Young Afghan Man’s Drive for a New Life in Australia
Escape from Afghanistan
Whilst no more than a mere infant, Hapi and his siblings were whisked away by his parents from war-torn Afghanistan, across its southern border to settle anew in Pakistan. And yet, whilst appreciative of escaping the immediate threats and horrors that they had endured, they became part of a minority group in a new country that barely accepted their presence.
As a loving parent, Hapi’s father made the desperate and heart-wrenching decision to leave his family with the hope and dream of securing a safe and more prosperous haven for them in Australia. Consequently, he undertook a difficult and life threatening journey whereby he became one of Australia’s “boat” people.
After 6 months in detention, Hapi’s father, one of the lucky ones, managed to secure a permanent visa and subsequently obtained entry for his wife and children to live in Australia. They settled in Melbourne, Victoria in 2013.
This story is not about the machinations of politics, government policies or the perceived right or wrong of other countries and religious beliefs. More so, it’s a true tale of bravery, determination, family and what we, as Australians have done to help those in need, to better their lives and in doing so adding to the richness of this country and the meaning of ‘humanity’.
Hapi's life in Australia
Hapi, now in his early adult-hood, sought work all over Victoria undertaking mainly farm and labouring work, often just surviving day-to-day. In February 2016, he eventually found himself in Adelaide, out of money and with nowhere to sleep. Fortunately, he has a friend that lives in Salisbury whom came to his aid.
His friend referred Hapi to an organisation called MYSA (Multicultural Youth South Australia), which provides support for multicultural young people by aiding them to successfully integrate into Australian society and become self-sufficient.
Hapi now works at a restaurant cleaning dishes 2 nights per week which helps pay rent for his share unit. He still does farm work, such as apple picking to pay for all the other necessities of life.
MYSA, Instinctive Driving
However, one of the problems he faced, as do many others, is the ability to get to his place of work. Without a driver’s license and a car of his own, Hapi had to make his way to a rendezvous point, so that he could be picked up by a contractor’s car to travel to the orchards. At times, this proved so difficult for Hapi, that he chose to sleep overnight in the open so that he would not miss the transport to work.
This is when MYSA came to his aid. His case worker, referred Hapi to Tony Loughhead, from Instinctive Driving who has helped people similar to Hapi in the past. Tony has an ethos of helping people, help themselves to better their lives and to contribute to safer roads.
After only a few lessons with Tony, Hapi with some prior driving experience passed his driving test the first time and secured his license. Whilst Hapi is still without a car he is optimistic to be on the road very soon, and with his newly found independence better his employment prospects and quality of life.
Would like to become
a Police Officer
Hapi is a warm, very pleasant and polite person. He is intelligent, perceptive and speaks fluently several languages, including English, Urdu, Hazaragi and Farsi. He is keen to give back to this country and help other people ‘less fortunate’. He is now enrolled at Thebarton Senior College to gain his year 12 SACE certificate. He is determined to achieve this, as it is one of the prerequisites necessary to become a Police Officer which he is keen to pursue as a career path.
Hapi and Tony Loughhead