research

Immigrants urged to do research before moving to Australia

by Ray Clancy on November 8, 2017

in Australia Immigration

Too many people move to Australia totally unprepared, often on a temporary visa with no idea where they want to end up or even where they are going to stay, it is suggested.

An organisation that has been helping newcomers for 45 years is urging people to do more research before making the step to start a new life in the country.

Visa Application

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Pronia, which means ‘provide’ in Greek, has found an increase in immigrants fleeing the depressed economy in Greece yet some arrive at the airport with just their suitcases and nowhere to go.

Two years ago with the help of a $360,000 grant it started its Newly Arrived Greek People Project to provide settlement, integration and adjustment services to newly arrived individuals and families.

Currently they are supporting around 2,500 people and social educator Konstantina Kouroutsidou explained that they come from all kinds of backgrounds. ‘We have people coming to us straight from the airport with their suitcases. It might sound like a stereotype, but they lack research. Although they are educated, a lot of them come to this country totally unprepared,’ she said.

‘They don’t know anything about the immigration system, about the different types of visas, what their individual options are. Which is strange, since nowadays it’s so easy to find such information through internet and social media. They build their migration experience from something they heard from someone, someplace,’ she explained.

The organisations aims to help with the problems new arrivals face including finding employment and accommodation. One of the biggest problems is a lack of credit history and also having qualifications and degrees recognised, which is a lengthy and expensive process.

‘We provide education so that people can have accurate information about the medical and legal systems, about differences in education. We provide guidance and support for people to gain confidence, and to understand their rights and responsibilities,’ she added.

There is a thriving Greek expat community in Melbourne and much is being done to make them feel at home and to protect their culture. It was recently announced that the Government’s Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) will fund a programme designed to help children and families with a Greek heritage to learn the language.

More young people from Greece can now spend time in Australia as after six years a working holiday agreement has now been signed by both countries. It means that they can apply for a working holiday visa to spend 12 months in the country, travelling and working.

Such is the demand for Greek culture not to fizzle out, the first bouzouki school in Australia has been opened by musician Con Dalagiorgos to share his knowledge, experience and passion for Greek music and learn how to play the traditional Greek instrument.

Students are introduced to the prominent Greek musicians of the past, they learn the history of Greek music and how to perform like Greeks which involves developing a rapport with the crowd so that everyone can have a good time.

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