Is what you control with a band aid
Was the last I saw of my home country
Is a feeling you value
Is my eternity
Was the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood”
Is no fairytale
Is the drop of a plate
Is the rubble that buries my family
Gushes plentifully from your taps
Surrounds my leaking boat
Keep you safe
Keep me captive
Yours are to be hugely wealthy
Mine are to survive
You take for granted
Is our lucky country
A Place to Call Home
This was never planned,
We need to seek safety on your land.
We have done nothing wrong,
And we just want to belong.
No harm we will do,
After all we have been through.
Please just let us stay,
We will do everything as you say.
My family means the most,
I need them very close.
Bu when you watch one die,
You feel like no tough guy.
The journey had no light,
As nothing was all right.
No food, no water, no place to call
My tears would have filled a dome.
All I want is a country that’s fair,
To live a life without despair.
All I ask is to start anew,
To live a life just like you.
A Girl with a Dream
Imagine being forced to leave your home,
Seeing men, children, and women fleeing along the streets.
Having your house blown up into flames,
Not even allowed to hear yourself think because of the yelling and screaming,
Watching your street turn to rubble right at your feet.
Not even allowed to say goodbye to the place you called home,
just forced to get on a boat.
All I see is endless blue, my mum does not speak,
My sister died three weeks ago.
The only that keeps me alive is the thought of being free,
We arrived to no welcome, just put into jail.
Now we stand in an endless line, all I want is to have a life and go to school
I’M JUST A GIRL WITH A DREAM.
On the Boat
On the boat leaving our home,
Never to return again, as long as the war
As our country stays unsafe for us,
We are leaving our home, we must.
We could lose our lives today or tomorrow,
It could even have been yesterday.
But we try and try to stay alive,
“We must go on!” mum and dad cry.
There were other children here, you see,
But they all died from a bad disease.
I fear that I may pick it up,
And not long after hit the dust.
I want to find a new safe place,
To live a new life, to have a face.
I wish this world was liveable and free,
So in the future there would be no refugees.
The Unexpected Journey
Living a normal life
Suddenly put in such great strife
Not knowing why
But there is no time to ask otherwise I would die.
Leaving all behind
We didn’t know what we were going to find
Going out to sea
We weren’t expecting what we were about to see.
The journey was tough
The waves were high and rough
Lack of water and food
Which dampened our desperate mood.
We finally arrived
To our luck we had survived
We knew we had more work to do
But we could handle it after what we had just been through.
People have treated us like dirty rags
Despite that we are not going to pack our bags
We have grown to love this place
We are just like you but from a different race.
What wrong did I do?
What wrong did I do?
All I want is to live like you,
So please help us,
I won’t make a fuss,
Please don’t get mad,
We won’t be bad,
Help me live a joyful life,
So I can live without strife,
Please accept me for who I am,
So I can work as hard as I can,
Just let me be me,
So I can be,
The happiest refugee.
Why is this happening to me?
Why is there war at my home?
Why am I forced into leaving my country?
Why do I have to live in a refugee camp?
Why do I have to wait to find a new home?
Why do you treat me differently?
WILL I SURVIVE?
Flee their country
Akhtar is my name,
Before I left my country I had no fame.
One reason I left, the war is to blame,
Why is there so much fighting? It’s insane.
When we were on the boat,
We struggled to stay afloat.
The pirates came and took our supplies,
We all hoped that no one died.
Starved and dehydrated we were left with little hope,
We found a drink bottle, without it we wouldn’t cope.
At last we saw the navy,
Just after mum passed away with her new born baby.
They took us to the detention centre,
Where other refugees suffered from dementia.
We all had dreams of freedom and education,
So that we could live a normal life and have an occupation.
Jeremy and Louis
My Poem To A Refugee
We are one alike,
But we are in a different place,
I`m in an open world,
You`re in a Detention Centre,
I can visit places,
You are locked up,
I can get a job,
I have fun,
You are bored,
I can get an education,
You don`t have that privilege,
We are one alike,
But we are in a very different place.
It is only night.
But my life is already becoming a fright.
My mum just died.
Because she lied.
I have nothing to eat.
Now I find myself looking for a seat.
The captain of the ship says, “It will be
I sure hope he is right.
I wonder how Australia will be?
If we can find safety?
My dad says not to worry.
But for asking I am not sorry.
Now the only identity I have is as a
Look Beyond Your Screens (From the perspective of a refugee)
My heart begins to shatter
My eyes red and puffy from my tears
I’ve overcome all my fears
But survival is now what matters
I possess necessities now
Water at the turn of a tap
And food if I’m hungry perhaps
But it’s isolation that turns me foul
You live behind t to be screens
And you fail to realise
That if you look up, there’s more than what meets your eyes
It’s us and our desires wanting to be seen
Ready for death
Eager for land
Fighting for life
Under a lot of pressure.
Getting ready for a new life
Excited for freedom.
Every moment in pain
On a dark night,
I had a big fright.
So I ran out of sight,
I went on a boat,
On a journey of hope.
After 7 days,
We reached the bay,
On a great Australian day.
I am so glad I have arrived,
But they didn’t accept me,
I ask why?
At first it was peaceful
No war or conflict going on
I could finally live without fear
When life was like this.
The war had broken out
The conflict had started
We had to go
If we all wanted to survive.
Our decision was not easy
A rigid boat which would be overcrowded
If I was to live then it was this or die.
I got on the boat to Australia
Expecting a good journey
This was what I thought
This my story so far…
I am very sorry for what you are going through at this time. As a
young person at Primary School with a comfortable home to go to
each night, I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like if I
was in your position. I'm sure at times you feel cold, lonely, afraid
and scared. There are many reasons why our government won't
allow you to come freely into our country. Most of the reasons I
don't understand either. We are all human beings who need to feel
safe and loved. I understand the main reason for trying to come to
Australia is to escape grave danger from your home country. Our
government needs to have a big heart and open our arms to as
many refugees as we can. We must try to stop the suffering of
refugees, particularly the young children. We just have to try to
imagine if we were in your position.
I think your story of when you came to Australia is really touching.
What a life you have been through! I was so happy for you when you got
class captain. I could only imagine what it felt like.
I could visualise your story and the harsh conditions you had to face.
The way you turned your life from despair to hope has inspired me to
take every opportunity that comes to me.
You are an inspiration to me and many other kids. Keep up the good
Dear Anh Do,
We have been learning about refugees at school and I have heard about your
story. It is a very touching story about what you went through on the boat. It is
great to know that you were allowed into this country and you are able to have a
successful and joyful life.
It was lucky that you came when you did because if you were to come to Australia
now, you would not be allowed into this country. You are an inspirational person
with a story to tell. I think it is bad the way refugees are being treated, and I’m
sure you would agree.
Before I learnt about this topic, I was partially against refugees, but now I have
heard your story and other refugee’s stories, I am against what the government is
doing at the moment.
You are an inspiration to others. You have made a successful life in Australia
becoming an author, actor and a comedian. You and your family have also given
back to our country.
YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Dear Anh Do,
I love your shows they make me laugh. I never knew that you were a
refugee until my teacher librarian told me. When we read your book “The
Little Refugee” I felt very sorry for you. I wonder how big your house was in
Vietnam. Your journey on the boat sounded very tough. I have found
listening to refugee stories interesting. If I was born when you were young I
would love to be your friend. Were you put into a Detention Centre?
I would love to meet you one day!
Dear Mr Do,
I really admire your courage and your willingness to come to
Australia. At school we are learning about refugees and their
stories of coming to Australia. I was really touched by your
story in particular. It meant a lot to your family in coming to
Australia and they made the right decision in coming here. I
am lucky that I haven`t been a refugee.
Your journey in your book “The Little Refugee” looked so
difficult and tough for your family. It is also amazing that you
have your own hilarious TV show. Your family have really
made a difference to the Australian society and have
hopefully changed people`s minds on refugees. I am so
grateful and proud that I am Australian and I hope you feel
the same way.
Dear Bri Mar,
I was inspired by your poem and I had a few questions. How
long did it take to write this poem? Are you a refugee? Have
you written other poems?
When I read your poem I could really visualise what you were
talking about, but I’m sure it’s completely different to what you
Today we set sail to Australia. As we were leaving a group of men armed with guns aimlessly shot at our ship.
Whizzing bullets showered down on our boat and we made a fast escape. My sister was shot in the head. She
died an hour later.
It’s been four days since we left. 8 people of the 250 people on the boat have died. This includes my sister and
It’s been three weeks now. It was my birthday yesterday. We caught a dozen fish and plopped them in hot water.
Dad insisted on my birthday that I have a whole fish. I shared it with my brother and dad. We’ll be okay.
Everything is okay.
Yesterday we were attacked by pirates. They took all of our food and they even took a child. They left and we had
no food so we had to fish some more.
I was so desperate I began to drink the sea water. I got dehydrated even more and I vomited all day. I think there
was fish waste in the water. I was right. There were fish, lots of fish. I think I had my first decent meal for a week.
I’ve been locked behind bars for two weeks. The fences tower above me. My brother is so hungry you can see his
ribs. I’m so depressed I haven’t moved from this small room for three days. As for my dad, well he died of a
disease. I have never felt like this. I feel like this isn’t worth it. The only thing that continues to cross my mind is…
What did we do wrong?