Inspiration, not charity: how refugees from Bhutan thrived in Blacktown


Refugees are not vulnerable they just need help to play to their strengths, says Om Dhungel, a ‘Blacktown boy’ from Bhutan

When I meet Om Dhungel in a cafe near his home, he tells me about Merryn Howell. “She is my godmother,” he says, his eyes shining. “Every day I remember her.”

Howell (then Jones) was a skilled migrant placement officer. Dhungel was a refugee of Nepalese ancestry from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where he had been an engineer and a senior public servant at the Department of Telecommunications.

Om Dhungel in his home in Blacktown, Western Sydney.

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Written by James Button; Photography by Carly Earl
This news first appeared on under the title “Inspiration, not charity: how refugees from Bhutan thrived in Blacktown”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.