I’m stronger and more powerful. Thanks to both the government and myself. I improved my language, career and my story.

“I’m planning to be a strong mother. I’m trying to do my best.” 

Ms Ferdosian has become fluent in English and completed a Certificate 3 of business administration at TAFE. Back in 2018, she studied for a Diploma in Business at Western Sydney University.

She has volunteered at SydWest Multicultural Services in Blacktown and received her Certificate 3 at TAFE to become a Disability Support Worker.

Her most recent achievement is securing casual employment in the disability sector with Afea Care Services, where she will work as a care support worker. 

“While studying to be a support worker, I realised the people I would care for have similar past experiences and challenges in life to me.”

Ms Ferdosian said that she could relate to others’ experiences when she sees them improving day-to-day and achieving their goals.

“They need support to achieves their goals, and maybe like me, they want to improve their abilities and be a part of society.

“That’s really amazing and something I wanted for myself my first day in this country.”

While Ms Ferdosian has been able to channel her lived experiences and resilience to succeed in her new life, she sees her main accomplishment as providing a life of safety and security for her son.  

“My son was facing a really hard situation that was inappropriate for a kid at that age. In Australia, we feel valued and respected, and every need my son has is covered.

“His soul is calmer; he’s relaxed here. There’s no danger anymore. He’s really successful in school, and now, I’m hopeful about his future.”