a multicultural Research Library

Making multicultural Australia

Search the complete site: ... Sitemap » ... Links to other sites »

multicultural Video »

Category: Interviews »

Subject: Human Rights »

Queensland refugees

Andrew Jakubowicz.

An introduction to narratives of self and survival



Date Added:

22 May 2006


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

10 MB


7 min 01 s


Trung Viet Nguyen

I’m from Vietnam and I came to Australia as a refugee in ’75. And I was one of the first to arrive in Australia after the fall of Saigon… We flee to Guam, then being picked up by the Labor government at the time, from Whitlam government. I think there was only about – the very first group – about only 64 people being picked up directly from Guam and this group was mainly composed of the relatives of students in the Colombo Plan – students, relatives and also some of the dependents of Australian servicemen…

Jasmine Joldic

I’m 23 years old now and I’m finally a university student at the University of Queensland… I was born in Bosnia. I lived there for the first ten years of my life before the war started. In ’92, the war started in Bosnia, so my family fled to Germany and I spent six years of my life in Germany. And in ’99 we decided to come to Australia… In ’92, as you probably know, the war started in Bosnia and our city was attacked by the Serbian side, so, as my parents.. as I am from Muslim origin, my parents were persecuted, my Dad was in a concentration camp, and after, he was the only survivor.

Gabriel Apai

I was a teacher in the Sudan. I graduated in 1961 from Reading Institute of Education as a primary school teacher. And I’ve done teaching and I had about 30 years as a teacher, through which I climbed so many ladders from being a teacher, a school headmaster and an inspector of rural schools, and then director for province education office… What became very difficult was the question of militias. There were tribal militias formed and these tribal militias were actually not participating in the true war between the government and the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army), in short, that is the liberation movement. In a way it was trying to cleanse the towns… The people in the intelligentsia were actually given - every person that people doubted - to follow. And so I found myself in a very narrow position.

Towfiq Al-Qady

Before I came to Australia I’ve been in Iraq, I was born in Iraq, and I escaped from Iraq because of Saddam regime and because I refused to paint a big mural for Saddam. Because all the artists, they should paint a mural for Saddam regime and they put it in the locations – in all the streets, very main, big streets… I escaped from Iraq for Syria, and I worked in Syria in a newspaper against Saddam also, opposite him, I worked… I left Syria, I tried to go to some place, to travel but I can’t because I have no document. I have.. no-one support me, no government give me any ID. And I contact with some friends in Australia - they said to me you can come by boat – you have no choice, just the boat, it’s your choice… And I go by boat. The boat, it was very old and very small and very weak – not very strong – but I said OK, this is the last choice for me, I should challenge. In the middle of the ocean, in the middle of the sea, the boat broken, and the engine has broken – it doesn’t work. And we tried to fix it – no-one can try to fix it. And we have no choice, we stay in the middle of the ocean, I don’t know how many days, long time – about 20 days. But after that, we saw butterfly, butterfly – and I was very happy. In the morning, my friend, I don’t care because I think we will die, we were very helpless, it was difficult for us. And after that we saw a small village and trees – we saw land, I was very happy, I was very very happy.

Jawid Jan

My family, they decided to leave Kabul for my village, which is in Ghazni province in central Afghanistan. And I lived in Ghazni for eight or nine years. And then the Taliban taken the power, they came to the power in Afghanistan, they came to Afghanistan. And then we decided to leave because of persecution – they killed a lot of Hazara people, persecuted and imprisoned… My family, my father, they decided, they wanted me to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible because maybe one day they will take me to front line against Northern Alliance. And that’s why I left my country... 131 Afghani people in a small boat. It was very dangerous journey I think – I will not forget, I will remember in every moment of my life… and we very were tired after that, in Indonesia, in Christmas Island.

Saba Abraham

As a result of the colony action to my people, including myself, I decided just to go in the Eritrean Liberation Front. So at the beginning of course I was a member, not joining to the fighters as a military… I don’t want to see a woman to be punished, or hit by her husband. I want her to be respected as part of his life, not as a servant of him.