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Fadak Alfayadh to give refugees a voice

By Tara Whitsed

Putting a human face to the untold stories of resilience and strength in Australia’s refugee community, Fadak Alfayadh will speak in Shepparton this Saturday.

The lawyer, 26, has been rewriting Australia’s refugee story since she fled the Iraqi invasion as a child refugee 15 years ago.

She is on a mission to shape the nation’s attitudes towards refugees with Australia’s first refugee-led national speaking tour Meet Fadak, in partnership with Road to Refuge.

With the support of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and Hijack’d Food Truck, Ms Alfayadh will tell her story in her own words at the Queen’s Gardens on Saturday, November 10, while also giving a platform for other community members to share their experience.

‘‘I’ve lived in Australia longer than I’ve lived in Iraq,’’ she said.

‘‘People like me are tired of having other people tell our stories.

‘‘Leading Australia’s first refugee-led storytelling campaign is about reclaiming my voice.’’

By visiting Shepparton, Ms Alfayadh will be in one of Victoria’s key resettlement areas for refugees.

‘‘Regional communities like Shepparton play a crucial role in resettling and welcoming people from refugee backgrounds,’’ she said.

‘‘I want to celebrate that and show the rest of Australia what we can learn from Shepparton.

‘‘By meeting as many people as I can, I’m hoping the campaign will inspire Australians to stand in solidarity with refugees, and understand why we need to increase our humanitarian refugee intake.’’

Fadak Alfayadh will speak at the Queen’s Gardens, Nixon St, Shepparton, from noon to 2pm on Saturday, November 10. Entry is free but registration is essential through Eventbrite.