South Asian Muslim Association of Australia (SAMAA) held Eid Milan in Sydney on Saturday 20 April 2024 at the Berala Community Centre to bring together community elders to celebrate the annual Eid-ul-Fitr festival.

The main hall was filled with the dignitaries, large number of seniors, carers, volunteers and friends of SAMAA.

The programme commenced with the recitation of a melodious Naat, poetry in praise of Prophet Mohammad (s), by popular Sydney singer Adil Siddiqui.

During first half of the event, representatives from IWAAA (Islamic Women’s Association of Australia) held an information session on various aspects of aged care services. IWAA, the first Muslim aged care provider in Australia, is an experienced provider of In-Home and Respite Aged Care services.

With over 150 Home Care Employees proficient in over 30 different languages, IWAA has specialist expertise in supporting multicultural Aged Care recipients and their families across Queensland, Sydney, and Melbourne.

IWAA representative Aijah Atan HC gave a presentation on Home Care packages. They can organise Personal Care, including Domestic Assistance, Respite Care, Social support (shopping, medical appointments, etc), Social Support Groups, Outings Overnight Respite Centre.

They can also organise Lawn mowing and gardening, Spring cleaning & window cleaning, Nursing care, Allied health, Occupational therapy & other Clinical Services, Mobility and home medical equipment Home modifications. The services are subject to assessment by ACAT.

Ms Lynda Voltz MP, State Member for Auburn highly appreciated SAMAA’s efforts in caring for the community seniors. She advised seniors to plan for their aged care needs well in advance.

Ms Voltz also stressed on need of having a Will, a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney. An Enduring Power of Attorney can be used when a person has ‘lost capacity’, but must be appointed beforehand, before it is too late.

Ms Julia Finn MP, State Member for Granville applauded SAMAA’s work over the years saying she was always impressed every time she attended a SAMAA event. She offered help to the members of her electorate in accessing various services.

Mr Zahid Jamil thanked the two MPs, seniors and other guests for gracing the SAMAA event. He elaborated on how SAMAA was formed and how it grew by identifying the aged care needs of South Asian Muslims, introducing them to the government agencies and signing MoUs with Aged Care providers.

South Asian Muslims are one of the CALD (culturally and Linguistically Diversified) groups whose cultural and religious sensitivities were submitted to Productivity Commission by SAMAA and Published in Inquiry Report in 2011.

Mr Jamil said that there were 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.

Mecki Ansari MC for the event requested the community to support SAMAA in its endeavours.

During the second half part of the program, seniors enjoyed Mushaira (Urdu poetry session). The Mushaira was chaired by renowned Sydney poet Mr Ashraf Shad and hosted by senior Sydney poetess and SAMAA patron Mrs Kaneez Fatima Ali.

Mr Fasihuddin Khan formally started the programme by inviting the poets to the stage. Other poets who recited their poetry included veteran poets Dr Shabbir Hyder and Janab Arif Sadiq as well as Mrs Farhat Iqbal, Mr Javed Nazar, Dr Yasmeen Shad and Mrs Tehmina Rao.

Seniors repeatedly applauded for heart touching poetry of Mr Ashraf Shad and other poets as the session concluded with smiles all around.

“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,”.

Donations to SAMAA are tax deductible and with end of financial year approaching, this is a good time to donate and get tax deduction.