Henna Artist, Anita

“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.

Anita 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.”

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Asadollah Khaleghi (Asad)

“When I was 3 months old, my family who lived in Afghanistan, fled on foot across the country into Iran for a better life.” Asadollah Khaleghi (Asad) is a young bright Afghan refugee who has lived in Corio since day one of stepping on Australian soil. “When I was 3 or 4 years old, my father passed away. I grew up in Iran, going to school and started working at the age of 8 to help support the family.” Asad came to Australia in 2012 with his mother, brother and two sisters.

Asad (002)

Asad is currently a 2nd year apprentice with Bush To Beach Plumbing, where he also attends the Gordon to learn practical skills to further advance his knowledge and skill base. He enjoys both aspects of the apprenticeship. “In 5 years’ time, I see myself owning my plumbing business as well as continuing my singing performances”. He also participates in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), where he is extremely lucky to have Jamie Cockerell as a coach, describing him as “a really good man”.

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Disabled Surfers Association, Nick

‘Imagine the privilege of taking someone with a disability into the ocean for the first time and imagine the thrill for our surfers feeling the rush of a wave for the first time with an army of volunteers cheering them on. The Ocean Grove Branch of the Disabled Surfers Association (DSA) is all about putting smiles on dials! We’ve been doing this since 2009 and our 2018 events are February 4th and March 4th. We’d love to get more people involved!’ PLEASE SHARE! Their Secretary Nick Ansell tells us more.

DSA Photo Diana Willis

‘The DSA is a charity run totally by volunteers, which takes people with any disability surfing in a fun and safe environment. Our events are free, fun and life changing for both our surfers and our volunteers.

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This Is My Reality, Nicci

‘What drives me is how isolated I felt when first diagnosed with Bipolar in 2001. I’ve been a passionate Mental health Advocate ever since. I couldn’t find information and the closest support group was an hour and a half away. So, within 12 months I’d started, what was at that time, only the third support group in the State’. We’re talking with Nicci Wall of This Is My Realitywww.thisismyreality.com.au PLEASE SHARE!

Nicci Geelong v Essendong Coin Toss 13-05-17 2 (002)

‘What I’ve learnt as an advocate is the biggest fear people have about opening up, is the fear of rejection and ridicule. It stops people from reaching out for help. I recommend you reach out to community services such as genUWellways and me-well. These organisations offer a gentle approach. The worst thing you can do is not reach out. I’m happy to help people with this. You can contact me nicci@thisismyreality.com.au

‘Nearly half of us will experience a mental illness at some point in our lives.All of us will go through periods of stress, sadness, grief and conflict. Sometimes the right support and treatment is lifesaving.

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Imogen Brough

Geelong’s own, amazingly talented Imogen Brough will be performing at the FREE COMMUNITY EVENT #humansingeelongexpo at 11am Deakin Waterfront Courtyard, Sun Oct 8. I had the pleasure of catching up with Imogen.

What inspired you to pursue music?

I’ve always loved and appreciated music. I grew up with Enya and Coldplay. Music that was listened to as I was growing up also inspired me. That’s why Celtic Irish music is a favourite. I feel in love with these genres. I was born and bred in Geelong and went to Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College where I took singing lessons and I had the wonderful opportunity of touring Europe with their band the Sweethearts. My Mum plays the piano and my Dad plays the guitar but I was the first in my family to pursue music professionally.

Imogen Brough

What got you to where you are?

 My supportive family and the opportunities I gained at a school that appreciated music. They have a great music department. Being surrounded by music has led to a deeper level of emotional connection for me. It led to me becoming a singer-song writer. Music is the universal language and nourishes on so many levels.  I was in the finals on The Voice in 2013. At that stage I had finished my Bachelor of Music and being on the show helped set me up. I started securing corporate gigs and amazing opportunities. This journey is a great part of who I am today especially with the publicity behind The Voice.

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Anti Fracking, Alison

Alison Marchant tells us why she was passionate about stopping Fracking. ‘The past 4 and half years, I have dedicated my time to a community campaign that was concerned about unconventional gas mining which is known as Fracking. Throughout that time, I have joined my local community group to create awareness and act to protect our water, environment, agriculture, tourism and community health. I have become very passionate about communities having a voice and being a part of the wider decision-making process.’


What inspired you to try to make a difference?

My community inspired me. When the Western Victorian community were faced with Fracking, it was a very stressful time, especially for rural farmers, but I saw people step way out of their comfort zone to fight. I firmly believe there is no use complaining unless you’re willing to be a part of the solution. Communities as a united voice, can drive the change we are after.

What have you achieved?

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Kokoda Track, Andy

Walking the Kokoda Track for the 5th time with young people who are facing challenges in their lives is  Leading Senior Constable Andrew Brittain. He is the Youth Resources Officer for the Geelong Region. He has a total of 28 years police service across Western Victoria, including general policing and time in the Air Wing and has been in his present role for 10 years. Between 2010 and 2014 he was seconded to the Education Department and worked with a leading teacher running the Operation New Start Program in Geelong, working with young people at risk. He was awarded “Policeman of the Year” by Highton Rotary and “Worker of the Year” by the City of Greater Geelong.

Andy Kokoda

As part of his current role he is the police facilitator for the Geelong Kokoda Youth Program. This program involves taking young people who are facing challenges in their lives on a life-changing experience walking the Kokoda Track. This year [2017] will be Andy’s fifth year of taking a group along the Kokoda; 47 young people have done the trip so far, 45 of whom are back at school, university or holding a steady job.

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