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Warakirri College: Building a bright future

Fatima was born and raised in Australia and moved with her parents to Iraq when she was 15 years old. Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t study or finish high school in Iraq as she wasn’t very good at reading or writing Arabic.

When she was 18 years old and still living in Iraq, she met the man who is now her husband, and together, they decided to move back to Australia.

In early 2018, when Fatima was 20 years old, she attempted to enrol in high school to complete her education, however, she found that her age and marital status were an issue and schools weren’t willing to accept her.

“At one of the schools that I wanted to enrol in, I went to see the uniform and they said to me, “You should bring your daughter or son in, so we can see what size they are,” Fatima said. “When she said that to me, I felt kind of offended and that’s when I realised a normal mainstream school was not going to work well for me.”

That’s when one of Fatima’s colleagues recommended Warakirri College to her. “I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” Fatima said. “I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

At Warakirri College, Fatima found somewhere she could not only study, but also shine. “You are accepted for who you are, and no one will judge you,” she says.

“To me, my teachers were like my friends and family, they listen to what you have to say, and they respect your opinion, even if it has nothing to do with school, they are there to support you.”

During her two years at Warakirri, Fatima says she was always eager to come to school and never had a bad day.

After graduating, Fatima was accepted into Western Sydney University and is now two years into her Bachelor of Health Science, which she credits to the continual support and help she received from her teachers at Warrakirri.

“I had a baby girl last year and I have no family in Sydney to help me with her,” she said. “I thought it would be too hard for me and maybe I should put uni on hold, but I’m thankful that I didn’t because I have passed all my courses and I am doing well as a student and as a mum.”

When Fatima graduated some Western Sydney University next year, she plans on applying to study for a Master of Teaching. She dreams of one day becoming a science teacher, perhaps even at Warakirri College.

Fatima believes that her time at Warakirri College is what helped her to know where she wants to be in her future, and she’s confident that she will be in a career that she’s truly passionate about.