We are arrived here in Australia by boat and we have been here for 8 years, we means my family .We are from Sri Lanka and we were a cosy and happy family back home, none of us expected that serious problems would soon begin. What happened to my family back home is like a horrible nightmare. Our lives were threatens and we had no choice but to set off on our journey to find a safe place for us to survive.
We traveled from country to country to protect ourselves. Many of the places I had seen on the world map but never ever thought I would be there some day. We packed up our bags and went from Sri Lanka and made many stops before arriving to Australia. It was a long journey and we met lots people and shared our sadness. Finally after many deeply disturbing experiences, we arrived in Melbourne - such a beautiful place where we could start our new lives.
But instead of being able to build our lives here permanently, we were given bridging visas which have left a cloud of uncertainty over our heads. English as our second Language is hard without learning it properly, so I thought it would be good to go to school to start from there. I went to high school and worked hard so I could study at Law at Victoria University, but because I am on a bridging visa I am not eligible for HECS, so I had to drop out of my course. This situation gave me a lot of stress and mental hassle. So we applied for a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (humanitarian Visa) so we can build our lives here in Australia. We wait patiently for our applications to be processed. In the meantime I have studied and completed several courses that got me work as a permanent part time employee.
Then Covid 19 hit Australia, and there was no more work for me.
I felt happy when I heard about the JobKeeper program, maybe there was a way to keep my job. But when I heard I am not eligible because I am on a bridging visa I felt so alone.
I wonder what we did wrong when we were forced to leave our home in Sri Lanka for fear of death. We did not choose to come to Australia for fun, it was for survival.
We didn't hurt anyone or steal anything , we came here to survive but still we don't have an equal opportunities on this society. We cannot go back to our country, it’s too dangerous and we have no life there.
When Covid-19 hit I had all these questions start to come to my mind. I was so upset. I felt vulnerable and alone. Then I relaised that many people are like me and will feel same way. We literally have no way to get support.
But we always thank the Australian Government because they give us a chance to survive in this country, and always protected us and helped us to have a better future. We are blessed for all the support, freedom and love, which is given to us by the people of this country. We would love to become Australians so that one day, we can show others that kind of support and love.
During this hard time as refugees, we really need support to help us. We can’t do it without the support of the Australian community. A community we are part of.