My name is Jack.

I have been in Australia for more than a year.

A soccer ball on grassMy favourite hobbies are 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.

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.

assorted computer hardware and circuitry stacked against each otherI took my computer apart because it was slow and there was a lot of dust where I was in Jordan. I used alcohol to clean it, I changed the thermal grease and then put it back together.

I didn’t study anything about computers before I came to Australia but I worked as computer software and hardware repairer for family and relatives for more than 2 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

This photo shows a list of the things that I have needed and will continue to need during my studies

The education system in Australia is completely different from my home country.

I had to learn about it 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.

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 my resting place 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.

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

a miniature robot figure standing on a desk

I took this photo when I was working on my NAO Robot Project as part of my IT studies.

I used a coding programme to make the robot dance an Iraqi dance, 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.

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 (laughs). I think there should be more buses running in certain areas.  

I use my bike because I don’t have my license. 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 license so he has a provisional license and therefore can’t teach me. Before I take my test I need to complete 120 driving hours with someone who has their full license 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 license 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 license.  

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.  

five hands are forming the shape of a circle

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 resume 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 organizations 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 they have 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.  

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.  

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 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.