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A photo of Ranya, a successful hairdresser in Australia, thanks to the support from Workskil Australia.

Ranya's Journey from Refugee to Business Owner

The war in Syria forced Ranya to make the most challenging life decision. Leaving her home, parents and friends was incredibly difficult, but the transition to Australian life demonstrates her strength, courage and resilience.

28/11/23

In Syria, Ranya lived happily in a small village with her parents. Yet, the war and frequent bombings cast a dark shadow over their lives.

Fearing for her safety, Ranya’s parents made the heart-wrenching decision to send her to Lebanon with the hope that she could come to Australia as a refugee and be reunited with her sister, who was living in Sydney.

Ranya had worked in hairdressing and makeup, but the war forced the business to close. Ranya and her boss fled to Lebanon, and both applied for refugee status. She headed to Sydney to be with her sister, while her former employer headed to Melbourne.

They would eventually reunite in Australia and fall in love.

Despite living in different states, Ranya kept in touch with her former employer and they shared a dream of opening a business together. This shared dream led Ranya to relocate to Melbourne, where they began a relationship and would eventually marry and have children.

Ranya faced numerous challenges in adapting to Australia, including the language barrier. The team at Workskil Australia’s Broadmeadows office helped her to access an English language course and attend TAFE to obtain her Certificate III in Beauty Services.

However, she believes the emotional support from Workskil Australia was more valuable than any financial assistance.

After some road bumps, Ranya and her husband established their business adjoining their house, fully compliant with local regulations. Their hard work and determination shine through their success.

The journey empowered Ranya to share her inspiring story and strive for a better future for her family. Her advice to others in similar circumstances is "to prioritise learning English and to increase knowledge and skills."

"Opening your own business can be a path to self-sufficiency and happiness," Ranya said.

“Working not only provides an opportunity to integrate into society but also boosts confidence and overall wellbeing."

Ranya's story is a testament to the incredible resilience and determination of individuals who overcome adversity to build a life in Australia.

"I’m emotionally supported and feel very grateful for the team at Workskil Australia."

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