My name is Oula Nader. I’m Syrian, I grew up in a Syrian family of six people. Back to my country I used to work as a psychologist supporting ah, refugees in Syria. When the war started, at the beginning we were able to continue working. The situation started getting worse. I had to flee to a different city. In Lebanon, like, I had no rights, I had no – I couldn’t work, I couldn’t have access to health services and there were no way to continue living there.
I applied to Humanitarian Visa to come to Australia. My visa was granted back to November 2014. All that was in my mind was only pictures of Opera House and kangaroos in Australia. I get to the Sydney Airport. My sister and her family just were waiting for me. It was a very emotional moment, just crying, hugging. I met like, I met my niece and nephew for the first time ever. My first greatest memories in Australia was having a hot shower without fear, like other people won’t be able to wash their hands or have a cup of water. I arrived with no English, with limited writing and reading but zero spoken English. I was enrolled in, in English classes.
I attended the English classes for a couple of month but my first, my first uh, spoken English word, it was, “no worries”. I applied for a position to work with the STARTTS as an intake counsellor supporting refugees and people who went through traumatic events which effected their mental health and wellbeing.
I’ve been working with the STARTTS for about one year doing intake duties and providing counselling, individual counselling sessions for refugees. I’m hoping to get my overseas qualifications recognised in Australia or maybe apply to a PhD. About my dream, it will be like to raise money to support people back to my country Syria who lost their limbs and won’t be able to flee the country.
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Video - Oula Nader's story by
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