A piece I wrote for Thomson Reuters – picked up here in the South China Morning Post. 

Muhammad Nabaei learned grit the hard way. Forced to flee his native Iran when the government cracked down on massive protests in 2009, the 33-year-old flew to Indonesia, where he bought passage to Australia with a people smuggler.

It was not until 2012 that he was recognised as a refugee after years in a detention centre. He moved to Melbourne, where he spent three years trying to find work – finally landing a job with a food company that actively seeks out people like him.

“For us, asylum seekers and refugees are a competitive advantage,” says Chris Ennis, the manager of Ceres Fair Food, where Nabaei works as a supervisor. “People who can get themselves to Australia through heaps of countries, through detention centres where they might spend years – you have to be persistent, ingenious and resilient.”

The rest at the SCMP

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