Odette

I was always interested in art. But in Syria, being an artist was not considered a serious profession, and I was told that I should try to be something like a doctor instead. When my father and his family saw me drawing, he would take away my pencil and paper. I tried...

Basim

When America invaded Iraq, life became very tough. Suddenly, everything was closed, and there was no more school for me. Every night, we ran to the basement of a hotel opposite our house, for safety. It was pretty scary. I still remember hearing the rockets nearby and...

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Sandeep

When I was just seven years old, my mum died in a terrorist attack. That was the time of the anti-Sikh riots in India. Our whole family were going to a wedding when our bus was bombed. Unfortunately, I remembered what happened quite clearly, and for quite a few years,...

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Raphael

At the end of my last year in high school, I met a girl in the year below called Noémie. I told her I liked her a lot, but that I was going to Australia at the end of the month. And that maybe I would see her again one day. With all its high-rises, Perth seemed like a...

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Uzma

(CW: Attempted Suicide) In year 10, I had a crush on my teacher. I even wrote her a letter, and sent her flowers. But when I told my friends, everyone started laughing and said, “Why did you do that? She’s your teacher! And how come you're sending it to a female...

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Tetiana

When I was 6, my mom told me that I had no future in Ukraine, so I always knew I had to find a way to get out. Then, while I was studying Economics, I used one single chance I had to do one semester abroad in Germany. And in that semester, I basically enrolled myself...

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Sangeeta

I had a lovely life in India with many luxuries. My dad had a good job and I was pampered and happy. I was very close to my family, and I then had an arranged marriage with a very nice husband and in-laws. But even though my parents had deliberately looked for someone...

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Marli

I was born in Venezuela but because of some political problems at the time, I decided to move to Colombia, my mother’s country, to study medicine. While I was in medical school, I met an Australian backpacker who had sold everything and left his job to spend a year...

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Happy

My husband and I always dreamed of going to live in another country. But then I fell pregnant, and then our three children came along one after the other.Then my sister-in-law started talking to migration agents about getting a skilled visa to Australia, and one agent...

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Joan

Our son was only 2 years old when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. It started off with him hitting his head. And then the bump didn't resolve properly. I had just got my license as a registered nurse so I knew that something was wrong. But I was too scared to face up...

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Christine

I didn't really see my parents or even get to talk to them very much as a young child. They had gone to Australia for a better life – my father left just after I was born, and when I was 2, my mum left me with my grandma. As a result, I grew up with a Chinese...

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