Refugee Week - Student Stories

We have some motivating and courageous stories of students at Catholic Regional College Melton who came to Australia as refugees. Despite all the difficulties, trauma, multiple dislocations, interrupted schooling and language and cultural issues these students and their families kept alive their hopes and dreams of being able to succeed and find peace in a new country.

Coming to Australia- Elizabeth Riak’s story (Year 10)

I came to Australia on 27 September 2007 when I was almost two years old. I was born in Kenya, but I am South Sudanese.

When we came to Australia I travelled with my mum, dad, older sister and older brother. We came to Australia to get away from the war and to have a better life. I don’t remember much from when I first arrived, but here is what my family said. My family was excited to move but sad to leave family. The plane trip was scary because it was our first time on a plane. When we arrived at Sydney Airport, this lovely woman Sonia picked us up, took us to see her church, and then we met her family. Our family would go to Sonia’s church every week and we became very close. The main things that were different about Australia were the roads, the shops, the people and the language.

Our Journey- Emanuelle Sui Hiawan (Year 10)

I came to Australia on 28 November 2018. I was 15 years old and was born in Tayagone, Myanmar. I do not remember much about Myanmar because we moved to India in New Delhi when I was only five or six years old.

Staying in India was hard. My parents and siblings had to work hard to keep happy. It was a bit sad because we could not spend time together as a family as everyone had to work long hours.

After many years of waiting, something unexpected happened. Our family received news that we were going to go and live in Australia. I was really happy. It was our relatives in Australia who called us to come. We came to Australia as refugees.

The first night in Australia was a bit strange. I could not get used to it at all. I struggled for about a week. The night was silent, and that was the scariest part. Compared to India, it is completely different. In India, you hear the noises of cars, bikes and neighbour’s music or noises all the time.

The other thing that I was not used to was having a bedroom of my own because in India, we all lived in a one-room apartment. Therefore, having my own bedroom was scary, although I liked it. My family struggled at first adjusting to living in Australia. We had to get used to the different food, using a washing machine and microwave, as well as other devices that were new to us. The thing I like most about Australia now is the environment, people and peaceful days.

Maria Krajina

EAL Coordinator

▲ Back to top