When she was only 10-years-old, Fadak Alfayadh fled her home for a land where she didn't know a word of the language.
Her hometown of Baghdad was on the cusp of war in 2003 and with her father already living in Australia, he sent for his family to join him.
Today, Ms Alfayadh travels throughout regional Australia sharing her story in a hope to bring awareness and support for refugees.
"I'm sharing my personal story of being a refugee as a child to explain why people are forced to leave," she said.
"The Australia I was introduced to was a diverse one with many refugees settling into the country.
"The way I was welcomed into the Dandenong and my school's communities are a large reason of who I am today."
Now, Ms Alfayadh works as a community lawyer, advocate for gender equity and writer and last year created 'Meet Fadak' as she believes it's beneficial for other to meet someone and hear their story and humanise the issue.
"My story is positive and we don't here a lot about this side of things," she said.
"I feel like I've been given a second chance at life and that's why I want to do everything and share my story."
Throughout her talk Ms Alfayadh recalled how she ended up in Australia.
"My dad had to flee as he would've been force to Saddam Hussein's army," she said.
"He told us he was going away for a weekend and we didn't see him for several months.
"I remember the first night of the bombing and my mum held us all together as smoke and fire rose all around us.
"We didn't know whether we would make it out alive."
Now, 16 years after coming to Australia, Ms Alfayadh sees a bright future for refugees settling into Australia.
"Regional Australia is the key to refugee settlement and we are starting to see the policy side of things moving towards this," she said.
"Community is what makes Australia and my talk asks people to unite and welcome refugees."
Also sharing their stories of being refugees were Dharshini Sundharam and Lydia Quinlivian.
Ms Sundharam travelled by boat to Australia from Sri Lanka in 2012 and now lives in Port Fairy with her son.
Ms Quinlivian has settled in Warrnambool from Ethiopia as is appreciative to the support she received from the Australian community.
The free event was made possible by Amnesty International Warrnambool and organiser Judy Ballard was thrilled the Uniting Church Hall was filled.
"From the event I think people will gain a greater understanding of the experience refugees go through to get to Australia; not only from Fadak but from local refugees too," she said.
"People can understand the difficulties these people go through to get here and realise that they are just like you and me, just trying to get the best out of life."
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