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The First Syrian Refugees Arriving In Australia Have Written A Letter Of Thanks

"My most important ambitions are to educate my kids well, to find safety, to get a job, and live in peace."

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The father of the family wrote a letter which was released by the social services minister Christian Porter, in which he thanked Australia for "giving us a chance at happiness".

"Thank you to the Australian government for opening their doors and providing a better future for me and my children," the father said.

"We would just like to thank everybody for giving us a chance at happiness.

"I'd like to provide a good education for my children. From what I've seen just from the Australian embassy in Jordan, Australians are very fair and very kind, and I'm sure that I'll find the same treatment here as well.

"My most important ambitions are to educate my kids well, to find safety, to get a job, and live in peace."

Christian Porter says the family will receive accommodation, welfare, English language training and employment support.

He told ABC Radio that the father was "very keen" to move into the workforce.

In the wake of the Paris attacks and with the news that one of the perpetrators was carrying a Syrian passport, some Australians have been calling on the government to halt its emergency intake of 12,000 Syrian refugees.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

On Monday, NSW MP Andrew Fraser said the government should close Australia's borders, an idea which was dismissed by immigration minister Peter Dutton. Foreign minister Julie Bishop has also moved to allay concerns, saying the security screenings for new refugees were intense.

“These are people who are hand-picked by Australian authorities in the Middle East,” she said.

In the United States, more than a dozen states have said they will no longer accept refugees from Syria, despite calls from president Barack Obama to welcome those fleeing the war.

But the premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett said he expects refugees will be made welcome in his state, as more refugees are expected in the coming months.

“I believe they will be made welcome in our community and they will have access to the best health care,” he said.

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Alex Lee at

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