My name is Aliir Aliir. I was born in a Kenyan refugee camp. My family fled Sudan, or, you know, there was a lot of things going on back there with war and things like that so Mum had enough of that and we were able to settle in the refugee camp and that's where me and my younger brother were born. I guess my, my memory from the refugee camp was just being around family. I think there's one specific memory that I remember quite well which is making a soccer ball out of a balloon, we were able to get a balloon, blow it up, get some old shirts, rip them apart and tie them around until it's a perfect soccer ball and I think we would make a few of those just in case one popped. I think it wasn't until 2003 we were granted our visa to come over here.
My memory coming to Australia was, was very different, it wasn't the same thing that I'd seen. You rock up at Sydney Airport, you see all these building, things that I, I never saw in a refugee camp were surreal to me. Like I, I didn't even know they existed you know, having a fridge, there wasn't a such thing as a fridge and my greatest memory um, was probably just getting, getting granted that visa, my whole family here and getting that citizenship, you know, now we call ourselves, you know African-Australian and um, you know, Australia has become our home, they've welcomed in with both arms and um, me and my family are loving our time here.
My football career began in Brisbane. When draft night came I was sitting with my brother and pick 44 came. Um, my brother hopped on me, jumped and just started, you know, hugging me and said "you're going to the Swans". Mum came back and you know, she was a bit emotional and she said, you know, "this is what, you know, this is what your dad, you know, said that you were going to do, play footy" and I think it was a very special moment that I'm probably going to hold, just going to hold close to my heart for the rest of my life, you know, just seeing mum happy and you know, very emotional was a very special moment for myself and the family and I've been at the Swans, my fourth year now so I'm, I'm really enjoying my time here, you know, playing for, you know, this great football club.
People don't really understand why refugee leave their countries but for our, for our reason was, you know, there was a war going on, there was, there was a lot of things going on, it was, it was unsafe, I guess that was the reason we wanted a better change and to come here and we just, we just wanted a better life, you know, just to be able to live, enjoy life and things like that without, you know, fearing for your life so I guess we've been very lucky to be able to come to such a, you know a great country, they've welcomed us, you know, with open arms and um, you know, I'm very grateful for that.
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Video - Aliir Aliir's story by
Australian Government Department of Home Affairs is licensed under a
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