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My family came as refugees and I struggled to know who to be at first. I didn’t know the language or how to fit in. I was ashamed that my parents spoke with an accent and didn’t know how to do things ‘right’, the Australian way. I now know who I am… a bit Australian and a bit from my homeland. It took me a long time to know that that was ok. I couldn’t get away from being different.

I made friends who accepted my difference and as I grew older, I saw the differences in their families that I couldn’t see in the beginning. Everyone is different somehow. I spoke with a counsellor once, and we talked about the value in being different and belonging to the world as opposed to just one place… World citizens. I liked that, because although I value being Australian and I know that I began somewhere else, that being World citizens makes you all belong to each other and with each other. And the differences are the things we need to work out together as you would in a big family.

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