Ahmad Hosseini’s career in humanitarian work was supposed to be temporary.
At age 12, having just arrived in Brisbane from Iran after fleeing his home country of Afghanistan, he knew that the person who regularly met him for a chat at school was providing support that was ‘special and unique’.
But it wasn’t until years later that he truly understood the impact this had on refugees when he became a support worker himself.
Ahmad was studying Bachelor of IT when he took a short-term role at Multicultural Australia as cultural support worker helping newly arrived Afghan refugees feel welcome and find their feet in a foreign land.
“The more I talked to them, the more my passion to pursue humanitarian work blossomed. When I started working in the asylum seeker space, it really reaffirmed my decision,” Ahmad said.
“Because the work that I did with our clients, the memories stayed with them.” Ahmad recently crossed paths with a former client from 10 years ago. Coincidentally, at that very moment, the person was on a video call with another former client.
“I didn’t recognise him. He said: Do you remember me? That started the conversation and [the memories] slowly came back to me,” Ahmad recalled.
There were times when former clients returned the message of welcome and belonging to him.
“There are also these people at our local mosque who make sure that I have a space even if I’m not always there on time. It was because of the work I did for them.”
“Some of them now have established businesses. I am glad that I was a part of their settlement journey, even if it was a tiny role. I’m really grateful for that.”
Now working as MA’s Group Facilitator and Client Services Officer, Ahmad looks back at a decade-long journey in humanitarian work and still wakes up with ‘a renewed sense of purpose’ every day.