One of the first families to be resettled in NSW as part of Australia’s additional Syrian and Iraqi refugee intake of 12,000 has arrived in Sydney.
Ayad and Iptesam Kaky, along with their two children Mark and Rita, fled their home in Mosul, Iraq, in July 2014 and had been living in Lebanon as refugees.
Mr Kaky thanked the Australian people and government for the opportunity to build a new life.
“We are very happy to be in Australia and are looking forward to leaving our past behind - to open a new blank page,” Mr Kaky said.
The Kaky family were welcomed to NSW by Premier Mike Baird, the federal Minister for Social Services Christian Porter, and the NSW Coordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement, Professor Peter Shergold AC.
“This is a very exciting day,” said Professor Shergold. “The community as a whole is responding, with hundreds of people in NSW now offering support.”
In September 2015 the Australian Government announced it would make an extra 12,000 humanitarian places available to Syrian and Iraqi refugees impacted by the conflict in the Middle East, in addition to the existing humanitarian intake.
So far 90 refugees have arrived in NSW from refugee centres in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. NSW is expected to settle at least 4,000 additional Syrian and Iraqi refugees over the next 18 to 24 months.