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Noor Azizah

Rohingya Refugee Advocate

More About Noor Azizah

Refugee. Empowerment. Advocate.

Noor Azizah, a Rohingya refugee, has overcome immense challenges in her life to become a dedicated advocate and educator. At the age of 8, she and her family resettled in Sydney in 2003, having fled the genocide of Rohingya people in Myanmar's Arakan state. Noor's early life was marked by homelessness, statelessness, and a sense of hopelessness.

 

Throughout her journey, Noor and her family faced perilous conditions, navigating thick jungles, evading danger, and enduring hunger. Despite these hardships, Noor has emerged as a strong voice for Rohingya women, who have experienced unimaginable atrocities such as systematic rape, torture, and the loss of loved ones. Their plight remains a constant motivation for her work.

 

Noor Azizah is the co - founder and director of the Rohingya Maìyafuìnor Collaborative Network which is a women-led, Rohingya-led and refugee-led organisation working on Rohingya human rights issues, SGBV, education and translocal solidarity with a focus on women, peace and security. 

 

Noor's academic accomplishments encompass a Bachelor of Education with a specialisation in Primary and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Sydney, alongside a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies. Her commitment and enthusiasm have garnered recognition, earning her titles such as one of YAIA's Young Women to Watch in International Affairs in 2022, winner  of the 2023 Stellar South Asian Women Awards in Australia for Outstanding Global Impact, finalist for NSW Young Women of the Year in 2024, appointed as a One Young World Ambassador, member of the Indigenous Council and Global Security Council on Existential Threats in 2024. 

 

A trailblazer in advocacy, Noor Azizah has graced panels and collaborated with distinguished figures, including UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and acclaimed actress Cate Blanchett, Australian retired soccer player and human rights activist Craig Andrew Foster, renowned Australian cook, television presenter, and author Adam Liaw, as well as Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Gillian Triggs. Notably, she has also engaged with Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, showcasing her commitment to making a meaningful impact on a global scale.

 

As a refugee delegate at the United Nations in Geneva, Noor has actively advocated for Rohingya women, speaking at The Global Refugee Forum in 2019. She has also been appointed as a refugee expert for the 2023 Global Refugee Forum, where her expertise will play a significant role in discussions focusing on pledges related to Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Education, and Statelessness. She holds a significant role as a Member of Australia’s inaugural Refugee Advisory Panel, representing the Australian government body. She also contributes to various organisations and initiatives, including the Gender Audit Team (UNSW & UNHCR), the ATCR Refugee Steering Group (Annual Tripartite Consultation on Resettlement UNHCR) and the U.S. Consulate General's Sydney Youth Advisory Council. 

 

Currently, she works as an English as a Second Dialect Specialist teacher in Sydney, leveraging her skills to empower students from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, she serves as a Rohingya refugee consultant on various boards, including Asia Justice & Rights and the aforementioned organisations.

 

Outside of her work, Noor indulges in her love for languages, traveling, exploring different cultures, and embarking on waterfall adventures.

 

Noor Azizah's inspiring journey and her tireless dedication to advocating for refugee rights, particularly for Rohingya women, serve as a testament to her resilience, compassion, and commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable world.

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 Reviews

Hannah, MYAN former youth programs coordinator 

Virendra Rathore, Triage & Assessment Specialist

SWS Family Connect & Support

Farah Celjo, SBS Food Producer

Noor has a welcoming and open warmth about her. With her wealth of lived experience, she connects with her refugee and migrant peers with so much ease. 

Noor understands the nuanced lives of women in her Rohingyan community - living between identities, cultures and responsibilities. This makes her a determined advocate and I'm honoured to know her.

My sincerest thanks and appreciation for your inspiring and motivating presentation of your life at our SWS & Illawarra Uniting Conference! Your talk hit the right note with our colleagues, and I heard wonderful accolades for your participation and presentations all throughout the afternoon and since the event. We are absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to present a Guest Speaker of your calibre, with such a timely and powerful message!

Noor Azizah has shared her vibrant family recipes and incredible stories with the SBS Food audience. Noor has been a guest on SBS’s TV series The Cook Up with Adam Liaw where she has showcased her home cooking and Rohingyan food. Noor has also opened up about her personal refugee story and her family, as part of an SBS Food video initiative for Refugee Week.

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