Welcome to the December 2016 newsletter, which has been sent out a week later than usual so we can share our latest triumphs and publicly recognise our volunteers for their hard work this year.
I would like to announce that after a long road, I was admitted to the legal profession as a solicitor on 06 December 2016. This is a proud moment for me, and I look forward to offering expanded services to the refugees we assist at AFFMA.
Yesterday the office volunteer team celebrated another successful year with a pleasant lunch. I would like to thank all those who helped our office run smoothly this year, including our highly professional Practice Manager Daniel Fang (pictured), who won the CEO’s Volunteer of the Year Award, our second Practice Manager Gavin Durbridge, a tech savvy who worked tirelessly to incorporate Google Drive into our existing system, our receptionists Tim Su, Erin Logie, and Shezza Khan, whose marketing strategies, suggestions and dedication to AFFMA are unparalleled, our Graphic Designer Devi Sutarsi, who designed our new email signature and award logo and last but not least our compassionate and committed Administrator, Lawyer-Migration Agent, and Acting CEO Gene Waters.
Last night we also hosted a Christmas dinner for the AFFMA board, newsletter team, and bookkeepers. I would like to offer a huge thank you to the newsletter team (James Gounis, Libby Wright, Jesika Haangana, Vijhai Utheyan, Megan Sturges, and Ariza Arif), the board members (Sabine Lorenz, President, Sherlene Heng, Secretary, David Barton, Treasurer, Karyn Clarke, Communication Director, Jesika Ha’angana, Social Media Director, and Ammar Hamad, PR Manager), and our bookkeepers (Edi Soysa and Angie Zhu).
Please click this link to meet all our board members:
I take this opportunity to thank our past clients and volunteers for keeping in touch with us throughout 2016: Lauren Lamarque (Newsletter Team Member), Holly Zhu and Jessica Craft (Practice Managers), and Warren Oakes (Board Treasurer) etc.
Finally, on behalf of everyone here at AFFMA, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. While you celebrate the festive season, please be grateful for the safe and prosperous lives we have here in Australia. It is important to remember that, apart from the traditional owners of this land, we are all either immigrants ourselves or descended from immigrants, be they convicts, economic migrants, or refugees.
There are currently over 60 million refugees displaced worldwide, many of whom are now preparing for a long, harsh European winter. Our thoughts are with them all during this time.
Please be advised that our office will be closed from Monday 12 December 2016 to Tuesday 31 January 2017 inclusive. The office will resume normal hours on Wednesday 01 February 2017. The newsletter team will also be taking a break, and our next newsletter will be out on 01 February 2017.
Thank you again for your support throughout 2016. Please consider donating $35 only this festive season which will pay the application fee for one refugee. (See below under ‘ Sponsor a Refugee’. Happy holidays.
Juris Doctor, Master HumRights Law, Master Int’l Law, DipLegPrac.JP
Pro Bono Migration Agent