Tom McIlroy (AFR) speaks with Essam Mahmoud, who has been living in northern NSW with his family since they arrived in August. The Syrian family have been supported by a group of local volunteers, working as part of the Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP).
“The community group helped me a lot with paperwork, settling into a house and finding me a job,” says Mr Mahmoud. A trained chef and baker, he began working at a local pub shortly after he arrived.
The pilot program enables regional communities to support the resettlement of refugees while addressing skilled labour shortages around the country. 1500 refugees are expected to be resettled through the CRISP by 2025, but the federal government has indicated that this number could increase.
“I want everyone to come here and work and live a beautiful life, and I hope I can help with that,” says Mr Mahmoud.
Originally published by Tom McIlroy, Australian Financial Review, 9 January 2023
For more information on the CRISP program: