What is Our Voices?

Our Voices is a community development and filmmaking project for newly arrived and refugee young people.

The project empowers participants, who are at risk of being marginalised, to create films that are meaningful and enables self-representation on matters of concern.

Participants use the power of film to express themselves through the development and sharing of positive and constructive alternative narratives.

In doing so the project helps change the way participants feel they are represented and considered in mainstream Australia.

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2018 Project

The 2018 Our Voices project was funded with a Community Resilience Grant from the Victorian State Government (Department of Premier and Cabinet). 

In 2018 Youthworx partnered with Melbourne Polytechnic and participants were students of the YAMEC program (Young Adult Migrant Education Courses) at the Epping campus.

(4 mins)

Filmmakers: Manar Al Ayoub, Karmen Kasouha

Synopsis: We travelled around the world, to a land we didn’t know. And when we got here, Australia wasn’t what we expected at all. But being different doesn’t have to be a bad thing…  A humorous look at the gap between expectations and reality, and what it means to be different.

Different was written and directed by Manar Al Ayoub and Karmen Kasouha, both recently arrived in Melbourne from Syria. This is their first film.

Filmmakers-DIFFERENT photo L-R: Manar Al Ayoub, Karmen Kasouha


(10 mins)

Filmmakers: Amardeep Kour, Hnen Oska

Synopsis: Having moved to Australia from India and Syria, two friends find that Australians don’t really drop in on their neighbours, as people do in their home countries. Together, they set about seeing what happens if they do.

My Aussie Neighbours was written and directed by Amardeep Kour (originally from India) and Hnen Oska (originally from Syria) and this is their first film.

Filmmakers-MY AUSSIE NEIGHBOURS photo L-R: Amardeep Kour, Hnen Oska


(10 mins)

Filmmakers: Faiqa Ejaz, Muhammad Dulull, Raniah Alhumaidat, Ali Al-Zajrawee

Synopsis: What is it like to leave your family, your friends and your country behind to start a new life in a new country? Four young people, in the process of making Melbourne their new home, speak about the difficulties they have faced and the opportunities ahead for them as they make new lives for themselves.

My New Life was written and directed by Muhammad Dulull (originally from Mauritius), Faiqa Ejaz (originally from Pakistan), Raniah Alhumaidat and Ali Al-Zajrawee (both originally from Iraq) and this is their first film.

Filmmakers-MY NEW LIFE photo L-R: Ali Al-Zajrawee, Kejvin Dajti,
Muhammad Dulull, Raniah Alhumaidat, Faiqa Ejaz

Filmmakers-MY NEW LIFE

(10 mins)

Filmmakers: Dima Zeidan, Fahmi Seid, Marah Zeidan. Nadeen Habboo

Synopsis: A newly arrived group of young people from Iraq, Syria, and Ethiopia find out what Australians know about their home countries, and talk to immigrants who have been here for many years, before sharing their food, music, and culture.

Our Stories, Our Voices was written and directed by Fahmi Seid (originally from Ethiopia), Nadeen Habboo (originally from Iraq), Dima Zeidan and Marah Zeidan (both originally from Syria) and this is their first film.

Filmmakers-OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES photo L-R: Fahmi Seid, Nadeen Habboo, Dima Zeidan, Marah Zeidan


(6 mins)

Filmmakers: Christian Haddad, Mirna Kasouha, Souzana Kasouha, Christine Samaan

Synopsis: “If we leave you Syria, how can we take you with us?”  Stay Strong explores the injury of distance and the hope of new memories yet made. A hybrid short documentary made by young Syrians living in Australia.

Stay Strong was written and directed Christian Haddad, Mirna Kasouha,
Souzana Kasouha and Christine Samaan. All of the filmmakers are recently arrived in Melbourne from Syria and this is their first film.

Filmmakers-STAY STRONG photo L-R: Souzana Kasouha, Mirna Kasouha, Christine Samaan, Christian Haddad

Filmmakers-STAY STRONG

2018 Behind The Scenes Film


2018 Behind The Scenes Gallery



2017 Project

The 2017 Our Voices project (previously known as Their Voices) was funded with a 
Community Resilience Grant from the Victorian State Government (Department of Premier and Cabinet). 
In 2017 members of the community were invited to apply for Our Voices, with 8 individuals selected to take part in the project.

GOD WILLING (8 mins)

Filmmaker: Mustafa Cabdule

Synopsis: God Willing follows Mustafa as he describes his time living in Somalia, Ethiopia, and now Australia, and the struggles he has to overcome to try to achieve his ambition of one day being a police officer.

God Willing was written and directed by Mustafa Cabdule. Mustafa was born in Somalia and grew up there and in Ethiopia. This is his first film.

Filmmaker-Mustafa Cabdule

HUMAN (12 mins)

Filmmaker: Jariatu Gbla

Synopsis: Human is about belonging, identity and self-acceptance. It explores the unique experience of multicultural youth in being displaced, sometimes many times, and having to adapt to new cultures all the while growing and needing to establish their own identities. The film examines the complexity of what makes culturally and linguistically diverse youth what they are in society.

Human was written and directed by Jariatu Gbla. Jariatu was born in Sierra Leone and grew up in both The Gambia and Australia. This is her first film.

Filmmaker-Jariatu Gbla

MY DREAM (5 mins)

Filmmaker: Fariba Mal

Synopsis: This short documentary shows what a young woman's life looked like in Iran and what it looks like now in Australia. Fariba reflects on her family life, friendships, and the increased confidence she gained through learning English. She hopes her film will inspire others to follow their dreams and go for their goals.

My Dream was written and directed by Fariba Mal who is originally from Iran. This is her first film.

FIlmmaker-Fariba Mal (centre)

MY LIFE (4 mins)

Filmmaker: Gary Hlori

Synopsis: This short documentary film is about the filmmaker’s love for education and his experience in migrating to Australia. 

My Life was written and directed by Gary Hlori. Gary grew up in North West Burma before moving to Malaysia as a teenager. He then moved to Australia to study. This is his first film.

Filmmaker-Gary Hlori

WE DON’T KNOW (15 mins)

Filmmakers: Salma & Zainab Abdullahi

Synopsis: This short narrative film is about a boy who becomes deaf and blind because of a disease and looks at how he deals with this problem and continues his life. It is about resilience and helps to challenge stereotypes.

We Don’t Know was written and directed by sisters Salma & Zainab Abdullahi. They were born in Australia and grew up in Egypt, and are of Somalian and Egyptian heritage. This is their first film.

Filmmakers-Salma & Zainab Abdullahi