SSI News Blog

Meet Jawad, a volunteer at SSI’s fortnightly Community Kitchen in Auburn since 2012.

Jawad

Jawad's kite design represents all his friends at Community Kitchen.

Jawad, who is seeking asylum in Australia, initially came to Community Kitchen as a guest but has gone on to become one of its most prolific volunteers. He helps in the kitchen, takes part in activities, and is often the last volunteer to leave, after lending a hand with the clean-up.

Jawad made an unusual kite during a kite-making workshop earlier this year. When asked about the design, he said other participants were decorating their kites with images from their home countries.

But Jawad felt conflicted. He is from an Afghan culture, was born in Pakistan and is friends with many people at Community Kitchen — friends from other backgrounds, including Tamil and Rohingya.

He wanted to be inclusive. So he said his design was “SSI”, “Because SSI includes everyone!”

The SSI Community Kitchen offers a space for guests to share a meal and experience multicultural Australia. It’s a place to have fun meeting new people, practise English, and participate in music and sporting activities.

It also provides a place for guests to interact with the broader Australian community and access specialist service providers, information and skills development.

Find out about opportunities to volunteer at Community Kitchen.

Success stories

Refugee turned citizen feels privileged to have a say

Paz Roman smiling to camera.At 17, Paz Roman was nominated as Young Australian of the Year, mostly for her volunteer work. Ironically, she wasn’t an Australian. She came here from Chile as a refugee with her family when she was just a baby, and despite living in Australia since then, she struggled with the idea of becoming a citizen.  

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