23 Jun 2022
Masooma Damarda was born in Afghanistan and left the country with her family when she was still a baby to live in Pakistan, before relocating to Australia when she was 12.
Coming from a conservative Muslim background where women rarely attain higher education qualifications can still be problematic even in a liberal western country like Australia when your movements are viewed through the lens of cultural expectations within your community.
As such, Masooma's decision to leave home to live away from her family in another city is literally a massive leap of faith for a young Muslim woman, let alone doing so to pursue an education. Yet here she is, on the Gold Coast, studying Criminology at Griffith University.
To say that Masooma is a trailblazer is putting it mildly, she’s not only going where no other female member of her considerably large family has gone before, but she's also the first person in her family to attend university. Masooma hopes that pursuing her dream will not only further the cause for gender equality in her culture, but will also inspire others to follow in her footsteps.