Take a moment, and just imagine arriving in a foreign country unable to speak the language, uncertain of the future and having no support network. As a young 22-year-old, J bravely decided to flee the civil unrest in Iran and seek asylum in Australia in search of a better life.

J, a young asylum seeker from Iran, facing this harrowing ordeal, now lives the life he had long dreamed of through the help of Communify.

Growing up in in a large family in the Kurdish city of Ilam, J worked as a car spray painter. He and his family faced harsh racial discrimination from their surrounding community, which made it difficult (and more expensive) to earn a living and access essential services like health care. This would be the first time leaving his hometown and sadly it meant he would be separated from his three brothers and six sisters.

The journey to Australia was fraught with uncertainty and it would take many arduous months before he would finally reach our soil. From Iran, he travelled to Jakarta in Indonesia, via Dubai, and once there he boarded a tiny boat with 26 other asylum seekers. When the tiny vessel reached Australia it was intercepted by Australian Border Force and transferred to Christmas Island. J was eventually sent to Darwin, then Adelaide, and finally made his way to Brisbane.

J didn’t know anyone in Brisbane, and he tried to learn English by watching the news and SBS movies. His first few years were a struggle, but in 2018, J connected with support workers from Communify who provided much-needed assistance to help him get on his feet.

Communify receives valuable funding through the Queensland Government’s Asylum Seeker and Refugee (ASRA) program and works with other like-minded agencies to support the needs of vulnerable people seeking refuge in Australia.

Through the ASRA program, J was able to easily access services that helped improve his living situation and personal wellbeing. J fondly recalls the beneficial impact Communify’s support workers had on his life, ‘Mandy and Theo helped me obtain food, medical assistance, and housing and financial support. They even helped me apply for jobs. This gave me confidence and I no longer felt alone.’

Seven years on, J has achieved his dream of a safer life here in Australia. He lives in Communify’s Bardon accommodation, where he has met others who speak his native language. J is now employed and his leisure time is spent hiking, fishing and boxing, as well as playing the occasional game of ping pong with the many friends he has made. J regularly keeps in touch with his family back home, telling them about the life he is grateful to have established here in Australia.