Migrants band together to save support service

Local migrants are banding together in a effort to save their Mandurah-based settlement officer after hearing news she would be terminated after November 2018. 

Fremantle Multicultural Centre’s peel settlement officer Virginia Pitts will be out of a job after the organisation lost federal government funding and the bid to maintain a local representative.

Ms Pitts is also the Peel Multicultural Association president, which is under the guidance of the centre. 

Mandurah resident Halima Melrose is one of many local members of the Peel Multicultural Association who came together to save the service.

Ms Melrose came to the city three years ago from Ghana.

“I meet Virginia not long ago,” she said. 

“It was through one of the child help nurses. I was feeling a bit down. I tried to get my eldest daughter back from Ghana and I was having problems. [Virginia] has been amazing. She’s always there,” she said. 

Peel Multicultural Association is a good place where people come and share their culture together.

Mandurah resident Mary Kalani who swapped up life in Iran for Australia more than four years ago

Living in Mandurah for the past four years, Mary Kalani swapped up life in Iran for Australia in a hope to access better opportunities. 

Since joining in with the association three years ago, Ms Kalani said she had found the confidence to start teaching other in the community her Persian dance skills. 

“Peel Multicultural Association is a good place where people come and share their culture together,” she said. 

It’s very important that it stays.

Mandurah resident Meherun Nesa, who originally hails from Bangladesh

She said the association had helped her and others combat the isolation they felt when they initially moving to the community. 

Originally from Bangladesh Meherun Nesa moved to Mandurah four years ago and support from the association was vital to her. 

“Peel Multicultural Association is doing a great job. It’s very important that it stays,” Ms Nesa said.