Born in Syria, Aya and Dalal arrived in Australia with their family in 2018. Find out how Grow a Star Beyond Bank scholarships have helped these sisters on their pathway to independence.
Born in Syria, Aya and Dalal arrived in Australia with their family in 2018 after spending seven years in a refugee camp in Kurdistan, Iraq. They began their life in Australia in Newcastle. Aya dreams of becoming a human rights lawyer. While living in the refugee camp in Iraq, she joined the Pathfinder Club and spent much of her time teaching young children to live with hope. She also taught English and provided translation services for the refugee community.
Dalal’s dream is to become a pharmacist. When she was younger, she used to spend time with her uncle at his pharmacy in Syria. She would watch him helping people, and began thinking about a career in pharmacy for herself. In 2019, the girls attended Callaghan College in Waratah, NSW, but struggled to keep up with school assignments.
Their younger sister, who has significant health issues, was transferred to a Sydney hospital for treatment for nine months and was accompanied by their mother. While their mother and sister were away, Aya was responsible for cooking, cleaning and caring for their father and other siblings. She became the go-to person and advocated for her family, being the person most fluent in English.
Aya and Dalal were referred to the Grow a Star program in mid-2019. Aya used a $2,000 Beyond Bank Grow a Star Scholarship to purchase a laptop, uniforms, protective clothing for electives, books and stationery. Dalal used her scholarship to purchase school uniforms, books and stationery. Both girls love attending school in Australia despite the challenges associated with learning English.
Aya is focusing on entering university. She’s carefully selecting subjects to ensure she obtains an ATAR score that enables her to study law. And despite the challenges, both girls are working hard towards their independence in Australia and have already obtained their driver’s licences.