Refugee Week 2022: Nilu Bizhani

Nilu Bizhani arrived in Australia in 2017, after living in a refugee camp in Indonesia for four years. She lives in Geelong and is currently studying at Deakin University.

What was life like before coming to Australia?

When we lived in a refugee camp in Indonesia, life was not easy over there as we had limited resources and we weren’t allowed to go to school. However, I made every effort to concentrate on my goals and ambitions.

I taught myself English online and shared what I learned with other refugees my age in the camp.

We had study groups as well as sports and artistic activities together, which helped us to improve our social, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

What does healing mean to you?

In my opinion, healing means having some “me time”. It is important to take some time to reflect on our actions in order to determine our strengths and weaknesses.

It is OK to be sad and it is also OK to make a mistake. All we have to do is recognise that no one is perfect. Healing takes many forms for different people depending on their past experiences and their level of self-esteem.

All aspects of wellbeing (social, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being) need to be acknowledged, valued, and cherished in order to complete the process of healing.

How can art and storytelling help with healing?

Creating artwork engages both the brain and the body to aid healing. I can express my feelings in my art which helps me to appreciate how far I’ve gone on my own, making me feel proud of myself and encouraging healing.

Storytelling, whether written or spoken, may assist us in releasing a great deal of anxiety and tension.

Sharing our experiences with others in the community may provide hope and purpose to their lives.

What are you most looking forward to in the future?

I am looking forward to a future in which every child has access to quality education to be able to pursue their desires and make a difference in the world.

I would love to see the war stop so that we can learn in peace in our communities, take on new challenges/experiences, and share love.

What do you love most about living in Geelong?

I love the community in Geelong. It is a peaceful city for me where I can easily talk to people and make friends.

Geelong residents are very empathetic and respectful of one another's differences, and it is amazing!

Page last updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2024