Sakinah's story

Sakinah was 16 years old when her parents fled Afghanistan to give her a better life.

In Afghanistan, Sakinah was educated at home because it wasn’t safe to go to school. The family made a terrifying journey to Indonesia, and then to Australia on a tiny, crowded fishing boat. They escaped drowning but spent months in an Australian detention centre.

Sakinah began learning English, and through hard work and determination graduated secondary school in Melbourne with excellent results. Sakinah was hopeful of pursuing her dream of a university education.

When Sakinah heard she did not qualify for government support to go to university, she was devastated. Her parents could barely afford her secondary school textbooks, so the international student fees for university seemed beyond reach.

Thankfully, with the support of the Monash community, an Achieving Potential Scholarship gave Sakinah access to university, an opportunity that she and her family risked and sacrificed so much for.

I couldn’t believe it. I cried and said, ‘Mum, I received the scholarship.’ I went to school and hugged my counsellor. It was a great day. I’ll never forget it.”

Sakinah is now completing her final year of study and is doing an internship as a community pharmacist. She’s well on her way to achieve her dream of working as a pharmacist, and using her skills and compassion to improve the health of others.

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