2012 / 2013 Ambassadors
Bashir was only 15 when he fled Afghanistan and travelled to Pakistan alone. After spending six months in Pakistan he flew to Thailand from where he began the dangerous journey by boat to Australia. After barely surviving the journey Bashir was taken to Christmas Island where he was detained for three months. Read more.
Ahmed* is 17 years old. On his first attempt fleeing Afghanistan (aged 15) he made it as far as Malaysia before being detained and sent to Pakistan. Now living in Sydney, Ahmed's greatest concern is for his family. His father was killed by the Taliban, one of his brother's is missing. He has not spoken to his family in one year and ten months. Read more *name changed
Hussain was orphaned when he was 5 years old. He lived with his uncle and younger brother in Afghanistan and later in Pakistan. There was no security to be found and so at 15 Hussain made the journey to Australia alone. Hussain spent around 4 months detained at Christmas Island and Leonora. Read more
Mujtaba. Sydney, 18 yrs. Arrived to Australia alone as a 16yr old asylum seeker. I was born a refugee. This is a big question for me. Every time, always, this is a question that comes to my mind ‘Why was I born a refugee’. Read more
Najeeba Wazefadost, Sydney. Arrived to Australia from Afghanistan by boat and was detained as a child in the Curtin detention centre and first given only a 3yr temporary protection visa.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
ChilOut's youth ambassadors have been former refugees, former detainees and Australian-born young people - all united by a desire to see an end to the indefinite detention of children seeking Australia's protection. Our last Ambassador program was in 2004 and sadly, there is a need to re-start this program. We are excited however at the prospect of meeting a whole bunch of new Ambassadors, getting in touch with some of the now 'old' Ambassadors and definitely excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.
The ChilOut Ambassador Program aims to;
1. See legislation passed that prevents children from being held in immigration detention beyond a short, defined period (and then, only in appropriate facilities)
2. For a diverse audience to hear first hand from children who have experienced immigration detention.
3. Give young people (former refugees and those from non-refugee backgrounds) a voice in the public arena and in Canberra.
4. Build a community of young people from across Australia.
5. Develop a speakers list of young people able to speak to the media and at public events.
ChilOut ambassadors will engage in activities such as: meeting with and lobbying politicians, working with your school or local community to raise awareness, writing articles, blogging, appearing in local and national media, many, many fb posts and most other creative ideas they dream up to end the policy of indefinite, mandatory detetnion of children in Australia.