Shamsiya Mohammadi is looking forward to voting for the first time in her life.
The 18 year old Adelaide woman doesn’t yet know who she will vote for, but it will be a fairly straightforward process compared to what she might expect in Afghanistan, where she was born.
Women can vote there. These days they can stand for office and be elected, but safe to say it’s not necessarily the calm and orderly experience Australians expect.
Shamsiya arrived in Australia as a refugee.
“A few years after I was born my father had to flee because of the Taliban regime. We had to go to Pakistan. He went to Pakistan first but my family went soon after.”
Shamsiya stayed there until she was 9 years old.
“When I was three, my father had to come to Australia in 2001.” Shamsiya’s father come to Australia by boat.
“In Afghanistan it was all peaceful before the Taliban arrived. But after that my Dad got threats from the Taliban and we had to flee our homeland… That’s why we fled to Pakistan.
“We had to wait until the end of 2006 before the rest of my family could come. And so we came here in November 2006.”
"After that my Dad got threats from the Taliban and we had to flee our homeland." Image supplied.
Initially, Shamsiya and her family lived in Renmark, in rural South Australia. Her father picked fruit to earn a living and Shamsiya, with little English navigated primary school in a small town that hadn't seen many people who weren't white.