Petra Playfair, CEO of PLAYFAIR Visa & Migration Services joins Mr Saad Mahmood, the owner of AEO, and his team in the AEO offices in Karachi. AEO and PLAYFAIR Visa & Migration Services have joined forces for their first immigration road-show which takes place in Pakistan’s major cities. Earlier this year, PLAYFAIR and AEO decided to set up a joint-venture to provide quality services to Pakistani Nationals who want to acquire popular visas, such as residency-by-investment visas known as Golden visa, or skilled visas to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada or even European countries. After successful meetings in Karachi, the next stops on the agenda this week are Lahore and Islamabad.
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The LSJ speaks to eight trailblazing lawyers who are leaning into the future with fresh ideas and fire in the belly. They are doers, thinkers and visionaries: the people you want to be, who have ideas you need to know about. One of them is MARINA BRIZAR of PLAYFAIR Visa & Migration Services. MELISSA COADE writes:
Marina Brizar, a young lawyer from Sydney, is exploring how labour mobility could bolster Australia’s immigration framework and change the way we think about refugees.
Marina knows all too well the impact of war and civil unrest. Aged five and living with her parents and two brothers in a refugee camp in Croatia, she recognised the power that a UNHCR caseworker had over their destiny.
“I had this sense that the person who was there in front of us could change the direction of my life. That really resonated with me,” Marina says.
“When we reunited with my dad [who had been caught up in the 1993 Siege of Sarajevo], he said he had dreams of going to the beach with his kids. That’s how we chose Australia. We had no ties, no English language, nothing like that.”
When her family was accepted to permanently settle as refugees in Sydney, Marina remained fascinated by how and why they were able to start their new lives in Australia. She went on to study law and international studies, and the child-refugee turned immigration-lawyer, is now making her mark on the lives of countless other migrants.
2018 was a big year for Marina Brizar, who visited Syria with former Australian senator Jacqui Lambie as part of the SBS documentary-reality show Go Back to Where You Came From. She was also awarded a Churchill Fellowship, which will see her spend eight weeks travelling to Canada, Germany, Jordan, the UK and the US later this year. The purpose of her trip is to explore refugee programs that foster the positive impacts of migration.
“The project is trying to see how other countries are using migration programs to assist people from a refugee background and then using that to craft a potential product, a humanitarian talent or a humanitarian skills visa, which we may be able to apply to the Australian context,” Marina says.
“I am looking to create a visa that will bridge the gap between humanitarian migration and skilled migration. In Australia we only have those two categories – there is nothing in between.”
“I’m excited for Australia to be at the forefront of migration innovation and become a compassionate world leader in this space,” she says. “Hopefully something good comes out of this project.”
Full article: https://lsj.com.au/articles/theinnovators2019/
Petra Playfair together with Gabrielle Brady, the Director of the documentary film called “Island of the Hungry Ghosts”, premiered in Australia on 7th March 2019, having an interview at 3RRR radio station in Melbourne, on Monday 4th March at 9.30 am.
Watch the trailer:I
Island of the Hungry Ghosts provides opportunity and advocacy for female filmmakers. Funding of this feature has in part come from PLAYFAIR Visa & Migration Services, an international migration firm specialising in complex migration and visa issues. Founder, Petra Playfair, has worked in this space for over 30 years. She is currently a Fellow and previously an independent Director of the Migration Institute of Australia and has long been a voice for refugees. “Set on Christmas Island, Island of the Hungry Ghosts explores the theme of migration through the 40 million red crabs, that move from the jungle to the sea when the moon is full, and the asylum seekers, that are being held indefinitely in a high-security detention centre on the island. This evocative, thought provoking film brought back many memories, specifically my years representing clients in detention on Christmas Island. PLAYFAIR-Visa & Migration Services is proud to support a film that so accurately captures the beauty in respecting both nature and the human spirit, as they each struggle to overcome adversity.”
Island of the Hungry Ghosts has been awarded:• Best Documentary – Tribeca Film Festival
• Human Rights Award – International Documentary Film Awards (IDFA)
• Special Jury Mention – Edinburgh Film Festival 2018
• Best Documentary – Adelaide Film Festival 2018
• Buyen-Chagoll Prize – Visions Du Reel 2018
• Grand Jury Prize – Mumbai Film Festival
Petra Playfair is a new New South Wales finalist in Telstra FINALIST GUIDE.
Judges have selected Petra as one of the most outstanding women undoing business in New South Wales.
Petra started her career as a social worker specialising in cross-cultural casework, and global migration. After being awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, she became passionate about creating an inclusive and multicultural Australia, setting up PLAYFAIR-Visa and Migration Services in 1988. Every year, Petra and her team of migration agents help thousands of migrants secure humanitarian, private and corporate visas making PLAYFAIR-Visa and Migration Services one of Australia’s leading migration advisers, both at a policy and client level. Through her entrepreneurial spirit and ability to predict and adapt to rapid changes in migration policy and law, increasingly underpinned by technology, Petra pursued her mission to humanise, mobilise and globalise people movement, realising her long-held dream to run a global business in this field.
PLAYFAIR CEO, Petra Playfair, has joined an illustrious group of NSW entrepeneurs in Telstra Business Women’s Awards as a 2017 Finalist in the category of Entrepreneur of the Year.
Petra Playfair started her career as a social worker specialising in cross-cultural casework, and global migration. After being awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, she became passionate about creating an inclusive and multicultural Australia, setting up PLAYFAIR Visa and Migration Services in 1988. Every year, Petra and her team of migration agents help thousands of migrants secure humanitarian, private and corporate visas making PLAYFAIR one of Australia’s leading migration advisers, both at a policy and client level. Through her entrepreneurial spirit and ability to predict and adapt to rapid changes in migration policy and law, increasingly underpinned by technology, Petra pursued her mission to humanise, mobilise and globalise people movement, realising her long-held dream to run a global business in this field.
Petra said: “I am passionate that my work contributes to an inclusive and multicultural Australia while enabling our clients to commence a new life in our ‘land of opportunity’. An accolade like the Telstra Business Women’s Award says as much about my amazing team and the wonderful work they do as it does about me.”
Other finalists in this category include: Marcella Romero, Rehab Management, Sydney, Hana-Lia Krawchuk, Love To Dream, Waterloo, Natalie Chapman, gemaker, Sydney, Penny Spencer, Spencer Group of Companies, Sydney, Kristy Chong, Modibodi, Sydney
Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on Friday November 27 at Doltone House, Sydney.
PLAYFAIR is proud to announce that its CEO, Petra Playfair, has been elected as National Vice President of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA).
Petra said: “I’m delighted to take up this position. Now more than ever we need to ensure that we maintain the highest standards in the migration profession and advocacy. The MIA is the ideal platform to do this.”
Petra Playfair has over 30 years’ experience in migration and multicultural affairs. Previously she was appointed Board Director and NSW President of the MIA (Oct 2005-2009), and also served on the Board of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).
Her vast expertise spans both corporate and humanitarian streams of migration law. She has represented the interests of many Australian government departments, the courts, and non-government agencies to their overseas counterparts and engaged in research and policy analysis relating to refugees.
After working as a Senior Social worker for the NGO, International Social Service, she was involved with the Refugee Council of Australia, the New South Wales Committee on Adoption and the Austcare Board of Management.
Petra founded PLAYFAIR Visa and Migration Services in 1988 and has grown the practice to one of Australia’s foremost providers of visa and migration professional services with a team of over twenty highly qualified Registered Migration Agents and Solicitors.
Since 2002, PLAYFAIR has been selected as a preferred Legal Aid Provider of migration assistance to asylum seekers and other disadvantaged clients under IAAAS, later PAIS and offshore contracts with the Australian Commonwealth Government.
Over the last 20 years, PLAYFAIR’s pro bono division has assisted numerous vulnerable and financially disadvantaged clients including representing them at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Their Community Outreach program supports the dissemination of accurate visa legislation and migration pathways information to refugee community groups, service providers and industry associations around Australia. It also engages in supporting new visa pathways for highly skilled refugees.
In a move aimed towards European expansion PLAYFAIR recently opened an office in Athens, Greece. For more information contact PLAYFAIR on (02) 9233 8899 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A massive congratulations to Adriana Mercado, solicitor and registered migration agent, who was awarded the 2017 John Gibson AM Award for the Young Migration Lawyer of the Year and Emma Damm, who was recognized as a finalist. The award is presented to a lawyer with less than five years’ post admission experience, who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of migration law in Australia or internationally.
More about Adriana Mercado
Adriana Mercado was born in El Salvador. Together with her family, she travelled to Australia as a refugee. Experiencing forced migration first hand has given Adriana a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges asylum seekers face.
Now a RSD Team Leader at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea, Adriana has extensive experience assisting vulnerable people in challenging environments.
Adriana is an alumna of the University of Western Sydney, where she completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication. While at UWS, Adriana received the Lamrocks Award for the Most Outstanding Student in Advance Torts and Civil Wrongs 2011 for her opinion piece on refugees. A paper that explored the semantics that surround an increasingly politicised issue.
Her other achievements include being a finalist for the 2016 Young Migration Lawyer of the year award, as well as a Co-Founder and Director of the AMB foundation. The purpose of which is to assist asylum seekers unable to meet the practical costs of tertiary education.
Adriana and Emma’s Contributions to Migration Law in Australia
Given the award commemorates, John Gibson AM – one of Australia’s most admired advocates in this field, whose work tirelessly promoted the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers. It is fitting that both Adriana and Emma have been recognized for this achievement. As both provide assistance to some of the most vulnerable and traumatized asylum seekers under the Australian Government’s PAIS program, as well as working as Claim Assistance Providers at the Manus Island IDC in Papua New Guinea.
We are immensely proud to see two of our team members recognized for their outstanding achievements on a national stage.
Great to see Marina Brizar, our multi-award winning Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent and Head of Corporates, represented as a panellist at the Rising Star event organised by the Women Lawyers Association of NSW. Continue Reading…
Plus, Backchat reporters Max Chalmers and Serge Negus explore our asylum seeker system further.