Iraqi refugee following her teaching dream

26 June 2022

AMES client and Iraqi refugee Nedera Qaqoz is following her dream of becoming a teacher after fleeing war in her homeland almost four years ago.

Nedera has secured a job at St Albans Catholic Regional College as an EAL Learning Support Officer as she continues her studies.

“I love my job, even though most of it in 2020 was online because of COVID. There are many newly arrived Iraqi students at the school and we have a centre for intensive English studies,” Nedera said.

“I work with these students to help them and support their learning,” she said.

“We were working online for a lot of the year except for six weeks in the middle of the year and two months at the end of the year. I’m looking forward to resume work in the classroom this year,” Nedera said.

She said it was difficult at first to adjust to the Australian education system.

“At the beginning it was very hard, everything was new. The system of schooling is completely different from Iraq. But I went through things step by step and now I’m very happy,” she said.

Nedera is intending to study a Master’s Degree in Teaching.

“I would like to be an early childhood teacher,” she said.

Nedera had just completed a university degree in education in Iraq when her family was forced to flee their home when ISIS invaded their town.

“ISIS came and all of the Christians fled. We moved to Baghdad and then we went to Lebanon,” she said.

Nedera, her sister and mother lived in Lebanon for 18 months. Her mother passed away from breast cancer while they were there. They arrived in Melbourne in November 2019.

Nedera is living with her sister in Carlton and looking forward to a post-COVID future.

“I am happy, live is good and I can see a future for myself now,” she said.