Rajith’s Story behind Open City Stories

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Part of the Darebin Ethnic Communitiy Council in Melbourne’s north assists asylum seekers at the Asylum Seeker Welcome Lounge. Rajith Rajith Savanadasa, an engineer with a passion for writing, became interested in the stories of asylum seekers as he saw Tamils from his homeland of Sri Lanka try to settle in Australia. With the assistance of the Darebin Ethnic Community Council, Rajith founded the Open City Stories project. Open City Stories is a blog of Rajith’s conversations with the asylum seekers he meets at the Welcome Lounge. They talk about their everyday lives as well as the trauma that led them to seek asylum in Australia. Rajith tells us about Open City Stories, refugees in the City of Darebin, and the story of his own first day in Australia. LINK: Open City Stories    Click here to download

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International student Ellson: Singapore vs. Brisbane

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Ellson Yap

Ellson Yap

Hailing from fast-paced, humid Singapore, self-proclaimed “otaku” Ellson Yap is studying food science at the University of Queensland. Our international student contributor May Yuen chats to Ellson about weather, food, work, transport and happiness in Brisbane in comparison to Singapore.


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Martina the Austr(al)ian

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Martina Baumer

Martina Baumer

Natal talks to Martina Baumer, a migrant from Austria who moved to Australia in 1992 to fulfil her adventure dreams and explore life.

Moving to Australia was a bit challenging for Martina. She had to start from scratch. But she worked towards a degree in education and become a high school teacher.

Martina says she moved to Australia mainly to explore life and adventure with her family and kids.

Martina is researching how people coped during the 2010 and 2011 floods in Brisbane for her PhD at the University of Queensland.

She is also involved with a group who are running a project to support a hospital in Sierra Leone in Africa.


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For those who’ve come across the seas: Aye Aye Mon and her kids become Australian citizens

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The World Refugee Day Community Festival began with a citizenship ceremony. Many people from diverse refugee backgrounds took an oath and received their Australian citizenship certificates. Some of them became new citizens with their families.

L-R: Kyar Pan Ni, Zon Pan Phyu, Nay Htet Hla and Aye Aye Mon

L-R: Kyar Pan Ni, Zon Pan Phyu, Nay Htet Hla and Aye Aye Mon

We met one of the families afterwards. Mother Aye Aye Mon, her teenage daughters Kyar Pan Ni and Zon Pan Phyu, and her little son Nay Htet Hla, came to the ceremony in their colourful national dress. They talked to us about coming to Australia from their homeland of Burma.


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From rice cooker to riches: Manju Jehu

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Manju (right) with Iraqi cook Nazek (middle) and an audience member

Manju (right) with Iraqi cook Nazek (middle) and an audience member

The Wokipedia stall at the festival featured cooking demonstrations by migrants and refugees showcasing their national food. MC’ing the event was sassy Indian cook Manju Jehu. Manju’s made a name for herself by being an active figure in Australia’s Indian community, and wowing audiences on TV show Recipe to Riches with her special samosas recipe.

Manju (left) dances with Iranian cook Lida (right) while they wait for the rice to boil

Manju (left) dances with Iranian cook Lida (right) while they wait for the rice to boil

After cooking and dancing with Nazek from Iraq and Lida from Iran, Manju talked to us about food and her life in Australia after coming her over 30 years ago.

Uniting to win: Best United Football Club

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Best United FC

Best United FC

 

The Best United Football Club players are the winners of the World Refugee Day Soccer Tournament for 2014.

Natal talked to Patrick Ryem and Emmanuel Martin from the Best United FC.

Best United Football Club is made up of players from South Sudan, Liberia and Burundi including other super stars from South America.

Best United FC was initially established in 2007 and that now it accommodates soccer players from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Patrick Oryem talks about how hard it was to qualify and says Best United players always get into the competition to win the trophy.

Emmanuel Martin talks about the spreading of the south Sudanese people as a result of the civil war and proper sense of understanding to create better approaches of integration with the mainstream society in Australia.

He also talks about how hard it is to break through from community football to playing in the mainstreams at the A-League level.

Click here to download

LINK: Best United [Facebook]

 

 

Studying, Safety, Socialising and Seeing Australia: May’s international student experience

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May yuen

We’re welcoming another member to the Where are you From? team. May Yuen is an international student from Hong Kong. She’s been studying media and communication here and sometimes hosts programs here at 4EB in Cantonese and Mandarin.

International students are not safe in Australia, according to news here and overseas. Or are they? May, who enjoys traveling alone around Australia, shares her perspectives on international student safety in contrast to what the media says. She also talks about the differences between life in Hong Kong and Australia – from uni lectures to socialising.


Click here to download the podcast