Welcome To Australia: Syrian Refugee Arrives In Perth For 'Better Future'

17/11/2015 3:24 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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A plane lands at Pulkovo international airport outside St. Petersburg on October 31, 2015. Russia on November 1 mourned its biggest ever air disaster after a passenger jet full of Russian tourists crashed in Egypt's Sinai, killing all 224 people on board. Flags were at half mast on the parliament building, in the Kremlin, and on other official buildings in honour of the victims, most of whom were from Russia's second-largest city of Saint Petersburg. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

The first family of Syrian refugees granted visas as part of the recent additional intake of 12,000 have said thanks and spoken of their desire to live in safety and peace.

The father of the family of five on Tuesday thanked the Australian government for opening its doors and said his one of his main priorities was educating his children.

"Thank you to the Australian Government for opening their doors and providing a better future for me and my children,” he said in a statement released by Social Services Minister Christian Porter..

"Thank you to the Australian embassy in Jordan for helping us and providing their services. We would just like to thank everybody for giving us a chance at happiness.

He said his most important priorities were educating his children, finding a job and living in safety and peace.

“From what I’ve seen just from the Australian embassy in Jordan, Australians are very fair and very kind, and I’m sure that I’ll find the same treatment here as well.

“My most important ambitions are to educate my kids well, to find safety, to get a job, and live in peace.”

The family were met by staff from Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre (MMRC) WA, as part of the Commonwealth Government’s resettlement process.

Earlier Mr Porter said they had gone through an “absolutely rigorous” and lengthy offshore screening process involving stringent health checks, character assessments and vetting by security and intelligence agencies.

Refugee support groups are expecting the increased intake to pick up in December, while some have told the HuffPost Australia the checks have taken a little longer than expected.

Treasurer Scott Morrison told Macquarie radio on Tuesday the focus of the increased intake remains on persecuted minorities while earlier Foreign Minister Julie Bishop described the process as Australian authorities “hand-picking” suitable refugees.

“That obviously includes a large Christian component. In fact, the majority I would expect,” Mr Morrison said.

“And that is because it is those communities who are at most long term risk in the Middle East.”

The refugees will be offered permanent settlement in Australia.

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