Sayed Barkat Hussainizada came to Australia at age 13 and later using his own experiences as a refugee turned his journey into a short film called Sheltered. That film was awarded the 2018 Best TV Audio/Visual Report at the Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards. This is his story.
What got you motivated to make a difference?
As a young boy who came to Australia at the age of 13, I experienced the roller coaster of challenges and with trying to find my sense of belonging in mainstream community. Its those events that motivated me to lend a helping hand to people now going through a similar journey as me and to use my experiences to help make their journey smoother.
What has been your biggest challenge in the work you do?
I started to make a film (Sheltered) not only to shed light on the issues that thousands can relate to it but to also help myself confidently face my past and recreate ways that others in future can have confidence to be able to do what I did. The hardest part was the story I told through the film for years hidden within me as no one, not even my family knew, as I felt it would show weakness if I had told them.
What would you say personally has been your biggest success so far?
Amongst all of my academic and artistic achievements over the years I regard my film Sheltered to be the highlight of all as not only was it nominated for film festivals like Noosa and winning a 2018 Premier's Multicultural communications award, but at its core it stands as a story others can relate to, as a voice for others to be confident to seek help tell their stories.
At its core it stands as a story others can relate to, as a voice for others to be confident to seek help tell their stories.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in Afghanistan, left my country seeking refuge at age of 5 in Pakistan and at age 13 I came to Australia. I live with three brothers and three sisters. While dad was the first to reach Australia and then sponsored us, he worked as a labourer and now owns a newly opened restaurant in South West Sydney. My siblings and mother took five years to re-unite with my father here in Australia.
As isolating and endangering as my refugee situation had been, I feel lucky to call Australia home as it has given all of my family a new beginning as we conquered our fears and safety issues from those earlier years.
What does Multiculturalism mean to you?
Multiculturalism means sharing space along with people of different colours, stories and walks of life. It’s the ability to experience inclusiveness and respect for each other’s culture.
I have great respect as strength lives amongst diversity, it's those diverse approaches that gives the nation it’s aspirations and creativity, produces the finest and best intellectual achievements.
Coworking with 500 crew on my feature film, Journey, was a shared experience with people from thirteen different backgrounds working cohesively alongside each other.
I believe true happiness lies in working with people from different cultures. We all should see this a great step towards empowerment and to help us all find ways our community will be more engaged in positive works together.
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