She recently relocated to Australia, arriving as a refugee from her home country of Pakistan. She arrived in Australia in 2015 by herself after having to make the incredibly difficult decision to leave her two adult sons who remain in Pakistan.
Arshi was highly educated in her home country having attained a Bachelors Degree in Education and Social Work. She has also worked for many years as a teacher and social worker for children’s rights and women’s empowerment. Arshi is now starting a new life in Australia, doing volunteer work, searching for a job and she recently completed a degree in Hospitality Management.
Arshi says that an internet connection has helped open doors for her. It has made job search more accessible, helped with social inclusion and it has generally decreased the stress in her life. Having regular access to information has helped her find her feet in a new culture and also improve her English skills. This has in turn helped her navigate job descriptions and applications.
She can communicate with her friends who are helping her find a job, and she can communicate with her sons in Pakistan. Occasionally she enjoys listening to relaxing music on her phone after a long day, a modern comfort that we all can appreciate.
All in all, the new internet connection has been incredible for Arshi. Trying to navigate life in a new country can be difficult, but it is much less difficult with internet access. We are happy that Arshi is connected and can continue to grow and thrive in Australia.
So a big thank you to all our customers for making it possible for Arshi and others like her to access the internet.
Hala and her children now start every day with access to an internet connection, providing a level playing field for education, access to information and crucial online services.
Before the Start Life Changing Connections Program the family was catching a bus to the local library to access the internet.
Hala's husband and extended family still reside in their home country of Lebanon. Before the internet, keeping in regular contact wasn’t possible. Now Hala and her family enjoy face-to-face chats via Skype, keeping that important family connection for the young children.
Hala’s children are aged 5, 6, 8 and 9 years old and they use the internet for school projects and also for entertainment. Hala has commenced a Certificate in Small Business Management, which she hopes to use to help her enter the workforce.
Thanks Start customers, keep on clicking!
Say hello to Lara, single supermum to Sam and Kathryn, and one of our Life Changing Connections beneficiaries.
Recently, Lara made the brave decision to leave a long term abusive relationship and is now supporting her two daughters on her own. These tough circumstances made it impossible for Lara to provide a home internet connection and her eldest daughter Sam was facing the prospect of tackling VCE while offline at home.
With the barrier of being disconnected, logic says that Sam will be at a significant study disadvantage to her peers. At Start we’re not ok with that and luckily nor are Start customers.
Lara will use the home internet connection to manage the household bills and access important services, as well as staying connected to friends and family on social media.
Just by being a Start customer you are helping provide a level playing field every single day for Lara and her daughters.
Single mother Melanie and her three children have been making the most of being connected to the internet at home via our Life Changing Connections Program.
Melanie has already completed a Certificate 3 in Aged Care and has commenced study to attain her Certificate 4. Despite a hectic schedule with family and study, Melanie has started her job hunt and is well on her way to entering the workforce for the first time in many years.
The kids spend time using internet for online study and accessing learning resources Mathletics, Reading Eggs and Study Ladder. Their school results have been going from strength to strength.
Melanie is able to use Google to help the kids with their school assignments. She had never pictured herself as an expert at making model boats but she has now become one!
Having access to Facebook Messenger has come in handy to keep in contact with friends on occasions where Melanie’s phone has run out of credit.
For many years Stephen and his son Thomas did not have internet access at home. This is now a thing of the past, as Stephen and Thomas have joined the Life Changing Connections Program, which provides a home internet connection to families who would otherwise go without.
Thomas is now able to participate in online homework and he also enjoys staying connected with his friends via social media, something he had missed out on previously. Thomas lives with a learning disability and he is now able to use the internet for programs to help with his concentration and development. While he loves having the internet at home Thomas remains a self-described outdoor kid, loving his motorbike riding, camping and hanging out with his Dad.
Stephen loves having use of the internet to keep up to date with news and current affairs and to stay in contact with family. Stephen has struggled with unemployment for much of his adult life and he is driven to make sure Thomas has access to better schooling and job readiness than he himself never had.
For Khaw, husband Blaet and their 7 beautiful children, 2018 represents a new year of opportunity.
In the year just past, Khaw and Blaet have not had access to a home internet connection which means every single day their 7 children are falling behind their classmates as they don’t have access to the same learning tools.
The children, aged between 3 and 21, love school and learning, so we’re thrilled they will now get the same opportunities as other Aussie kids to grow and develop. No longer will they have to attend the local library on a daily basis just to try and keep up.
The free internet connection will be complimented with expert support from our pals at Save the Children and their homework program. For Khaw and Blaet, they are looking forward to further developing their English skills and building online skills in readiness for finding opportunities in the workforce.
2018 is shaping as a big year! It’s amazing what you can do with a level playing field.
Sarah looks after her 13-year-old daughter in regional Victoria, having moved from the Greater Melbourne area to create a fresh start.
When asked how the Life Changing Connections program is helping her household, Sarah. replied, "I can’t live without it!"
Her daughter uses the connection daily to complete online homework and stay in touch with friends. Every day she can continue developing her online skills, setting her up for a bright future.
For her own development, Sarah has commenced a Certificate IV in Disability to help make a positive difference in her community.
Overall, Sarah says the Life Changing Connections program has significantly assisted with her own education and development, and most importantly, that of her daughter.
Meet Kathy, one of our Life-Changing Connections beneficiaries and overall superwoman!
Despite raising five wonderful children, using her spare time to volunteer in an aged care home and being fluent in four languages, securing paid work has been a challenge, and as a result, so has providing internet at home to help her children study.
Thanks to Start customers, we have been able to provide her home internet connection!
Her children can now complete online study and research at home, while Kathy no longer has to spend two hours a day with them at the local library to help them keep pace with their peers.
Say hello to Janine, a proud mum and another one of our Life Changing Connections beneficiaries.
Single-handedly running a home with two boys aged 11 and 17, she also juggles part time work and a swag of bills to keep the household running.While Janine is still warming to the internet, her boys are well ahead of her.
Janine says, “the kids are so happy with the internet. I’m sure their grades wouldn’t have gotten better this year if it wasn’t for the internet.” Gone are the days of having to take trips to the library to pay bills or hire a DVD for downtime.
With her eldest son about to graduate year 12 and her youngest boy about to enter secondary school, the world is at their feet!