"Life was simple until one day our village was attacked."
I grew up in a small village in Iraq with my family of eight. Life was simple until one day our village was attacked. We had no choice but to leave and seek safety outside of our country because our government would not protect millions of its own citizens.
We travelled to Turkey by bus and arrived safely. Life was very hard for us, living in a new country, with a different language and no one was there to support us. We questioned our decision to run, but in the end we decided not going to give up. We were determined to fight, find a safer place for our family and this lead us to apply for support through the United Nations (UN). One year later, we received approval to travel to Australia through the UN and we were the happiest family ever!
We felt very lucky that the approval process didn’t take years, as some families had been there for – four to six years, or more. The UN supported our relocation and integration into Australian life. They also provided an incredible representative to be with us and guide us in our new adopted country. We felt someone cared about us and we were treated equally.
In Iraq, education was very poor so I couldn’t speak English. So I went to high school and studied as much as I could. After four years of studying, I completed my Diploma of Business Administration and started looking for a job. At that time, I was offered the opportunity to participate in the Settlement Services International (SSI) program. I did the SSI program and through them I was introduced to Allianz. I was one of three lucky people!
Through the Allianz Sustainable Employment Program, I was offered a permanent employment opportunity to join the Government Services area of Workers Compensation. I will never forget when I had a call from HR inviting me to come for the interview at Allianz. I was so happy, not only for myself, but for my whole family. Everyone was very excited for me.
This country is full of opportunity; a place where you can make a name for yourself and make a better living no matter where you come from, or what your background is. Success and failures are part of our lives. It may also motivate you to achieve your goals!