Anisa Sharif, Mosaic artist and a member of Australian Federal Police Community Liaison Team, hosted the terracotta plate decorating workshop on Friday 8 March in Melbourne in celebration of International Women’s Day with the collaboration of Bunnings Warehouse in Mernda. 

A highly diverse group of women from across the region and beyond attended the workshop and spent the morning learning some of Anisa’s creative techniques to produce beautifully decorated terracotta plates. 

Attendees included women from local community groups, local businesses and schools including some ladies from Al Siraat College, SES and Al Maidah.  

Speaking from her role as a community liaison officer for AFP, Anisa explained that right now the main thing they’ve understood from the countless consultations they’ve had with community leaders, imams and sheikhs in the Muslim community, is that the best strategy to counter violent extremism is to reconnect the youth with their faith communities. 

Making places of worship welcoming for youth to engage with their community, learn about their faith and connect in a way that’s sustainable is key in ensuring youth, especially those experiencing hardship, aren’t isolated and vulnerable.

Anisa explained that her crafts keeps her sane and centres her.  Having this creative outlet is an important part of her life, demonstrated in the countless impressive pieces she’s produced. 

Ladies who attended the workshop also had the opportunity to get some henna tattoos and spent the morning producing incredibly creative terracotta pieces to take home.