Sada-e-Watan Sydney

Hon. Julia Finn, MP


South Asian Muslim Association of Australia (SAMAA) held Eid Milan on Saturday 29 April 2023 at Berala Community Centre Sydney to bring together community elders to celebrate the annual Eid-ul-Fitr festival.
The main hall was filled with the dignitaries, a large number of SAMAA seniors, carers, SAMAA volunteers and friends of SAMAA.
The programme commenced with the recitation of a melodious Naat, the poetry in praise of holy prophet, by famous Sydney singer Shagufta Zia.

During first half of the event, representatives from Gallipoli Home held a detailed information session on various aspects of aged care services. SAMAA has signed a MoU with Gallipoli Home, the Muslim aged care provider who have built a grand residential aged care facility in Auburn. Two videos were screened showing the facilities at their 102 bed aged care home and detailing the services.

Mr Faraz Nomani, a co founder of Imbuity, a full service digital marketing and brand strategy agency and adviser to Gallipoli Home, spoke on Islamic Perspective of caring for elderly parents. He quoted Quranic verses to emphasize the duty towards care of elderly.

Dr Abdur Rahman Asaroglu

Dr Abdur Rahman Asaroglu, Chair of the board of directors of Gallipoli Home, in his speech, emphasised that at this Muslim facility, they observe compassion, kindness, and respect for the seniors and their families from all cultural backgrounds of Islamic faith. We value the emotional, spiritual, and physical health of our elders, to help them live healthier and happier lives by actively ensuring their individual needs are met.

Mr Zahid Jamil observed that there was reluctance among seniors and their families to avail aged care services which was causing suffering to the seniors. He appealed to the community to reach out to SAMAA for more information. Upon his request, Dr Asaroglu explained various options of payment for accessing the rooms at Gallipoli Home. The fees are subject to means testing and a financial planner can help seniors and their families in advising the suitable option.

The HomeCare representative of Gallipoli Home explained to the audience about their services which seniors can avail while living in their own homes. There are four levels of services which are determined by the aged care assessment team. The fees are again subject to means testing.

Hon. Lynda Voltz, MP

Auburn MP Lynda Voltz appreciated SAMAA's efforts in caring for the community seniors. She advised seniors to plan for their aged care needs before it is too late. There are waiting times for accessing various services and aged care facilities and therefore, it is important that seniors register with the government agencies well in advance. Aged care assessment is a long process and it may take several months before the care commences.

Granville MP Julia Finn applauded SAMAA's work over the years. She said she was impressed every time she attended a SAMAA event.
MC Ms Mecki Ansari requested the community to support SAMAA without which SAMAA cannot reach the goals of offering best of services to our elders. Our BUZURG deserve best of treatment and services in these golden years of their life as they have reached here after working very hard throughout their lives and sacrificing a lot to raise their children and families, she said. Donations to SAMAA are tax deductible and with end of financial year approaching, this is a good time to donate and get tax deduction.

SAMAA continues to hold events to elevate social isolation of seniors. During COVID scare of past three years, as physical meetings were not possible, SAMAA held 25 zoom programmes. The popular virtual programmes included important presentations by health and aged care experts and entertainment including Urdu poetry, South Asian songs, Qawwali, and religious talks by overseas and local scholars and poets.

In the second half, Sydney Singers Mr Adil Siddiqui and Ms Shagufta Zia entertained the audience with thrilling performances. Adil sang the popular Bollywood numbers of 1960s, 70s and 80s which took seniors to the younger years evoking nostalgia and happiness. Ms Shagufta Zia sang a few Pakistani songs which were composed by herself as well as the very popular spiritual Sufi Qawwali Dama Dam Mast Qalandar. MC Fasihuddin khan applauded the two singers as well as SAMAA team and volunteers.

The evening brought smiles to the seniors as they left the venue in cheerful mood.

Shagufta Zia

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