A performance about one student’s real-life struggle to make it to Australia is in the running for a national award.

Hoppers Crossing Secondary College has bagged six state awards, including best orginal story, at the recent Wakakirri competition for its short play Journey to Freedom, which is based on student Min Pa-Ko’s early childhood.

Min and his family were forced to flee Thailand after the military stormed through their village when he was seven. The family hid in caves and spent time in a refugee camp before getting the necessary papers to settle in Australia. The story also encompasses the personal stories of many other students who fled volatile situations overseas to settle here.

“It’s amazing, actually, telling the story,” Min said.

Wakakirri co-ordinator Kate Elmer said the play was a celebration of the students’ stories.

Fellow co-ordinator Bridget Afuie said the story had struck a chord among many students from competing schools.

“Many of them were crying and saying, ‘I lived that’.”

Wakakirri is Australia’s largest annual performing arts event for primary and secondary schools, involving more than 20,000 students from every state and territory. Hoppers Crossing Secondary College are Wakakirri veterans, having won three national awards since 2014.