Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™

 More than 600 attended SAMAA Eid Milan Dinner at Marana Auditorium Hurstville Sydney

South Asian Muslim Association of Australia (SAMAA) celebrated the annual event of Eid Milan as its first fund raising event at Marana Auditorium, Hurstville Sydney on Saturday 24 August 2013. A large audience packed the huge hall and participated in all activities with enthusiasm and joy. A number of parliamentarians, representatives from aged care agencies, Muslim community representatives from various organisations along with many SAMAA elderly & their families and a very large number of South Asian Muslim families attended the evening. A team of dedicated SAMAA volunteers ensured that all felt comfortable and the programme ran in an orderly manner. NSW Minister for Ageing & Disability Services Hon. John Ajaka also represented the NSW premier Hon Barry O Farrel. MLCs Hon Amanda Fazio, Hon Shaoquett Moslemane, Steve Mac Mahon, a former Mayor of Hurstville City Council and Labor candidate for Barton were also amongst the audience. .Community representatvies included Mr Samir Dandan, the president of Lebanese Muslim Association and Sr Mahbooba of Mehbooba’s promise along with many others.

Sevinc Izmirli from PICAC NSW gave a presentation giving details about PICAC and various aged care services and issues. She said that PICAC (PARTNERS IN CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE CARE NSW) seeks to develop and enhance relationships and networks between CALD communities and aged care service providers to ensure that special needs of older people from diverse CALD backgrounds are identified and suitably addressed. Outcomes of the program include increased and sustained access by CALD (Culturally and Linguistically diverse) older people to aged care services that address the unique needs of each individual. The aims of SAMAA and PICAC are very similar in many ways as we understand the importance of culturally relevant services. She detailed various services including various Home Care Packages. Consumer Directed Care packages (CDC) were introduced in 4 levels of care on the 01/08/2013 and will be replacing the current packages which will be phased out in 2015. The four levels of packages cater for different needs a formal assessment by a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is required before you can get a package. It is expected that over the next 5 years there will be an increase of about 40,000 packages being offered.

She also briefed the audience about the process of building a Residential Aged Care Facility to provide culturally appropriate care to the South Asian Muslim elderly.

She concluded saying that Partnerships with other peak organisations, both Muslim specific and mainstream is vital in meeting the needs of CALD elderly people. The strength in these partnerships will assist in providing inclusiveness and transparency with services.

A senior South Asian Muslim Surgeon Dr Sikander Nasib khan presented the case of South Asian Muslim elderly issues in details. He spoke about community perceptions, Islamic perspective of serving the elderly and specific religious needs of Muslim elderly. He went on to explain that why it was important for us to build a facility which caters for cultural and religious issues of Muslim elderly. He also touched on health and care perspective and described health issues in old age such as reduced functional reserve, reduced efficiency of regulatory systems, increased vulnerability to stress and illness.

NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability Services John Ajaka applauded SAMAA for a very fine effort in serving the South Asian Muslim elderly. He described SAMAA’s procedures and policies in line with Government guidelines. He spoke about the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This Strategy will help to respond to the needs of the growing number of older people from different cultures.

Mr Ajaka promised support to SAMAA which received loud applause from the audience. He invited SAMAA EXCO to meet him as early as soon as possible to explore future growth and venues for working together.


Hon Amanada Fazio applauded SAMAA’s effort and stressed that elderly care of people for CALD backgrounds be improved.

Hon Shaoquett Moselmane, the first Muslim member of NSW parliament and a long time supporter of SAMAA, commended SAMAA EXCO efforts and applauded its volunteers for the service they have been providing to the community elderly. He promised continued support to SAMAA.

Mr Steve McMahon, ex-mayor of Hurstville and labor candidate for Barton expressed pleasure for meeting so many South Asian Muslims at the event and promised support if elected in upcoming elections.

Mr Zahid Jamil welcomed the audience on behalf of South Asian Muslim Association of Australia. He said that SAMAA had held numerous very successful events over past few years. SAMAA had brought in aged care experts including renowned national figures who delivered fascinating talks on ageing issues. Aged care agencies gave useful presentations to SAMAA elderly not only at these events but also at numerous SAMAA workshops and seminars. He said that now was the time that SAMAA reaches out to the wider South Asian Muslim community and seek funds so that it can continue this much needed service for the ever increasing population of the elderly of the community. Not only do we need funds for the tasks we are already doing, most importantly various volunteering services but also for much anticipated future need of building of our own aged care facility.

He expressed pleasure to see tremendous support of the south Asian Muslim community for turning up in such a large number. He said "We were a very proud community who have been greatly contributing to this great country which we have adopted to be as our nation and home for our coming generations" Mr Jamil said that South Asian Muslims were a highly educated community and were thus better equipped to be in fore front in taking up the challenge of aged care for the Muslim community of Sydney. Muslims are very sensitive to their religious practices and cultural traditions and it was important that we set up facilities which can cater for such sensitivities of our elderly. He emphasized that not only SAMAA needs support from the community only but also from the government. He requested political leaders on both sides to help SAMAA in achieving its objectives. He said that SAMAA has received lots of verbal and moral support from many parliamentarians including federal minister for ageing but indicated that SAMAA was now qualified enough to ask for material support. He said that SAMAA was willing to cooperate with other Muslim bodies in building an aged care facility.

Former Consul General of Pakistan Mr.Ejaz Ahmad, Mr. Qamar Khan and Syed Zafar Hussain

A very successful Auction of more than 15 items generated much interest amongst the audience. These items were donated by many South Asian Muslim businesses and individuals. Raffle draw saw many winners claiming a few very interesting items.

The famous Naat singer Ms Shagufta Zia thrilled the audience with beautiful Naats. The senior singer Riaz Shah entertained the audience with a few popular numbers while a young talent Shayan Rafique thrilled the audience with a few Bollywood songs.

The guests enjoyed sub-continental cuisine and Eid sweets and elderly received SAMAA Eid gifts.


Mr. Zahid Jamil

Dr Sikander Nasib khan

Dr Mohammed Ali khan

Mrs. Shaheen Firdous

Singer Riaz Shah


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