WHEN Gordana Oreskovic arrived in Australia with two children she had little more than the clothes on her back and $13.

This however was not the beginning of her story nor the end, but rather a compelling moment in a life marked by war, starvation and hardship.

Ms Oreskovic, now 66, fled from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria during the civil war in the 1990s, eventually making her way to Australia as a refugee.

She will share her amazing story of hope and survival at Ipswich Central Library on 7 February at 10am in the second instalment of the Living Books Cultural Conversations series, presented by Ipswich Libraries in partnership with Anglicare Southern Queensland.

Ms Oreskovic’s story spans three continents and 27 years. It is characterised by grit, strength and a determination to survive combined with an unrelenting drive to provide a better future for her children.

Ms Oreskovic did not speak English when she arrived in Australia and will also discuss the challenges she faced learning a new language while providing for her family.

Anglicare’s Salome Swan said she hoped the Living Books series helped audiences better understand the complexity and richness of religious and cultural diversity and help remove fear and anxiety.

“In the current Australian climate where some people are feeling a growing sense of instability as to who should and should not come to Australia, discussing issues relating to religion and cultural diversity have become increasingly important to our communities as more people move in search of safety and security,” she said.

This is a free event, but registrations are essential. To book for Living Books volume two on 7 February, 10am at Ipswich Central Library visit www.ipswichlibraries.com.au or phone 3810 6815.

The Living Books series supports meaningful conversations about respect, religion and cultural diversity.

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