Ukrainian Refugees Fleeing Russian Invasion Arrive In Adelaide
“A very traumatic time”
SA History Hub
More than 100 Ukrainian refugees have safely arrived in South Australia, after fleeing from their war-torn homeland.
Thirty families, compromising of mostly women, children, and the elderly have arrived with "just the clothes they have on them, and a backpack" according to Aliona King from Adelaide's SLAVA Ukrainian Cultural Centre.
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"It's really, really stressful obviously for them. Some of them basically walked out of their house with documents and a backpack and anything [their] kids need … and that's all, that's all they had with them," she told ABC News.
"Some of them had time to grab some very personal belongings …but the majority of them have nothing."
Many of the Ukrainian refugees made the arduous trek to Poland and Romania before arriving in Australia.
"To cross the border for some of them was a very traumatic time," Ms King said.
"It was [in] minus-degree temperatures, standing with little kids for 12 or 14 hours outside, waiting in line to cross the border."
Although most of the refugees have family already living in Australia, support and resources were stretched.
"The majority of people inviting their families to come to Australia are migrants themselves, so they might be living in rental accommodation or small houses," she said.
"Imagine a family of eight coming to live with you, we have one family here with three adults and four children. It's a huge cost for food, for transport.
"We are still waiting for the government to finalise the process for temporary protection visas," Aliona said, "because people are arriving on the tourist visas which don't permit them to get access to Medicare or any government financial support."
The federal government has granted about 5,000 visas to Ukrainians to travel to Australia, some of which include skilled migrant and family reunion visas, student and tourist visas.
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