LOVE OF LEARNING: Fabrice Wamara (centre) is supporting teachers in science and ESL classrooms at Coffs Harbour High School.
LOVE OF LEARNING: Fabrice Wamara (centre) is supporting teachers in science and ESL classrooms at Coffs Harbour High School. Claudia Jambor

From refugee student to upcoming teacher

SITTING in a crowded classroom at a refugee camp in Rwanda one day, Congo born Fabrice Wamara, received news he never thought he'd hear.

"My mum walked into the classroom, took me out and says, 'okay, in three days' time we are going to Australia'," he said.

After seven years of living at the refugee camp, Fabrice, his five siblings and mother touched down in Coffs Harbour in 2007.

The day they arrived, Fabrice recalls the family made the trip to the beach where they felt the sand between their toes for the first time.

"It was the first time in my life we were all very happy all together as a family and being given this opportunity, it's almost like a second life. We are very grateful," he said.

"I was thinking how lucky we are to be here because ... it could have been anyone out of the 20,000 people that lived there."

Fabrice and his family have made the most of their second lives in Australia in the past nine years, carving out successful lives and career paths.

Married with two kids and a third on the way, Fabrice is close to completing his degree to become a science teacher.

Working as a teachers' aid at Coffs Harbour High School, Fabrice assists in science classrooms as well as uses his bilingual skills to support ESL students.

Getting to know the students through teaching is a highlight of the job for Fabrice.

"I just love the whole experience of teaching someone. You see their faces light up when you teach them something they didn't know before."

With two practical placements left before he graduates, Farbice is eager to run his own class.

"I can't wait to start teaching, that's one thing I'm looking forward to the most is having my own classroom."



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