Meet Mary (not her real name), a courageous woman who fled from South Sudan seeking asylum in Australia. Like many refugees, Mary’s journey to Australia was filled with danger and grief. However, her story is not one of despair, but one of resilience and hope. Due to the suddenness of her departure, Mary was forced to leave her two children in the care of her grandparents back in South Sudan before embarking on the grueling journey to seek asylum. Despite being a trained midwife of five years in her home country, Mary was faced with the harsh reality that she would need to start over and find new employment to support herself. She found work in a restaurant, but it was far from a fulfilling career she was trained for.
Thankfully, Mary was introduced to the Romero Centre, a division of Mercy Community, by a member of her community two years ago. The Romero Centre provided Mary with migration advice, housing, food parcels, and peer support. She tried to apply for various jobs, however, was unsuccessful many times. That is until she was referred to Holy Cross Services. Mary did not have a car, and as such took public transport to work every day. She was placed at Holy Cross Laundry in Banyo, 450 metres away from the Banyo Train Station. Mary was always very appreciative of all the opportunities the Romero Centre and Holy Cross Services provided her, and in no time, she was trained to be competent in her role, including how to manage work hours, payroll, and leave applications. Some skills are transferable, leaving her with valuable knowledge she can utilise to advance her future career. She was always on time for work and expressed her gratitude to management and her peers.
After some time at Holy Cross Laundry Mary had saved up a fair amount of her money. Though she enjoyed working in the laundry, her heart always longed for the fulfilment of working in the health sector. Mary looked for training opportunities in the aged care field and was able to enrol in a Certificate III training course two years after starting with Holy Cross Services. She is currently completing her placement with the goal of rejoining the health sector. Although she has endured an abundance of trauma, Mary has been as resilient as possible. She has never lost the hope of being independent and wishes one day in the future she can reunite with her family and provide them with support.
Since the establishment of Holy Cross Laundry in 1889 by the Sisters of Mercy our Mission to provide those who are often locked out of employment due to disability and difference gain meaningful employment has remained unchanged and continues to define their purpose and who they are. As a ministry of Mercy Partners, Holy Cross Services understand the importance of remaining true to their core values and continuing their mission. Mary’s story is just one of many success stories seen at Holy Cross Services. Holy Cross Services believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to work with dignity and purpose and they are committed to creating a workplace that celebrates diversity and inclusion. By working with organisations like The Romero Centre, Holy Cross Services are able to provide meaningful employment and a sense of community to those in need. Holy Cross Services are proud to be a part of the solution and to help those seeking asylum in Australia find hope and a brighter future.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we walk, live and work. We recognise their living culture and their unique role in the life of the areas in which Mercy Partners ministries are located. We pay tribute to all of those who have nurtured this country over many thousands of years, deriving spiritual and physical needs from the seas, forests, soil, rivers, lakes and streams. We join with our First Nations people in honouring this land as sacred. We welcome the Uluru Statement from the Heart and support an Indigenous voice to parliament, enshrined in the Australian Constitution.