Khatereh Khoshnejadahmadi has been trying to find freedom from her homeland of Iran for a long time.
Before she arrived in Australia, she spent eight years in China - but, unable to put down roots because of the country's immigration laws, she moved here eight months ago with her husband and young son on a temporary working visa.
Her husband has since returned to Iran, preferring to live and work somewhere he speaks the language, but - fearing for her safety and freedom as a woman - Ms Khoshnejadahmadi says nothing will send her home.
"I wanted to stay for my son's future, we were not safe in Iran. In Iran you don't have any freedom," she said.
"Here is safe, I love it.
"There is peace, justice and freedom for myself - I can wear anything I want, nobody is staring at me and I know my son will have a future."
Ms Khoshnejadahmadi was among a number of refugees and recent migrants who took part in Wollongong City Council's Refugee Week celebrations.
In a speech, prepared as part of her English studies, she spoke of how "the young of all the girls in my land passed under the microscope," with thousands of innocent girls killed every year.
"I survived," she said.
"Now I can feel freedom with all my being, but I can still feel the voices of millions of women who need help."
The council event celebrated the positive contributions made by refugees to the Wollongong community, ahead of Refugee Week which starts on Sunday.
It involved local service providers including the Red Cross, Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI), SCARF, Illawarra Multicultural Services, STARTTS: Refugee Support Services, TAFE NSW, and Max Solutions.