1. What motivates you to work at Lutheran Care?
Lutheran Care is respected and valued, and supportive of families. I love working here as I love helping people. I get to see and help lots of vulnerable clients coming here especially from different backgrounds. I like to support women to gain their confidence to speak, especially for those who can’t raise their voices. I encourage them to speak out for their rights.
2. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to reaching this point in your career?
I grew up in Afghanistan, when the Taliban were not yet in power, but they were terrifying everyone. They would come to our farm, they would let their animals destroy our farms and no one could ask them why because they were carrying guns. I was hopeless, sad and emotional. My future was unknown. I was restricted and tired. My confidence was lost. In 2000, I migrated from Afghanistan to Pakistan where I completed my studies. I became a teacher of basic English, including the alphabet and grammar. I came to Australia in 2008. I used to come to the playgroups at Lutheran Care’s Family Zone in 2009, bringing my kids. They offered me a volunteer job as an interpreter, helping with translating. Eventually I was offered a paid role co-facilitating a parenting class, and the Middle Eastern Women’s Group. Now, I support families through Home Visiting. I do some child development support and am a volunteer coordinator.
3. How do you demonstrate this year’s theme “Embrace Equity”?
In Afghanistan today, women cannot have an education and access to their rights. They can’t work or study. They can’t go outside by themselves – they have to go with their husband, father or brother. Of course, in Australia, most multicultural women can make changes to their life like me. For example, there is no fear from Taliban here in Australia to take my freedom and my goals from me. I am currently doing a Diploma of Community Service. I also completed the Circle of Security Training and after my diploma hope to complete a Social Science degree at UniSA. I have a lot of opportunities, I have built up skills to be whatever I want to be in the future.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
To be friendly with everybody, not judgmental. To be honest, to help any kind of people.
5. Any other information you would like to share
I have a message for every single woman – that they can be whatever they want to be. You can do anything! Women can get confidence to improve their skills and knowledge, by believing in themselves to follow their dreams and goals. They can get involved with communities if they are not sure where to start, that’s what I did.