Reuniting families: Hope and grief beneath the paperwork

Reuniting families: Hope and grief beneath the paperwork

It sounds like ‘office paperwork’ when ARA migration agent Tamara van Mil-Koops (above, right) explains what she does for a job: ‘I lodge applications for people to enter Australia.’

Behind that practical response is Tamara’s daily experience of sharing heartbreak, hope and perseverance with refugees and their families. Sometimes, after painstaking work by the ARA migration support team, the paperwork pleas to government on behalf of desperate families are rejected.

And sometimes, Tamara and her team share in the happiness when families are reunited.

The long, hard road of Meseret Tola to be reunited with her family, is among those successes.

Meseret (pictured above, left) left Ethiopia to work as a maid in Dubai after her husband was murdered.

Meseret had been promised a holiday in Egypt but was forced to work as a virtual slave. She escaped but her family didn’t know where she was.

Years passed before the family found Meseret. That’s when Tamara stepped in to help through ARA’s migration support service. Finally, after a decade of hurdles, Meseret was reunited with her family in 2021.

So what drives Tamara?

“What keeps me going is I help people who really need help. And I think about what it will be like when they are with their family. That makes me happy.”

The ABC recently shared the amazing twists and turns of Meserat’s story, you can read it here

We believe that reuniting families is vital in helping people successfully settle in a new country. Our team of registered migration agents provide advice and assistance in applying for visas, residence and citizenship applications.

Find out more about Migration Support here.

Skip to content