WOW Australia


Under the Same Sky


In 2012, a young Iranian woman, Mojgan Shamsalipoor, fled brutality and abuse in her home land, to make the perilous journey by boat to Australia. Here she was accepted into Yeronga State High as a student, and was working towards her Senior Certificate when her application for refugee status was rejected. In 2015, she was detained without warning, waiting for her bus to school, and sent to detention in Darwin in preparation for deportation to Iran.

Mojgan and her story were part of WOW 2015, and we were thrilled to have students and teachers from Yeronga State High, where she was studying, contribute to the WOW program. Mojgan’s story has since been told on ABC’s Australian Story (On Borrowed Time, May 13, 2017)

While Mojgan has remained in Australia on a series of short-term bridging visas, her claim for protection as a refugee has still not been accepted, and once again, she faces an uncertain future, as her present bridging visa expires on 14 December.

This is an important story for women and girls everywhere. At the heart, it shows how blunt and inept government instruments of public policy are in the face of personal histories and the true conditions of women’s lives.

It also shows how a woman’s reluctance to speak of personal abuse, and her fear of disbelief arising justifiably from the cultural and legal practices of her country of origin, have allowed her claim for protection to be trivialised and to date, set aside: and indeed, have exposed her to uncertainty, fear, and detention in this country.

As you will see from her story published this year in her book, Under the Same Sky, Mojgan has only good to contribute to our community.

You can read about Mojgan, and support her on her facebook page ( and by signing the petition

WOW Australia