Refugee Week


The Journey

I came to Sydney in March 2022 because a war suddenly broke out in my country. Until that moment, I was an ordinary woman from a beautiful country.I worked at school as a psychologist. This is the second degree I received at the Odessa National University. My first degree was in economic statistics which led to working in marketing and sales.

I loved my city, Odessa. It is called the pearl of the sea. I loved walking along the Black Sea coast. I loved the 18th century architecture that filled the city center. I loved classical music concerts at the Odessa Philharmonic and performances at the Odessa National Opera Theater.

One day everything froze. Life seemed to be stopped. There were practically no people on the street. During the day the sun did not shine so brightly. It was no longer possible to go for a walk on the seashore, since all the beaches were mined. We could no longer move freely around the city due to air attacks and curfews. It was then I made the decision to leave my home.

Arriving in Australia

I am grateful to all countries of the world that have opened their doors to refugees from Ukraine. I am grateful to all the people who helped us and gave support to us in any form, from food and clothing to settling in their own home. Because when I hit the road, I only had 200 US dollars in my wallet and a Ukrainian bank credit card. Thanks to this card, I was able to apply for a visa to Australia and pay fora flight from Germany. I had no relatives or close friends anywhere in the world. I spent 18 days in Europe and spent almost nothing from the cash I had. I was scared. I didn’t know where I would sleep and what I would eat. After all, at that moment I did not yet know what kind of assistance Ukrainians would be provided in European countries. Despite all the positive aspects, I cannot say that I felt safe. More than a year and 14 months has passed, and only now I can say that the feeling of security and a little confidence in the future is returning to me.

Giving Back

Until the moment I became a refugee, it never even crossed my mind that this could happen to me. When the war started, I thought fordays that this was some kind of mistake and just a misunderstanding between two neighboring European countries, and soon the news would report that everything was over. 

I had seen stories about refugees in the media, but I had never met them face to face. Now I’m a refugee myself. I know how much internal strength and outside support is needed to start a new life. I want to tell and show everyone through my story what it means to be a refugee.

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