Scholarship recipient thankful for support

Angie (Muna) Matti Laloo was an accomplished university graduate studying to become a lecturer at University of Mosul when life in Iraq became too dangerous to stay.

Having graduated from Western Sydney University in 2017 with a Master of Finance and a Dean’s Merit Award, Angie is now employed as a Senior Analyst at Deloitte. Angie was also the recipient of a Refugee Scholarship at Western and is grateful to donors, like you, who generously provided her this opportunity.

“I’d say thank you so much for their consideration… I was shocked, people don’t know me but they’ve chosen to put their money down for some good cause. They believed that their donation would benefit someone who really needs it. They probably hope that their donation makes a really big difference, which it did, which I’m sure it did for many other scholarship recipients, refugee or not refugee, it’s really great”.

Refugee Scholarship Recipients with Western Sydney University Chancellor at Town & Gown 2018.

Refugee Scholarship recipients with Professor Peter Shergold AC (middle),
Western Sydney University Chancellor, at Town & Gown 2016.
Photo Credit: Sally Tsoutas.

Speaking of her experience studying in Iraq, Angie says "All the way to uni, inside uni, [I was] always really nervous - there was always bombing around. We had incidents where we’ve lost colleagues and friends due to bombing attacks. It wasn’t really an environment for a student to be studying in. It was life-threatening."

After fleeing the conflict, and arriving in Western Sydney with her brother and sister in 2013, Angie knew it was essential to improve her English language skills and obtain local qualifications.

“Financially, I was struggling back then, I was on Centrelink payments, I didn’t have enough language skills to have a job. No-one wanted to give a job to someone who barely communicated in English.”

With scholarship support, Angie was able to improve her English, providing the confidence needed to secure casual employment and continue her university studies to Masters level. Angie enjoys giving back to the community including volunteering at the International Student Welcome Desk at Sydney Airport and sharing her story, demonstrating that it is possible to start again in a new country.

"Students are made aware that once they arrive in Australia, if they need any help, they can come to the airport desk. The volunteer team I was working with communicated to new international students upon their arrival in their mother tongue, or in English, making them aware that there are people available that can help them, with their studies at uni or life.”

Angie’s goals for the future include providing a positive role model for the local Iraqi community and for people who arrived in Western Sydney as refugees.

Most importantly, Angie would like to say ‘Thank you!’

Please donate to Western’s Refugee Scholarship fund to support other students like Angie.

Message of Thanks

Published August 2020