Abdul's story

“I started the club as a way for people seeking asylum, who often feel isolated in the community, to make new friendships.”
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Since 2014, more than 150 players from eight countries have joined the All Nations Social Cricket team. I started the club as a way for people seeking asylum, who often feel isolated in the community, to make new friendships.

Most of the players in our team have endured rough times, but when we come together we don’t have to face that hardship alone. Whatever culture or religion, we are together as a family when we play cricket.

We began with some old bats and gloves with holes in them. It didn’t matter, we play with passion. Our team is about more than cricket, but that doesn’t mean we are not playing to win. We train hard. Even in winter we practice every week in the nets. Everyone is welcome to join.

Like me, some of the people in our team have been waiting for years for our claims to be approved. Not knowing when or if we will ever get permanent protection here in Australia. Medicare, work rights and a basic safety net are often denied to people seeking asylum. This club is an opportunity for people to build friendships and feel connected to their new community. To find strength and solidarity together.

This club is an opportunity for people to build friendships and feel connected to their new community. To find strength and solidarity together.

I’ve been seeking asylum in Australia since 2013. Six years ago, when I first discovered the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), I thought of myself as a victim. Things in our life were not going well and my wife needed urgent medical care for a breast tumor. We had tried going to the hospital, but we were told that because we didn’t have Medicare we would need to pay thousands of dollars for treatment. The health team at ASRC were able to find a solution and over the years, the ASRC has supported us in so many ways. There have been periods where we would have been homeless if we didn’t have them on our side.

Through the love I was shown, I decided that instead of giving up on life, I would give back. That’s why I started the cricket team and I have been volunteering once a week in the ASRC foodbank for years now. I come and get my groceries for the week here and I give my time to help out in the centre.

From ‘victim to victor’ is my motto. It’s by giving back rather than giving up, that I am in the headspace that I am in today.

Through the love I was shown, I decided that instead of giving up on life, I would give back.

I’m now trying to help others. You can be the richest person in the world but still be very miserable if you don’t have the right attitude.

This year our cricket team won the Melbourne Champions League and we went in to play the Aussie champion league on the Gold Coast. I am so proud of what we have achieved, but I want to take it even further. Next year we will host the ‘Don’t Give Up, Give Back’ National Cup in Dandenong. Teams from as far as Western Australia and Hobart will be joining us in one of the most diverse community of Australia.

A lot of things in this world aren’t going great, we all know that. But I say if we want to see change then we have to bring people together. We have to smile for each other and cry for each other.

We all have to be more active and work together to make this world more beautiful with love, peace and humanity.

Every day I live my motto – Don’t give up, give back!

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SIGN THE PLEDGE

YES – I welcome people seeking asylum as new Australians

1147 of 10,000 pledges

Share the pledge to welcome people seeking asylum as new Australians

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Messages of welcome