Archive for May, 2011

Canberra: Australia’s Caring and Sharing City

by Juan  “Jed” E.   Dayang, Jr.

The new parliament house in Canberra.

The new parliament house in Canberra.

Canberra, Australia’s capital city,  is an ideal place for learning. It has a world-class university, boasts of renowned research  centres and policy think-thanks, and provides access to national government agencies.

As an intern, I had the opportunity to observe up-close how Skilled and Business Migration (SBM) of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) promotes skilled migration, assists in the processing of applicants, and takes great care in assisting new migrants settle and start an exciting new life in Canberra.

The SBM, headed by Julianne with her teammates Michele, Pat and Parveen, has set up the Canberra Settlement Service (CSS) with the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service (MARSS). Andrew, the CSS project officer, is an amazing gentleman who takes care of the needs of clients in a professional and sympathetic manner.

Looking for a job can be daunting for those who are new to the Australian job market. No worries, the CSS assists in the job preparedness of skilled migrants within six months after arriving in Australia. The program includes cultural awareness information and training sessions and “Job Ready” seminars where clients can meet and talk with experts in job preparation and the employment  sector.

Axis from the Australian War Memorial to Parli...


A Colombian migrant recently landed a job in the Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. She thanks CSS for helping her write her CV, respond to selection criteria and assigning her a mentor to help her understand the labour market and gave her relevant
information relating to the job hunting process. She now offers to share her experience with new skilled migrants who are undergoing the same challenges she went through.

What is exciting about the program is that clients have themselves become settlement volunteers. They create a community of helping hands for mutual support by building social networks.

Indeed, Canberra is a caring and sharing city.

Note:  This article first appeared on Settlement Newsletter.    See

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