Happy to show the way

17063791.jpgBY SALLY LEE
YOU may recognise him as one of the councillors for Fairfield.
But Cr Samir Yousif also plays the role of an ambassador, founder of a Chaldean society, husband and a father of three.

Some of these roles and responsibilities began long before he was elected to council in 2008.

Nearly 30 years ago, Cr Yousif first set foot in Australia at the age of 27.

“I was a refugee from Athens but I am originally a Chaldean from Iraq,” he said.

“When I first came to this country there was no one helping me and no one showing me the way.

“So once I settled in, I thought it was best to start a group to help my community.”

So he founded the Chaldean Australian Culture Society.

Since then, he’s also been executive director of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW.

Cr Yousif is also the general co-ordinator for the Chaldean National Congress and chairperson for St Thomas Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.

He recently made the Australia Multicultural Council’s list of the 40 People of Australia Ambassadors.

But Cr Yousif doesn’t mind the workload.

“Life was never meant to be easy,” he said. “When I serve my community I can see how happy they are and how much easier their life becomes.

“And that makes me happy too.

“If they weren’t happy then I wouldn’t bother with donating my time.

“Any new arrivals, no matter what colour or religion, I am willing to help, because at the end of the day we are all human beings and we are here to call Australia home.”