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Melbourne man’s plan to open his home to Syrian refugee family

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Melbourne man’s plan to open his home to Syrian refugee family

A Melbourne family wants to open their home to a Syrian family displaced by the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn nation.

Mark Stanley detailed his idea to invite refugees into his Macclesfield home to Neil Mitchell, who said it was a warm-hearted, generous offer.

But Mr Stanley said it seemed like the obvious thing to do.

‘It’s just basic human kindness,’ he said.

‘As Australians in our DNA we have this inherent want to kick in and get things done.’

Today the Federal Government announced Australia will resettle 12,000 refugees following the deteriorating crisis in Syria.

The father of two said they have a spare room and plenty of space and he’s not concerned with having strangers in his home.

He’s pitched the idea to his wife, who told him the thought had also crossed her mind.

‘Part of the problem is we’ve become desensitised to this stuff, it’s constant imagery of people crossing borders,’ he said.

‘I don’t think people know how to humanise it.’

An organisation which resettles refugees in Victoria, AMES, has welcomed the idea. 

CEO Cath Scarth said it was definitely an option, if both the host family and the refugees were adequately supported.

‘Generally when refugees come the first thing they obviously want to do is to feel safe but the biggest thing they talk to us about is wanting to connect to the Australian community,’ he said.

‘In a sense, ideas like this make that happen really quickly.’

Click play to listen to a Melbourne dad’s idea to open his home to Syrian refugees

Neil Mitchell
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