When the Afghan Government fell to the Taliban, the Australian Government evacuated about 4,100 people.
About 3,500 of these will remain in Australia under a number of visa categories. Many fled with little other than the clothes on their backs and little support network.
HOST has been contracted by the Federal Government to provide career coaching to support Afghan evacuees. Our aim is to minimise gaps in work and study and to ensure that they are able to rapidly integrate into Australian society.
A key feature of this support is the Volunteer Industry Mentor Program.
The prom pairs Afghan participants with mentors in their industry to provide local knowledge, networks, industry specific advice and support to support towards securing meaningful employment in their field.
We currently have a number of mentors within the program, one of whom is Jordan.
To celebrate National Volunteer week, we sat down with Jordan to see what it's like to be a mentor with HOST, and how she supports mentees to gain confidence and thrive.
How long have you been a mentor with HOST?
I have been a mentor since March 2022.
How did you discover the program?
I discovered the program through the Young Australian in International Affairs Jobs & Opportunities Board.
What brings you the most joy from being a mentor?
I love watching mentees gain confidence and thrive in their roles. I love being able to connect with others, and to provide practical skills and tips for gaining meaningful employment in Australia.
Do you remember a moment with a mentee that has most inspired you?
I am constantly inspired but can definitely say I appreciate that incredible tenacity that mentees have shown as new arrivals in Australia and their drive to upskill. It is incredibly brave to be in a new country, especially when English is not your first language. I love listening to mentees share their future plans and ambitious goals that are centered on giving back to the community.
Why do you think a mentor is key to the success of new migrants?
Having a mentor provides not only someone that can assist you with gaining employment, but also a friend in Australia, which can help mentees assimilate quicker into the Australian culture and provide contacts in the industry. There are definitely nuances to each industry and networking is often important.
What is some advice you can give new migrants?
I would advise that patience is the key because the right opportunity and fit will come along.
I also would recommend being open to meeting new people and being friendly and willing to learn are fantastic traits to have as a prospective employee.