My name is Obed Kharwin, I’m a semi-pro
rugby league player. I’m a migrant from Ivory Coast West Africa. When I was five years old the foreign civil war broke out in Ivory Coast.
Everyone came in and took the kids away I was the only child left in the school.
The the principal told me come with me let’s go to my house and if that would
have happened I would have never seen my family ever again
and then after then we had to walk from Ivory Coast to Guinea equivalent from
Melbourne to Sydney. I remember we came here 2005 January 18th everything was
new it was the first time I’ve ever seen so many white people in in the same
place. It took me six months to to actually start primary school and then I
had to learn proper English as well. Took us another three months to learn how to
get on the escalators so that was funny. Rugby league has changed me,
it’s changed me into a I’d say a better person because as a young kid experiencing war
and not once but twice rugby league took that violence away
and set a different path for me. I can meet great people from different
continents and on different areas and know that rugby league is not just
for for one person, it’s a it’s a multicultural game. A lot of us came
here with single parents. They have worked their butts off to help us
have a second chance in life playing rugby league and I’m making a living out
of it it’s it’s a way of saying thank you and I’m giving back. As a community
leader? huh mate ah not yet I’m still learning myself it all the way to lead,
you must learn to follow so that’s what I’m learning to do now. I must
follow, then in the future I may get the chance to be a leader. If we can keep
saving a lot of young African kids through the power of sport I think that’d be
awesome for us as well.