Sharing origin stories

Sharing origin stories

31 March 2023

Public school life

The extraordinary origin stories of John Forest Secondary College students have been featured in a new e-book.

Students shared their family’s background and how they came to be in Australia in the new book called ‘Origin Stories’.

'Origin Stories' is the second collaboration between John Forest Secondary College and the City of Bayswater.

Created in collaboration with the City of Bayswater, the book was launched as part of Harmony Week celebrations.

Year 8 student Arezo Masjidi was born in Afghanistan, but her family fled to Indonesia when it became too unsafe for them to stay. Arezo, her mother and her siblings waited in Indonesia for seven years before they were able to join her father in Australia.

Arezo said it was a great experience to get to know her story better after talking about it with her parents and siblings.

“I was really excited to share my story to others so they can learn new things about my origin,” said Arezo. “When I saw that my story had been picked, I was really proud of myself.

“Thinking back to my past made me feel nostalgic. I am happy how things turned out. Even in the most stressful time, happiness will find its way.”

The book features 25 stories written by students who come from a range of different countries, including India, Canada and the Philippines.

Principal Denise Robinson said she was very proud of all the students and their curiosity to learn about each other.

Students reading their origins stories in the new e-book.

“Sharing stories, in this case of cultural origins and migration, builds our understanding of each other which fosters respect,” Ms Robinson said.

“For a multicultural school such as ours, this project has contributed to the deepening appreciation of cultural diversity, valuing and celebrating the students’ cultural origins, and the journeys that ultimately brought them to join our college community.”

This is the second Harmony Week collaboration between John Forest Secondary College and The City of Bayswater. Last year, students contributed recipes from their cultural backgrounds to create a cookbook.

You can learn more about Arezo and the other student’s stories. Download ‘Origin Stories’ from the City of Bayswater website.