Shepparton Iraqi community members needing to renew Iraqi passports or legal documents were saved a journey to Sydney when Australia’s Iraqi Consul General visited Shepparton this month.
Mr Al-Jbori said help was offered with passport application and renewal, birth and death certificates, identity papers, buying or selling property in Iraq and powers of attorney.
‘We try and find solutions to obstacles. It is easier for us to come here, than for people to travel to Sydney,’ Mr Al-Jbori said.
Shepparton Ethnic Council worker Khaluf Salim explained that Iraqi people who arrived in Australia on migrant passports still held Iraqi citizenship for four years, so any issues concerning the Iraqi government such as passports, property or pension rights are dealt with through the consulate in Sydney.
He said consular visits to Shepparton happen about twice a year. ‘It’s very successful and saves people time and money,’ Mr Salim said.
He said about 2500 Iraqi people live in central Shepparton, while there were also Iraqi communities in Cobram and Kyabram. He said the Shepparton Iraqi community includes 12 doctors, three engineers and about 15 business owners, as well as teachers, interpreters, social workers, and students.
‘We also have people working on orchards, in factories and garages, and at Shepparton council,’ he said.
Mr Al-Jbori will also hold consultations in Broadmeadows, Melbourne today followed by Iraqi communities in South Australia and Western Australia.
Article and image courtesy Shepparton News