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World Refugee Week

21 JUNE 2019

Celebrating diverse and vibrant cultures

In recognition of World Refugee Week, we hosted an event at our Perth headquarters to celebrate the diverse and vibrant cultures that refugees bring to Australia.

Our employees heard from Talar Anjer Koushian, Treasury Analyst, who joined South32 more than a year ago as a participant of our pilot Refugee Talent Program.

Supporting this year’s theme “Share a meal, share a story”, Talar shared her inspiring journey from Syria to Australia over Arabic sweets, including Baklava (بقلاوة) and Kanafeh (كُنافة).

“After the war broke out it became too dangerous for me and my family to stay. It took us four years to be able to leave and every day we lived in fear.” 

Talar talked about how once she arrived in Perth there were further challenges.

“I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to find a job as a refugee. I had qualifications and experience, but no one would consider me.”

Recently becoming a permanent employee at South32, Talar is excited about the future.

“Things are looking up. I am working in a job with plenty of opportunities for growth and I am studying. I don’t want anyone to ever experience what I went through in Syria, so I am getting my Master’s in International Development and I hope to go back and make a difference one day.”

South32 launched its pilot Refugee Talent Program last year to create job opportunities for refugees and tap into a diverse talent pool. The Program is part of our commitment to building an inclusive and diverse workplace.