MARIIA Masha Slavinska has seen her home in Ukraine torn apart by war.
Now, she has seen a community, thousands of kilometres away from her home, take her in like one of their own.
Mariia fled Ukraine with her mum eight weeks ago after a life-changing offer from a family in Redhead willing to take the non-English speaking pair in.
From leaving her home in Odessa with very little, Mariia now has a whole army behind her - the Redhead Public School community.
The Year Four student joined the school at the start of term two.
Despite knowing very little English, she has already made her way into the hearts of the community, teaching them just as much as she is being taught.
Mariia and her teachers use a translator on the phone to communicate while she is still learning English. Electronic readers also translate some English books into Russian so Mariia can read along with her class.
"The hardest thing here is our internet is very poor so it can take a while," Redhead Public School principal Lisa Monaghan.
"Some funny things pop up on it and it's not always accurate but it does the job."
After just half a term of school, Mariia is verbally communicating with her teachers and her peers more everyday.
"Now that she has been here a little while she is starting to figure out more and more each day and she comes in smiling and goes home smiling," said Mariia's year four teacher Malcolm Halbesma.
"Initially she couldn't do too much but everyday she does more of the routine work and we just broaden those horizons each day for her. I think sometimes she grumbles at me in Russian because I push her but everyday she is becoming more capable and adapting well."
Mariia said her life has changed completely after making the huge move to Australia, something she did not imagine just a few months ago.
"We went to the railway station and there we decided to take the train to Poland and then to Sydney to go to Australia," she said through the translator, while getting annoyed that it was not translating correctly.
"I don't know what my favourite thing about school in Australia is but it seems to me that there are a lot of games and very few classes because in our Ukraine school we had six lessons everyday. The difference is significant."
The majority of Australians could not imagine some of the things that Mariia may have seen during the war in Ukraine. Ms Monaghan said the school has learnt to be conscious of this.
"We had an evacuation and we were prepared with the sound of the emergency sirens so we were able to do a visual and explain to her in Russian what we were doing and she was able to explain through the translator that she did the same things over in her school," said Ms Monaghan.
"Things like Behind The News, we have to be very selective with what we show because it is a current affairs program and shows what is happening in Ukraine," said Mr Halbesma.
"We also have to be mindful of just keeping the kids in the classroom nice and steady and calm on the playground."
While Mariia is learning a whole new language, her peers are learning more about the world and how to communicate with others.
Students spend their recess and lunchtime teaching Mariia English on the playground and showing her the ropes at her new school.
"We started with a grandmother who came into the class and taught them some simple phrases and greetings in Russian before Mariia came," said Ms Monaghan.
"We are educating her on Australia and her new Redhead community and she is educating us now around her home land. She is working on a Ukraine project which she will share in class in English and Russian."
Despite language barriers, one thing translator issues cannot stop is Mariia's high abilities in maths and the arts.
She has also taken a keen interest in Australian animals after seeing a snake for the first time, with plans to bring some animals into the school to show her.
Mariia was given a visual tour of the school before her first day, using pictures of key areas with explanations and names in both English and Russian.
Dudley Redhead United Football Club also welcomed Mariia with open arms, getting her set up with uniforms and community contact numbers for her mum before the pair arrived in Australia.
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