Wednesday 15 June 2016

Different Places Strange Faces

In congruence with the Year 10 English Unit, ‘Different Places Strange Faces’, Mohammad Ali Baqiri, a refugee and compelling advocate for asylum seekers visited Year 10 students on Tuesday 14 June.

Mohammad Ali Baqiri is a former child detainee held in Nauru and now lobbies the UN to shut down Australian run off shore detention centres.

Students were fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to Mohammad’s courageous story as a Hazara Afghani, who was forced to flee his home from the Taliban at the age of 10 years old. With no opportunity of resettlement in Indonesia and after surviving a perilous boat journey to Australia, Mohammad was then put in a detention centre on both Christmas Island and Nauru for three years, before finally receiving temporary protection in Australia. Mohammad is now recognised as a refugee in Australia and has just completed his last exam for his Business and Law university degree.

Mohammad’s compelling story of first hand experiences of seeking asylum, the struggles of growing up Afghani in Australia, and working hard to achieve his life goals in a country of freedom and safety gave students a lot of personal insight into the plight of a refugee.

He hopes educating the younger generation on who asylum seekers actually are will help promote a more humane, transparent and compassionate approach in our treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia.