“Henna and Art are my passion! I was born in Afghanistan, and at the age of 4, my Mum, 4 siblings and I had to flee to Pakistan.” Anita Qayummi is a makeup and henna artist living in Corio. Anita, who is a current 2nd year apprentice completing her certificate 3 in Commercial Cookery at The Gordon, runs her own business called Geelong Henna Artist.
“I started in 2016. Henna and art are my passion. I gained inspiration from other cultural art stalls at community events. I owe many thanks to Danielle Parker from The fOrT as she helped me with starting my business. Geelong Henna Artist attends many community festivals; I have been part of Barwon Health, Diversitat, Pako Festa, Sunday Markets, SKAART, and Rosewall Community Centre and Cloverdale Community Centre’s Festivals.”
“When living in Pakistan my Mum owned a beauty salon where my sister and I worked. We lived in Pakistan for a total of 13 years. Unfortunately, being an Afghan refugee in Pakistan, I still faced difficulties, for example, I would not have been able to attend University.”
This year, Anita will be starting at Deakin University to begin a Diploma of Commerce. Anita continues to build on her skills as a henna artist by attending classes taught by Alisa Parveen, a Melbourne-based Henna Artist.
“I am really proud and appreciative of coming to Australia from Pakistan. There is so much support and so many opportunities here, compared to Pakistan. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity to study. #Corio and #Norlane is very culturally diverse which offers opportunities to build stronger relationships between each other and helps us to learn lots of other things”. I feel very lucky to have been awarded a Geelong Youth Award in the category of Inspiration and Arts and Culture. I want to say thank you for what the #Geelong community continue to offer me and my family. I’m determined to repay the help I’ve received and offer support back to the Geelong community in the future.”
Anita will be attending the Piccadilly Market at Mt. Duneed Estate on Sunday, 25th of February, 11am-4pm.
Story and photo: Brandon Dellow