Former Sudanese refugees, Khot Bul Goch (left) and his cousin Chol Nuer both have bright futures ahead of them.
Former Sudanese refugees, Khot Bul Goch (left) and his cousin Chol Nuer both have bright futures ahead of them. Sarah Harvey

Workplace drive helps refugees

SPENDING their lives in a refugee camp in Kenya, Sudanese cousins Khot Bul Goch, 27, and Chol Nuer, 22, came to Australia with the clothes on their back and an uncertain future ahead.

Five years later, Mr Nuer is an Australian citizen enrolled in the armed forces and Mr Goch is a permanent resident studying accounting and finance at the University of Southern Queensland in Springfield.

The Ipswich Workforce Diversity Project will launch a recruitment drive on Thursday to raise awareness for refugees seeking jobs in the region.

The project will improve community understanding on how businesses can equip themselves for the migrant and refugee workforce.

Settling in Redbank Plains after fleeing from war-torn Sudan, Mr Goch and Mr Nuer said the Australian way of life was everything they had dreamt of.

"The people, the sunshine, everything you know makes this place so much better than back in the camps," Mr Nuer said.

"Ipswich is a beautiful place to live.

"And this is our home now. This way I can find a better life and help my family back in Africa."

Both men have worked part time at Swift Australia and said while there was a strong Sudanese community in Ipswich they had made Australian friends as well.

"Of course the language and culture are different but it is more relaxed here and there are more chances to be happy," Mr Goch said.

Access Workforce Diversity Project manager Frank Avio said the project aimed to work with employers in Ipswich to raise awareness on cultural issues affecting employment practices.

"Essentially we are trying to create opportunities for increasing diversity in the workplace," Mr Avio said.

"We have helped thousands of refugees find work and it is a strategic plan to concentrate more in Ipswich, because we know this is where the migrants are coming."


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