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At 10 years old, Najeeba Wazefadost fled Afghanistan with her parents. She sought asylum from Australia by sea in September 2000.  She spent several months in mandatory immigration detention before being recognised as a refugee.

Arriving with no knowledge of English, by the age of 14, Najeeba had mastered itwell-enough to win a national essay-writing competition, and start the advocacy journey for which she has since been awarded many times.

Najeeba is the founder and president of Hazara Women of Australia, helping newly arrived refugee women learn English and more quickly feel part of their new communities. She also works as a settlement case worker in Sydney. Her dream is to study international law and keep working for those she describes as “forgotten people.”

“Leaving your country is one of the most important decisions a human being can be forced to make.”