Lived Experience: Athena’s Story

Seeking a better life for his family, Athena’s father decided to move his family to Australia in 2010. However, Athena and her dad were the only ones to make it to their new country. 

They finally arrived in Australia in 2015, but Athena struggled to navigate life in her new country and found herself in an abusive relationship.

Athena chose to end her relationship, risking homelessness in the process. In 2022, she became a tenant at The Lady Musgrave Trust, and started on the path to her bright new future.

This is Athena’s, 21, story of survival and hope, in her own words. 

My dad decided to come to Australia when I was young. He wanted to come on a boat. We came via Indonesia. We stayed there for a week, and then we got on a boat and the boat sank. 

I survived – [I was rescued] after five to six hours. A fisherman came. My dad survived after three days in the ocean. He was just strong. He didn’t know how to swim. 

They took us back to Indonesia and we were there for four years. It was really hard. I didn’t have a mum.  

In 2015 we came to Australia. I was in a toxic relationship. He put a pillow on my face to suffocate me. I wasn’t happy. I decided to end the relationship because I thought, “My mum and my dad brought me to Australia. My mum lost her life. My sister lost her life. And what am I doing here?”

I had a very, very, very lovely youth worker. And she just called me one day and said, “I know this place. It’s really good. And I think you’re going to suit it.” 

I said, “OK, what is the name?” And she said, “The Lady Musgrave Trust”. I went and saw the place. I loved it. I said, “Yeah, sure, definitely”.

Living with The Lady Musgrave Trust is very helpful for me. I’ve been saving money. I’ve been safe in that location. I’m finding my way to get a job, a good one. I’ll be a flight attendant soon. 

In the long-term, I want to get a place that I can call home for a long time. The message that I want to give about The Lady Musgrave Trust is that it’s really great. It’s giving me a great opportunity. I’m standing on my feet.  And I want to change other women’s life.

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