Where he comes from:
Ayuel was born in Abuong, a small town in southern Sudan.
How he got to Australia:
Ayuel’s family lived in Sudan when the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005) broke out. They fled to a refugee camp in Ethiopia for one month, but the rebels found and attacked them there. They fled again, seeking safety in a refugee camp in Uganda, where they stayed for three months, before another attack occurred. Their journey continued to yet another camp in Entebbe, Uganda, where they lived for one year, but this camp was also attacked. Finally, Ayuel’s mother decided to make the long journey to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where they lived for many years and Ayuel complete much of his secondary schooling there.
Refugee life was really hard. The weather was bad; it was extremely hot in the day and at the nights were very cold. The wind was harsh and often blew sand into the food. There was always a shortage of food. Overall, Ayuel spent eleven years of his young life living in refugee camps.
Ayuel completed Year 11 and Year 12 at Wellington High School. He liked science, particularly chemistry and physics.
He is currently studying laboratory technology at Swinburne University of Technology and will be finishing at the end of this year. After this, he would like to complete further study. To support his studies, Ayuel used to work part time at Hungry Jack’s.
Ayuel’s mother, sister and two brothers also live in Australia. He helps his mother with the shopping and they chat about things like Australian life and how it is different to the way they lived in Africa. They get together with their Sudanese friends – although there are not many here – at weddings and other community events and social occasions.
“I still feel Sudanese, I miss a lot about Sudanese life”. On the other hand, he also feels Australian and welcome in his new country: “Everywhere I go, people talk nicely to me”.
Ayuel used to play basketball and soccer. He still enjoys soccer today and likes to play defence. Sometimes, he goes bike riding or enjoys walking.
What he likes about Australia the most:
Ayuel likes the Australian education system and the public life, particularly when compared to some of the other places ha has lived. He likes the Australian environment and the accessibility of medical services. He has visited Adelaide and thought “that is a good place”.
What he misses about Africa the most:
The Australian way of life is busy and in Africa, Ayuel got to spend more time with his friends. He says: “I still feel Sudanese, I miss a lot about Sudanese life”. On the other hand, he also feels Australian and welcome in his new country: “Everywhere I go, people talk nicely to me”.
Hopes and dreams:
Ayuel does not know whether he will stay in Melbourne. He says “God may have other plans for me”. He plans to visit his friends in other cities around Australia.
In Africa, life has very hard. In Australia, life is easier and Ayuel is thankful to God and the Australian Government for his new opportunities. He says: “You can make a good life for yourself. It’s important to help yourself, and help other people”.