Refugee Week Ambassadors are individuals who are either from a refugee background or who have an interest in and understanding of refugee and migrant issues in Australia. Their role is to promote Refugee Week, its aims and objectives.

Imtiyaz 'Minty' Saberi

Imtiyaz Minty Saberi photo

Imtiyaz ‘Minty’ Saberi migrated to Australia in hope of a better life. He fled a landlocked country without the ability to swim. Today, he holds the honour of being Australia’s first Afghan-born lifesaver. Minty features on the 2015 Refugee Week Poster.

David Manne

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David Manne is a lawyer and migration agent and Executive Director of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (RILC). He has worked in various capacities assisting refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years. In January 2001, he joined RILC, which is the largest provider of free legal assistance to disadvantaged migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. David sat on the Board of the Refugee Council of Australia for seven years, and currently sits on a number of other non-government Boards, including the Human Rights Law Centre and the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Ethics Committee, and peak Government consultative bodies. He has also been appointed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Advisory Board of Eminent Persons.

David has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Prize for Administrative and Human Rights Law, and President’s Awards (2006 and 2011), and was shortlisted for the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Medal in 2011. Since 2008, he has been voted by his peers as one of Australia’s leading Immigration Lawyers in the annual Australian edition of the international Best Lawyers publication.

David headed RILC’s legal teams in the recent successful High Court challenges in the cases of Plaintiff M61 v The Commonwealth & Ors (regarding the Government’s ‘offshore processing’ regime in Australia); Plaintiffs M70/M106 v The Commonwealth & Ors(regarding the Government’s ‘Malaysian Solution’); Plaintiff  M47 v The Director-General of ASIO & Ors (challenging the adverse security assessment and indefinite detention of a refugee); and Plaintiff M76 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship & Ors (regarding indefinite detention).

Carina Hoang

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Carina Hoang demonstrated amazing courage by escaping war-torn Vietnam on a wooden boat with her two younger siblings and 370 other people when she was just 16. After 10 months in a Refugee camp in Indonesia, Hoang was finally able to begin the next phase of her life in the United States. Over the next 20 years, Hoang continued her education, and had a successful career. Five years ago, Hoang resettled in Perth with her family. Hoang’s on-going work as a publisher and refugee advocate saw her publish the book, Boat People in 2011, which provides a moving account of the Vietnamese boat people experience of the late 1970s and 1980s.

Boat People won 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award for Australia and New Zealand region best non-fiction, was nominated for the Human Rights Book Award, and was finalist for the WA Premier’s Book Award. Hoang has become an influential advocate for refugees and helps Australians to understand the issues surrounding the modern-day boat people arrivals and shares the experiences of Vietnamese boat people with students and adults.

Since 2009, Hoang has committed to return annually to the sites of former refugee camps on now-uninhabited islands in Indonesia, to help Vietnamese families from France, Canada, Vietnam, Australia and the US search for graves of loved ones who died during the exodus. Hoang was an Inductee to the Western Australia Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011, recipient of the City of Belmont’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award, nominated for the 2012 Western Australian of the Year Award, recipient of the 2012 Karl Farrell Inspiration Award, and was a finalist for the Murdoch University 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. Hoang is currently pursuing a PhD at Murdoch University.

Rod Bower

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Fr Rod Bower is an Anglican priest and Rector of Gosford on the New South Wales Central Coast. The Gosford Anglican Community has become known as a progressive voice speaking into the social issues of the day. One of the main concerns of the community is Australia’s treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees. Fr Rod grew up in the New South Wales Hunter Valley on his parents’ grazing property. He worked in the meat industry until training for the priesthood in his late twenties. He believes that he has had an incredibly privileged life and that those like him have a special responsibility to enhance the lives of others through promoting a society that is characterized by justice and equity.

Fr Rod’s voice and that of the Gosford Anglican Community is directed towards “middle Australia” with the specific intention of promoting a culture of compassion that will influence legislative decisions, ultimately resulting in a more just society.

Jane Alia

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Jane Alia was born in Uganda, where her parents were living in exile, having fled their war-ravaged homeland in South Sudan.

As a young woman of refugee background, Jane is passionate in her advocacy and empathy on issues impacting on the welfare of recently-arrived refugees and asylum seekers in the Northern Territory. Jane volunteers at the Melaleuca Refugee Centre and the Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory and acts as Formal Chair and Executive Member of the Multicultural Youth Northern Territory.

Her achievements include: 2012 Northern Territory School-based Apprentice of the Year,  finalist in the Australian Training Awards, keynote speaker at 2012 International Women’s Day celebrations at Parliament House2013 winner of the Minister for Young Territorians Excellence in Youth Leadership Award (in the NT Young Achiever Awards). Jane was an Australian ambassador at the World Conference on Youth and Community Services in South Africa in July 2013, and was a speaker and presenter at the international Women of the World Festival in Katherine in September 2013. Jane is also an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

In 2012 Jane visited South Sudan for the first time, with her family. This was an exciting and deeply moving experience. She saw where her father was born, met relatives and saw first-hand the challenges of a country trying to rebuild after 50 years of civil war.

Jane believes that for young people, education is empowerment and fundamental to achieving their goals in life. She leads by example, combining her work as a qualified Dental Assistant with further study at Charles Darwin University.

Barat Ali Batoor

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Barat Ali Batoor is a multi award-winning photographer based in Melbourne. He was born in 1983, in a family that was driven out of Afghanistan during the civil war when most of his people were massacred. He returned to his ancestral country for the first time after September 11, 2001, when the Taliban regime was still in Kandahar, despite the United States-led campaign to oust them. After visiting the devastation and destruction of 23 years of war, Batoor decided to work for his country and to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Afghani people and the problems facing the country. He chose photography as his medium of expression.

Batoor started photography in 2002 and launched his first solo exhibition in 2007. His photographs were exhibited in the United States, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Dubai, Australia, Pakistan, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Afghanistan. His works have been published in magazines, newspapers and catalogues such as TED Gallery, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Stern, India Today, Afghan Scene, Risk Magazine, The Global Mail, The West Australian, Strategic Review and others. He participated in the “Lahore Artist Residency” in Pakistan and was the 2009 recipient of a photography grant from New York’s Open Society Institute for the documentary project “Child Trafficking in Afghanistan/The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”. At the Nikon-Walkley Awards in Australia in 2013, Batoor won Photo of the Year Award and was a winner in the Photo Essay category. He was also awarded the 2014 Communication for Social Change Award by the University of Queensland.

Batoor also gives lectures on various social issues and was a speaker at TEDxSydney in 2014.

John Jegasothy

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Growing up in the Eastern region of Sri Lanka during the early stages of the civil war, Rev Dr John Jegasothy has experienced first-hand the horrors of forced colonisation, state violence, persecution and terror inflicted upon members of the Tamil ethnic group. Amidst the violence of his last six years in Sri Lanka, Rev Jegasothy served as minister at the Methodist Church in Trincomalee and Chenkalady, was Chairperson of the Human Rights Organisation in the Trincomalee district, and called for peace as a member of the Central Committee. He was also heavily involved in the resettlement of internally displaced people and became a spokesperson for the Tamils in open forums, making him a target for the armed forces and Sinhalese.

In 1986 Rev Jegasothy and his family were granted Special Humanitarian Visas and relocated to Australia, spending their first eight years living in Parkes and Shellharbour before moving to Sydney. Rev Jegasothy works tirelessly towards the harmonious integration of different cultures into the local community, helping individuals and families on Temporary Protection Visas settle into their new environments, and assisting asylum seekers on Bridging Visas who don’t have work permits. With the support of the Uniting Church, Rev Jegasothy has launched a mission that offers love, support and pastoral care to asylum seekers in detention centres, especially those in Villawood, and has become well-known ‘Father’ within the community.

Rev. Jegasothy is a member of the Asylum Seekers Interagency network, a board member of Combined Churches Refugee Taskforce, engaged with the Sydney Alliance in “changing the conversation” and President of the Australian Council for Tamil Refugees. He is also a member of the Community Consultative Group of Villawood Detention Centre and has chaired both the Consortium of Tamil Organisation NSW and Friends of STARTTS.

In 2003 Rev Jegasothy was nominated for Human Rights Award by Amnesty International. In 2009 he received the award of “Outstanding Australian” from STARTTS and in 2010 the Tamil Uniting Church and refugee community awarded him with the “Service with Compassion”. He serves in the Rose Bay-Vaucluse Tamil Uniting Church in partnership with Northmead Uniting Church.

Renata Kaldor AO

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Renata was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia after the end of World War 2. Her Jewish father, who had survived Teresienstadt and Auschwitz, could not tolerate life under yet another totalitarian regime when the communists took over. He bribed his former fellow inmates of the prison camps, who were by then senior officials in the Communist government, to obtain passports for him and his family. Renata’s family were accepted as refugees to Australia in 1949.

Renata’s family established themselves in Sydney. Both her parents worked very hard to ensure that she and her sister gained a good education. Renata feels exceptionally lucky that her father chose to come to Australia. She believes that Australia is fundamentally a welcoming and generous country. Renata’s contributions to Australia have been recognised by the award of an AO in 2002, and a Centenary medal in 2003. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney in 2005.

Renata has been actively involved in refugee affairs since Tampa. The words of her father: “people knew about the concentration camps and did nothing”, resonated in her mind after the long term incarceration of asylum seekers began with Tampa. She and her husband (also refugee, from Hungary) have helped establish The Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of NSW, which takes a human rights-based approach to the issue of refugee law and policy in Australia, establishing high-quality research programs and providing an independent space to connect academics, policymakers and NGOs.

Butler Falcons

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The Butler Falcons are a multicultural AFL team based at the Butler Community Centre in Butler, Western Australia. They seek to inspire young women from all backgrounds to play sport, become strong and independent, help foster multicultural understanding in the wider community and become leaders and mentors based on their experiences facing new challenges.

With their team motto of “We came to Australia. We love AFL. Come join us!”, the women help break down barriers between mainstream Australians and African Australians.

Nga 'Nahji' Chu

Nahji

Nga Chu, known to everyone as Nahji, misschu and the Queen of the Rice Paper Rolls, is a restaurateur and caterer who has created a business that truly fuses a deeply personal life story and inter-generational commitment to Vietnamese food with a fun and highly professional service approach. Born in Luang Prahbang, Laos, in 1970, Nahji and her family escaped the Pathet Laos Regime in 1975. They sustained themselves on the meagre living conditions afforded by the various Thai refugee camps they inhabited over a four-year period before the Chu family’s number came up and the Australian government made them one of the first Vietnamese-Laotian refugees to settle in Australia.

The Chu family own and operate several Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne, and in 2005, Nahji established the misschu catering business, supplying venues and events with her sublime Vietnamese-inspired canapés.  By 2008 misschu had become the largest caterer of Asian cuisine in Sydney. In 2009, the misschu tuckshop opened in Bourke Street, Darlinghurst, and in 2010, Nahji established the Opera Kitchen at the Sydney Opera House. The misschu brand has continued to grow, with seven further misschu tuckshops opening across Sydney and Melbourne, as well as an outlet in London where Nahji was recently nominated for a QANTAS Australian Business in the UK award. Further misschu branches are planned for London, as well as Hong Kong and New York.

Nahji’s rich Vietnamese heritage is the basis for the misschu menu and branding, which features the Refugee Visa that the family entered Australian on in 1978, a topic Nahji recently spoke about during a TEDx talk in the U.K. A talented filmmaker, Nahji has produced a charcoal animation telling her story and that of many other Vietnamese refugees. Nahji has recently been made a member of the NSW Multicultural Business Advisory Board.

Hayatullah Rahimi

Hayatullah Rahimi photo

Hayatullah Rahimi is a passionate advocate for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and overseas. Hayatullah arrived in Australia in 2007 having been a refugee for eight years in Pakistan after he escaped war and persecution in Afghanistan.

In 2010, as soon as Hayatullah was granted permanent residency, despite being a bookseller back home, his experience of being a refugee and facing difficult challenges inspired him to become a social worker in Australia. Now, Hayatullah is a case manager supporting new arrivals and refugees and is currently finishing his Honours in Social Work at RMIT. Hayatullah appreciates that he is able to contribute to Australia’s economy and give back to the country, which has given so much to him.

As a Social Worker, Hayatullah feels he has a responsibility to speak up about the rights of others who are seeking protection. So far, he has had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees in the media and in government and non-government forums for education and work rights. He also has been featured as a guest speaker by Centre for Multicultural Youth. He is the President of the Omid Cultural Association, which, last year, organised their first Refugee Week celebration with the Afghan-Hazara community. He recently received the Leader of the Year 2016 Award from the City of Greater Dandenong and received the Finalist Recognition Award from Friends of Refugees.

 

Sam Almaliki

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Sam Almaliki is the Senior Manager for Community Engagement at Cricket Australia, overseeing the sport’s engagement strategies for female, multicultural, Indigenous and disability communities. Sam saw his first cricket ball bowled during eight months spent as a boy inside Villawood Detention Centre after his parents and two brothers fled their home in Basra in southern Iraq in 1997. In addition to being passionate about Sports Administration, Sam is committed to community advocacy and serves on numerous Boards and Committees including being a member of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Community Advisory Committee and the Board of the Victorian Chapter of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC).

Sam previously served as a Commissioner on the New South Wales (NSW) Community Relations Commission (CRC) providing policy advice to the NSW Government on multicultural affairs. He has a background in Law and is in the final stages of completing a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong.

Munjed Al Muderis

Munjed AL Muderis

Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis is an orthopaedic surgeon and a clinical lecturer at Macquarie University and The Australian School Of Advanced Medicine. He specialises in hip, knee, trauma and osseointegration surgery. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Chairman of the Osseointegration Group of Australia.

A/Prof Al Muderis graduated from Baghdad College High School (The American Jesuit) in 1991. He studied medicine at Baghdad University from  1991 to 1997. As a first year resident A/Prof Al Muderis was forced to flee Iraq as he refused Saddam’s regime brutal orders to surgically remove the ears of soldiers who had escaped from the army. He ended up on a flimsy wooden boat heading to his new home, Australia.

A/Prof Al Muderis’ first job in Australia was at Mildura Base Hospital as an Emergency Unit and Orthopaedic Resident. Four months later he moved to Melbourne as a Surgical Registrar at the Austin Repatriation Hospital. His career next took him to Wollongong Hospital where he spent a year as an unaccredited Orthopaedic Registrar and then a year at Canberra Hospital.

A/Prof Al Muderis joined the Australian Orthopaedic Training Program in 2004 as part of the Sydney NSW Orthopaedic Training Scheme and obtained his surgical fellowship, FRACS (Orth), in 2008. A/Prof Al Muderis went on to complete three post specialisation fellowships. (in Sydney with Dr Ali Gursel in Lower Limb Arthroplasty at the Sydney Adventist and Baulkham Hills Hospitals; Berlin, Germany on Hip and Knee Arthroplasty with Prof. Dr. Med. Jorg Scholz at the Emil von Behring Hospital, a Teaching Hospital of the Charite Medical School; and a Trauma Fellowship with Prof. Dr. Med. Axel Ekkernkamp at the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin (UKB,).

A/Prof Al Muderis commenced his private practice in 2010 and is currently appointed as a Clinical Lecturer at Macquarie University Hospital and The Australian School of Advanced Medicine. He also have appointments at The Sydney Adventist Hospital and Norwest Private Hospital. A/Prof Al Muderis sees patients at his Macquarie University, Bella Vista, Drummoyne and Sydney Adventist Hospital clinics. He specialises in hip, knee and trauma surgery with particular interest in hip arthroscopy, resurfacing, arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty and reconstruction of recurrent patellar dislocations. He is also a world leading surgeon in the field of osseointegration surgery.

In 2014 his memoir Walking Free, was published by Allen and Unwin. He lives in Sydney with his wife Irina, a GP, and their daughter Sophia and poodle Mozart. He also has two sons, Adam and Dean.

The Flybz

TheFlybz

From a dusty Tanzanian refugee camp to the prestigious stage of the Sydney Opera House, it has been an inspirational journey for Australia’s number one African-Australian hip-hop act The Flybz. As a former child soldier, Fablice escaped his guerrilla army life in Burundi, aged 11 years. On the run from military forces, he fled to a refugee camp in neighbouring Tanzania where he was reunited with his sister, his only surviving direct family member. In Tanzania, Fablice connected with his nephew G-Storm and the boys began experimenting with music as a means to express themselves in a war-torn environment. Facing deteriorating living conditions in the camp and unable to return to Burundi, Fablice, his sister and G-Storm were accepted as refugees and moved to Australia to start a new life.

Performing as The Flybz, Fablice and G-Storm are passionate about sharing their experiences and stories of loss, hope, war and love through music. Since establishing a home in Australia in 2007, The Flybz have performed at youth prisons, African homework clubs, Xavier College in Melbourne, Indigenous cultural celebrations, Melbourne’s Fringe Festival, Moomba, the RRR Community Football Day,  run workshops during the National Youth Awards, been guest speakers at schools such as Williamstown College  and Daylesford High, and shared stages and recording studios with Paul Kelly, Xavier Rudd, Angie Hart, Blue King Brown, Painters and Dockers, Ella and Jesse Hooper, Diafrix, Killer Queens and Black Roots.The Flybz released their debut album “Just Passing Through” in 2011 with the backing of Multicultural Arts Victoria and visited their homeland in December 2012 during a fact-finding mission with Action Aid.

In 2013 the Flybz released their new single “Child Soldier”, created in collaboration with Paul Kelly and produced by Jessie Hooper and Pataphysics. More recently, Fablice became the first recipient of the Multicultural Arts Victoria’s (MAV) Development Scholarship for Refugee Youth.

Saba Vasefi

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Saba Vasefi is an Iranian-Australian feminist filmmaker, poet, human rights activist. She has been published her first emotive poem at the age of 16 as a protest against the dire circumstances of orphans where her mother worked as a volunteer. she became the first person to organise art therapy to an underprivileged orphan in Tehran.

Her master’s thesis in Feminist Literary Criticism received the highest possible grade. At 24 Saba became a lecturer at the prestigious Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. She was a reporter for the International Campaign for Human Rights, committee member for Committee of Human Rights Reporters and was twice a judge for best literature on women’s issues. Saba was expelled from the University after 4 years of teaching due to her activism. However that did not diminish her determination.

Saba has published poems, reports and produced multimedia about executions, censorship, freedom of speech, women and children’s rights. One of her multimedia pieces, Shirin, A Soloist In The Silence Room (2011), was screened at the UN. Her underground documentary film about child execution in Iran, Don’t Bury My Heart (2010), was screened by the BBC, VOA, the UN, UCLA, Copenhagen Film Festival,NSW Parliament House and at various other film festivals. The Documentary Australian Foundation Board has approved her film about an asylum seeker child for their list. Her documentary, Symphony of Strange Water (2014) vividly painting the experiences of a refugee girl was launched at the UNSW Parliament House, and NSW State Library. Saba’s story of a Muslim Lesbian couple, Behind the Burqa (2014), was shortlisted at Shark Island Institute for their Student Documentary Prize for Best Social Impact Documentary project. She graduated in Documentary at AFTRS and her recent film, Beyond The Father’s Shadow (2014), depicts the story of Australia’s first female parliamentarian, Edith Cowan will be launched at the NSW Parliament House. Saba’s article on Intersectional discrimination has been published in Lumina journal in Women in Film issue.

She is the director of Sydney’s International Women’s Poetry & Art Festival (Woman Scream) that is held over 40 countries every year. She is also the Director of Poetry & Art for Justice Project. She is a committee member for the Bridge For Asylum Seekers Foundation.

Saba has been invited as a speaker on Women and Children’s issues at the United Nations,UCLA,Maryland,Oslo,London, Monah and Sydney Universities,Amnesty International UK, Brookings (US), NSW Art Gallery,NSW State Library,NSW Parliament House… Currently she is going to start her second master research on feminist cinema study at the Macquarie University.

Corinne Grant

Corrine Grant

Corinne is an accomplished stand-up comedian, MC, presenter, writer and broadcaster and has performed both nationally and internationally. In addition to her years on Rove Live and The Glasshouse, she has appeared on everything from Spicks and Specks to Good News Week. She has co-hosted successful national radio shows, performed countless solo live shows and appeared everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to the Kalgoorlie Arts Centre. Her natural, down-to-earth charm and her quick wit have made her one of Australia’s best known, and most warmly regarded performers.

Corinne’s first book, “Lessons In Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder” (Allen and Unwin) was released in September 2010 and went into reprint just months after its release.

Corinne has been an active advocate for asylum seekers and refugees, first with her involvement with Actors for Refugees in the early 2000s and since then, as an MC and host for various rallies, fundraisers and information sessions relating to asylum seeker rights. She has written numerous articles on the issue and has lobbied both federal and state politicians.  Corinne’s passion for the cause was the driving force behind her decision to become a lawyer. She hopes to practise in refugee and asylum seeker rights in the near future. Corinne has recently graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Juris Doctor, and is currently engaged as a trainee lawyer at Maurice Blackburn.

Bwe Thay

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Bwe Thay arrived in Australia in 2009 as a refugee, having fled the Burmese civil war. He decided to pursue higher education in order to get his life back on track.  Over the course of his studies, he joined a number of advocacy committees, including the Refugee Tertiary Education Committee (RTEC), which encourages universities to open their doors, offer online scholarships and give access to higher education for refugee migrants and asylum seekers in transition or refugee camps across the world.

Bwe now works as a Program Officer and Community Liaison Officer at Swinburne University of Technology and works passionately towards the empowerment of different communities through education. Bwe’s achievements have been recognised through a number of awards, including:

  • 2014 Swinburne University Vice-Chancellor’s Culture & Values Award
  • 2015 Australian Catholic University Alumni Awards – Young Alumnus of the Year – Highly Commended
  • 2015 Swinburne University Pathway and vocational Education Achievement Award for Community Engagement – Highly commended
  • 2015 Swinburne University Vice-Chancellor’s Inclusion and Diversity Award- Highly Commended.

Mariam Issa

Mariam Issa

Mariam fled the Somali civil war in 1991 with her two children on a packed boat that was one of few to make it across the seas to Kenya.

Arriving in Australia in 1998 with her husband, four children and pregnant with her fifth child, she knew nothing of western culture. She did not also know the socio-economic demographic of the Melbourne suburb (Brighton) that the Australian government had her and her family settled in. It was no walk in the park, however Mariam was determined to integrate into this new community where it seemed nobody wanted her and her family.

In 2012, Mariam launched her autobiography –  A Resilient Life. And in the same year she confounded an incorporated non for profit organisation – RAW (Resilient Aspiring Women),to create better social environments for all women. RAW is a platform, a community garden and a meeting place for all women in the backyard of her Brighton home.

Today, she is a voice for women everywhere, and is a strong believer that all women, regardless of culture, creed, or background, need someone to believe in and support them. Mariam believes that the true potential of women is immense and when nurtured, has the ability to shine and prosper.

Mehdi Nawa

Mehdi Nawa

Mehdi Nawa is a University student, currently studying a double major in Political Science and Law. He is also part of the Fairway and Uniskills programs at UWA.

Mehdi and his family left Afghanistan as refugees after the Taliban rose to power. Mehdi, his mother and his brother arrived in Australia in 2002, where they united with Mehdi’s father after years of separation. 

Mehdi was a WA Youth Ambassador in 2011 after he won a state-essay competition. He, along with nine other winners, travelled to Greece to commemorate the fallen ANZAC soldiers during the Second World War.

Mehdi is very passionate in advocating refugee rights, in particular when he remembers the struggles that his family and other refugees endured, and his experiences living in Nauru’s detention centre. He hopes to achieve a law degree specialising in human rights so that he can assist refugees from war-torn nations, as well as promoting rights for discriminated and marginalised groups.

Samer Aljanabi

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Samer Aljanabi has been living in Perth, Western Australia for 14 years. Samer fled her home country of Iraq as a refugee and sought asylum in Australia.  She now calls Perth home.

As a lawyer practising in resources and commercial law, Samer has been lucky to utilize her skills and languages for various human rights causes, from assisting people seeking refugee status in Australia and the settlement of refugees in Perth, to helping an Australian journalist to be released from an Egyptian prison to Australia.

Samer joins us as a Refugee Week Ambassador in 2016 and we are delighted to have her on board.