13 December 2016

Syrian refugee gets top results at Australian school

By Meabh Ritchie
Newsbeat reporter 

A Syrian refugee who couldn't speak English two years ago has just passed exams with flying colours in Australia.

But Saad Al-Kaab wasn't always the best student. Saad was 14 years old when the civil war started in his country in 2011.
He later fled Syria with his family to live in Melbourne, sponsored by his uncle. His older brother's arrest by the regime - for helping coordinate food aid and humanitarian efforts as a scout leader - was a "red line" and the family decided they had to flee.
They crossed the border to Lebanon, then flew to Egypt for a year, before moving to Australia.

From zero English to top marks
Now 19, Saad has just graduated with the best marks at one of Australia's biggest Catholic secondary schools, and the top 4% in Melbourne.
He was awarded an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 96.65 after studying at Catholic Regional College Sydenham, in north-west Melbourne.
It would be impressive for anyone - let alone a refugee who didn't speak any English when he arrived in the country with his parents, two brothers and one sister, in the middle of 2014.

After his incredible exam results, Saad has been offered a scholarship to study biomedicine at Melbourne's Monash University, and wants to become a doctor.
Saad has come a long way from being the kid who wanted to play football instead of studying.