They say love conquers all.
And for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees Jack and Hemily, now based in Port Macquarie,the saying is certainly apt.
The couple have been together for 12 years but were separated early in their relationship when Jack was forced to flee after being falsely accused of involvement in a bomb blast, followed by ongoing persecution.
Jack spent 26 days on a boat before it was intercepted off Cocos Island.
"There was no food or water, it was very cold," he said.
Jack spent time at Christmas Island and Curtin detention facility in Western Australia.
There he taught other asylum seekers IT skills to pass the time.
All his money ( asylum seekers are given vouchers each week to pay for essentials) went towards phone credit which allowed him to speak to his beloved.
"I missed her very much," he said.
In 2017 Jack was assessed to be a refugee and granted a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa which allows him temporary protection for 5 years.
A year later Hemily came to Australia and the couple were reunited.
They were married last year in a simple ceremony and are expecting their first child in October.
Terror never far
Thirty-year-old Hemily said the couple constantly live with the nightmares of what they have seen back home.
They grew up in the midst of the civil war between the Tamils andSinhalese.
"We saw dead bodies, we have family members that have died," she said.
The war ended in 2009 but the Tamils are still under threat.
"There is no freedom in education, they suppress our talents," she said.
The couples fears were heightened when bomb blasts ripped through churches in Sri Lanka over Easter.
They worried about their families back homes.
"We couldn't sleep, we were very worried," Hemily said.
The couple say they love Australia and are very grateful to the Port Macquarie community.
They have been supported by the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group which has helped with accommodation, pastoral support and general resettlement issues.
Jack has worked as a video editor and plumber and Hemily's background is in natural health in the Ayurvedic Tradition.
They are both excellent cooks and like to grow their own vegetables. Jack offers his talents in gardening work.
Unfortunately their education qualifications have not transferred over and finding consistent work has been difficult.
Both miss home and their families.
"I miss my mother very much," Hemily said.
Despite the challenges of resettlement Jack and Hemily have tried to immerse themselves in the local community.
They are part of the St Agnes Parish in Port Macquarie and Jack plays cricket for the Port Pirates.
In Sydney he played cricket with the Ocean 12, and his team won the Last Man Standing Championship in 2016
They cook regular feasts to showcase Tamil food to the community at events run by the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group.
The last 'Tamil Feast and Dance' in May in Comboyne attracted 70 people.
As for the future?
Jack will have to reapply for another visa in five years time.
The couple say while Sri Lanka is never far from their hearts the freedom Australia offers is something beyond their wildest dreams.
"To experience freedom is really amazing," Hemily said.
Refugee Week runs from June 16 to June 22. The theme is 'A World of Stories', and highlights the vast experiences, skills and energy that refugees bring to a new country.
The next 'Tamil Feast and Dance' is on Saturday 17 August at Port Macquarie Baptist Church. For more info contact the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Kathryn 0439134113.