Refugee stories

Everyone who comes to Australia has a story to tell. While each story is unique, some experiences, needs and feelings are shared by everyone embarking on the settlement journey.

This page contains personal stories from refugees and the community members who are committed to supporting them. Go to our Get Involved page for more information on how you can help.

Meet Darwich

A recently arrived refugee from Syria who has started to build his new life in Newcastle.

"I want to be a role model for other refugees. I am studying English at TAFE. When I get my English certificate I will work towards becoming a tailor so that I can continue the career that I had in Syria."
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Meet Amina

A refugee from Syria who, as a grandmother, volunteers by teaching other refugees English and is studying at university.

"Teaching means everything to me, it is my life and I love it. When I’m in the classroom, I forget everything else."
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Meet Anita

A community member passionate about meeting refugees and helping them make connections in their new communities.

"Everybody has a fear of 'the other', one who is different, but when you meet someone and hear their story, that fear melts away."
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Meet Homa

A refugee from Afghanistan who is working towards becoming a cardiologist.

"Their (the school's) support led me to follow my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. I am working toward being a cardiologist, mending broken hearts."
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Meet Isaac

A young refugee from South Sudan who found a sense of belonging through sport and the help of his coach.

"Rugby league is more than just a hobby for kids like Isaac. It provides a sense of belonging, a team, friends and direction in life."
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Meet Sara

A refugee from Iraq who is committed to giving back and helping other refugees and migrants build their new lives in Australia.

"When we arrived, I was overwhelmed, everything was different. I couldn’t speak any English and the culture was so different but at the same time I felt so welcome and supported."
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Meet Evelyn

My name is Evelyn. I lived in a refugee camp, on the Thailand and Burma border. When I lived in my village, the Burmese soldiers came and burned it. They destroyed all.

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Meet Aref

Thanks to a stranger's kindness and support, Aref’s life changed course forever. You can help young refugees like Aref by supporting programmes that encourage them to participate in sports and other activities.

"The tennis club gave me a place to make friends. With tennis I didn’t have to find anything in common to talk about, tennis was the common interest. I could say 'Grange Lawn is my club, I belong'.”
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Meet Padam

You can help refugees and migrants like Padam get back on their feet by assisting with training or offering work experience or employment opportunities.

"Today I call it the 'lucky farm' because it has brought so much into our lives. We have been working there for two years now. We were farmers in Bhutan so we fit in well, and we have been able to use our farming skills."
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Meet Shafigheh

You can help people like Shafigheh to build a new life in Australia by volunteering at a Community Hub or providing philanthropic support.

"I am learning more about the people around me through the volunteers and the community is learning about me. Being part of the Community Hub has helped me to feel like part of the community."
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