Gulima
 
My father came to Australia by boat in 2001, just before the government stopped processing asylum seeker visas for refugees who had arrived by boat. Every time I think about that, it just amazes me because if we’d arrived even one month later, our lives would’ve been completely different. We really dodged a bullet.

I was 8 when we arrived in Adelaide, and it was an amazing feeling seeing my father again after so long. As soon as I saw him, I felt so happy. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that things were going to change for the better, and that new things would arise.

I didn’t speak a word of English when I started school, which made me feel weak at first. But instead of getting upset, it inspired me to work harder, and I started studying English in all my free time, until I felt confident.

Eight years later, I was dux of my school, and I got awards for all my subjects, as well as two awards for Academic Excellence.

At the moment, I’m in my 3rd year of Law and Politics, and I'm working as a Law Clerk. I’ve also recently finished doing a training program to become a refugee rights advocate with the Asylum Seeker Resource Center. Next month, I'm going to start work as a paralegal at a leading law firm.

My long term dream is to work with the United Nations— I know it will be difficult to achieve, but miraculous things have had happened to me already. In my family, we say, ‘It’s all on you. You can do whatever you want if you want it’, and we’ve always proved that to be true. My oldest brother owns a supermarket, my next brother has an IT degree and has joined the army, my older sister finished her law degree last year, and my youngest brother just finished high school with a score of 98.

I’m proud of where I am right now. And grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given, because if I wasn’t here in Australia, I wouldn’t be able to even dream about anything that I’m currently doing.

Gulima
Afghanistan
Arrived 2005