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Armenian refugee given joy of work and a new family at Roadside

Armenian refugee given joy of work and a new family at Roadside
Yolanda Torrisi
Yolanda Torrisi
Executive Manager Corporate Affairs
March 14, 2020
minute read

In 2017, Armenian-born, Moses Nanahj arrived in Melbourne via Lebanon and Syria with his wife and two sons. Fast forward three years to 2020 and there is a whole new family who greet Moses every day at Roadside Services and Solutions.

Moses started working at Roadside Services and Solutions in 2019. He was placed on casual employment at Roadside through Salvation Army Employment Plus who partnered with Roadside to fill the job vacancy in the sign production department. In February 2020 he was offered a full-time role as a sign manufacturing department team member and is constantly learning new skills and the trade of sign manufacturing.

Moses, his wife and two children now aged 15 and 19 were accepted by the Australian government as humanitarian refugees. Moses recalls being at the embassy office in Tehran and being told he had been accepted to emigrate to Melbourne, Australia. He was so excited.

“When I arrived in Melbourne, I had no friends in Australia. I knew of the Armenian culture in Melbourne and the Armenian church in Melbourne and went to church to make friends,” Moses says.

“This is my first job in Australia. When I arrived in Australia I could not find a job. I studied English at Swinburne University because I couldn’t speak English very well.”

The journey to Australia was a long and securitas route for Moses and his family. After leaving Armenia, they went to Syria for a short time. They left Syria in 2012 to travel to Lebanon where he stayed for five years. In Lebanon, Moses, a fitter and turner by trade, worked in a hardware store equivalent to Bunnings in Australia.

“I kept going to the Australian Embassy to sort out our papers to emigrate to Australia and in 2017 I was accepted to come to Australia to live. I was so happy,” Moses said.

Finding a job was not easy and there were now new cultural barriers Moses and his family needed to overcome. He received Centrelink payments for his family to live while he looked for work. It was early 2019 when Salvation Army Employment Plus advised Moses of a casual job vacancy at Roadside Services and Solutions.

“I didn’t know this company, but I was just so happy that I was going for an interview. I met Catherine Vickers, the Human Resources Manager and Gary Park, the Sign Manufacturing Department Manager and they offered me the casual job that was being advertised. I was so happy.

“My working hours expected me to start at 7am, but I always arrived at 6.30am. I would tell my boss Gary that I could work any day he wanted me to work and I was happy to work for him and Roadside. I am always learning and growing my skills. I really have found my second family at Roadside Services.”

Moses Nanahj also has immense praise for the Australian Government and Centrelink. “When I arrived and was trying to find a job, they paid to help me and my family live. I am so happy I am working now and have a full-time job because I can now pay my taxes and help pay back the help they gave me and maybe someone else can get the help I received.

“I have found my new home, my new family and a bright new future thanks to the Australian Government, the Salvation Army Employment Plus and Roadside Services and Solutions,” Moses Nanahj says.

Roadside Services and Solutions Managing Director Craig Woods says, “We are proud to be able to have a diversified workforce at Roadside. We provide opportunity to people of all backgrounds, disabilities and willing to work, learn new skills and become a valued member of our team.

“Their best contribution to our business means we provide the best service to our clients,” Craig Woods says.

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