A reflected map of Australia with the word 'Australia' in capital letters

My determination will help me, and so will the environment in Australia.

My name is Jack. I’m 20 years old and I have been in Australia for one and a half years. I’m from the Middle East. I have a casual job and I’m doing a Certificate III. Next I will begin a Certificate IV in Information Technology (IT). My favourite hobbies are football (soccer), chess and swimming.

I have been really interested to work on the Youth Lens project because I wanted to demonstrate the positive and the negative sides of my education and employment journey, the barriers that I faced and the factors that helped me to pass them.

A soccer ball on grass


This photo shows the most important part of my social life. I have made a lot of friends from different cultures with this ball. Playing football has engaged me in Australian culture. It taught me a lot of things, such as how to be a part of a team, how to be a collaborator and competitor, and how to respect others. All of these qualities have helped me during my studies and work.

five hands are forming the shape of a circle

Community organisations

A number of organisations in my area have provided me with support in regards to my work, studies and social wellbeing. I also participated in a lot of activities they run, including soccer, basketball and swimming, which has made me feel involved in the community. They gave me a hand to write my résumé and cover letter, and provided me with a mock interview. They also helped me to become a volunteer. These supports don’t exist in my home country.

My coach in one of these organisations came with me to universities to ask about my educational pathways when my English was weak and I didn’t know the location of the universities. Last but not the least, one organisation has given me the opportunity to work with them. I’m now working to help people newly arrived in Australia. This further reinforces my feelings of belonging in this society.

The outline of Australia with the word 'Australia" emblazoned across it.


This photo represents my new, stable life and the country that I expect to live in for the rest of my life. Australia provides me with all the things I missed in my home country, such as safety, stability, rights and an environment where I can study and work.

I knew when I came here that I would need to work hard and face difficulties like the new language, traditions and habits. I want to be a person who seeks growth and progress for this country.

assorted computer hardware and circuitry stacked against each other


I didn’t study anything about computers before I came to Australia but I worked as a computer software and hardware repairer for family and relatives for more than two years. IT is my passion. I want to work on improving my skills so that I can be a good software engineer and work in one of the big IT companies.

steps with words on them indicating the various steps one must ascend on an educational journey

Educational journey

This photo shows a list of the things that I have needed and will continue to need during my studies. The education system here is completely different from my home country. I had to learn this and get used to it to move forward with my education. One of the ways [I did this] is that I asked people for help.

Culture here is similar to the education system – it’s different from my home country. I had a lot of concerns such as how could I adapt to Australian culture and make new friends who speak different languages.

Location refers to the distance from my university to my home. I chose a city university, so location is a challenge for me, because it takes two hours to travel each day.

There are supportive government funds for studies or from Centrelink, which helps me cover my daily expenses.

English was the hardest challenge for me.

Collage image of a library, Victoria Uni, RMIT uni & a pool table

Starting my dream

These places are where I studied EAL (English as an Additional Language) and IT. My EAL course at RMIT helped me improve my English and taught me pathways to further study.

The bottom right photo shows the place where I relax at university where I can take away the stress of studying. Here I met many friends from different backgrounds, which improved my English.

The library has helped me hugely during my studies and my IT course at Victoria University made me feel more engaged in the IT industry.

a miniature robot figure standing on a desk

NAO program

I took this photo when I was working on my NAO Robot Project as part of my IT studies. A NAO is a kind of programmable robot. I used a coding programme to make the robot dance a dance from my country, and translate three words from English to Arabic. This was one of the most interesting parts in this course. It was really something new for me to do.

a bike on a public path in a park at night with the moon in the background

My friend

My bike helps me to get to the train station. The time between each bus is 40 minutes. If I miss it I will be late for uni, so I ride my bike to the station. This has saved me many times. I think there should be more buses running in certain areas.

I use my bike because I don’t have my licence. I need to wait for a year between getting my L plates and taking my driving test. This is a long time and, unfortunately, VicRoads didn’t recognise my father’s foreign licence so he has a provisional licence and therefore can’t teach me.

Before I take my test I need to complete 120 driving hours with someone who has their full licence so I need to pay a lot of money for a driving teacher. The number of driving hours should be reduced especially if you don’t have someone with their full licence to help you.

Melbourne Metro train pulling into a station


Public transport helps me to go to work and university because I don’t have my licence. Although it can sometimes be late or crowded, it is convenient and cheap. Also, all the public transport options have a timetable so this is allows me to manage my time.

brightly coloured bicycle racks


I faced and passed many obstructions through my educational journey. I’m sure that I will face more barriers going forward, and that I will pass them since I have the passion to reach my goals. My determination will help me, and so will the environment in Australia.

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