I hope all girls around the world can have this opportunity to go to school and follow their dreams.Hamida Ataie
Most migrants I know can readily recite their date of arrival to Australia.
The day, month, year and first impressions are recalled with no effort.
It is a major milestone and a chance for new beginnings, healing, renewal and hope.
Every April since 1982, my family celebrates our arrival to Tasmania. It's usually Dad who remembers the exact date. We reminisce as a family of life back home in the Philippines.
For us, these anniversaries are a time for remembering and honouring the life we once had and the loved ones left behind.
It is also a time to be thankful for the wonderful life and bright future that Australia has given us.
When I read the article (The Examiner June 5) of Josef Chromy celebrating his 70 years of arrival in Australia, I was (again) in admiration of his fight for survival, his settlement journey and the contributions he has made to the Tasmanian community.
Mr Chromy is a household name.
He is one of the greatest migrant stories in Tasmania and rightly so.
Mr Chromy's story also resonates with many of Tasmania's new arrivals.
As a settlement location for people arriving under Australia's Humanitarian Program, Launceston has welcomed many people from around the world who share common stories of fleeing and moving from country to country to find safety.
The largest number of recent refugees in Launceston are people from Bhutan, Burma, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Afghanistan.
Launceston was the first region in Australia to settle people from Bhutan in 2008 (another 'first' for the city).
We have asked two members of the community to share their stories.
Hamida Ataie, a Year 12 student at Newstead College
I was born in Afghanistan, a relatively small country compared to its bordering neighbours, Russia, China, India and Pakistan.
As the youngest sister in the family, I can understand what feels like being the smallest in your surroundings. On top of my early memory about war, fighting and destruction, my Mum used to tell me stories of how the war started when she was a child. Life was not possible any more, as Mum was saying that night and there is nothing we would lose by leaving our war-torn Afghanistan.
Pakistan was not a safe country for us, but the hope we had there kept us strong to manage our daily life struggle. I had to help my eldest sisters in making carpet to sale.
As a girl, going to school without being harassed is the second biggest achievement I had in my life "of course" after surviving the journey from Afghanistan to Australia.
I hope all girls around the world can have this opportunity to go to school and follow their dreams. My dream is to be a hairdresser.
Dilu Baalisampang spent 20 years living in a refugee camp
I left the country (Bhutan) in the night, in the moonlight along with my parents and seven siblings.
My mother carried my youngest brother and father carried some bags of clothes. We have no idea where our destination will end.
After walking three days on barefoot over the mountains, creeks and hills with a small amount of food finally we crossed the border of India. Then our parents were able to hire a truck to get to Nepal where we arrived in the UNCHR run camps in Nepal.
In the hope of repatriation and good future, we spent 20 years in a Bhutanese Refugee Camp run by UNCHR and Government of Nepal.
In 2007, UNCHR and Government of Nepal open the opportunity for voluntary resettlement program to Bhutanese Refugee.
In search of a good life, hope and freedom we chose to come to Australia. I arrived with my husband and three children in 2010.
Now we are citizens of this great nation, bought a house, my husband and son have secured jobs and my daughter is studying at the University of Tasmania.
I am very thankful to the Australian government and people, for giving us new life and opportunity.
The board, staff and volunteers at MRC Northern Tasmania are honoured to be a part of the resettlement program.
Every day serves as a reminder of the global refugee situation and how important it is for people arriving in Launceston to receive the best possible welcome and support.
Nobody becomes a refugee by choice but each of us can have a choice about how we help and how we treat others.
As a community, we can make coming-to-Australia anniversaries for people like Hamida, Dilu and other migrants, even more special.
- Ella Dixon, Migrant Resource Centre Northern Tasmania, chief executive.