Tin Hta Nu knows how it feels to live in fear of being killed or jailed.
The Kendall resident is a refugee from Myanmar and is committed to helping others who are forced to flee their home countries.
Healing is the 2022 theme for Refugee Week, which runs from Sunday, June 19 until Saturday, June 25.
The Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group is hosting an event on Friday, June 24 to mark the week.
The screening of 'Freedom Stories' is on at the Mid North Coast Community College in Port Macquarie at 6.30pm. Entry is via a gold coin donation.
Tin witnessed the disintegration of democratic freedom in her home country after a military coup in 1962.
She was working as a lecturer in the Institute of Economics, Rangoon (now Yangon) University.
"I saw ordinary people's lives sinking day by day, as they faced uncertain livelihoods," she said.
"My pain continued to get deeper."
In 1988 university students and academics pushed for democratic reforms in an uprising.
At the time, Tin was elected as a secretary of the Economics Institute's Lecturers Union.
She was involved in national demonstrations and gave public speeches against the human rights violations.
However, her brave actions came with consequences.
"The academics were targeted by the military junta, and were always watched," she said.
"A police van was parked in front of our offices and homes just to scare us and we lived in fear."
Tragically, people were shot for participating in the demonstrations.
"I was lucky to escape those shootings, but it resulted in fear as I questioned when it would be my turn," Tin said.
Tin fled to Bangkok where she continued her university work, before moving to Australia in 1991 when her application to enter the country was accepted.
She took up a lecturer position at the University of Armidale and met her now husband at the workplace.
Tin became an Australian citizen in 1994 and has dedicated her life to enriching her local community and giving to others in need.
"I can relate to the refugees who are waiting for their resident status, living in fear of being sending back and having to face persecution," she said.
"That is why I have been trying to help other refugees in any way I can.
"At present the military had taken over again, and I am helping the displaced refugees within the country."
While living in Kendall, Tin founded the Kendall Community Garden, community cafe at Kendall Hall, Hastings Buddhist Group and Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group; a community group raising awareness about the plight of asylum seekers.
She is also an active volunteer for the CWA, Kendall Community Op Shop and Camden Haven Community at 3.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Peta Pinson says the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council welcomes refugees.
"Council resolved to become a Refugee Welcome Zone in 2007 and, while not a high refugee settlement area, the council has made a concerted effort to reflect their support and recognition of refugees in many of their initiatives," Cr Pinson said.
"I welcome all people to our region who come here to enjoy a better life for themselves and their families."
'Freedom Stories' is a collaborative project that explores the achievements and stories of former 'boat people' who arrived in Australia around 2001.
For more information about the event on Friday, June 24 please visit www.mncrefugeesupport.org
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