A new life and a new path for Bwe Thay
It was very challenging for Bwe to start a new life in Australia. He fled conflict in Burma and spent time in an overcrowded refugee camp in the Burma-Thai border. “But I stuck to my dream and here I am,” he says.
Bwe became a Pathways counsellor at Swinburne after arriving in Australia as a refugee. Education has been key to gaining employment.
With limited financial resources, Bwe had to requalify in Australia. “Two weeks after my arrival I enrolled to do the Adult Migrant English program at Swinburne Croydon campus. It was an exciting time for me.”
“Education has enabled me to work effectively in my professional employment here at Swinburne,” he says. “[It has also enabled] my voluntary advocacy work that I do for the migrant and refugee communities.”
He has received the Vice-Chancellor’s Culture and Values Award in 2014 acknowledging his work. His new life in Australia has also led to new work and new opportunities for his family.
“Today, I have many friends,” says Bwe. “I knew that starting life over again in Australia would be a great challenge, but [it means] the opportunity to give my children a better future and contribute even greater to my community.”