My family and I came to this country over 20 years ago. There was terrorism in our country, but I can’t remember personally being affected by that violence. My parents, however, would have made the move specifically, dropping their entire lives, to make a better one for their two children. I do remember, as soon as we arrived after that one direct flight from Sri Lanka (when they did that kind of crazy thing!), my parents went straight to work. We had the help of relatives who had already made the move and were settled. But my parents, being immigrants from a third world country I think, brought with them a strong work ethic.
I cannot speak for all migrants and especially refugees, but it is a truth that these people, coming from nothing, have that drive to succeed if given even the smallest chance. Why? Because they have an appreciation borne from their situation and the will to make a life for themselves.
I remember, back then, my parents had access to services where they could utilise their existing skills; my father’s car mechanic skills and my mother’s banking and ability to cook anything, to get work without prejudice. Or in my mother’s case, access to TAFE courses to improve her computer skills as well as qualifying her chef/catering skills.
Refugees are people who, if their country was not in pieces, would not leave their home. They are fleeing certain death. This, to me, is not a choice. They are in need of a country that will accept them and a place where they can eventually come to accept as their home. The love and loyalty they had for their broken home will then transfer naturally to the country that has given them the same back.
Our politicians are busy arguing about nothing. So that puts the onus on us to make the difference in the lives of refugees that have been allowed in. Out here in the western suburbs, where the majority of refugees are settled, people have taken it upon themselves to welcome and show compassion to our new neighbours. Initiatives like these (i.e The Welcome Wagon) are what is making a difference to the lives of refugees.
So rather than arguing along with the leaders of this country, I would much rather put my time into supporting start ups by people who truly want action over the current stale rhetoric.