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SA 5108

The Story

Marziya's family came to Australia from Afghanistan. For a year and a half Marziya, her mother and brother didn't see her father, didn't know whether he was alive or dead.

They came here to start a better life but when they arrived, although grateful for safety and for being together, things weren't perfect.

While Marziya and her little brother could speak English, her mum was struggling. Marziya saw her becoming more and more isolated, and losing confidence. She had to go with her to the supermarket and speak on her mum's behalf on the telephone; she was literally a translator between her mum and Australian life.

Rather than dwell on the negatives, Marziya got to work with Welcome to Australia, creating an informal English language program for recently arrived refugees. And there were some cups of tea involved. Quite a few, really.

Marziya isn't suggesting that knowing the words for spoon and supermarket is enough to feel completely a part of a community, but she knows it's not a bad start. It's about building your own community, one step at a time.

Get informed. Create a culture of welcome.

Helpful Stuff

Thank You

  • Kate Leany and The Welcome Centre, Adelaide
  • "Have a Swim For Me" by Lucy Wise and The B'Gollies