Courier Mail: IRANIAN refugee Mojgan Shamsalipoor says she is “really happy and so excited” to receive her Australian high school certificate tonight, after she missing her graduation with fellow classmates last year due to being in immigration detention.
“I was waiting for this moment for so long and I was dreaming about this,” Ms Shamsalipoor said.
“I thought it was impossible for me but it’s become possible, I’m really grateful.”
Ms Shamsalipoor arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 and attended Yeronga State High School in 2015. She was transported to school from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation Centre (BITAC) each day but was removed and taken to a detention centre in Darwin in August.
Ms Shamsalipoor was later moved back to Brisbane and on September 21 this year, she and brother Hossein, were released from BITAC on a bridging visa.
Her shock release came to the relief of husband Milad Jafari, and deputy principal at the school, Jessica Walker who had actively campaigned for her release since she was detained.
Ms Shamsalipoor said she was “happy and sad” when her classmates graduated without her while she was detained last year.
“I was happy because in a really hard situation, with everyone’s help I was able to study,” she said.
“But on the other hand I was really upset because I wanted to be there and celebrate the ceremony with them and be with my schoolmates and everyone else.”
Ms Shamsalipoors husband accepted the high school certificate in her absence last year and recalled it as being such a hard and emotional experience.
“We were so lost, a big part of our school family was missing,” Mr Jafari said.
“But tonight is something else, tonight it celebrating our being together again and feeling grateful that she finished high school here.”
Ms Shamsalipoor said she will soon begin to study a certificate in health care with the view of becoming a nurse.
“Then I’m looking forward to going to uni, (but) I need to save money for my study,” she said.
She said these experiences were only she had only imagined in her mind.
“I was talking with my friends in detention that it’s a dream to be out again and walk freely and now I’ve got that dream and it’s a really beautiful, great feeling.”
The ceremony will start at 7pm, November 16 at Yeronga State High School in conjunction with the schools awards night.