Disturbing scenes of frantic residents of Afghanistan storming on to aircraft trying to flee the country rather than live under Taliban rule might seem half a world away, but the fear and the desperation of the uprising is being felt in Ballarat, in Victoria's Central Highlands, with the owners of the iconic Gravy Spot terrified and in tears for their families still in the country.
Sadiq Taimori's wife Razia and children Mahdi, 18, Hadia, 17, and Eleyas, 13, are hiding in a cousin's house in Kabul - short on food, money and hope.
They cannot leave the house and live in fear that the Taliban will come and take Hadia and force her to marry one of their fighters.
Mr Taimori last spoke to his wife and daughter on Monday night. "My daughter is scared a lot and keeps asking me 'Dad, try to do something - we have to leave as soon as we can'," he said.
They are looking for peace. They just want to have peace, they want to go to school, they want to finish their education and they are trying to learn English to make it easy when they come to AustraliaSadiq Taimori
"The worst thing is that, because the Taliban take young girls for their fighters, I told my wife if something happens, if they come to take your daughter, even if you can kill her ... that is the worst thing I have said."
Fellow Gravy Spot owner Nadir Heidari also fears for the future of his young wife Zahra who is in hiding in Afghanistan with their son Navid, 11 months, whom has never met his father.
Mr Taimori's children have grown up in a relatively relaxed environment without threat of harsh Taliban rule and Sharia law after US troops overthrew the Taliban-led forces 20 years ago.
It has been nine years since he saw his family, after fleeing the country in 2012 fearing he would be killed by the Taliban for his work with the Afghan Human Rights Commission.
He and the third Gravy Spot owner Aziz Bamyani forged documents and escaped via India, Malaysia and Indonesia where they paid people smugglers to take them to Australia but ended up being "packed like sardines" with 173 other refugees in to a rickety wooden boat that began breaking apart after a day on the ocean.
"There is every chance if the Australian Navy didn't get us I would say another two hours and the boat would have capsized," Mr Bamyani said.
The three men are Hazara, a minority group heavily persecuted by the Taliban.
The trio took over the Gravy Spot in March last year, but now they cannot even send money to support their families, because banks are closed.
"They have issues because everything is getting expensive now and you can't find enough food because all the borders, everything is closed," Mr Taimori said.
"It's too hard for them to find enough food at the moment. I can't support them, they don't have enough money ... all the banks are shut and there's now way to send money."
He also fears that the perception he is "rich" living in Australia, combined with their Hazara roots and his previous work in Afghanistan has made them an even bigger target.
"I'm scared for my children that they are going to be kidnapped because I'm here. People feel I'm rich and have too much money over here especially at the moment."
The men have been working hard to create a better life and bring their families to Australia.
Mr Taimori is a permanent resident and passed his citizenship test in 2016 but his application to become an Australian citizen has been "under processing" with the immigration department since then.
He has tried to apply for a visa to bring his family to Australia but has been unable to get any answer why that has not been processed either.
"They are looking for peace. They just want to have peace, they want to go to school, they want to finish their education and they are trying to learn English to make it easy when they come to Australia ... so they should not have any problems with a new life."
Mr Taimori said he was stunned how quickly the country had fallen back in to the hands of the Taliban.
"At the beginning when President Biden and Donald Trump said they US troops would leave Afghanistan, from that time my concern started but I didn't imagine that this fast they would take over everywhere," he said.
The Taliban are also threatening to cut off the nation's internet services, which would prevent any contact with families still trapped there.
"I'm hopeless. I can't do anything. I feel that I'm worthless. I can't do anything for my family to save them ... I can't go over there and I can't do anything."