Iraqi Refugee Tried To Repay Australia The $18,000 In Welfare He Received Before Becoming Successful

August 27, 2014

In 2009, former Iraqi refugee Sam Eisho walked into an Australian government building. He was there with a check for over $18,000 to pay back what he felt he owed the Australian Government.

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Photo: Business Insider/Ben Collins

The amount was equivalent to all the welfare payments he received between 1999 and 2001, when he first arrived in Austrailia and before he started his successful construction company.

He had come a long way since he was nearly killed at an Iraqi checkpoint. After flying to Turkey, they travelled to Greece, at times hidden under furniture in the back of a truck. And Eisho — who completed his Bachelor degree at the University of Mosul, spent three years making mattresses.

Now Eisho employs over 40 people and has more than 100 sub-contractors. None of it, he says, would have been possible if was not for the support he received from the Australian Government.

However, his check for $18,641.43 was returned by the Australian government with a letter suggesting Eisho donate the sum.

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Photo: Business Insider / Letter from Eisho

Eisho took their advice. As well as gifting the $18,000 Eisho has also donated around $60,000 to hospitals and schools.

See the full story on Business Insider.

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