Shahad Bahnan is originally from Bakhdida, a small Assyrian city in northern Iraq. She fled to Amman in Jordan in 2013, when life in Iraq reached a dangerous peak particularly for minority groups. Shahad says she was given a second chance by resettling in Australia in June 2016 with her husband Rasen. They now call Geelong home and that’s where they have been highly engaged with the local community, which in 2017 found itself immersed in an ambitious refugee and CALD communities boat building project. Shahad works as an accounts payable officer at Deakin University and creates art in her free time as she did back in Iraq.