One amazing story of resilience and courage from Australia’s offshore refugee program – Riziki Msabah

by | Apr 9, 2024

I want to introduce you to Riziki Msabah – the amazing woman in the photo with me.

Riziki has been working with me since 18 January, as a Law Clerk (doing her PLT hours on a volunteer basis), working towards admission as a lawyer later this year.

Riziki was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By the age of two, her family had to flee to Malawi to escape war and violence. The family lived in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp for the next 16 years. When she was 18 years old, Australia granted her family a subclass 200 Refugee visa, and in 2016, Riziki, her parents and her five brothers and sisters settled in Toowoomba, Queensland.

Since then, Riziki completed her final two years of high school in Toowoomba, and went on to study at the University of Southern Queensland graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and a Bachelor of Laws in 2023. Just a few months ago she officially became an Australian citizen.

It’s an interesting point of reflection for me, because 20 years ago I also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and a Bachelor of Laws in 2003. So she stands now at the same point as I did then, but the complexities and challenges of her path compared to mine are worlds apart.

She has overcome an incredible set of obstacles in her life, and yet I haven’t met anyone with a more positive, open and hopeful outlook in life. She is going to be a wonderful lawyer, and Australia is so lucky to have her.

I wanted to share Riziki’s story because she is personally such an amazing person, but also because her story is everything that is amazing about migration law and Australia’s refugee program. It’s a story we don’t hear about enough in Australia – the incredible courage and resilience of the refugees who come here, to re-build their lives, and to create a new future in Australia.


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