Spiritual Support for Seniors

The CHSP (Commonwealth Home Support Program) celebrated last Eid al Adha at the Al Salam Centre, Marion Mosque. This program was the first joint effort between MWASA (Muslim Women’s Association of SA) and ISSA (Islamic Society of South Australia). Twenty seniors attended the event. The venue was big and conducive for the event; the seniors found the venue good and accessible. 

Sister Nurhayatie presented a talk on the Wisdom of Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca).

Firstly, she talked about the significance of fasting in the first 10 days of Zulhijjah (the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar).

She also quoted the hadith (scriptures detailing the words and actions of Prophet Muhammad SAW*) reported by Abu Qatadah where Prophet Muhammad SAW was asked about fasting on the day of Arafat and Ashura.

Then, she talked about the history of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his trip to Mecca and the beautiful ayah that he would like to convey to his people.

Hajj: As we know it, hajj is the peak of the ibadah (worship) that we can do. It takes a few days to complete it and by taking care of our 5 daily prayers, fasting and charity, hajj will be much more meaningful and special.

Sister Nurhayatie also talked about the last khutba (religious sermon) and the last message from Prophet Muhammad SAW. The participants were very attentive and engaged during the talk. Some shared their experiences from during their Hajj.

The seniors socialized with each other on that day and enjoyed a provided lunch. Flyers for upcoming events were distributed to the seniors on the same day.

Reception by participants:

  • The clients enjoyed the session by Sister Nurhayatie. Some have requested for more talks from her. One of the ladies approached her afterwards and had a private chat with her. One lady had tears in her eyes when Sister Nurhayatie gave her speech.
  • A couple of the ladies were very happy with the talk, stating that although they had read the ayah many times before they only now have full understanding, making it more meaningful.
  • A gentleman was also pleased with the talk, his feedback was that he had enjoyed the talk very much.

*SAW = SalAllahu alayhi wasalam, meaning peace be upon him and usually following the name of Prophet Muhammad 

Australian Reading Hour at MWASA

Australian Reading Hour was held nationally last Thursday 19th of September. Australian Reading Hour is an initiative where on the day everyone is encouraged to read anything anywhere at any time for one hour.

In recognition of the day and of the overall importance of reading to a Muslim, the Muslim Women’s Association of SA put on a loosely book club styled event. Different to conventional book clubs, those attending were able to bring their own choice of book. The ladies spoke about why they chose that book, when they first read it and what it means to them. Most ladies followed up with reading a meaningful passage from the book out aloud to the whole group. As with any other book club, there was a lot of passion. Book readers know: conversation with another book reader is always plentiful, interesting and strongly opinionated.

One of the mums brought The Brave Little Puppy, a book she read when she was younger and was now sharing with her children. The book was reminiscent for everyone present; the group included women and children of different ages and from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds however the author Enid Blyton had bridged all of those divides.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart was written by female Australian author Holly Ringland. The story follows Alice Hart who grew up with an abusive father and following a tragic house fire goes to live with her grandmother who is a flower farmer. In years gone past flowers were used as a subtle form of communication, there was a specific meaning behind each type of plant that the giver could convey to the receiver. Each chapter of the book starts with the botanical and common name of a native Australian plant, what conditions it grows in, the meaning behind it and a sketch of how it looks. 

Slaughterhouse-Five was a very thought-provoking science fiction book. The author Kurt Vonnegut was an American soldier who had been deployed in Europe during World War 2 and had been captured by the Germans. He used that experience to write this book about a soldier who experiences trauma and the story is told in a back and forth way, via flashbacks and time travel. 

The type of books brought reflected the diversity of the ladies attending. Whilst each lady was speaking there was a wonderful air of appreciation and empathy from the rest of the group who were listening intently. 

Some books were put on display by the office, for general interest and in case someone forgot their book. 

After the book presentations conversation continued over tea, coffee, donuts, curry puffs, dried fruit and nuts.

It was the common opinion that the ladies look forward to another similar event in the future. 

More information on the pictured books:

The Brave Little Puppy – Enid Blyton

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart – Holly Ringland

The Girl and the Ghost-Grey Mare – Rachael Treasure

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death – Kurt Vonnegut

Appointment with Death – Agatha Christie

Bowled Over in the First Spring Sunshine

Clearview Bowling Club offers both social and competition bowling and is very welcoming throughout the year to individuals and groups that wish to learn the game of bowls. There were 12 CHSP (Commonwealth Home Support Program) members that participated in this lawn bowling activity. 

The weather was sunny and pleasant on the day. Three club members welcomed our group and provided coaching, sharing information about the rules and regulations before starting.

Everyone equally participated in the game and played with great enthusiasm. They enjoyed the bowling session so much that they requested for extended time. 

After bowling, it was time to replenish. Refreshments were provided and the group also brought food to share with each other. 

Overall the feedback was very positive, one Brother can be quoted as saying that “the bowling was a good workout session and that the coaches were very helpful and patient”. 

Getting Older is a Walk in the Garden

A walk to the Botanic Gardens was organised to engage CHSP (Commonwealth Home Support Program) members in healthy activity while also enjoying the beautiful landscapes of the Botanic Gardens. The Adelaide Botanic Garden is a 51 hectare public garden at the north-east corner of the Adelaide city centre, in the Adelaide Park Lands. It encompasses a fenced garden on North Terrace and behind it the Botanic Park. Work was begun on the site in 1855, with its official opening to the public on 4 October 1857.

The weather was sunny and pleasant on the day. Some of the group took a taxi from the office to the Botanic Gardens whilst others made their own way directly to the Garden. Twenty members participated in the session and were accompanied by Sister Sitiurika and Kamaljit. 

Sister Rabia led the walk. The group visited the Lotus Garden, Herb Garden and also the tropical trees garden. The seniors enjoyed the leisure walk as they chatted and caught up with one another and talked about the plants and trees that were found in the tropical garden.

The walk ended near the main gate where everyone sat and rested by the lake and enjoyed sharing their food.

After a short rest, the seniors participated in some knee exercises demonstrated by Sister Rabia. All of the seniors participated in the knee exercises and some have requested for the exercise session to take place before the start of each program.

The visit ended with a group picture to be kept as a reminder of this wonderful outing.

Cross Cultural Session with Kildare College

Earlier this month Cross Cultural Training Officer Flora took students from Kildare College on a tour of Adelaide City Mosque.

If you would like to arrange a Cross Cultural Session for your school, or workplace, let us know by emailing admin@mwasa.org.au 

Big Day Out at TAFESA

Last Tuesday all members were treated to a tour of TAFESA, in particular students from the MWASA ACE (Adult Community Education) classes. Thirty-one ladies attended and were tended to by 5 tutors and facilitators.

Peter Begg, Educational Manager of Foundation Skills/AMEP (Adult Migrant English Program), welcomed the group to the city campus. He also explained about the 510 hours free entitlement for new arrivals on humanitarian visa, as well as permanent and temporary visas. Eligibility needs to be checked by calling TAFESA, a counsellor can discuss options with you. If the 510 hours have been completed and functional English still has not been achieved, AMEP Extend is a subsequent program offering an additional 490 hours. 

Classes are scheduled for the morning, 9:15am-1:15pm, so that mums are able to attend during school hours. Free childcare is also offered on site.

Fariha Safdar, Lecturer for Foundation Skills/AMEP, then gave a talk about what to expect after enrolment. After the foundation courses have been completed, women are able to enrol in the mainstream CSWE (Certification of Speaking and Writing English) courses: Pre CSWE , and CSWE levels 1-3. After the hourly entitlement has been used, the subsequent hours are offered at a subsidized rate. Prior to enrolment, students are required to sit a test to assess skill level so that they can placed in the most appropriate level class. After CSWE, students can go onto any number of other courses including aged care and beauty – these courses are not subsidised.

A new program is in the planning stage after collaboration between TAFESA and MWASA ACE Project Manager Shaista Kalaniya. A pilot program has been proposed to be on offer in term 4, which will be less intensive than the full time courses. Course content will be along the lines of social English, with a focus on learning English through cooking, and also including things like how to see a doctor.

Three tutors from the team came to welcome our ladies and introduce themselves. 

Next week there will be a followup session with TAFESA assessors visiting the MWASA office to discuss individual pathways and eligibility criteria with students.

Feedback from the students is that they were grateful for the tour and now have higher ambitions and motivations built on what they have learned.

Thanks go to Bushra who catered the chicken pulao that everyone loved on the day. Bushra has been a caterer of choice for MWASA for some years simply for the fact that her food always tastes sensational.  

If you weren’t able to go on the tour, all of the details can be found on the TAFESA AMEP web page

Feedback Needed for Followup Islam in Australia Session

The Muslim Women’s Association of SA recently held an information session on Islam in Australia, presented by Professor Abdalla at the UniSA Magill campus. 

Over 30 community members from diverse backgrounds attended. Some very interesting and important points were raised. A followup session is required to really do the topic justice, to further discuss solutions to the problems raised. 

A followup session is in the planning stages. Your feedback on the first session and regarding the future followup session would be greatly appreciated. 

Please provide feedback before Friday 20th September. 

Go to Feedback Form

Seniors trip to the Old Bazaar Market

The most recent senior’s trip took them to the Old Bazaar Market, located in Salisbury Downs. 

The Old Bazaar Market was inspired by the worlds oldest shopping mall: The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul. At 2,000 square metres, the Market is one of the largest multicultural family function centres in Australia. There is entertainment for the whole family: a games arcade and indoor trampoline; however the Turkish tea was of more interest for our crowd.

Everyone was very keen for this trip and ready to board the bus on time. Upon arrival, our group of 15 explored all the shops (including the nearby Hollywood Plaza). Everyone then reconvened for a refreshing afternoon tea and to admire the beautiful decor of the Bazaar.

These regular activities are a wonderful opportunity for our seniors to get out and about in good company, and to chat and catch up with each other. 

MWASA Team Training

The team at the Muslim Women’s Association of SA continually strives for improvement in all areas: better programs, better services, better events. The first step towards improving in these areas is for staff and volunteers to upskill, diversify and network through training opportunities. 

Recently Amanda, Marketing and Communications Officer, undertook the Suicide Prevention Workshop offered by Wesley LifeForce. The workshop is delivered free of charge to service providers and community members. 

Amanda found the workshop to be comprehensive, starting with how personal beliefs can affect how we would potentially help someone who is having thoughts about suicide, going through which questions need asking and how to ask them, through to making a short term plan to protect someone in a crisis and where to refer them for continuing support.

Preservation of life is a basic principle of Islam, as demonstrated below in a direct quote from the Quran. 

“And do not kill yourselves [or one another].”

– Quran, Sahih International English Translation, Surah (chapter) 4 An-Nisa (The Women), Ayat (paragraph) 29

As Muslims we believe that every life has value and must act accordingly. Learning about the warning signs and prevention strategies is useful. 

Help and resources are available. Lifeline is a free 24 hour telephone crisis support service, they can be reached on 13 11 14. 

Bringing the Love to you in your own Home

Earlier this month our office received a call from Sister Fadilah, a participant in our program which specifically supports senior Muslims in the community. She requested for someone to visit as she was feeling a little lonely. June Aini Hussain, Community Development Officer, visited immediately the next day. 
 
Sister Fadilah shared that she had experienced a fall and as a result was not able to move around. She had broken her hip and the Doctor had asked her to minimise movement so that it can heal quicker. 
The Sister’s conversational skills had not deteriorated at all and both thoroughly enjoyed chatting about many things across a couple of hours – and across some famous Bosnian coffee and scrumptious home-made cake!
 
Fadilah showed June some photos taken at past MWASA events; she enjoyed her younger days when she participated in many different MWASA activities. Fadilah’s daughter, who is also her carer, was also present. Sister June updated them on the current program and is investigating how MWASA can further assist in this case. 
 
If you know a senior community member aged 65 years and over who could benefit from MWASA/CHSP services and programs, please visit the program page for further details on eligibility and registration. Alternatively, please call our office during office hours on 08 81212 0800 and ask to speak to June.
 

Parliament House Lunch with Katrine Hildyard MP

Some of our team attended lunch last Thursday at Parliament House with Katrine Hildyard MP (Member of Parliament). Katrine’s portfolio includes being Shadow Minister for the Status of Women, as well as Multicultural Affairs, and also for Recreation, Sport and Racing.
 
Katrine has prioritised several issues pertinent to South Australian women. We look forward to positive movement in this space in the near future.
 
 

Community Resources from the ATO

Multilingual ATO Publications

The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) has translated their 2019 tax time resources into 7 different different languages, including Arabic and Hindi

Resources include posters and handy guides on working from home, education expenses, gifts and donations and expenses which can be claimed back (car, travel, clothing and laundry).

The ATO (Australian Tax Office) has also released a Scam Warning Flyer in 8 different languages, including English and Arabic. 

In 2018 more than $2.8 million was reported as being lost to scammers impersonating the ATO.

FREE Tax Help program for eligible taxpayers

The ATO’s Tax Help program will feature around 800 ATO-trained and accredited volunteers at more than 600 locations across Australia, including local libraries, community centres and organisations in metropolitan, rural and regional areas. Tax Help is available from July to October in all capital cities and many regional areas across Australia. Click or tap Tax Help for more details, or if you’re ready to make an appointment phone 13 28 61.

The ATO will also be providing face-to-face guidance at pop-up shops around Australia at community hubs, libraries, shopping centres, shows and universities starting on 28 June and ending on 17 October. Find your nearest pop-up shop.

First CHSP Tai Chi Session

This is the third year that the CHSP (Commonwealth Home Support Program) has run a Tai Chi program. 

Tai Chi is a form of gentle exercise that is described as meditation in motion. Having originated from China as a form of martial arts, Tai Chi has long been popular among individuals in order to keep fit and prevent disease.

Vivien, Susan and John demonstrated the basic movements for everyone to follow. They went on to demonstrate some martial arts movements and proper breathing techniques. 

Ten participants were present at this first session, a good number considering the gloomy weather outside. Overall the class was very successful, both the men and women were keen to learn and participate. 

After class, the seniors continued the mindful health theme by sharing a balanced, low calorie, nutritious lunch.