Belise’s Story

I came to Australia with my family in search of a better life. We spent years in a refugee camp in Tanzania, and I went to school in the camp. My journey to Australia was difficult but I always think that things could have been worse.

My attitude has always been that you have to keep trying. When I was little I thought I’d work in a bank one day – I don’t know why but I still remember telling people that.

After my family came to Melbourne I went to university, to study a Bachelor of Commerce. I started applying for jobs in finance, accounting and tax when I was still a student.

Even after I graduated I applied for 10 jobs a day, for a year. There were plenty of times when I didn’t hear anything back and the knockbacks were getting to me a bit. I was wondering if it was me that was the problem.

I found out about the African Australian Inclusion Program (run by Jesuit Social Services and National Australia Bank) and it changed my life.

Through that program I now work at one of the Big Four banks which is just amazing and the encouragement and support I receive makes me feel very welcome. I am one of seven children here in Australia and I hope my siblings can look at me and have hope for their futures too.