Zainab Kazemi

Multicultural advocate and volunteer

2023 SA Young Australian of the Year Nominee

Zainab Kazemi was 13 when she arrived in Australia with her family after fleeing Afghanistan. Now Zainab is helping other new arrivals, particularly Afghan women, to feel a sense of comfort and belonging in their new country.  

Zainab remembers having her head shaved as a child so she could be disguised as a boy, just to be able to go to the shops. When she came to Australia, she found the cultural and linguistic diversity at her school so liberating that she was inspired to share her own culture with others.  

She is now studying teaching at the University of South Australia and has participated in two Youth Parliaments.  

Despite studying and working two jobs, Zainab volunteers her free time to assist recently arrived Afghan refugees in Adelaide. She speaks with politicians, the media and at community events, also participating in fundraisers to help those still in danger in Afghanistan.