After terrorists forced her to flee her home and abandon her studies, a young Yazidi woman has reignited her education dream in Wagga.
Razya Neamat, 26, is one of more than 800 Iraqi refugees who have been resettled in the Riverina over the past decade.
She has just become the first female Yazidi refugee in the region to be accepted into university, finally putting her dream of becoming a primary school teacher back on track.
"I am really excited. Everyday I look up online to see which books they have and other stuff to prepare myself," Ms Neamat said.
Ms Neamat was just two years into her studies to become a teacher in Iraq when her family was forced to flee due to fear of being killed by terror group Islamic State.
They spent two years living in limbo in Turkey before being resettled to Wagga in 2019, where Ms Neamat has spent the past two years looking to re-launch her studies.
These efforts finally came to fruition this month when she was accepted into Charles Sturt University to study a Bachelor of Education, with her first classes set to begin in June.
The acceptance marks a new beginning for Ms Neamat's long-term dream of becoming a primary school teacher and helping young students begin their journey into education.
"I have always wanted to be a primary teacher because I enjoy kids, especially when they start to learn from you and they become happy and smile," she said.
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Ms Neamat hopes her journey can serve as inspiration for all of the other young Yazidi women who have moved to Wagga.
"I want to be an example for others to not give up and to try and get their dream jobs and continue their study," she said.
Multicultural Council of Wagga chief executive officer Belinda Crain supported Ms Neamat through the journey to relaunch her studies and said she was "over the moon" to hear she had succeeded.
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