Malek Alizadeh

Malek Alizadeh arrived in Australia eight years ago, fleeing the volatility of Iran with his wife and two young children. Before arriving on Australia’s sandy shores, he’d never held a paintbrush in a professional capacity, but Malek is no stranger to working with his hands. “In Iran, I worked as a farmer and a baker, and for a short time in a pharmacy”, he says.

“Alamto Painting happened because I wanted a steady job. I worked for a painting company and decided to start my own. I am a quick learner, and not shy of hard work.”

Malek took himself to TAFE and received his qualifications to start his own business. As he worked to get it off the ground, he was referred to the Ignite program by his SSI case manager.

“Working with Ignite has been like a dream. My wife helps me with the business, and the support from Ignite has changed our lives and improved our business”.

While Alamto Painting had the right business structure, it was lacking in stringent financial management. Ignite connected the husband and wife team with a seasoned accountant, who gave them the advice that would set them on the right track. “The accountant from the Ignite Resource Team helped us understand the importance of proper financial management, and it’s helped our business to turn a profit,” says Malek.

“My wife says if we continue this way, we will do very well!”

As for his future hopes for Alamto Painting – Malek is happy watching it grow under the care of himself and his wife, with the help of Ignite. “I would like to see it grow bigger, and employ many more people. Refugees, like me,” he says.