A chance at a new life in Harvey

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Ali Wawi is part of the Talent Beyond Boundaries Program at Harvey Beef.
Camera IconAli Wawi is part of the Talent Beyond Boundaries Program at Harvey Beef. Credit: Picture: Briana Fiore

Ali Wawi, who was born in the war-torn city of Aleppo in Syria, has been given a chance at a new life at Harvey Beef through an organisation that connects skilled refugees with businesses around the world.

The Talent Beyond Boundaries program aims to open up international employment pathways for refugees, in conjunction with filling talent gaps for employers.

Mr Wawi said he left Syria when he was four years old. His family went to Lebanon and was unfortunately unable to return to Syria because of the civil war occurring in his home town.

It is not safe to go back to Aleppo at all, it is being bombed every day and people are dying. More than 14 members of my family were killed, it’s like Armageddon.

Ali Wawi

The 28-year-old said Harvey was a quiet place and he enjoyed living in the area with his wife and young daughter.

Comparing Harvey to Aleppo is like comparing heaven to hell.

Ali Wawi

“I don’t have to worry about my future here, when I lived in Lebanon and Syria that was all I would think about.”

Mr Wawi said he was looking forward to the arrival of his second daughter who is expected on May 9, which also happens to be his wife’s birthday. Mr Wawi works as a process worker on the slaughter floor and said he was grateful for the opportunity to work at Harvey Beef.

“They really helped me, they organised the paperwork and they furnished my apartment which I was able to pay back in payments.

“They even gave me two bicycles to travel to work and left some meat in my fridge when I first arrived in Australia,” Mr Wawi said.

Harvey Beef human resources manager Jane Kelly said they were pleased with how the program was working.

“The program helps us fill vacancies for skilled staff, in what is a very tight labour market locally, and at the same time allows us to help out in the humanitarian work of providing refugees a future,” she said.

Mr Wawi’s brother was also accepted into the program and arrived in Australia on February 4 to work at Harvey Beef.

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