How Kenyan Ran Away From Election Chaos to Become Powerful Figure in Australia

  • Rosemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero
    Rosemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero
    Sitthixay Ditthavong
  • Rosemary Kariuki is a victim of election chaos in Kenya, but her life has blossomed in a country miles away.

    Kariuki has won a lot of accolades in Australia, recently being named the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. Her life since fleeing the country has changed dramatically. 

    Rosemary, now a resident of Oran Park, arrived in Australia in 1999 after fleeing from election related disruptions that rocked Kenya.

    She grew up in Eldoret town, which is located in Uasin Gishu County. She had 16 brothers and sisters by the time of fleeing the country. 

    Rosemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero
    Rosemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero
    File

    Kariuki came from a background of political radicals with her father having been involved in the uprising against the British colonial rule. He would later be captured as jailed for seven years.

    Getting to Australia after fleeing political instability in her home town, Kariuki knew nobody and nothing about Australia. But she devised her own means of survival. While fleeing the country, she had bought some indigenous items and clothes that she gifted to people in her new country as a way of creating friendships.

    Reaching out to people and establishing contacts made her win the hearts of many in Australia. They openly welcomed her, eventually making her a revered figure.

    "I'm very proud that Australians accepted me in their country. I was able to educate my boys and also to fill in some gaps in the society through my volunteering work with women and the migrant community," she narrated.

    "I also acknowledge the indigenous people of Australia for opening their land and country to us. Thank you for accepting us migrants and refugees," she stated in her past interview.

    Right now, Kariuki hosts an annual get-together initiative in Australia that brings together over 400 women. Her initiative has been running for over 14 years and the success stories are written all over the country.

    She served as a multicultural community liaison officer for the Parramatta Police Area Command in Australia. She was recently transferred to Campbelltown City Police Area Command, where she will continue to inspire hope for those in need.

    At the moment, she is rallying her fellow Aussies to nominate people who go above and beyond to make their communities a better place.

    "Nominate those people who do so much and give so much for their community. Nominate the people who never complain, who never tire of doing the work. The more recognition people get, the more others can see how valuable it is to help others. They can see the benefit of helping to make this country a better place," she stated.

    The categories being contested in the upcoming awards include Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year, and Local Hero.

    Rosemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero
    Rosemary Kariuki 2021 Aussie Local Hero
    Sitthixay Ditthavong