Hope in her heart – Atoor’s story

Breaking Barriers

21-10-2021 • 26 mins

On this episode of Breaking Barriers, host Natalie Jones hears the heart-wrenching story of a woman who escaped to Australia after life-threatening circumstances forced her to flee Iraq. How did a MatchWorks program assist her with overcoming trauma and finding meaningful employment?

Atoor Tamris is a courageous woman, driven by a passion for improving the wellbeing of others - first by helping young victims of conflict in Iraq, then caring for her elderly parents, and finally assisting refugees in positions just like she was when she arrived in Australia.

Main points:
● We meet Atoor and find out how the situation in Baghdad during the 90’s affected her upbringing and early work life. 1.00-4.31
● Atoor delves into the terrifying events that forced her to leave Iraq. 4.31-7.50
● Atoor’s refugee journey from Lebanon to Australia is covered, and she describes the years she spent caring for her parents. 9.24-13.03
● Peter Albertin is introduced, and we learn about the KickStart for Refugees program. 13.03-16.54
● We discover how the program helped Atoor overcome boundaries and land her dream job at MatchWorks. 16.54-25.18
Episode quotes:

“It was like a movie. I was thinking, ‘what is my mother going to do? Okay, they will kill me. Who is going to tell my family?’ They were very hard moments.”

“I was jumping and screaming ‘we will go, we will go.’ Nobody understood what was going on, nobody. My dad was screaming ‘what's going on? Why are you doing that?”’ I was just jumping, jumping. ‘Everyone, we'll go’. It was a mix of crying and laughing. And, oh my God, I can't forget that day. It was like you’re a bird, put in a cage, and you open the gate for him.”

“It's really that sense of being on the other side of the table, that sows that trust and belief for people that are sitting there. Then seeing Atoor and how far she's come, and being able to connect deeper with them and say that, you know, if she can do it, then I can do it too.”

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