Good evening everyone,

I’m Baraa Omar from Holroyd High School. I come from Syria, Aleppo. I have been here in Australia for four years with my family consisting of my parents and my 3 siblings. I came when I was 12 years old; I came from Syria due to war in 2013. I started learning English at the Intensive English Centre at Holroyd and then moved to high school directly to year 8 continuing my learning progress in Holroyd High. I love school and I love learning. I missed a year of schooling before I started in the intensive English centre, which makes you appreciate learning opportunities even more!

I would like to thank the Public Education Foundation for giving me a great opportunity and to be standing here. For me standing here means a lot, it’s a big honour. I would also like to thank all the people who are responsible of offering the scholarships that are supporting students including me, and easing the challenges and the obstacles facing us. I am very pleased of the support and the impact these scholarships are doing to our community and building a bright future filled with success.

The friends of Zainab scholarship has offered me the opportunity to enhance my learning in an easier way. Due to financial struggles, this scholarship has had a very positive affect on me.  Now I’m able to use my own laptop and finish my assessments without fighting over a shared laptop between my siblings. This scholarship is helping me to achieve what I’ve always dreamed of. Without this scholarship, my dream to go university would be shattered, because when I came to Australia I thought I wouldn’t be able to go university due to expense. Due to help, I can go university and be an architect. Well, my whole life was to go university, I’ve always worried because I never knew what I wanted to do, but recently I discovered what I love. Watching The Block, flip and flop, master of flip and House Rules. This has inspired me to be an architect. Yeh, does anyone watch The Block?  ….. Having a career as an architect needs a lot of use of technology. Without this scholarship, it would be much more difficult to achieve my dreams and goals.

I want to thank my principal Dorothy Hoddinott who is always working on opening doors for students and encouraging us. Organizing and being chosen for leadership programs had developed my confidence and taught me a lot of skills that I need to be a good leader. Programs like women focus program, goals, Fast Forward. My brother Moudar for example, without this scholarship his dream would not have been possible to achieve. He is more than thankful of the friends of Zainab scholarship who gave him the chance to go university and achieve his goals. We as his family were more than excited, we were thrilled to hear that he can attend university as he always dreamed of.  Its opportunities like this that make us feel welcomed, lucky and happy to call Australia home.

Thanks to all the supporters who are always thinking about us and motivating us to achieve our goals and making a better future for this country and its people. Good luck to all the students here today, I hope that you can be successful in your lives and achieve your dreams.

Thank you again for listening to my speech.