Wednesday 22nd August 2007
Fleeing to Australia as a refugee from war-torn Afghanistan, a new life ‘and even uni’ is in sight for Ali, thanks to support from the NSWNA.
Eighteen-year-old Ali Yunespour is not your typical HSC student. Born in Afghanistan, Ali arrived in Australia as a refugee less than two years ago.
Now residing in Sydney’s West, Ali lives in a small unit, which is shared with 10 other relatives including his four younger siblings. The children have lived through great sadness as their mother died in childbirth in Afghanistan and his father and older twin brothers are missing, presumed dead.
Ali and his younger brother and sisters came to Australia with no English skills but with a lot of determination and energy. Ali is currently topping all levels of Year 12 mathematics, and is a respected member of the school community at Marsden High School, where he is vice captain.
He has received achievement and leadership awards from the City of Ryde, the Australian Defence Force, Macquarie University and the University of Western Sydney. The regional director of education also made him the student representative for 60 schools to ensure an equitable distribution of resources. He is an outstanding young man.
Ali refuses to dwell on the sadness and hardship he and his family have endured in the past and looks forward to a positive life in Australia. He and his family are very grateful for the opportunities they now have living in Australia.
He hopes to undertake a double degree in maths and law next year but, as the main carer to his four younger siblings, life is not easy.
When staff at the NSWNA found out about Ali they spoke to one of his teachers, who is mentoring the family and offered to raise funds for Ali, which will help him achieve his aim of going to university next year.
Ali, his younger brother Sajjid, who is in Year 11, and sister Robaba, in Year 8, came to address staff at the Association, which motivated an in-house fundraising activity.
The NSWNA organised an ‘Ab Fab’ jumble sale and a giant raffle, which raised $2,000 for Ali’s university account, administered by the school.
Matt Byrne, NSWNA Organiser, won the first prize of a $100 Myer Gift Voucher, a new mobile phone and two tickets to see ‘Menopause the Musical’.