Pakistani-Australian Usman Iftikhar from Sydney was named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year at a ceremony in London.
He was presented with the award by Commonwealth’s newly appointed youth ambassador, Prince Harry.
Prince Harry then presented the Commonwealth Person of the Year Award to Usman Iftikhar from Australia, who was chosen from four regional finalists.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 16, 2018
Usman Iftikhar had an engineering degree from his native Pakistan and a masters degree in Australia, but still struggled to find work in his adopted home.
“After finishing a master’s degree with a distinction at the University of Wollongong, I had high hopes and big ambitions for my career. I had all the right ingredients on my resume, yet I faced a major roadblock to finding any meaningful work in Australia,” he wrote in a post for Medium.
“After a couple of years of trial and tribulations, I realized that this problem was systemic and bigger than my personal experience,” he added.
He then co-founded Catalysr, which aims to help migrants and refugees develop their own business plans and make money using the skills they already have.
“Catalysr is the first startup incubator for refugees and migrants in Australia, enabling them to start their own business, create jobs for themselves and others, and be in control of their own destiny,” according to Iftikhar.