From despair to hopefulness: Ahmadi’s Story


Forced to leave a life he loved, Ahmadi* came to Australia one winter.

“Back in my home country, I am a psychologist and writer…I was a published writer, writing articles in newspapers and even having many books published. It was because of what I wrote that meant I had to leave my home country. For my safety. I had to say goodbye to my life.”

For five years after arriving in Australia, Ahmadi was denied basic human rights, forbidden from traveling, studying and obtaining suitable employment. Then in 2020, Ahmadi’s* access to Medicare was suddenly cancelled.

“I want to have patients here like I did back home. I want to help, help people, contribute to society, but here I cannot. I cannot work because I am in a lot of pain. Now, the government take away my Medicare. I don’t know why they did this. It happened suddenly. I cannot afford to go to the doctor. Someday I have migraine, terrible migraine which sometimes goes on for hours. I try to go to English class and learn English but it is difficult with the pain.”

With no support, and unable to have any contact with his family due to fears for their safety, Ahmadi fell into a deep depression and considered taking his own life.

However, in the height of despair Ahmadi came across the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). The team at ASRC Health was able to provide Adhmadi with appropriate medical care and link him in with a pain specialist and psychiatrist to ensure ongoing support.

“ASRC found me when I was in a dark place. I wanted it all to stop. I received a lot of medical attention. ASRC helped me with a lot of things…This change my feelings from despair to hopefulness. And now, I wish to help others in the future.”

It’s impossible to feel motivation to build your future when everywhere you turn in the present you are met with ‘No’. Rejection, barriers, isolation, indecipherable administrative requirements, and a pervasive sense of loss.

People like Ahmadi continue to face many barriers to live independently and are increasingly presenting at the ASRC with financial stress, complex mental health issues and greater impacts on their wellbeing. We’ve listened to what people need and are working to evolve and adapt our services to help them build a better life on their own terms.

This winter you can help to provide quicker and easier access to food, housing and healthcare by helping to transform our services to prioritise human rights and be more efficient, responsive and refugee led.

We are all facing a tough economic climate. Our Winter Appeal is currently running $1.2 million behind our Winter Appeal target with only three days left to go. This target isn’t about ‘growth’ either – it’s simply what we raised last year and budgeted for, to keep things going. We are asking you to please make a tax-deductible donation by the 30th of June to help provide a lifeline for people seeking asylum.

We want to be there when people like Ahmadi walk through our doors.

Donate to the ASRC Winter Appeal today.

Donate Now


*Names changed and stories amalgamated to protect the identity of people seeking asylum

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