By the time Noah Htin Lin Htet arrived in Australia in 2014, he had already spent four years in a refugee camp. His family had fled Myanmar in 2010 when Noah was only 10 years old and ethnic tensions and violence threatened their livelihood.
It wasn’t an easy transition.
'Living in a refugee camp was difficult,’ Noah says. ‘It was hard to find jobs or any kind of income to provide for the family. Geographically, the landscapes were high mountains and they were steep.’
Moving to Australia was a big change, too. Noah thought it might look like it did in the movies.
‘I felt excited and nervous to deal with the new environment and my new life,’ he says. ‘At the beginning it was a bit strange. Everything looked so different from what I had imagined. Later, I started to understand how things worked in Australia and was able to adjust to the culture.’
Australia marked a turning point for Noah and his family. His father, Aye Min Soe, completed a Bachelor of Arts at Swinburne in 2017 and Noah soon followed in his footsteps. After gaining a Diploma of Marketing and Communication and moving into his first year of a Bachelor of Business, Noah is being supported by an Achievement Cleaning Humanitarian Welcome Scholarship.
Funded by Tony Zraybi, Owner of the Carlton based business Achievement Cleaning, the Humanitarian Welcome Scholarship is among several financial aid programs that support humanitarian visa holders to study at Swinburne. The scholarship helps refugees and asylum seekers adjust to life in Australia, ensuring they have equal opportunity to thrive and succeed while becoming confident and enterprising learners equipped to fulfil their goals.
Noah says the scholarship has made a huge difference not only to himself but to the rest of his family as well.