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.’’
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Deputy Nationals leader Peter Walsh are expected to make a significant and long-awaited bridge announcement tomorrow.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
A sporting precinct has emerged as the main driver behind merger of Cobram and Victory soccer clubs.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
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