The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

Overcoming obstacles on path to success


After arriving in Australia two years ago with very limited English, Afghan refugee Nazia Anguri has achieved her goal of completing Year 12 and achieving an ATAR.

Comments Print article

The St Dominic’s Priory College graduate is grateful for the support she received from her teachers but her determination to succeed was motivated by her father, who spent years in a detention centre before he was able to bring his family to Australia.

“Due to the war in Afghanistan, my family initially moved to Pakistan, however we were still not safe there, because we came from a persecuted ethnic minority from both countries,” Nazia said.

“I was two years old when my family decided to move to Australia. But because we didn’t have enough money my dad decided to move alone to get in Australia.

“There were many people who were dying in this process of coming to Australia. I had a friend (and) her dad drowns in the sea. Many people were coming back because there was no hope to get in Australia.

Nazia said she used to cry when she saw other children with their fathers.

“I used to make wishes to have my dad with me,” she said.

“It was hard to survive, we didn’t have enough money to eat or drink. We could barely have had a lunch or dinner. I didn’t have enough money to go to school.

“My dad spent so many years in detention centre. He faced so many difficulties and challenges to get in Australia. He worked really hard for us. He was sending us money to eat good food and live our best life…and a better education.”

Nazia said when she arrived in Australia she didn’t know any English other than to say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’.

“Certainly, arriving in Australia as a migrant not knowing any English you are bound to face difficulties with communicating. Personally, the first year of learning English and the following few years of trying to become fluent in the language was the most difficult,” she explained.

“I remember my first day at high school and the challenges I felt in not being able to understand what any of the teachers or students were saying. Not being able to express myself and communicate what I needed to say was also extremely difficult.”

After attending Adelaide Secondary School of English she moved to St Dominic’s in Term 4 of Year 10.

“The teachers supported me a lot in my subjects and every time encouraged me that I can do everything I want.”

Nazia will undertake a Foundations Studies course this year to ease her way into a university pathway.


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Schools stories

Loading next article