Against all odds: Alex’s journey as a refugee to empowering students with disabilities

By Barry de Silva
Alex holding a pen looking at the camera
ACAP is proud to have remarkable employees like Academic Skills Advisor, Alex Iosjpe, whose resilience and triumph over adversity inspires students and colleagues alike. From fleeing anti-Semitism in Russia to becoming a support and guide for students with disabilities, Alex’s story epitomises the College’s commitment to diversity, belonging, and academic excellence.

Leaving Russia amidst rampant anti-Semitism, Alexander’s family sought refuge across Europe. Their journey, spanning multiple refugee camps, eventually led them to permanent residency in Norway. These experiences fuelled Alex’s passion for understanding human nature, leading him to pursue learning opportunities in Australia.

“I wanted to get as far away as possible,” Alexander said. “Australia seemed like a contrast – a place of acceptance and opportunity.”

Alex later studied counselling at ACAP; driven by his desire to make meaningful change to people’s lives. Since graduating, Alex has taken on the role as an Academic Skills Advisor at ACAP, where he plays a pivotal role in supporting students with disabilities, while offering tailored support plans to ensure their success.

“My desire has always been to harness the darkness of my lived experiences and turn that into something positive, where I can help and serve people - which is what I’ve been fortunate to do at ACAP.”

“I believe that personalised support for students with disabilities can make all the difference. The level of support and flexibility at ACAP is exceptional, which allows students of all backgrounds to thrive.”

Beyond his role at ACAP, Alex is a passionate screenwriter with a master’s degree in film. Despite the challenges of juggling multiple commitments, he remains passionate about creating stories that are inspired by his life journey. “Screenwriting is like an exorcism for me,” Alex said. “It’s a way to channel experiences and emotions into art.”
Alex’s upcoming film, Second Chances, explores themes of grief and redemption, and he hopes it will inspire film audiences around the world. With credits on the film including renowned producer, Rosalie Chilelli famous for his work on The Witch, Alex is excited for the future.

“This film is very close to my heart, and I’m optimistic about how it will be received on the film festival circuit around the world – we'll wait and see!”

ACAP Dean, Professor Christopher Klopper commented on the impact employees like Alex have brought to the College.

“Alex’s inspiring journey serves as a reminder about the value of diversity within workplaces,” Professor Klopper said. “His unwavering commitment to student success embodies ACAP’s mission to empower individuals from diverse backgrounds to thrive in their academic and professional endeavours.”

ACAP offers accredited courses online, on-campus and through hybrid delivery.

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