Celebrating Refugee Week: Tina Mukasa’s Story
“My degree is dedicated to every little refugee girl and boy who probably thinks everything is impossible.”
My name is Tina Mukasa, and I hold a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a major in Public Health. I am a lived experienced former refugee who came from nothing to something. Australia is a country that I called home from the age of 8, a country that welcomed my family with one heart, and helped us settle into a rural community. I came from a war-torn country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where countless children don’t have access to education, and lack opportunities to achieve their goals. In the chaos and brutality of war, my beloved mother was killed, and I was separated from my two family members.
My family and I spent six years in a refugee camp, where my father battled hunger, violence and poor sanitary conditions to keep his family together. My dad did everything for us and raised us under these tough conditions. My family and I migrated to Australia on the 21st of December 2005 and settled in Shepparton, Victoria. It was in Shepparton where I started a new life, new journey and a new language…..
Throughout my education years in Australia, I have been involved with numerous leadership programs and achieved many goals. My proudest moment was in 2020, graduating with a Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Public Health. My degree is dedicated to every little refugee girl and boy who probably thinks everything is impossible. Some of my achievements include being a National ABC Heywire Winner – Regional Youth summit, being selected into the Melbourne University Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program, representing Victoria in the state soccer team and representing Australia as a model at the International Fashion Catwalk in Los Angeles.
Australia has provided me with a range of support programmes and opportunities that have empowered me to reach my full potential in life. Australia has given me “hope’ which, to me, signifies a positive outcome for my future. I feel a sense of belonging living here, in a country that gives courage to immigrants and disadvantaged children, allowing them to have a better life and opportunities.
For now, I am currently working as a Case Manager supporting newly arrived immigrants settling in Australia. I provide effective case management and advocate for young people and their families using a range of interventions, including individual and family support to reach their full potential in life. Giving back is significantly closer to my heart, knowing that I am giving hope to future generations.