Media releases

Opening career doors for skilled refugees

Published 28 November 2018

Nader Bulos fled war-torn Syria for Australia with his family two years ago and credits a CareerSeekers program hosted at the City of Sydney for helping kick-start his new life.

An internship with the City’s projects and properties team has allowed Mr Bulos to gain valuable local experience, skills and contacts to help him restart his career in Australia.

The City offers work experience and training as part of its support for the not-for-profit CareerSeekers New Australian Internship Program, which promotes opportunities for newly-arrived refugee job seekers.

Nader Bulos and Lord Mayor Clover Moore
Nader Bulos and Lord Mayor Clover Moore

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that the City is proud to partner with CareerSeekers to support refugees settle into their new life in Australia in the best possible way – by finding meaningful employment.

“What newly-arrived refugees need is practical help to overcome the obstacles they face restarting their lives in a new country with a different language, culture and employment requirements,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The UN Declaration of Human Rights articulates an aspirational framework that the City’s internship program helps make an everyday reality for individual refugees.

“The City has been a refugee welcome zone since 2005, welcoming refugees into our community in ways that make a real difference.”

CareerSeekers was established in 2015 with the aim of helping new arrivals to Australia settle faster by helping them reestablish their careers.

“Finding suitable employment is one of the key factors of resettlement,” the founder and CEO of CareerSeekers, Michael Combs, said.

“New arrivals struggle to find professional employment as they don’t have local work experience, a professional network or job referees.

“An internship is an easy way to remove these barriers, and the City of Sydney is making a commitment to play its part in helping make our city a welcoming and prosperous environment.”

As the UN Declaration of Human Rights approaches its 70th anniversary, the City is boosting its partnership with the program, offering financial and in-kind support and continuing its internship program.

When Mr Bulos arrived in Australia, he worried his degree in architectural engineering and 16 years of professional experience would not be recognised. After studying English and completing a diploma in building design, he began the City’s internship in early 2018.

“Today, I have hope, goals and motivation,” Mr Bulos said. “I feel more confident as a result of the valuable experience gained with the City of Sydney. I'm proud to restart my career in such a successful and well-respected organisation."

In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified as a common standard for all peoples and nations. The declaration celebrates its 70th anniversary next month and CareerSeekers is calling on all Australian companies in support of a new initiative called Article 23.

Article 23 of the declaration states: “everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”

The City’s CEO, Monica Barone, said the City is committed to helping refugees and asylum seekers adjust to life and work in Australia.

“Local training and career guidance can make a huge difference to refugees beginning new lives,” Ms Barone said.

“Even though they have qualifications and extensive experience in their home countries, unfortunately this is not recognised in their new homes, and of course no-one can vouch for them.

“This must be frustrating for very talented people, who for no fault of their own have been forced to try and start a new life with their families in a land where they know no-one.

“This important program helps refugees and asylum seekers overcome barriers to gaining employment through work experience and training. They are then able to go out into the workforce confident and ready to contribute to a tolerant, diverse and skilled workforce."

Nader is the second person to participate in the City’s internship program which creates valuable local industry experience and job support.

For media inquiries or images, contact Keeley Irvin. Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Anusha Muller. Phone 0408 494 545 or email