To celebrate Refugee Week 2017 we introduce you to some of our staff who after making their own journeys to a new life in Bendigo now give their time to help and support others following the same path.

Learn what events we have planned for Refugee Week:

Today we meet our community support worker Paw Paw Nway Moo.

How did you come to Bendigo?

I was born in Bur in 1976 and moved to the refugee camp along the Thai Burmese border in 1986. I came to Australia in 2009 on the 28th of January. I live with my family in Bendigo I am working with BCHS since 2013.

What is your role with BCHS?

I am a community support worker working together with the Humanitarian Settlement Services program. I am also working with the complex case support. My roles are to support the new arrivals to become independent while settling in Australia. I assist clients with local orientation and orientation information sessions. Assist client to be able to access the services to attend an appointment, showing clients how to use public transport and to attend appointment at centre link, job network, GP, dental school and bank using ATM independently. My role is to build client confidence in the new livivng environment in Australia.

What is the best thing about your role?

The best thing about my job is meeting new family and assisting with their settlement need and see family feels free and enjoys life in the new country. Most of all working with BCHS settlement team is the best place, learning new skills, working as a team, sharing knowledge and experience, supporting each other and helping my community who are settling in Bendigo.

How has Bendigo Community Health Services helped you?

Firstly, as a volunteer they trained me and built my confidence and skills to work with new arrivals. They teach how to write case notes make bookings and to help people to settle. They gave me the opportunity to attend training and work as a paid community guide. I love they helped my brother and his family and then his sick daughter to get good treatment and care equipment. This was never available in the camp.

What are the most important highlights of your first few months in Bendigo after arrival?

Bendigo is free and safe, the people are friendly and want to help us. There were many big buildings with electricity, running water (didn’t have to carry water ). You see lots of free birds also nobody tried to kill the birds. The opportunity to start a new life in Bendigo.

What do you hope to achieve in the future through your role with BCHS?

Continue to learn as a community guide. Continue to help my people to learn to improve my typing skills my case notes and more about completing documents. My role as a community guide is very important as I understand what it feels like living in refugee camp for many years and how it feels when you arrive in Australia. Everything is strange new different people language systems laws schools education and food. So I can as a community guide teach my people how to settle in Bendigo

What is your favourite place in Bendigo and why?

My favourite place in Bendigo for me is the first house I rented after I arrived. It’s near Lake Weeroona. Lake Weeronna, the lake, the grass, the trees, the birds and the playground remains a special place for me and my family and we go there a lot. In the refugee camp there is no green grass no lake no playground for kids and no beautiful birds my children also love to go to Bendigo library and look at the big books as there are no books like that in the camp.

Want to meet more of our fantastic staff and share their journeys to Bendigo?

To find more profiles on our staff for Refugee Week click here