In Alice: a new life, new language and new opportunities

Reuniting her family, building a life in a new country, learning English for the first time, a lot has happened in two short years for Awur Mabior Yaar Dupho.

It wasn’t long ago that Awur first came to Australia with her two young children, joining her husband who has been living and working here for the past 15 years.

Born in South Sudan, starting a new life in a new country has meant big changes for Awur—but it was something that she wanted.

“I like Australia because many things have changed for me—my life is good.”

“I came from South Sudan.

“Life in South Sudan is terrible, hospital, food, everything is not good… people fighting.

“In Australia, everything is good, now I am very happy,” she said.

With her family together again, and making a new life in Alice Springs, Awur started taking English lessons at the STEPS Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

When she first came to class, she said, she didn’t speak any English and it was very hard.

“I like to talk to people, but it was problem when my speaking was not good.”

Awur’s husband had to do a lot of translating when she first arrived, but she said now he speaks English with her to help build her language skills.

Now that Awur is more confident with her English skills, she is focusing on achieving her career goals and has found a lot of support at STEPS AMEP.

“I want to work in childcare.

“I worked childcare in South Sudan for three years,” she said.

Awur recently gained a first aid certificate, STEP AMEP Manager Philip Allnutt supported her through the training and said it’s wonderful to see her work towards a career she is passionate about.

“She worked as a childcare worker in Bor in South Sudan and she’s just a natural in the area – she’ll be very good,” said Philip.

Awur has been studying at STEPS for two years, Philip said when he thinks about the difference from her first day to now it is astounding.

“When I first met Awur she was quiet and didn’t have the language skills to converse and now she’s confident, engaged, she’s able to be understood and be herself – she’s effervescent.

“That’s the power of language, it is more than just communication, it can build confidence, connections and opportunities,” he said.

Philip said at STEPS Awur is taking concrete steps to reaching her employment goals.

“She has attained her First Aid Certificate and is learning to write a resume and looking at gaining further qualifications.”


Want to learn Enlglsh? Start your learning journey and further build your English language skills with STEPS AMEP. We have classes in Casuarina, Palmerston and Alice Springs. Call 1300 585 868 to find out more about classes in Casuarina and Palmerston and 08 8950 7600 for classes in Alice Springs. 


The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

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