Young people from refugee backgrounds share their views on camera

A project is supporting four young people from refugee backgrounds who go to university in NSW to share their views on camera about aspects that are important to achieving positive outcomes in higher education. Two of these young people, Mr Arash Bordbar (2016 Young People’s Human Rights Medal) and Ms Anyier Yuol (Chair, Australian National Committee on Refugee Women), presented their 3-minute films at the UNSW Opening Universities for Refugees conference on 20-21 November 2018. The event brought together young people with lived experiences as refugees and asylum seekers, high school students, Principals and community liaison officers, university support services, refugee settlement services, academics from several states, and decision-makers (state government), to discuss how we can better address the gaps in higher education for this group. The event, hosted by the UNSW Forced Migration Research Network, sought to build effective collaborations among participants leading to new initiatives to increase access to higher education and scholarship opportunities in Australia and in the Asia-Pacific region.

Arash, as a co-organisor of the event, presented his movie on the first day of the event. Anyier presented hers on the second day, in the presence of Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor, WSU and NSW Coordinator General in Refugee Resettlement, who was very impressed with the initiative. Both films received positive comments from conference participants.

A UNSW double degree student and filmmaker, Ms Isobel Blomfield has lent her skills to edit the video footage into short films.

Anyier Yuol shares strategies on how she completed her Masters degree at UNSW. She presented her movie at the Opening Universities for Refugees conference on 20-21 November at UNSW.

Arash Bordbar discusses what his university (Western Sydney University) is doing well to support students from refugee backgrounds. He was the co-organiser of the Opening Universities for Refugees conference on 20-21 November at UNSW.

Hayatullah Akbari talks about the need for better support structures for students from refugee backgrounds to help develop their academic skills.

If you are interested to find out more, contact the Chief Investigator Dr Caroline Lenette at