大家好！Hi everyone! My name is Tom and I’m from Beijing, the capital of China. I moved to Darwin from Melbourne in July 2020, and I’m currently studying a Master of Secondary Teaching at Charles Darwin University.
From my perspective, Australia is an amazing place that embraces difference no matter what background you’re from.
Back in China, especially during my secondary school, I was very keen on learning English. I have a good memory for memorising large amounts of vocabulary and I always got good grades in English. Studying a second language also gave me a chance to experience a variety of cultures. In my spare time, I would watch foreign movies and listen to foreign music, appreciating the many differences between western and Chinese culture.
It was this pull from the outside world that motivated me to go overseas to broaden my horizons. When I was 19 years old, I got my first volunteering position in Egypt. I was so excited that I almost flew up! Yes! I could finally go to a place that is totally different from China. The 45‑day experience in Egypt left me with so many unforgettable memories. The yellow buildings, sandy desert, passionate people, antique marketplaces, fragrant ingredients and even the low punctuality made me feel like I was living in a fantasy world.
It was this journey to Egypt that convinced me I wanted to study overseas after finishing my bachelor degree in China. In this way, I can explore more of the wonderful world!
I came to Australia in September of 2017, and what I found here was a new kind of freedom. In Australia, I have found everyone can live whatever lives they want to live. Here, no one will judge you based on your race, sexual orientations, political opinions and so on. Everyone respects and understands each other in Australia.
Here in Australia, I have come out as a gay man and I feel free to ‘behave like a girl.’ In my country, such behaviours had led to much bullying from other classmates. When I was in junior school, I was bullied a lot for being too feminine. The other kids would tease me about my behaviours, such as the language I used and my walking style.
Here in Australia, I have learned a lot about the importance of freedom, inclusiveness, and critical thinking. I have heard and discussed so many different opinions on social and political issues. In my country, it is so hard to express ideas that are inconsistent with the government.
Here in Australia, I feel free to be me and that is why I would like to contribute to Australia, in return for the liberty and inclusion Australian people have shown me.