Hafeezullah Haidari had fled persecution in Pakistan when he came to Australia in 2013 with only $34 to his name.
Forced to leave behind his wife and four children, Hafeezullah, a member of Pakistan’s ethnic Hazara minority, sought asylum in Australia, 10,000km from home.
He settled in the small Limestone Coast town of Naracoorte and built a life “from nothing”, opening an Indian restaurant and harnessing a desire give back to the community that took him in.
“In my country it’s not safe for Hazara men,” Hafeezullah says.
“That’s why I came to Australia. It’s the best country in the world, and it’s a safe place.
“I arrived in Australia, and my friend lived in Naracoorte, he told me to come here. I had no work, I was thinking I’d search for how I’m going to build up my life, so I arrived in Naracoorte.
“I am from nothing. No money, no nothing. I decided that I wanted to open a restaurant in the town.”