Everyone has a story. A defining moment of their existence that makes them the person they are today. For Humans of UniSA, we delve into the depths of human nature and speak with some students to discover a slice of their personal history.
Bachelor of Laws (Honours),
Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing
I’m Shamsiya Mohammadi, I’m 22 and I came to Australia as an Afghan refugee at the age of nine. Due to war, my family initially moved to Pakistan, however we still weren’t safe there because we come from a persecuted ethnic minority in both countries. When I arrived here I didn’t know any English. Settling in a new country and culture is difficult on its own, and on top of that, a language barrier is one of the most difficult things. Over time, there’s been a growth in the amount of services available for migrants and people of non-English speaking backgrounds compared to a decade ago, which is great to see. However, there’s still a long way to go in terms of policy-making and adopting an inclusive culture across all platforms.
The migration and refugee discourse is inherently complex but at its core, it comes down to one simple fact: no one chooses where they’re born, what political system or era they were born in, or the faith they were born into. We don’t get to choose any of that. Some of us get lucky, but unfortunately some of us don’t. The only way to tackle the issue on a human level is to move away from ideologies of fear, and towards the idea of unity. There is more that unites us than what divides us. At the end of the day, to lead good lives for ourselves and pave the way for the generations after us, we all need to and deserve to be safe.
What led me into studying law and journalism is the lack of diversity and representation. There are lower numbers of women in both fields and in particular, women of colour. I grew up hardly seeing any Afghan women reading the news, or appearing on TV in general. Media and the law are some of the most influential platforms, and in order for all voices to be heard, it’s important that our media and our laws are representative of the diversity in our nation.
Interview by Ryan Colsey
Photography by Annabel Bowles
This piece was originally published in Edition 31.