Shabnam’s Triumph: A Journey of Resilience in Australia


Shabnam, a resilient Iranian refugee and mother of two, faced the challenges of caring for her unemployed, health-compromised husband while aspiring to transform her life. In 2020, she sought settlement support from SECL. Amidst family and financial complexities, Shabnam aimed to pursue her dream of becoming a professional hairdresser.

Client situation

In response to Shabnam’s aspirations and challenges,the Settlement Practitioner played an important role in Shabnam’s journey, conducting a thorough assessment and providing intensive case management support. Together, they devised a clear plan for Shabnam’s education and employment goals. The practitioner referred her to SECL’s specialised teams for guidance on opportunities and financial counselling. Additionally, connections to social activity groups addressed her overall wellbeing. With ongoing support, Shabnam secured a scholarship for a Certificate III in Hairdressing, skillfully managing time and career goals. Post-course completion, the Settlement Practitioner assisted her in finding a fulfilling part-time job, marking a triumphant step towards independence.



Improved economic independence

Shabnam has achieved sustained economic stability through her permanent part-time job at a hairdressing salon. Completing her Certificate III in Hairdressing. Her ambitious plans to establish her own business highlight her unwavering dedication to her career.

Improved social connections
Shabnam actively participates in SECL’s social activities. By consistently attending programs, she has made new friends and expanded her social network. This change has not only enriched her social experiences but has also played a key role in reducing her anxiety levels.
Strengthened community connections

With new social connections and work, Shabnam has gained a sense of empowerment, fostering independence and boosting self-confidence. This comprehensive personal growth reflects her journey of dedication and resilience leading to improved mental wellbeing.

Successful educational and skill progress
Shabnam has excelled in achieving her educational goals. She has improved at accessing services and making independent decisions. She continues to pursue further skills development including a men’s haircut course.

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