A young woman with a flamboyant dress-sense, Niki, is something of an activist. She makes speeches at rallies and talks at high schools, all in an attempt to educate the public on the plight of refugees and marginalised communities, especially women in Iran.
As a journalism student in Tehran, she was persecuted for voicing dissatisfaction with the state of human rights and women’s rights, forcing her whole family to flee by boat. The escape was difficult and the many pressures faced have driven her family to the brink – which, despite all her bravery, Niki finds hard to address.
“I just escaped. I didn’t have time to apply for student visa. I could come as a student to Australia if I wanted. But I didn’t want it. I wanted to stay and try to build a better country [in Iran] but I couldn’t.”
The Reluctant Activist
“And then my friends told me, 'Just go – we are Australian citizens, that’s ok for us. But you just go.'”