NEW Email Subscription Option

We’ve been working on ways to communicate better with everyone, and we’re happy to announce that the Service Provider Email Subscription option is now available!

The Muslim Women’s Association of SA enjoys working with various community groups and stakeholders and we appreciate that the easiest way to keep connected in a professional capacity is to have our updates delivered straight to your working email. 

Click here to add your email address to our subscription list. 

Community Resource: Surviving the Ocean of Depression

Excerpt taken from Surviving the Ocean of Depression

In this project, asylum seekers and refugees who are now living in Australia generously share their experiences in overcoming hardships in order to reach, support and empower others. Stories are told in Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Nepali and Pashto. 

This project was initiated by Dr Abdul Stanikzai. While working as an interpreter in Adelaide, he was called upon to translate for medical professionals responding to people from diverse language groups, some of whom had come to Australia seeking asylum and refuge, who were facing mental health crises (and as a result were in psychiatric wards). Dr Stanikzai recognised that mental health staff were struggling to find ways to respond and that it could be significant for those currently in crisis to be able to listen, in their own language, to stories from others who had been through similar experiences and who had managed to ‘overcome the ocean of depression’. Dr Stanikzai mentioned this to Dulwich Centre Foundation and this project is the result.

The resources contain stories from interviews conducted by Dr Stanikzai as well as contributions from the Muslim Women’s Association of South Australia.

Please visit the project page to learn more.

CHSP Fitness Classes taking Seniors from Strength to Strength

We have almost reached the end of the CHSP Fitness Program.

The seniors have been enjoying themselves thoroughly and are feeling stronger than ever! 

Regular exercise is crucial to falls prevention. Regular exercise improves balance and reflexes so some falls can be avoided altogether. Further to that, regular exercise strengthens the musculoskeletal system so that even in the case of a fall, serious injury can be avoided. 

MWASA Jubilee: Celebrating Supporting Muslim Women in Adelaide for over 25 years

On the afternoon of Saturday 22nd of September 2018, the Muslim Women’s Association of SA (MWASA) marked 25 years of supporting Muslim women in Adelaide by hosting a Jubilee celebration at the Clarence Park Community Centre. 

Sister Ramila Chanisheff was a wonderful Master of Ceremony for the day, elegantly introducing performers and speakers and guiding us through the afternoon. 

The event opened with a welcome speech from Vice Chairperson, Sister Azidah, who also acknowledged the founders of our organisation. 

We were fortunate in being able to host several guests of honour: His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le Governor of South Australia and Mrs Lan Le, and Assistant Minister to the Premier Jing Lee and Mr Eddie Liew.

The Governor addressed the room with a speech which was supportive and inspiring, and the Assistant Minister to the Premier Jing Lee’s speech was delightfully warm. Both speeches were entirely engaging due to the genuine charisma of our guest speakers. 

In the speech by Chairperson Dora Abbas, she thanked our guests of honour for attending despite their busy schedules. As a token of appreciation, MWASA had prepared gifts for the guests of honour. Sister Dora also spoke about the outlook for MWASA over the next 10 to 15 years, and invited all members and their families to contribute and participate. 

Brother Ahmed Sherbini lent his pleasant voice to proceedings with heartwarming Quran recitation, nasheed and athan (call for prayer). 

A colourful stand-out from proceedings was the fashion show. Organised primarily by the Youth Group, the girls were able to express their individuality in both traditional and modern modest dress. 

Of great interest was the showing of a slideshow showcasing the last 25 years. It was truly inspirational to see the journey that MWASA has been through, and then also to consider the continuation of that journey into the future. 

A touch of sweetness was added to the afternoon with a couple of young ladies from Australian Islamic College (AIC) reading poetry that they had written. 

Our Management Team would specifically like to thank:

  • Ramila Chanisheff for her outstanding delivery as Master of Ceremonies
  • June Hussain, Community Development Officer, and the team of volunteers for such successful organisation and execution
  • All members and friends for attendance and participation

We are all immensely grateful to our volunteer team and sponsors who made this event possible and so enjoyable.

A Physical Wellbeing Focus For CHSP Program Participants

We are currently halfway through our 6 week program of fitness classes which was organised in collaboration with ACH. The aim of the program is to provide participants with low impact workouts. The focus of the workouts is to promote wellness and resilience by staying fit and healthy through safe, low impact exercise. The program takes into account their health, level of activity and physical and mental capabilities.

Two trainers from ACH were appointed to deliver the training sessions. Twenty seniors attended our first training session at Wandana Community Centre. They arrived there punctually and were very eager. The session started with some administrative housekeeping followed by the trainers assessing the seniors to ensure that they are fit to perform the exercise. For this first session, the trainers demonstrated the technics for strengthening the upper body and balancing. Chairs and stretch bands were used to perform these motions. Members took a great interest into this session and were keen to attend the next session.

This is a program which combines exercise with education to optimise independence, increase strength, endurance and balance and provide motivation to live a healthy life. The trainers were well prepared and engaging. At the end of the 6 weeks session, the participants will feel great and have more energy, socialise and meet new people, learn how to prevent injury, improve strength, balance and cardiovascular fitness and increase range of motion and support body function and movement.

2018 Multicultural Community Event

The Muslim Women’s Association of SA had the honour of being invited by The Honourable Steven Marshall, MP Premier of South Australia, and The Honourable Jing Lee, MLC Assistant Minister to the Premier, to the 2018 Multicultural Community Event.

This annual colourful event is a special gathering of diverse community groups coming together to celebrate multiculturalism in South Australia. 

Attending from our organisation was Azidah Abdul Aziz – Vice Chairperson and Secretary, Shaista Kalaniya – Project Manager and June Hussain – Community Development Officer. Our team members, in chatting with The Premier, found him to be welcoming and friendly.

Everyone was invited to attend in their traditional cultural dress. The result was magnificent; the ballroom became a swirling kaleidoscope of colours, styles and textures. 

We thank The Premier’s Office for this opportunity and look forward to next year.

National Mosque Open Day 2018 at Masjid Al Khalil

The Muslim Women’s Association of SA had the opportunity to be involved with National Mosque Open Day 2018 over the weekend at Masjid Al Khalil. 

MWASA had 10 volunteers, mostly Youth Group members, working within the larger National Mosque Open Day Volunteer Team.

Our volunteers supported the Open Day in different capacities. A couple were welcoming guests at the entrance, handing out free show bags containing information and bottled water. A couple were part of the Dawah Team, guiding guests and answering questions along the way. One volunteer was able to snap some excellent photos, which you can see below. 

A couple of the girls were at the hijab stall, styling women so that they could see how they would look in hijab and helping them to understand how it feels to be a visibly Muslim woman. 

All of the volunteers did a wonderful job, showing integrity and leadership skills in their respective job roles, effectively communicating with other team members and providing guests with professional and friendly assistance. 

Attractions included a children’s bouncy castle, face painting and a Henna stall, which added an exciting showground feel. The smell of the sausage sizzle was enough to start the mouth watering in anticipation. To satisfy the sweet tooth there were donuts, dates and Arabic coffee which could be enjoyed in the Arabic Lounge.

To feed the mind and soul there was a program of speakers on different topics ranging from Women in Islam and Sharia Law to Islam in Australia. The speakers were available as a panel to answer questions from guests both in the morning and afternoon programs. 

If you would like more information about National Mosque Open Day, click here to go to the National Mosque Open Day page on the Masjid Al Khalil website, or Like the Masjid page on Facebook (@IslamicArabicCentreMasjidAlKhalil). 

 

SGP Youth Group – Shaking Things Up With a Zumba Session!

Last week the SGP (Settlement Grant Program) Youth Group had the opportunity to shake things up at Fernwood with a Zumba session!

The session had been organised as part of the holiday program, for the girls to have some fun as well as to introduce and familiarise the newly arrived girls with a gym environment.

Almost 30 girls, coming from different backgrounds, attended – and every single one enjoyed it. For some it was their first time doing Zumba. The Instructor was incredibly energetic and afterwards everyone was feeling the benefits of a good workout.

The visit to Fernwood included the Zumba session as well as a tour of the facilities and information about membership options. The staff were very cooperative and patient.

The girls are keen for future fitness sessions and some are looking into taking out their own gym memberships.

Volunteer Picnic at Bonython Park

As a sign of appreciation to our Volunteer Team, who contributed so much towards our recent Jubilee, we had organised a thank you BBQ lunch at Bonython Park on Saturday the 6th of October. Seventeen volunteers attended, along with some of the management committee. 

Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the day. Naturally, the food was spectacular! There was plenty of chicken wings, sausages and bulgogi beef to go around. There was opportunity to chat and have a few laughs. The weather was wonderful, people were able to stroll and explore the park.

If you would like to get involved with the Muslim Women’s Association of SA, contribute to a team effort in helping the community and enjoy an occasional social day out, click here to go to our Volunteer page and send us through your details. 

Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens Learning Journey

The Muslim Women’s Association of SA provides several services to men and women over the age of 65 years who are coming from a CaLD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) background, under the CHSP (Commonwealth Home Support Program). 

On Thursday 4th of October 2018 an outing to Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens was planned as a Learning Journey.

Those who were attending met at our office on Victoria Square and caught a coach out to Mt Lofty. 

The weather was perfect for walking, overcast but not raining and with a cool breeze.  

The men and women were able to explore the Gardens at their leisure and work up an appetite before sharing a picnic lunch. The group came very well prepared for the picnic with delicious home-made delicacies in picnic baskets and even a table cloth for the picnic table. 

Everyone was very interested to read the signage on-site, in doing so everyone was able to learn about the plants and about the history of Adelaide and also about the Flinders Column. 

It was a wonderful opportunity for them to literally stop and smell the flowers, to socialise and catch up with each other. 

Over 20 Members attended and the general consensus from everyone is that they enjoyed the day immensely. They are looking forward to going back to the Gardens in Autumn time and are, of course, looking forward to the next CHSP Learning Journey. 

For more information about the CHSP and how to join, click here
 
 

Adult Learners’ Week 2018

The Muslim Women’s Association of SA (MWASA) participated in Adult Learners’ Week 2018, as we do every year. It was thoroughly enjoyed and very successful, as it is every year.

The theme this year was Discover Nature and History. With that in mind, the program coordinator planned outings to the Migration Museum to learn more about the history of migration and to the Botanical Gardens to learn more about nature. 

Our event was attended mainly by our ACE (Adult Community Education) students, who come from a variety of cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds and have called Australia home for varying lengths of time. 

Those who attended learnt about migration through history and about the struggles those migrants faced. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about other cultures, as well. During this time the Museum was showcasing Croatian culture and had a variety of dresses, photos, musical instruments and sporting equipment on exhibit. There was a photographic story of a Polish family who migrated to Australia in the 1960s and a handout on Russian migrants was available. Our students were able to relate to the struggles of past migrants and were inspired by the new and positive lives that have been built in Australia. 

The guided tour of the Botanical Gardens was loved by everyone. The weather was spectacular, all sunshine and fresh air. The guides were sensitive and informative. Through the use of interpreters the group members developed a keen interest in the Gardens, as they were more easily able to understand the information provided. Our group members enjoyed a shared lunch, a lovely way to end the day and encourage social networking.

One of our goals is to introduce educational resources to our members which they can then feel comfortable accessing by themselves in the future. Some in attendance had not visited these places before but have said they feel confidant to take their family and friends back. The students gave positive feedback about the trip.

The things learnt during this trip will be discussed further during the weekly program classes. The students are able to express and exchange views on different topics, this helps with improving conversational skills and making new friends. 

A continuing goal of MWASA is to provide opportunities and support to women on their learning journey. There are already plans being made for next term’s excursion: guided tours of the State Library and Central Market!

For more information about the MWASA ACE Program, click here

Leadership Workshop for Young Muslim Women

In this 4-part workshop series, young Muslim women aged between 14 – 25 years undergo training to develop their confidence and improve their communication skills.

The participants quickly warmed up to their trainer, Yasmin Gurreeboo, Associate Director, ACTNOW Theatre, and began sharing their thoughts and views on a wide range of topics and challenges.

During the first session, participants learned how to express their ideas and communicate confidently using the Theatre of the Oppressed technique. The second session saw participants discussing about cultural identity. It was interesting to see them discuss about common labels and act it out in a freeze frame. The youth noted how each of them interpreted labels they give and receive differently.

The next session focused on the participants’ communication skills. The girls enjoyed activities such as ‘silent birthdate game’ where they had fun exploring non-verbal communication techniques  to line-up in the order of their respective birth dates.

The workshop culminated on 17 April 2018 with more teamwork activities that enabled the girls to improve their communication skills in a fun environment. On the whole, the youth enjoyed meeting new people, learning to work confidently in teams while tapping on each others’ strengths and realised they were able to step out of their comfort zones.

Quotes from participants:
“The workshop was very interactive and engaging. It enabled us to think with the creative side of our brain, become a more confident woman, and also allowed us to explore other people’s interpretations and ideas. Overall it was a very interesting and enjoyable session.”
   – Melissa
“The second session was really insightful. I understand that we need to empower ourselves in order to empower other people. We also need to overcome our fear to become more confident and powerful. It is definitely another step forward in understanding what leadership is”
– Balqis

 

MyGov and My Aged Care talk for seniors

With most transactions and communications being done online, it is important for the seniors in our community to know how to access information and assistance schemes online.

In collaboration with Centrelink and Bene Aged Care, MWASA organised a ‘hands on’ session to help seniors learn how they could access their accounts and assistance schemes on the myGov portal and My Aged Care portal.

While using technology and computers can be a tedious process for most seniors, our group of 34 seniors were able to rise up to the challenge and learnt how to use online portals and services provided by aged care providers.

26 April 2018

Annual General Meeting 2017

Assalaamu Alaykum

MWASA held its Annual General Meeting 2017 on 12th February 2018 where members attended and voted for the 2018 committee.

Sr Dora Abbas, Chairperson, MWASA, extends her appreciation to all partners, friends, staff and volunteers of MWASA for their unwavering support and partnership and looks forward to their continued collaboration and support in the years ahead.

Sr Dora also thanks colleagues, Sr June Hussain, Community Development Officer, for organising a successful AGM and Sr Shaista Kalaniya, Project Manager, for her achievements in MWASA’s Youth program. Last year, our youth group collaborated with the Dulwich Centre on a project that focused on survival strategies by young people. They produced a video on how as Muslims, they try not to take people’s hate into their hearts.

Overall, the project highlighted knowledge and philosophies of students from primary schools, high schools and universities on tackling problems, overcoming bullying, surviving the ocean of depression, and much more.