Amina regains control of her life


Amina arrived in Melbourne on a family visa after waiting nine years to reunite with her husband. Tragically two months before their arrival, her husband had a workplace accident that left him with a severe acquired brain injury. As a result, Amina and her three children experienced significant trauma and grief, reuniting with their father in a rehabilitation hospital with little or no recognition of the family connection.
Amina had joint Administration power with two of her husband’s brothers. This required her to obtain approval for withdrawing money from her husband’s Workcover payments. She experienced cultural and gender barriers to accessing money from her husband’s family. With no income or English literacy skills, she felt disempowered and hopeless.


Client situation

Amina urgently needed mental health support and financial stability for her family. Unfortunately, she lacked an understanding of systems and services and didn’t know how to financially support her family.
Importantly, Amina needed to access services for herself and her husband’s supported care. She was connected to a SECL Case Manager and interpreters who helped create a path to improved social, emotional, and economic wellbeing for herself and her family.
SECL’s Case Manager provided trauma-informed and client-centred support, referrals, and intensive advocacy, enabling Amina to navigate multiple agencies and service providers. In addition, Amina was supported through the COVID-19 lockdowns, with SECL liaising with social workers at the hospital ensuring communication with her husband via video calls.



Increased knowledge

SECL provided Amina with information and advice on Australian civic systems and laws, including the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Improved financial independence
SECL’s advocacy supported Amina in being awarded the administration of her husband’s financial resources and control of the payout through VCAT, substantially improving the family’s economic security.
Improved skills

Amina gained her independence by understanding and using public transport. She also participated in English classes, digital literacy programs, and driver education and obtained her driver’s license.

Increased self-confidence

Importantly, Amina understands where to go for support she needs it. She is empowered to navigate the health system, including the NDIS and Centrelink services.

Improved mental wellbeing

Amina and her children were referred to specialist mental health services. This improved her children’s engagement with education, community, and sports activities.

The Settlement Engagement and Transition Support program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.