Natalie arrived on a spouse visa in 2015 after meeting her then partner on a working holiday in Europe. Originally from the Netherlands, Natalie travelled to Australia to start a new life with her partner.

Unfortunately, after a few years, things didn’t work out and Natalie made the decision to leave her partner, but found herself with few support networks. Alone and working casual jobs to make ends meet, life became difficult and Natalie was staying with the few friends she had made in Australia because she couldn’t afford to rent her own apartment.

Natalie made contact with the Department of Home Affairs who put her in touch with Homeward. Through our Assisted Returns Program, we had worked through Natalie’s plans to depart Australia and organised her flights home within just a few weeks. Natalie is now back home in the Netherlands, starting over, but very happy.


Michael arrived on a working visa to pick fruit in rural Queensland, but after losing his job and with no friends or family in Australia, had no way of supporting himself or to get home. Michael called the Homeward contact centre and was taken through his options via the Assisted Returns Program. Within a few days he had his travel organised and felt very relieved to be on his way home.


Babak arrived by boat in 2013 and spent some years living in the community. Since he first made the decision to leave Iran, the situation at home had changed for the better. Babak’s brother had bought a business, offering somewhere for Babak to work, and the political environment had improved significantly.

Babak spoke at length with his family and then visited the Department of Home Affairs to work out a way to depart Australia and go home. Upon making his decision, Babak sought pre-return advice and counselling about his options from the Homeward team. Still nervous about his decision, Babak made the step to voluntarily return home and is now working with his brother in Tehran.

*Not their real names