Northern suburbs resident Anis Gul Mohammad Ali has worked hard to achieve many things in her 24 years. She continues to work hard and study, and has been rewarded for her commitment to also helping others.
In late July, Anis was honoured as the Leadership category winner in the City of Greater Geelong 2020 Youth Awards for her academic achievements and contributions as a community volunteer.
Anis was born in Afghanistan and migrated with her family to Pakistan when she was one year old. When they arrived in Australia in 2013, Anis knew little English but was determined to make the most of the opportunities her new home offered.
When she first enrolled at Northern Bay College she completed a six-month English language class, which she credits for learning foundation English. “I was also watching TED talks and YouTube videos to improve my English,” she said. “I was up late every night.”
Driven by her passion to one day become a doctor, Anis worked hard to ensure her English skills were at a level that allowed her to progress to VCE studies. She achieved her VCE with the highest ATAR score at Northern Bay College.
“From a young age I dreamed of becoming a doctor and that’s what motivated me to keep going. I have to overcome some struggles – learning English was my first challenge – but I got into VCE and then did very well.”
Anis said her mother Gulsoom remains her greatest supporter. “She just wants me to do well and still cooks and cleans and just lets me study,” she said.
Anis enrolled at Deakin University in 2016 to study biomedicine. At the same time, she studied nursing at The Gordon and is currently working at St John of God Hospital. She will complete her biomedicine degree this year and then take a ‘gap’ year in 2021 when she will “just work, not work and study”. Her goal is to be accepted into medicine at Deakin in 2022, for four more years of study towards becoming a doctor.
Anis is an advocate for young refugee women in the northern suburbs, assisting with the integration of refugees into the Geelong lifestyle. In the little time she has free, Anis is also volunteering at Diversitat, Pako Festa, The fOrT Youth Centre and other multicultural events in the northern suburbs.
“I have been so welcomed since I came here and have had amazing people around me,” she said. “Now I try to do as much to help others in any way, to guide them.”