Instagram Account Refugeestories Draws On Humans Of New York Format

22/09/2015 2:55 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Nicolle White

An Australian Instagram account is reminding the world that refugees are human beings with great potential.

Based on the wildly popular Humans Of New York format, Refugeestories shares moments from the lives of people who've gained Australian residency.


Their stories tell of being born in refugee camps, of surviving a boat capsizing that killed all other passengers and of realising new opportunities in Australia.

The project's creator freelance journalist Nicolle White said she shared the touching and at times traumatic stories to encourage people to look beyond refugee rhetoric.


“The issue is so politicised here and I think it’s time people connect to the individuals and their stories," White said.

"They want people to be more understanding of their situation."


She said more refugees were coming forward as the page gained a larger following.

"Very few people I've asked to be part of it have said no," White said.


"Generally, they want people to understand they want to be here in Australia.

"They want to integrate and share their culture and play active role in society."


Along with prominent Australian lawyer Julian Burnside and Greens MP Scott Ludlam, she said a large proportion of the account's followers were from Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for unity ahead of an European Union meeting to determine the future of 160,000 refugees flooding Europe.

"It shows these stories are universal -- the experience translates," White said.


Currently, all the posts are from Melbourne, where White lives, but she said she was open to expanding.

"If people want to share their stories, they can always email me."

Read more: Syrian Refugee Family Waits 18 Months For Australian Visa

Read more: Syrian Refugees Spur Australian Migrants To Appeal For Compassion

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