Anne-Marie helping newly arrived engineers into work

Anne-Marie has been volunteering with Jesuit Social Services since 2018.

Anne-Marie joined Jesuit Social Services as a volunteer in 2018, and runs interview skills workshops for participants in our employment pathway programs – including professionals from refugee backgrounds looking to resume their careers in Australia.

Adnan Hussein, whose story you read on Page 1, was one of Anne-Marie’s first trainees. Adnan says that the work he did with Anne-Marie “changed my life”.

Reflecting on the trainees with whom she works, Anne-Marie says: “They have amazing experience, they’re eminently qualified… they’ve left war and strife in their home countries, and they’re looking for a second chance”.

The two-hour workshops cover tips to make successful job applications, interview skills, cultural insights, and help with articulating work skills and history.

“Sometimes people can’t see how building bridges in Syria relates to removing level crossings in Melbourne. We talk about problem-solving, time management; those matching skills.”

Anne-Marie says she’s humbled by the willingness of the job-seekers she supports to start their lives and careers again.

“It’s not people sitting at home thinking ‘poor me, what can I do?’” she says.

“It’s people with multiple degrees doing Certificate IVs because they might be helpful. They don’t think the qualification is beneath them. You feel humbled – I don’t know if I’d be able to be so willing and courageous.”

Anne-Marie has so far trained close to 100 newly arrived skilled migrants and refugees. She hopes companies continue to embrace multiculturalism as the valuable asset is.

“Diversity is a strength and people must be able to be themselves.”