Refugee Week


The journey

Systematic discrimination, persecution, war and ongoing genocide forced me, my family and thousands of others from the Hazara ethnic minority group to leave our motherland of Afghanistan in search of safety. In 2013 we made the difficult decision to leave and sought protection in Indonesia.

Upon arrival, we were shocked to discover that asylum seekers and refugees were considered illegal immigrants. Access to education and work opportunities were limited for us. In desperation, I worked with a team to establish refugee learning centres for our children who were in need of schooling.

I spent two decades of my life living as a refugee in different countries. Undoubtedly, this profound life experience will shape my identity for years to come, as it is a constant reminder of how I made the journey from persecution and fear to sanctuary.

Arriving in Australia

In 2022, we arrived on the land of the Wurundjeri people (Melbourne) after a decade of living in limbo. We were blessed to have friends, sometimes strangers, help us to resettle. 

Having kept in contact with Australian friends who had visited us in the refugee learning centres in Indonesia made the journey very easy when I arrived in Melbourne. I felt I had lived here for many years with them. A few months after our arrival in Australia, we were ready to either commence our studies or find employment and start to contribute to this beautiful country we now call home.

Giving back

With my lived experience and a deep perspective of the refugee crisis, I’ve decided to share my story to help explain the refugee journey to the wider Australian community. I currently work as a project officer for the Face-to-Face School and Community program at the Refugee Council, and  volunteer with SisterWorks, a social enterprise in Melbourne, to help women coming from diverse refugee backgrounds to better understand the economy. 

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