Hassan Al Kontar was stranded at a Malaysian airport for more than seven months last year before being granted asylum in Canada.
Now he wants to offer the same for hundreds of refugees who are languishing on Manus Island and Nauru as a result of the Australian Government's refugee policies, which have been repeatedly slammed as "cruel" by human rights groups.
His months-long stint at the Kuala Lumpur terminal was marked by gruelling uncertainty.
"I can't claim that I know exactly what they are going through," he told the ABC.
"But I know what it means to lose hope, and to gain hope again."