Salem Askari

Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University

My name is Salem, I am a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan. I have come here in 2013. I live in Perth ever since. After living 8 years in Australia, I am still on a 5 year temporary visa which is called SHEV. I have been working as a stonemason for the last 5 years. recently quit the job. Now I study at TAFE and part time I work as a research assistant at Centre for Human Rights and Education (CHRE) at Curtin University.

It's been 3 years since I have started to work with people from all walks of life - people with academic background, community members, churches, refugee advocacy organizations and politicians. We have worked hard to persuade politicians towards a softer and more humane approach regarding refugees and people seeking asylum.

We have a list of priorities to deal with nationally and locally. At a local level, we have targeted areas that could be dealt in a state level. things like, transport concession, accessibility to TAFE and housing. We have shifted some policy in regards to transport and TAFE accessibility, while the housing issue is still to be pushed for some policy changes.

Nationally, we collaborated with different organizations across the country to advocate and bring some policy change to end the precarity of so many people who live in various TPVs. We also host a monthly meeting for people with lived experience. To involve them, hear directly from them, especially, if we are making a submission on their behalf so that they can have their say over the issues that ultimately affect their lives.