Nayran Tabiei

Nayran has always loved her home but she was forced to flee Syria and leave behind her sons who were conscripted in the military.

With her husband and young daughter, Nayran travelled to Lebanon, then Thailand, and finally made the dangerous journey by boat to Australian waters in 2012, where she and her family were discovered and taken to Christmas Island.

Now the owner and trained chef of Flavours of Syria – which can be found in a beautifully painted St Kilda laneway – Nayran runs cooking classes with Free to Feed and has created a cult community of beloved fans.

A certified educator who has taught many migrants how to speak English, Nayran is also an interpreter for Arabic and Persian and has been a guest on SBS radio on various occasions. As a community and social leader, she has presented many motivational speeches, facilitated a playgroup, and become a certified swimming instructor who has led a successful swimming class for migrant women.

In 2021, Nayran was awarded the Victorian Refugee Achievement Award for her work teaching both swimming to migrant women and English AMEP classes.

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.