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Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Assadullah came to Australia in 2010 as an asylum seeker. 

"Life was great in Afghanistan until the civil war started but then everything became bad and we had to escape."

Assadullah was 28 when he reached Australia. He was already able to speak English and had worked in Afghanistan for the United Nations Development Program and NATO/ISAF allied forces in Afghanistan. When he arrived he was able to help out with interpreting for other refugees, and this led to a job.

"Since coming to Australia, I've worked continuously in the multicultural sector. My experience as a refugee has helped shape my work to be effective in supporting humanitarian entrants and emerging communities to settle and find their feet in their new home."

In Perth, Assadullah has been able to work, study and build a new life and identity.

"Right now I work for the Australian Red Cross as a team leader in the Humanitarian Settlement Program.

"I feel fortunate because I have been able to work hard and reach my goals. I bought my first home, got a graduate diploma in community sector management and I'm doing my master's degree in public policy and management.

"I have two wonderful sons aged 12 and four, and both are doing great at school. My eldest son is a student leader and also captains his cricket team."

Assadullah has also volunteered as a community leader for Afghans in Perth.

"We established English classes for asylum seekers, a community language school for Afghan children and served in other spaces too, like culture, sports, advocacy and more.

"I now volunteer as a steering committee member for a National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group and am also a regular plasma donor.

"I try to give back what I can to my new home.

"I would say that Australia is a great country and that I've always felt welcomed here and part of the community. I have met and come across many wonderful people and I will continue to work and volunteer for this community with pride."

Refugee Week 2020's theme is 'Celebrating the Year of Welcome'.

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Page reviewed 20 August 2020