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Monday, 30 May 2011
Page: 5134

Ms KATE ELLIS (AdelaideMinister for Employment Participation and Childcare and Minister for the Status of Women) (10:57): I rise to inform the House of the remarkable journey of David Jock, who has called the good electorate of Adelaide his home. I first came to hear of David's journey following a visit from my ministerial colleague the Hon. Brendan O'Connor MP to Baptist Care SA. Our government awarded more than $300,000 to Baptist Care SA under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for their Imagine the Future project, which provides an early intervention program targeting disadvantaged and at-risk young African migrants. As a youth worker involved in this project, David is using his own experiences as a new migrant to Australia to assist other young people to adjust to life here, to help them to be aware of their choices and what support is available to them, and to encourage them to take charge and control of their future.

At the young age of nine, David's parents made the heartbreaking decision to send him away from Sudan to protect him from the incoming militia, joining thousands of others who set out for a refugee camp in nearby Ethiopia. The fall of the Ethiopian government in 1991 meant that David was forced to return to Sudan, where he was faced with human suffering and destruction. Homeless and heartbroken, David and his family had no option but to try and reach the new Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, some 600 kilometres away. Over the course of their journey, taking some nine months, David saw many perish from the gruelling conditions, and there was the constant threat of attack Finally arriving at Kakuma, David spent the next 11 years taking care of his two little brothers before the Australian government offered humanitarian visas to David, his brothers and his uncle. David's decision to leave Kakuma was a difficult one, but his decision to live in beautiful Adelaide was one more easily made. Having read a brochure that the South Australian capital is known as the city of churches, David thought, 'Why should I not go to the city of churches?' Since arriving in Adelaide, David is an outstanding example of the remarkable contribution that our migrant community makes each and every day. Now, through his work with Baptist Care SA, David is mentoring other young migrants to make positive contributions to their local community and ensuring that their transition to life in Australia is both supported and successful.

I take this opportunity to share this success story—one of many—and to congratulate David on his remarkable resilience and passion, and thank him for his ongoing commitment to our local community. I also want to acknowledge the work of Baptist Care SA, who are doing some truly remarkable work to support people most in need. I am proud to be part of a government that funds and supports these programs that are taking place where our community needs them most. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. Peter Slipper ): Order! In accordance with standing order 193, the time for constituency statements has concluded.