refugee Archives - The Westies

Usman Iftikhar – Catalysr

Usman Iftikhar

Not that many years ago, Usman Iftikhar migrated to Australia, completed his Masters in Engineering Management, graduating with honours. Despite a double degree and plenty of experience in his field, he was unable to find meaningful work and his dream of a better life started to fade with every can he stacked on a supermarket shelf.

With nothing to lose other than a string of unfulfilling casual jobs, Usman decided he needed to change tactic and create his own employment. He signed on to take part in an social enterprise incubator that saw the birth of Catalysr; a business that supports migrants and refugees to start their own business and gives them the tools to get it done. Not only has it changed Usmans path, it has now changed the path for a group of Migrapreneurs who are going on to create change and contribute to society in ways they never even considered before beginning their migrant journey to Australia.  

Last month Usman was awarded Commonwealth Young Person of the Year presented to him by everyone’s favourite prince, Harry. Usman recently chatted with The Westies about how starting a business that helps others has helped himself the most.

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Who Speaks for Me? – William Yang

William Yang

William Yang has been telling his own stories for over twenty years and now he along with producer Annette Shun Wah is helping other people to tell theirs. His latest production, Who Speaks for Me tells the stories of three different families and their experience of being refugees. The show uses personal narratives and photographs to take the audience into the heart of a migrants journey, the stories – at times humorous, at times harrowing – are ones of determination and resilience. Katrina sat down with William to have a chat about the production.  Continue Reading

Deng Adut and Joseph Correy – AC Law Group

Deng Adut and Joe Corey - AC Law Group

Last year when The University of Western Sydney rebranded to Western Sydney University they released a series of videos featuring some of their alumni students who have gone on to do some wonderful and inspiring things, one story in particular stood out, that of Deng Adut a former child solider from South Sudan. After serving in the army for several years and being shot in the back his brother helped him get out of the country and Deng, with the help of an Australian family came to Australia as a refuge, settling in Blacktown where he set out on an incredible journey, teaching himself English, enrolling in TAFE to study accounting and then going on to study law at WSU, check out the powerful video here.

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