From a Smugglers boat to a Scholarship

At the age of six Emad Zarghami, his parents and two year old brother fled Iran to Indonesia. From there the family would make two attempts to travel by a people smugglers’ boat to Australia. The first attempt failed and following three harsh months in a detention centre in Indonesia the family made a second attempt to reach Australia.

Picked up by the Australian navy near Ashmore Reef, Emad and his family would spend six months in Woomera detention centre in South Australia, before eventually being granted refugee status that allowed them to move to Canberra.

Emad had missed two years of school and was now in a new country that spoke a language alien to him. Yet the challenges for Emad and his family would increase. In the 2003 bushfires that swept Canberra, Emad’s family were lucky to survive.

With his father in constant search for work Emad had to continuously move schools, and cities. In 2003 he and his family moved to Melbourne. It was here that life obtained a sense of normality, allowing Emad to obtain the grades to receive a First in the Family scholarship to study the BCom here at the Faculty.

In this interview below Emad describes this arduous journey that he and his family have been on, what winning this scholarship means for him and his family, why a young mind that loves science choose to study business and economics and what the first few weeks studying the BCom at the University of Melbourne has been like for this inspiring eighteen year old.

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