Roghayeh Sadeghi (Rocky) is a 15-year-old student from Afghanistan. A strong Muslim girl, she came to Australia as a refugee with her mother and nine siblings in 2012. Roghayeh is currently in Year 10, and plans on going on to study law. Her dream is to be a human rights lawyer one day. Roghayeh is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, equality and the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, as well as, being a role model for the Muslim community. She is committed to working towards a world that is free from bullying, racism, sexism and discrimination of all forms. Being a young and a passionate speaker she hopes to inspire others to have resilience and make their dreams come true.
Arshdeep Cheema was born in India, but migrated to Australia at the age of two. As a student of Public Health, Arshdeep is an advocate for improving heath access for migrant and refugee communities; currently taking part in CMY’s Youth Advisory Group and mental health initiative alongside several charities that promote refugee and migrant inclusion. Through her advocacy, Arshdeep aims to shed light on taboo topics such as women’s reproductive health and family violence, but ultimately her life’s goal is to leave a positive impact on the world through sharing her story and helping others.
Nyayoud Jice is a proud African young woman, who is passionate about social justice and is an advocate for human rights, especially the rights of individuals whose voices have historically been marginalised and silenced. As a result of this passion, Nyayoud has since completed a Bachelor’s degree in criminology and justice. Nyayoud has worked on numerous projects addressing social issues and challenging the minds of the public on issues affecting young people and those from migrant and refugee backgrounds. In her spare time, Nyayoud likes to read, meditate and listen to music.
Born in Australia to Eritrean parents, Barry Berih is a community leader who works with young people in North Melbourne. A youth worker at North Melbourne Football Club, Barry is passionate about getting to know young people and he hopes to one day own a business that helps young people realise their dreams. Living with mild cerebral palsy, Barry is keen to share his experience of growing up, dealing with adversity and the value in building good relationships with family.
Hiep (pronounced HEAP) Do is a young and proud Vietnamese-Australian from Melbourne’s West. After two years of studying engineering at University, he decided Maths and Physics weren’t his thing, so he is now undertaking a Bachelor’s of Education… with a goal of teaching Maths and Physics! You’ll often see him on camp somewhere laughing and working with those in need. And when he isn’t, he is probably catching up on some much-needed sleep. He LOVES talking and will talk about anything, but is particularly interested in the art of failure, culture and identity, and empowering young people.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angela Bijimba is a Year 12 student who is passionate about ending discrimination, building confidence and community participation. Over the years, Angela has been involved with many different activities within her community of Geelong and is looking forward to being able to share her story with you. Aside from volunteering at CMY, Angela enjoys playing soccer, cooking and spending quality time with friends and family. She is also passionate about engaging in the community and is a member of Business Professional Women, BPW and Engage. Angela believes that change happens through commitment, resilience and hard work.
Cammy Lu is from Saigon with a Vietnamese-Chinese heritage. She is passionate about youth empowerment, human rights and environmental activism. Through her work, she hopes to share her own experience of migration and help inspire young people to use their experience to strengthen themselves and use their hardships as a driving force for a better future. She is currently finishing her Bachelor’s of Teaching and is keen to work with the community on improving issues of intergenerational gap and domestic violence.
Mursal Farotan Khashy
Mursal Farotan Khashy is a passionate and hard-working young woman who dedicates herself to education- both teaching and learning. For four years in Afghanistan, Mursal taught English to students of all ages, and she continues this work in Australia, sharing with others her love for the Arabic language and Islam studies through teaching at Melbourne Medinah. Mursal is passionate about delivering speeches which encourage others to increase their self-esteem and accept who they are, and to not judge others based on race, culture or identity. Ultimately, Mursal wants to contribute to a peaceful and harmonious Australia.
Meet Innocent Karabagega, a 25-year-old father of two, husband, brother, friend, employee and law student. Innocent has an indomitable spirit and an overwhelming desire to give back to Australia, the country he now calls home. Innocent dreams of his future. In addition to working for the United Nations as a human rights lawyer, he wants to set up medical centers in, his home country, Burundi for HIV infected persons. More importantly, Innocent wants to educate Australian youth about the experience of being a refugee to inspire and motivate them to make the most out of every opportunity that they are given.
Steve Vung Sian Muan
Steve arrived in Australia in 2017 as a refugee from an ethnic minority of Chin State in Myanmar. Now a Law and Business student at university, Steve is pursuing his interest in promoting mentorship, internship, professional and career development opportunities for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Steve is currently in the UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador Program, is a Youth Advisor to CMY and a participant of the Victorian Law institute’s Young Lawyers Program. He is also keen to share his interest in mental health, law reform and child rights, leadership and political participation for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Titan (Sebit Gurech)
Sebit Gurech (Titan) is a South Sudanese social justice advocate, recording artist, and overall creative most known for his work in organising the “Enough is Enough” protest against Channel 7, capacity and platform building within the African-Australian community and his continued role in speaking out against racial vilification. Titan is also passionate about discussing mental health within migrant communities, racial profiling, social cohesion, and the migrant experience and has done so on platforms such as Al Jazeera, ABC and VICE to name a few.
Julia Coscolluela is a Filipino woman who came to Australia in 2015. Her experience as a young migrant has fuelled her passion for youth empowerment. Her interest in becoming a public speaker stems from her belief that young people, especially young women and those from diverse cultural backgrounds, are often overlooked and underrepresented in society. Her current role as a casual youth worker with Brimbank Youth Services allows and inspires her to support other young people and amplify their voices. Julia is also eager to speak about her experiences regarding topics like volunteering, identity, belonging and building self-confidence.
Sundus Ibrahim is a Kurdish former refugee who came to Australia in 2001 with her family. Currently studying Youth Work at university, Sundus has also completed her studies in inclusive education through educational support and is motivated by her desire to empower young people through opportunity, education, hope and giving them the platforms to be heard. Sundus is passionate about discrimination, mental health and inclusive education as well as advocating to building an inclusive society that allows all people – regardless of their story – the chance to thrive.
Komal Grewal spent the first 11 years of her life living in India and the next 11 years living in Australia. Currently pursuing further study in Psychology after a Bachelor of Commerce, Komal’s interests are far and wide – ranging from education inequality, mental health, community involvement to sharing her perspective on dual identity. No matter the topic, Komal’s goal is simple: to inspire and empower others to live their life with meaning and purpose.
Nabil Feki is a first generation Harari-Ethiopian and is an active member of the Harari youth community of Melbourne. He has a Bachelor of International Studies and is currently studying a Bachelor of Law at Deakin University. He’s deeply passionate about international and Australian domestic politics, is an avid traveller, can speak intermediate Spanish and has lived in both Spain and Peru. Nabil loves sports and cultures and is deeply interested in the integration of multicultural youth within the Australian community. Above all else, Nabil has a desire to give back to the Australian community, who have welcomed his family and community with open arms.
Ali Noura is a young man of Lebanese heritage who is passionate about raising young people’s voices on the issues that affect them most, but often go neglected. He believes that we can only galvanize others to act for positive change through the sharing of powerful and personal stories. Ali is currently completing his Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma in Arabic at the University of Melbourne. Amongst his varied interests, Ali is most passionate about advocating for mental health and its intersectionality with education, domestic violence, environmentalism. He is also outspoken about the unique intergenerational conflicts second-generation migrant youth face in Australia.
Shadab Safa arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2009. Now a motivational speaker, small business owner and commerce student, Shadab has spoken to numerous schools across Victoria on the topics of gratitude, self-belief, entrepreneurship and multiculturalism with the aim of inspiring students to strive to become the best versions of themselves. Through his story of facing extreme adversity as a refugee, Shadab aims to give his listeners a renewed sense of hope, evoke a deep sense of gratitude and empower them to look within themselves for what it takes to be better equipped and ready for the future.
Krushnadevsinh (Kano) migrated from India to Australia at the age of 7. Now an advocate of diversity and multiculturalism, Kano is keen to inspire young people to become comfortable with themselves by sharing his journey and learnings from years of battling what has felt like two different identities. Aside from public speaking, Kano also mentors Year 12 VCE students in leadership roles, has worked on multiple youth-led social media projects and hopes to use his energetic and humorous personality to deliver speeches, host events, conduct interviews and promote peace and positivity wherever he goes.
As a student of Youth Work, a former Diversity Ambassador to St Kilda, Melbourne and Collingwood AFL Clubs, and current Vice President to Victoria’s Australian-Indonesian Youth Association, Bayu is a passionate advocate for youth participation, diversity and inclusion. He believes that giving young people a platform for representation is one of the most effective ways to promote social cohesion. This is a message he continues to promote in his work around political and social causes; first appearing in a 2017 Senate Hearing to present on the topic of ‘Strengthening Multiculturalism in Australia’ and his continued effort to raising awareness of the harmful effects of gambling on young people across Victoria.
Mohamed Semra is a young leader working to shatter stigma and misconceptions surrounding African migrants and refugees. As someone who migrated to Australia at a young age, he has encountered and overcome challenges; learning English and overcoming a stutter, being elected as School and Debating Captain, winning the Commissioner’s Race Discrimination Prize for his essay on racism, and developing a leadership mentoring program while studying Commerce and International Relations at university. He hopes that sharing his story and the resilience he has gained from it will inspire young people to become leaders and challenge the negative stereotypes they often face.
Lydia Gethya is an Assyrian Iraqi refugee who arrived to Australia in 2016. She uses her memory of fleeing her village to raise awareness and restore humanity to the public discourse around refugees and asylum seekers. Through her advocacy, she also hopes to inspire newly arrived communities, particularly young people as they learn to adapt to a new environment, culture and education system. In addition to studying Arts (Psychology) at the University of Melbourne, Lydia is an active member of the Hume Youth Action Committee, CMY’s Youth Advisory Group and Shout Out mental health initiative.
Amran Abdi is a Somali Australian author, speaker, poet and Early Childhood educator. Whether she’s sharing her perspective as a young woman of Somali background and Muslim faith through her poetry and writing, or a role model and educator to young people – the enthusiasm, warmth and love of learning that Amran brings to all her endeavours is testament to her commitment to creating cross cultural understanding and promoting harmony in all of the spaces she occupies. Arman’s recent children’s book, The Rainbow Hijab is no exception, generating positive dialogue around identity, diversity and acceptance among children and adults all over the world.