Yarra Refugee Radio features the stories and reflections of ten refugees and asylum seekers as they share their experiences since arrival. They discuss their aspirations of freedom, both personal and political, their sense of belonging in a new city and their experience of fundamental human rights and opportunities, sometimes for the first time.
Thanks to participants Emilia, Osama, Rozanna, Marike, Festus, Tha Tha, Aran, Rowdaa, Phat and Petra.
Refugee Radio is part of Human Rights Day 10 December 2012 special programming and is supported by the City of Yarra. You can also listen to Refugee Rights Unravelled produced by Clemmie Wetherall and Bec Zajac with support from the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Emilia Wainggai is an Ambai Woman from Pulau Ambai, Yapen, West Papua. West Papua is currently under Indonesian military occupation. She came to Australia by boat as a refugee when she was just seventeen. Emilia is now a full time mother, student, musician, and strongly connected to the Melbourne West Papuan community. Listen now 5.3MB / 5:45min.
Osama Ali is an Iraqi Palestinian who was born in exile from his homeland of Palestine. He's both a refugee and legally stateless. His Palestinian parents were born in Haifa, in Historic Palestine, and became refugees during their own childhood, in 1948, following the “Nakba”/Catastrophe when Israel began its current military occupation of Palestine. His father died, aged seventy, and still a refugee. Even now, in Australia, Osama remains legally stateless and he reflects on how profoundly this has affected his entire life so far. Osama is a full time student and a volunteer worker at Australian Society for Palestinian Iraqi Refugees (ASPIRE). Listen now 5.5MB / 5:58min.
Rozanna is a young woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who we heard from 2 years ago. She updates us on her life, shares her appreciation for all the opportunities she has had since arriving in Australia in 2009 and reconfirms that she feels completely at home
here. Listen now 2.6MB / 5:30min.
Marike Tebay is a West Papuan asylum seeker who came to Australia on a traditional outrigger canoe in January 2006. After six years, with no English language at first, Marike has integrated extremely well into the Australian way of life. At the moment, Marike is undertaking a nursing course, with a scholarship from the nursing company that she's worked with for the last two years. Marike speaks about her localised experience in Australia that she hopes to take back to West Papua. In the future she wants to help to establish nursing facilities for elderly people in her home land as a symbol of RESPECT! Listen now 2.2MB / 4:39min.
Festus is a Liberian refugee. He also designs jeans, presents the Liberian NewLife Radio show and plans on starting up his own clothing brand. Festus tells us about how he started designing and making clothes in Liberia, to training in Australia with the Social Studio in Smith Street Fitzroy. He now works for a local designer in Brunswick Street Fitzroy. Threaded through is his story of war and trauma in Liberia, losing his family and his home, and making the arduous journey through war-torn Liberia to Guinea and spending two years in a refugee camp. Listen now 9.9MB / 10:46min.
Tha Tha is a young woman from Chin land in Burma. She is a youth leader in the Chin community in Melbourne and and presents the weekly Chin Radio show on 3CR (Thursday at 7:30pm). Tha Tha talks about her family's journey to Australia and the activities of the Chin community here in Melbourne. She also talks about her dreams for peace in Chin land. Listen now 4.7MB / 5:06min.
Aran Mylvaganam is a Tamil from Tamil Eelam. Tamil Eelam is currently under Sri Lankan military occupation. He came to Australia as refugee when he was just thirteen and was forcibly incarcerated at Villawood Detention Centre despite his unaccompanied minor status. After he was released into the community he battled depression for many years then overcame it by becoming active in the Tamil struggle. Aran founded the Tamil Refugee Council in 2011. He also works full time as a trade union official and a volunteer presenter at 3CR Radio. Listen now 5.8MB / 6:19min.
Rowdaa* is an Oromo woman, an Ethipoian refugee who came to Australia with her aunty when she was a teenager. She talks about her admiration and gratitude for her aunty and life here in Australia while remembering her life in Ethiopia. Rowdaa works with her community and others in Collingwood to promote healthy relationships and to stop violence against women. With two young girls about to start school she looks forward to going back to study herself, to be a nurse. Listen now 5.5MB / 6:00min.
*This participant's name has been changed to protect her privacy.
Phat is a Vietnamese refugee who arrived in Australia two years ago with his mum. Phat is still struggling with his English language but has more to show with his soccer skills with Fitzroy Lions soccer club and Morning Starz Football Club in Victoria Churches League. He is currently, undertaking an English language course at NMIT in Collingwood. He speaks about his passion for soccer and how he wants to help his people in Vietnam as they need his support. Listen now 2.3MB / 4:59min.
Petra Rumwaropen is a West Papuan singer and a member of the second generation of West Papuan refugees living here in Australia. Petra speaks about her dad's amazing legacy, and the hope she places in the power of music to rise above tyranny in her home land – West Papua. Petra is in a Melbourne based band called, Tabura with her two older sisters and they sing songs of freedom to inspire Papuans in West Papua and abroad to keep on fighting for freedom, justice, peace and self-determination. Listen now 2.4MB / 5:14min.