Keen to help migrants settle

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Five Questions With . . . Aoraki Migrant Centre administrator Rebecca Toole

What is your background?
My background is office administration and quality assurance.

What does an average day involve for you in the office?
Applying for funding, accountability reports after we’ve used the funding and submitting budgets.

I support the manager of the Aoraki Migrant Centre and I’m helping to organise a quiz night to raise funds and I’m looking for prizes for the raffles and silent auction.

How does the centre help people new to town?
We have a newcomer’s welcome pack, which features maps, information about the district [and important details such as] road rules. We also have a Facebook page and newsletter offered through the centre based at Community House [to inform and assist] people new to the district.

We have a newcomers coffee morning and newcomers walking group [to help people new to the area meet new friends].

How satisfying is your job, knowing the difference you are potentially making to people trying to find their way in a strange land?
I haven’t been here [in the job] long, but I like the fact I will be helping migrants and newcomers to settle and feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

When I first left school I was a school dental nurse, so I had to train and then work in several towns in New Zealand. So I knew what it was like to be a newcomer and not know anyone.

[I’m also looking forward to] finding funding to continue our service because it is very important that we continue to support migrants and newcomers in Aoraki.

How did you first become aware of the Aoraki Migrant Centre?
I became aware of the Aoraki Migrant Centre after learning about the the race relations day celebration where the centre’s manager held an international food and entertainment event at the [Caroline] Bay Hall.