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Refugee stories from around the region

Mother holds child and points to family pictures on the wall

Refugee stories from around the region


From Sudan to Vietnam, these refugee stories are vastly different. But they all share one thing in common: being forced to flee. Read about why they fled, the challenges they've faced and be inspired by their resilience. 

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As a child, Noor Kabir risked his life for a dream. Inspired by the film “Rocky”, he became the world’s first Rohingya bodybuilding champion, making Brisbane his new home.

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Exiled Afghan women’s football team thrives in Australia
Team members have found safety and “a second chance” in Melbourne while using every opportunity to advocate for the rights of women back home.
Deng smiles
Deng Thiak Adut arrived in Australia in 1998 after escaping the civil war in Sudan. Education changed his life. Now he’s empowering other refugees to get ahead.
New Zealand. Golriz Ghahraman
New Zealand's first-ever refugee Member of Parliament, Golriz Ghahraman, reflects on how her refugee background has helped her navigate political life.
Asif Sultani, an Afghan athlete and refugee activist living in Australia, shares his lessons on overcoming defeat and cultivating resilience. 
For Amany Aloklah, who proved invaluable for the Victorian Department of Health during COVID lockdowns, life in Australia seems a world away from her origins in war-torn Syria. 
From a prosperous business in Iran to seeking asylum in Australia by boat, Saeid Safavi's community in Port Pirie have enabled him to rebuild his life and give back to those who welcomed him.
Ibrahim Omer recounts his journey from a refugee camp in Sudan to being elected as a Member of Parliament in New Zealand.
Najeeba Wazefadost smiles into the camera
After fleeing Afghanistan with her parents at just 10 years old, Najeeba Wazefadost works to create hope for newly arrived refugee women, helping them learn English and more quickly feel part of their new communities.
Tac Tam Lam smiles into the camera
After arriving on the first refugee boat to Australia as part of the Vietnamese exodus in 1976, the warm welcome Tac Tam Lam received from the people of Darwin has led three generations of his family to call the city home.