Young Women Achievers

Young Women Achievers Leading Our Communities
Presenters at Youth Symposium: Leading for our Future 2018
Adelaide Festival Centre, 12 October 2018

Private Kbora Ali
Australian Defence Force
At the age of nine, Kbora arrived in Australia in 2007 as a refugee. Her family spent three years in a refugee camp in Pakistan after fleeing Afghanistan due to violence against Hazaras. Despite speaking no English when she arrived in Australia, Kbora excelled academically, receiving an ATAR of 97. During her schooling, she was active in organising and coordinating cultural events, and promoting harmony and acceptance of diverse cultures. She also played a pivotal role in the #achildlikeme initiative, raising awareness for children in detention centres across Australia. Kbora decided to join the army following her schooling, becoming the first Afghan woman to do so. After completing her 80 days of soldier training in 2016, she was welcomed into the army. In 2017, Kbora was awarded the Multicultural Youth South Australia Spirit of Resilience Award as part of Channel Nine’s Young Achiever Awards. “Currently, I work within a company of about 150 male soldiers – I am the only female soldier. It was not easy at first, I had to work hard to be considered as one of them. Armed with the values of my family, community, school and workplaces, I persisted and was determined to reach a goal that was not common for a young Muslim woman.”

Volunteer, Michelle DeGaris Memorial Kindergarten, Naracoorte
Zahra was a finalist for this year’s Vocational Student of the Year Award category in the South Australian Training Awards hosted by the Training and Skills Commission. She arrived in Naracoorte in 2015 and was awarded the Limestone Coast Training Award in 2017. She is currently studying a foundation course at the University of South Australia to pursue a Bachelor of Primary Education. She is also volunteering at Michelle DeGaris Memorial Kindergarten in Naracoorte and hopes to become registered on the Department of Education’s bilingual register. She completed her Year 12 studies at Naracoorte High School and has completed a certificate three in Early Childhood Education and Care through Limestone Coast Training centre in 2017. “My English is not always perfect, but the children and staff at the child care service have always been willing to help me, which encouraged me to pursue my future goal of becoming a teacher to transfer skills and knowledge to others.”

Valérie Baya
President, African Students Council of South Australia (ASCSA)
Valérie is the President of the African Students Council of South Australia (ASCSA). She was born in Mauritius, East Africa and arrived in Australia in 2015. She has completed a Bachelor of Interior Architecture at Taylor’s University in Malaysia and a Masters of Interior Architecture at the University of South Australia (UniSA). She founded the African Society at UniSA to unite students of African background. She was also elected as the first International Student Representative of the UniSA Student Association. In 2017, she was awarded Australian Postgraduate International Student of the Year by the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) and International Student Community Engagement of South Australia by the Governor of SA. “I created the African Students Council of South Australia to help facilitate better linkages between the three universities here in SA. My aim is to mentor and empower young people of African origin in South Australia and promote tertiary education as a valuable choice,” (quote courtesy of UniSA article 2017).

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