Back Roads: Jan 15

Guest presenter Amanda Shalala is in the South Australian town of Naracoorte.

This week on Back Roads guest presenter Amanda Shalala is in the South Australian town of Naracoorte, where she finds a charming streetscape that brings its history as a pastoral hub to life.

But nowadays, surrounded by three wine regions including the iconic Coonawarra, it’s better known as the heart of wine-making country.

The promise of work outdoors among the picturesque vineyards, has attracted migrants and refugees such as Mohammad and his wife Adela. They are two of many Hazaras fleeing persecution from their home country, Afghanistan, who have settled in Naracoorte over the past 15 years and raised families there.

Aware that many of their new neighbours are not only carrying past trauma but were also at sea in a completely foreign land and culture, Naracoorte’s ‘old guard’ came up with a unique initiative to embrace and heal them – The Circle of Volunteers and its offshoot, the wonderfully named Human Library.

Not only that, the locals have also used sport, particularly soccer, to foster a sense of belonging, camaraderie and ambition in its young people.

The community encourages them to aim high no matter how impossible the goal may seem or whether they have to leave one day to follow their dreams.

Sisters, Masoma and Ferishta desperately want to play for the Matildas while Mohammad and Adela’s son, Jamshid, has wide and distant horizons in his sight…he wants to be a pilot for an international airline one day.

In Naracoorte, each one of them has a home that gives them the chance to chase their dream whether it be on the ground or in the sky.

8pm Tuesday on ABC.

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