News

Honesty beats desperation as refugee hands over lost money

HONESTY: Desperate to feed his refugee family, Dollah still handed in the money he found near work.
HONESTY: Desperate to feed his refugee family, Dollah still handed in the money he found near work. Patrick Woods

A GYMPIE man named Dollah may be Australia's loneliest and most financially desperate man. He might also be its most honest.

Desperate by any definition, working only to pay his rent and get food to his refugee family trapped in a remote corner of Bangladesh, Dollah recently stumbled on what would have been temptation for anyone else.

He found a pay envelope containing hundreds of dollars.

He handed it in to police and has yet to be convinced that he can hang on to it if it is not claimed in six weeks.

"He doesn't want anything he hasn't worked for," his friend and host Deborah Rays told The Gympie Times.

His escape from life-threatening viciousness in Myanmar is a long story that includes hiding in the jungle, running from soldiers, a blacked-out two hours on a smuggler's boat and a fearful run through an alien city to pay big money for a Skype connection so he could apply for a visa.

Dollah a Gympie meatworker, is the only man from his village to reach Australia.

Others, aged 12 and upwards, were mutilated and killed in front of their mothers and wives, part of the genocide now being experienced by his Rohingya people, a Muslim group regarded by many as the most oppressed people in the world.

Dollah now has permanent residency and an Australian ID card.

It is the first official recognition he has ever had that he exists and is a person.

Until he came into The Gympie Times' office this week, he had never seen a newspaper - not that he can read or write.

And his friends in Australia - Deborah Rays of Caboolture and Jamie Barnes of Gympie - are among the few strangers he has ever met who were not trying to kill him.

Without asking a free ride from anyone, he is working at Nolan Meats to earn money he uses to attempt to get food to his family - a wife, daughter, mother and two younger brothers - living in fear under a tarp.

His other brother is in jail.

His brother and his father were repeatedly beaten and tortured by the Myanmar Army.

His father died as a result, making Dollah responsible for the family.

His father's last wish was for Dollah to escape and somehow earn money to feed his family hiding across the border in Bangladesh.

He works at Nolan Meats and supporters are raising money to buy Dollah an electric-assisted bicycle so he can ride to work from his rented Monkland home and no longer have to spend much of his wages on cab fares.

But he is a man still in fear, constantly apprehensive. It is an attitude that makes sense after his experiences of life.

Recently he found what looked like a pay packet, an envelope containing some hundreds of dollars.

After handing the money in to police he noticed a very sad looking teenage male walking along the road where he found the money.

If it is your money, Dollah wants you to collect it from Gympie police station.

Told that it is his if it remains unclaimed, he says no.

"He doesn't want anything he hasn't worked for," Ms Rays said.

Dollah's story is proof that ordinary Australians know the difference, even if our leaders on all sides do not.
Australians have already donated, through the technological medium of internet "crowd funding", $1500 or more towards the $2500 cost of an electric bicycle to help him get to work.

For less than the cost of a bar of chocolate, Gympie people can make a difference, via the sites www.indiegogo.com or www.facebook.com/ride4refugee (which has a link to the indiegogo fund raising site).

It is also our chance to show a hard-working, honest man that, while we don't like being conned, as we sometimes may feel we are, we appreciate a genuine cause.

And it is our chance to let Australia's loneliest person know that he is among friends.

Gympie Times

Topics:  bangladesh editors picks honesty myanmar refugee



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Man in hospital after car smashes into tree

Paramedics were called to the crash early this morning at Tamaree.

Early morning crash leaves man with injuries

Gympie guides go international

RICH DIVERSITY: Rhiannon and mother Leonora Cox (centre) with some of the new friends they made when they travelled to Malaysia  to participate in the Malaysian Centenary Camp 2016.

Leonora and Rhiannon Cox head to Malaysia guide jamboree.

Looking for something to do in Gympie today?

Plenty to do in Gympie.

Meet new friends and have them influence you...

Local Partners

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

New gallery connects humanity and nature

One of Craig Parry's amazing images to be shown at the gallery.

Well known photographer to display one metre images

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!