In search of work, Pakistan-born Ali Hussein migrated with his wife and daughter to Perth in April, 2019.

After struggling to find stable work in a capital city, Ali Hussein reached out to ROA to be connected with permanent employment and resettlement in regional Australia.

Following ongoing consultation between Ali Hussein and employers seeking to build their workforce in regional Australia, ROA secured employment and settlement for him and his family in Leeton, a small town in regional New South Wales.

Speaking with SBS News about Leeton, he says “it’s very beautiful, some things are the same, but some are a little different, I really enjoy it here”.

Mahir Momand, CEO of Regional Opportunities Australia, said “we believe that one way to fill the skill shortage in regional Australia is to connect regional Australia with the skills of migrants and refugees who are living in big cities”.

The local meat factory run by JBS Australia employs a number of migrants in the area, including Mr. Hussein’s 17-year-old nephew, Ahmed Bilal.

“For migrants, I would encourage them to come here because there are many job opportunities…and the rents are very low compared to the cities.”

As Mr. Momand said the difficulty of having qualifications recognised is a common challenge for migrants, and ROA is working with both Ali Hussein and Ahmed to help them earn accreditation for their original professions.

Earlier this year, the Federal Government announced the introduction of the Skilled Employer Sponsored and Skilled Work regional visas, encouraging migrants to settle in regional Australia.

It has been welcomed by some stakeholders, but Leeton Mayor, Paul Maytom says it needs to be supplemented with financial support for housing and infrastructure in the region.

While ROA CEO Mahir Momand is confident the benefits of regional Australia can entice more migrants to make the leap, he also believes more Government support is needed.

“We would very much like the Government to assist in bringing policies to encourage more housing in regional Australia because it would actually assist in implementing that whole push for more people moving from big cities to regional Australia”, he said.

You can view the full story on SBS here.