A Life Less Ordinary

Michael’s Story: From refugee to tech wizard

Michael Aschersobi

A Narrow Escape

Michael Aschersobi’s story will touch you, as it does every person who hears it.

Michael and his family had to flee from his home country Iran, when authorities found out his true religion.

‘When I heard the news I cried and cried.’

‘I begged the authorities to let me see my parents one last time. We managed to speak with smugglers and flee the country to Indonesia.’

Terrified for his life, Michael and his parents escaped immediately travelling on forged passports. They flew to Indonesia and were then forced at gunpoint onto fishing boats bound for Australia.  They spent a gruelling week at sea that eventually brought him to our shores.

‘It was like a fast paced action movie, just surreal. I’d never even heard of Australia. I realised that’s where Kangaroos are from.’

For two and a half years Michael and his family were held in a detention centre. Here Michael taught himself English and found his love of computers. Finally the day came when Michael was granted a Temporary Protection Visa.

I want to help

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Within two weeks, Michael had signed up to an Information Technology course at TAFE. This qualification gave him the foundation to get the Diversity Access Scholarship to study IT at UTS. When Michael graduated he got a job with Cisco, and was then head hunted to work for Google.

Michael continues to work at Google and teaches courses at UTS as he wants to give back. He also mentors high school and university students too.

Without this scholarship the rest of Michael’s story would have been quite different. Scholarships like these are available to UTS under graduate, post graduate and research students. I know you agree with me that everyone should have access to an education. Especially those persecuted because of their economic or social background.

Can you help us give another bright student like Michael the opportunity to reach their full potential?

Help build brighter futures

Pay it forward

Can you imagine how different Michael’s future could have been had he not been gifted the Diversity Access Scholarship?

Do you want to give more students the opportunity to be the best they can be?

Yes I want to help other UTS students get a scholarship

Many of our alumni have agreed to help out with a donation, especially once they understood this scholarship isn’t just a hand out to students.

Thanks to the generosity of alumni like you we are able to help students out with essential financial assistance for textbooks, academic support, accommodation and the cost of commuting.