In somewhat challenging circumstances, Gabi Nind has begun her new role with the Uniting Church WA as Social Justice Officer. This position was previously held by Kate Leaney, who has returned to her home-town of Adelaide.
Staff of the Uniting Church Centre are currently working from home due to physical distancing restrictions amid COVID-19.
In her role as Social Justice Officer, Gabi will be working alongside Geoff Bice, Social Justice Consultant, advocating in areas of social justice concern for the Uniting Church WA, such as for refugees and asylum seekers, climate change, peace, and First Peoples.
Gabi comes to the role with a wealth of experience in the refugee and asylum seeker advocacy space. She has previously worked with ASeTTS (the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors) as their Professional Development Officer, in education and training of staff, and with the Greens (WA) political party as their Campaigns and Policy Advisor.
She has also spent two months volunteering at a refugee camp in Greece.
“My position there was voluntary and I was team leader of the volunteer group,” Gabi said. “There were 30 volunteers and we were an emergency response team.
“We would respond to people getting off the boats onto the island – they were usually fleeing Turkey. We provided them emergency needs like food, water and clothing before they were sent to the camps.
“That was interesting work because there’s so many politics involved in that sector but also you’re dealing with quite an emotional situation every day of the week.”
While volunteering in Greece, Gabi helped run education programs for children, English classes so that people could progress their Visa applications, resume writing workshops, and recreational activities to help take people’s minds off the distress they were going through.
After working in various roles in Perth since that time, Gabi said she’s looking forward to working for the Uniting Church WA on social justice issues that she’s passionate about.
“It’s nice to be back in that campaign space and working in the sector again,” she said. “The benefit with this role is that we’re working across a number of different issues.”
Gabi will be working for the Uniting Church WA from Mondays to Thursdays and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.