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From the courtroom to the classroom

Despite a successful career as a lawyer in Afghanistan, finding a job has been Nesar’s toughest challenge in Australia.

Nesar arrived in Australia less than two years ago and still finds it hard to talk about why he had to leave Afghanistan.

He was a successful lawyer, had completed a Masters degree, but had been targeted by the Taliban.

Nesar was able to flee Afghanistan and now lives safely in Melbourne. Although his life is no longer in danger, he now faces different challenges.

“It was really memorable when I first arrived in Australia,” he says. “I introduced myself to one of my neighbours and the next morning he said to me ‘Good morning mate!’”

“Just the day before I had told him that my name is Nesar so I said to him ‘Excuse me, my name is not mate!’ He laughed and smiled and then told me. In Afghanistan I had studied American English but after that day I sought another course in Aussie slang!”

Qualified and experienced as a lawyer in Afghanistan, Nesar initially hoped to continue in his profession. But he’s had to approach his career in a new way when he learned how tough that would be. 

Nesar has now completed a Business Management certificate, a hospitality program and a bicycle maintenance course and has found some part time work in the hospitality industry.

“I started hospitality to improve my English. English isn’t my first language so I found it tough but I’m trying my best. I started hospitality to get a job quickly so that I can stand on my own feet.”

“Many times I have tried to apply for other jobs but I haven’t received any phone calls or good news from those places.”

“A job is a job. I am young and I have plenty of energy for work.”

Nesar also volunteers for Red Cross’ In Search of Safety program. It’s a connection he brings with him from before he arrived in Australia.

“I was a volunteer with Red Cross when I was in Afghanistan. I was like a teacher. I gave training about human rights and the laws of war.” 

“In Australia I am also a volunteer with Red Cross, for the In Search of Safety program. I go to many primary schools and secondary schools and I share my story. It’s really rewarding.”

“My advice to young migrants and asylum seekers is that we are all Australians. They have to work hard, they have to share their ideas and they have to study and get more experience. “

“My goal is this: I want to study law again here and to be a lawyer in Australia. That’s my dream.”


If you’d like to help a new arrival like Nesar to find and enjoy work in Australia, visit

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