Finding Home: Personal stories of seeking asylum

Free Public Lecture

Finding Home: Personal stories of seeking asylum

Level 1
Ian Potter Museum of Art


Swanston Street

Booking not required

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Ian Potter Museum of Art

The Potter’s latest exhibition suite Not As The Songs of Other Lands, Syria: Ancient History – Modern Conflict, Tom Nicholson “I was born in Indonesia”, EXIT and John Akomfrah: Vertigo Sea offer critical insights into the current mass movement of people, shifts in territories and borders, identity and place, self-representation and advocacy.

Join us for lunchtime discussions with guest speakers sharing their lived experience of seeking asylum and coming to Australia. Be part of the conversation and hear from refugees and immigrants who have come to Australia, from different parts of the world, at different times in history, and made this country their home. Hear about their struggles, success and hopes for the future.

''I try my best to live my life in the happiest way possible''

Somayeh Farahani, her husband and two children came to Australia by boat from Iran in 2012. Born to a wealthy and strict Muslim family in Tehran, she and her husband had to flee everything they knew and loved for fear of death after renouncing their faith in Islam. After being held in detention centres on Christmas Island and in Adelaide, they were granted a visa to live in Melbourne. Leaving behind an affluent life, Somayeh left the comforts of her home and a good job to live with very little in order to save the life of her family. Coming to Australia has meant she has had to start again, in her previous life in Iran she studied chemical engineering at one of the top universities in the Middle East, now she works as a teacher’s aide at a renowned primary school in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Please join Somayeh as she shares her journey to Australia, the struggles and the triumphs of the last 5 years and how she gives back to her new found community even though her future in this country is still uncertain.

Arif Hazara came to Australia in 2011 seeking asylum from religious persecution in Afghanistan. Now an Assistant Accountant in his fourth-year of a Professional Accountancy degree. Arif is an ardent youth refugee and asylum seeker advocate with both professional and volunteer experience in direct service roles and with government and non-government advocacy bodies. As a young refugee and asylum seeker, Arif represented Australia at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations (GRYC) and UNHCR-NGO consultations held in Geneva in June 2016. He was invited back by the UNHCR to speak on a panel at the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges – Children on the Move. He has been a volunteer tutor to commencing tertiary students and an advocate for improving access to education for people seeking asylum. Arif is also co-founder and secretary of Akademos Society, a youth-led diaspora organisation that provides scholarships to disadvantaged young people to further their education.

Join Arif as he shares his journey to Australia and the past 6 years that have been life changing for him and those around him.

This program is supported by the Refugee Council of Australia.

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