Shepparton student Mohammad Raza Gohari pays no attention to a website ranking his school, McGuire College, in the bottom 13 per cent of schools in Victoria.SOPHIE MALCOLM February 15, 2013 4:57am
Mohammad Raza Gohari, who came from Pakistan to Australia by boat during 2010-11, studies at McGuire College, Shepparton.
For Mohammad Raza Gohari, school isn’t all ATAR scores and test results.
Just being there and doing his best is enough.
The 18-year-old, who prefers to be called Raza, began at McGuire College last year after he arrived in Australia in 2011.
His pathway to school was a long and dangerous one.
Afghani-born Raza fled Pakistan in 2010, at the age of 16, leaving his family behind in search of a better life.
‘‘I am my father’s oldest son, so my father used to say that you can’t go there (to Australia), because it’s not safe, then I said Pakistan’s not safe to live,’’ Raza said.
‘‘So someone needs to go from our family .
‘‘I left home in 2010, then it took me nearly two months to get to Australia, maybe even more.
‘‘I was on a small boat, no-one can imagine it, 32 people (were on the) small boat on the ocean for seven days. We lost the way and we had to face many, many storms and stuff, and then I was just thinking about my family. It was scary.
‘‘I was little. I had no-one.’’
Raza said he would go to sleep not knowing if he would survive the night.
‘‘I was young and I couldn’t feel the danger, but I was feeling .
He finally made it to Australia in February 2011 and spent six months in detention centres at Christmas Island and Darwin.
‘‘I was so happy,’’ he said.
‘‘I was in Australia, I was on the land, I was alive. I wanted to call my family and tell them.’’
After he left the detention centres, Raza found himself in Brisbane with $100 to his name.
He phoned a relative in Shepparton, who sent him enough money to relocate to the region.
Initially, he wanted to get a job, but realised he could better his career options if he went to school.
‘‘If I work I couldn’t get a proper job, so I wanted a better job and I wanted to learn English as well,’’ he said.
Raza attended Shepparton English Language Centre and studied so hard he cut down his course from a year to six months. He began at McGuire College midway through last year.
‘‘It was sort of different, I was a bit nervous because of my language and I was going to the school and attending the classes, but I couldn’t talk,’’ he said.
‘‘Everything was so difficult for me and I couldn’t ask the teacher as well.
‘‘After a while I got used to it, then I had friends, so that was good.’’
Raza now studies VCAL, VCE and Certificate III in Health and Business.
He hopes to become a stockbroker and has sought out local mentors to teach him about the financial and stock markets.
He also works a part-time job to support himself and is continually trying to improve his language skills.
‘‘The thing that I’m not going to do, I’m not going to waste my time .
Raza phones his family whenever he gets the chance .
He has applied for visas for them and is waiting to hear the outcome of the application.
‘‘I’m telling them everything,’’ Raza said.
‘‘After this long time, I still can’t believe I’m in Australia .
‘‘I’m studying so I’ve got my goal and I’m going to my goal so my other thing is my family. I can’t really do anything about it so I just need to wait.’’
Two men charged over the armed robbery of a Shepparton service station have been remanded in custody until next week.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.