For several years the United Nations has expressed its concern about human rights abuses in Iran especially in relation to the treatment of Baha’i people.
In 2005 a resolution of the General Assembly commented on cases of arbitrary detention, disregard for property rights and the denial of access to benefits like higher education and employment.
As a person of the Baha’i Faith, Soheila Fadaee was prevented from accessing the Iranian University system to further her education.
Consequently, 22 years ago, Soheila moved to Orange from Northern Iran seeking new opportunities and access to education which included her recent completion of the Diploma in Community Welfare Work with TAFE NSW – Western Institute.
Education is very important to Soheila and she has valued the opportunity to learn with TAFE and continue her studies into University.
“When I came to Australia I didn’t know the language and I had to adapt to the Australian culture and environment,” she said. “At first I didn’t have the confidence for further education.”
“It is very important for me to be a good role model for my children in relation to education, so I enrolled with TAFE NSW.”
Soheila studied psychology, sociology and philosophy during her final years of schooling in Iran which laid a foundation to pursue these interests later in life, including to her decision to study welfare with Orange TAFE.
“I enjoy working with people,” she said.
“I am currently working with the Sisters of Mercy to help people with intellectual disabilities and I’ve worked with a local multicultural mothers group for the last year.
“I have never forgotten that my main my reason for coming to Australia was to further my education and I am pleased to have had the opportunities through TAFE NSW and now at University,” said Soheila.
Jenny Hazelton, Head Teacher of Welfare, said she was very proud of Soheila’s achievement in gaining the Welfare Diploma.
She said that Soheila started studying TAFE at Certificate Three level attending classes flexibly and then progressed to Certificate Four and then the Diploma while juggling family life and part time work.
“It has been very exciting and rewarding for the teachers to see her grow in confidence and skills over the past few years. She has worked very hard to achieve and reach her goals,” said Ms Hazelton.
The Diploma in Community Welfare Work is a training program which helps people to be a community welfare worker working in direct client work, community development or community health promotion.
Soheila has now enrolled at Charles Sturt University in a double degree program in social welfare and social work.