‘My mum, three sisters, brother and I were lucky to escape a worn-torn region of Pakistan six years ago. Others have not been so lucky.’ I met with Obaid Jamshidi who is passionate about building a strong community here in Geelong and giving back.
‘I graduated from North Geelong Secondary College last year where I was the Sports Captain. Now I’m studying International Relations at Deakin University. I also work one day a week at the Fort Youth Centre, a free spot for 12-25 year olds to hangout at after school.
‘I’ve been inspired by the situation that I’ve been through and so thankful to be living in this beautiful country. People here can achieve anything if they put their minds to it. I really enjoy the community work and am building up networks which will help open doors. There are refugees out there that can’t find a square meal.
‘I find Brandon Dellow [3214 Faces and Places Facebook page] so inspirational and a great role model. I had an idea and he put it into action. Together with Danielle Parker from Fort and with the backing of COGG, we are holding a ‘Syrian Crisis: Hope for Humanity’ Dinner Fundraiser on Fri 2nd Dec. The $40 ticket gets you a two course meal and entertainment. All profits go to the UN Refugee Agency. Hurry as tickets are selling fast, you can get them from COGG Customer Service at Corio Central.
‘At Fort we run lots of different activities like pool competitions, soccer, cooking competitions, art activities, we have X-Boxes, and music. Guitar lessons are very popular. We organise excursions and school holiday programs.
‘We are also involved in many events like Multicultural Day, the Pako Fest and Skaart The 11th Skaart event takes place next Sunday at Fort and is basically free, with multicultural food, rides and lots of colourful characters from this area.
‘I was thrilled earlier this year when I got to represent Australia in the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow, in Street Soccer. It is for people who have experienced homelessness or disadvantaged backgrounds. We played some strong teams including England, Germany, Chile, Russia and the USA and finished 6th. Street Soccer for the homeless and disadvantaged is held every Thursday night at the Leisuretime Centre, Corio 4-6pm. It is organised by the Big Issue.’
As we walked out of the Corio Library after our meeting three young boys said hi to Obi. I could tell by their manner that Obi is a great role model in his own right.
Photo: Phil Hines Photography shows Obaid next to a street art painting of his sister, Sweeta (left).