With the right support, refugees can make extraordinary contributions and become outstanding members of society.
When we got to the border of Pakistan, we were told to get out of the car and run. At 13, I took off with my mother and—running for our lives, running from Afghanistan. The road was rife with thieves, gangs and Taliban bandits—all of them capable of robbing you of your money, dignity, or both.
After five years living in Pakistan with uncertainty and fear we finally found a new home in Australia. The community welcomed us, took us into their homes and cooked for us. Their generosity made us feel at home.
My high school was outstanding. It nurtured me and encouraged me to believe that I could achieve anything. We had a dedicated department for kids from non-English speaking backgrounds. There was a homework club made up of teachers who had also migrated to Australia. They pushed us to succeed.
My father is a doctor and my grandfather was a nomad doctor, travelling around villages on the back of a camel. I felt an intense passion to follow their path.
My challenge is to make Australia proud of me. I am striving to become a top class cardiologist and extend those services to everyone, not just those who can afford it.
My advice to refugees is to fully immerse yourself in your new community, the freedom and opportunities that we have in Australia. Put your head down and work hard. This is a country where anyone can realise their dreams.