It’s been a long road to get to Australia for 21-year-old Azim, who fled war-torn Afghanistan in 2013 and spent years in limbo before being granted a humanitarian visa and settling in Newcastle in 2017.
Azim is looking forward to a brighter future and hopes to realise his dream of becoming a nurse, which he’ll start by undertaking the University of Newcastle’s Open Foundation enabling program this year.
“Having this terrible experience is definitely part of me wanting to be a nurse. When I’m able to help people and take care of them it makes me happy.
“I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world. It’s such a privilege that I’ve got the opportunity to come here. To be able to do university as well is a dream come true.”
As part of a community donations initiative with Northern Settlement Services, superannuation fund Mine Wealth + Wellbeing (Mine Super) has provided Azim with a refurbished laptop to help him succeed in his studies.
Azim was over the moon when he learnt that he would be one of the deserving recipients of a refurbished laptop.
“Laptops are so expensive and there was no way I could afford one by myself at the moment,” Azim said.
“Hearing that Mine Super was going to give me one was a huge burden off my shoulders. It will make such a difference to my study.”
Mine Super is also donating a further nine refurbished computers to Northern Settlement Services to help newly arrived refugees build new lives in Newcastle.
Mine Super’s Chief Engagement Officer, Glenda Abraham, said the fund recognised the significant contribution made by Northern Settlement Services and its positive impact on refugees’ lives.
“We are incredibly proud to support Northern Settlement Services and their valuable work within the Newcastle community. We share their values of collaboration and excellence and, by working together, we can help young refugees in Newcastle achieve their dreams,” Ms Abraham said.
“Mine Super has been part of the Newcastle community for over 75 years, supporting local miners and their families and we are passionate about taking an active role in the community.”
Northern Settlement Services CEO, Lulu Tantos, thanked Mine Super for making a positive difference in the lives of young refugees.
“I can’t thank Mine Super enough for their generosity and community-driven initiative,” Ms Tantos said.
“This generous donation of laptops and computers will assist a number of young refugee arrivals who have settled in Newcastle under the Humanitarian Settlement Program achieve their dream of higher education and learning.”
Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon, who helped to link Mine Super with Northern Settlement Services, said that linking up local organisations so they could help each other was one of the best parts of her job.
“Mine Super should be congratulated for their commitment to supporting people in our community,” Ms Claydon said.
“It’s hard to overstate how difficult it is to start from scratch in a new country, but these laptops will make a real difference to newly arrived refugees in the local community.”