Connecting with our Alumni: An interview with Noor Azizah
Meet one of MYAN’s amazing Alumni, Noor Azizah! Noor is a proud Rohingya woman with an incredible story of resilience and perseverence.
Noor is a strong believer in the power of collective action and the importance of amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups. “ I have always been passionate about advocating for the rights and well-being of marginalised communities, refugees and particularly young people from diverse backgrounds,” she says. Growing up in a multicultural environment and being a former Rohingya refugee, Noor experienced firsthand the challenges and barriers that many multicultural youth face.
MYAN was lucky enough to cross paths with Noor in 2019 through an event organised in her local community. “ I had been actively seeking opportunities to contribute to organisations that promote multiculturalism and youth empowerment, so when I learned about your event, I knew it was the perfect chance to engage with like-minded individuals and learn more about your work,” she recalls.
Noor began attending meetings, workshops and events organised by MYAN. “Through these experiences, I gained a deeper understanding of MYAN’s goals, strategies, and ongoing projects. I also had the chance to meet other passionate individuals who were equally committed to promoting multiculturalism and advocating for the rights of young people.” Over time, Noor’s involvement evolved and she became more deeply engaged with MYAN – taking on leadership roles, participating in advocacy campaigns, and collaborating with others to develop initiatives for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Noor fondly remembers a hiking experience she had at MYAN with a diverse group of young people from both refugee and non-refugee backgrounds. She was involved in the planning and coordination of the activity and says that it stands out as a highlight of her time at MYAN. She remembers, “On the day of the hike, the atmosphere was vibrant and full of anticipation. The attendees, filled with excitement and enthusiasm, actively engaged in thought-provoking discussions, participated in workshops, and formed meaningful connections with one another. It was a remarkable experience to witness firsthand the impact of providing a platform for refugees to share their stories, express their concerns, and propose innovative ideas for a more inclusive society.”
The hike not only fostered understanding and empathy among the participants but also created an environment where everyone felt heard, valued, and empowered. It served as a powerful catalyst for meaningful dialogue and highlighted the strength of diversity and collaboration in building a more inclusive community.
“My involvement with MYAN… deepened my empathy and allowed me to develop a more nuanced perspective on the systemic issues that affect marginalised communities. This knowledge and awareness have been instrumental in guiding my subsequent advocacy efforts.”
Since her time at MYAN, Noor has remained actively involved in various initiatives and organisations focused on social justice, refugee issues, multiculturalism, and youth empowerment. She has continued to participate in advocacy campaigns, at the local, national, and international levels, with a particular focus on addressing systemic inequities, refugee issues and promoting inclusivity.
“As a refugee delegate at the United Nations in Geneva, I have actively advocated for Rohingya women. It was a tremendous opportunity for me to speak at The Global Refugee Forum in 2019 as a keynote speaker. I strongly believe in contributing to various organisations and initiatives, and I am involved with the Gender Audit Team (UNSW & UNHCR), the ATCR Refugee Steering Group (Annual Tripartite Consultation on Resettlement UNHCR), the Young Migrant and Refugee Women’s advisory board (Harmony Alliance), the U.S. Consulate General’s Sydney Youth Advisory Council, Asia Justice and Rights, Asia Pacific Network of Refugees and the International Rohingya Women’s Network (Fortify Rights).”
Noor reminds us that youth leadership is a journey of growth and learning. She says, “Embrace opportunities for personal and professional development, be open to collaboration, and always strive to amplify the voices of marginalised youth. Your passion, dedication, and willingness to make a difference will undoubtedly contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable society.” She describes her time at MYAN as “Transformative.”
Find out more, connect with and support Noor through her website noorazizah.com.