Guiding Hand for
By Andre Khoury
the road Assyrian Refugees take and the hurdles they face when coming to
Australia sparked Paul Gorgees’ commitment and passion to helping others in
As Centre coordinator at
Fairfield’s Assyrian Resource Centre, Paul Gorgees’ role is important to the
wellbeing of those who use the centre.
“My job is to coordinate the
services for the new arrival Assyrians and to help them settle easily in
Australia,” he said.
This involves, among other
things, providing information and assistance about immigration advice, case
management, educational groups and community programs.
His role, and that of his
colleague, youth worker Ashur Isaac and “an army of volunteers”, is crucial
as the Assyrian community in Fairfield number more than 20,000 making them
the second-largest in the area.
About 3,700 people use the
centre every year.
“Being a refugee myself, I
feel what the other people are feeling when they arrive in Australia,” Mr
Gorgees said of his involvement with the resource centre.
“What I thought is to help
those people because I have the ability, I have the knowledge.
“I do love it.”
Mr Gorgees, 55, said it was
difficult for him coming to Australia in 1994 to “adapt to the new laws, new
customs… because we haven’t accustomed to freedom, democracy”.
“We don’t know about those
things,” he said.
Mr Gorgees said his advice to
newly-arrived migrants was to “go and study something for yourself”.
with English and then go to the right job you want because there are a lot of
opportunities here,” he said. “They must utilise those opportunities.”
Article courtesy of Fairfield Advance,
26/4/2006. Mr Paul Gorgees can be contacted at the Assyrian Resource Centre
on (02) 9728 2594.
Article posted: 05/05/2006