Shukria Shukria Oruzgani wins leading youth art prize – Women’s Agenda

Shukria Shukria Oruzgani, a Year 11 student from Melbourne, has taken out one of Australia’s leading youth art prizes.

Oruzgani, who arrived in Australia two years ago from Pakistan as a refugee, won the AMES Australia art prize that had the theme ‘One Planet’ this year.

Her winning entry to the competition will be turned into a large mural and displayed at the Multicultural Hub in Melbourne’s CBD.

Shukria’s family, who fled their home in Afghanistan a decade ago, lived in Quetta, in Western Pakistan for years after fleeing their homeland. They were persecuted because they were part of the Hazara ethnic minority community. Further targeted attacks on Hazaras inside Pakistan eventually forced the family to flee to Australia.

“I’m very honoured to have won the competition. I’m passionate about art and I love painting,” said Shukria after winning the prize.

“But, I’m also interested in maths and science and maybe medicine,” she said.

The One Planet art competition was held by AMES Australia’s youth services division, with entrants given the chance to win prizes including laptops and tablets, designed to help young people in their studies.

Cath Scarth, CEO of AMES Australia, said there were many different interpretations of the theme ‘one planet’, with many talented young artists entering the competition.

“The judges were all very impressed with the thought and work that went into all of the entries and applaud all of the entrants on their work,” she said.

The youth services at AMES Australia works with young people from refugee, migrant and Indigenous backgrounds, helping them to reach their potential. They provide specialist support services, education programs, knowledge sharing, career counselling, advocacy and social initiatives.