Lucky develops a legal eye for public health
A campus tour of the University of Adelaide and meeting other students from refugee backgrounds was enough for Lucky Giirre to realise that her dream of attending university could become a reality.
Some 10 years later, Lucky, a Somali refugee, has a double degree in Health Sciences and Law and is working towards her goal of achieving an interdisciplinary approach to improving health at a population and community level.
"My health sciences degree was the reason that I became interested in pursuing a law degree," Lucky says.
"While I was learning about proximal and distal determinants of health, I realised that there needs to be a holistic approach to good health. It shaped how I saw the problems of social isolation and other issues in the diverse Muslim and refugee communities in South Australia."
This passion for public health also led Lucky to establish the Muslim Girls Kollective--a grass-roots initiative in its fifth year of operation that provides opportunities and activities aimed at young Muslim and refugee women in South Australia.
"The work that I do with the girls' group aims to build resilience and empower young women to change their own situation as well as reducing social isolation," Lucky says.
In August 2013, Lucky travelled to New York to attend The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and Education First (UNAOC-EF) Summer School where she represented Australia as a youth ambassador.
She describes it as a life-changing experience and an amazing privilege and opportunity.
"The UNAOC-EF Summer School will forever stay with me as one of my most profound and impactful life experiences," Lucky says.
"Making friendships with 100 activists and global leaders has broadened my world view and my understanding of what it means to be human in our diverse and complex world. The experience has recharged me and my initiative to continue working to make our world a better place for all."
As well as running the Muslim Girls Kollective, Lucky is also employed as a legal advocate with the National Union of Workers and credits her university degrees with giving her a good foundation for pursuing her career goals.
"I developed transferable skills such as excellent research skills, attention to detail and being able to write project proposals and funding applications, which gave me the practical skills to be able to effectively implement my initiatives," Lucky says.
"I consider myself a lifelong learner and I hope to pursue postgraduate study in the legal field in the future."
story by Connie Dutton
Photo by Chris Tonkin