​A Day in the Life of Shabnam, Community Engagement Officer

Published 16 June 2021

​A Day in the Life of Shabnam, Community Engagement Officer

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I joined ADNSW on a one-year secondment from Multicultural NSW picking up on Sahra’s work while she is on leave. I migrated to Australia from Malaysia at age four with my Iranian Father and Malaysian Indian Mum. I have fond memories of growing up under the open sky of country life in Mildura, Victoria before settling in Sydney. 

Can you describe your role at Anti-Discrimination NSW?

NSW is one of the most culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse places in the world. Because of this, organisations need to make provisions for culture and language needs to ensure everyone can access their services.

As the community engagement officer with the multicultural portfolio, I help this happen at ADNSW through projects such as consulting the community to have a voice about our services. The aim is to build closer relationships and mutual trust between our organisation and multicultural communities so that we can together develop effective projects to address discrimination, and find solutions to enhance their access to our services. I’m also here to support teams with anything related to multicultural communities.

What are some of the exciting things that you’re currently working on?

We are consulting with members of the  Multicultural NSW state-wide Regional Advisory Councils which consist of community and government workers who work with multicultural communities, and community leaders themselves. This is all part of a year-long plan to find out from migrant communities what might be their barriers to use our service; if people know about our service and legislation; and what are the incentives for people to make complaints to us. I’m excited to share this knowledge with other teams for joint problem solving.

What keeps you busy outside of your role at ADNSW?

I work in the performing arts including performing with an independent theatre company specialised in visual theatre. I also get roles in odd plays, short films, ads, voiceover productions and anything creative.

Recently I played Ophelia as a feminist protester in her famous ‘madness’ scene in a modern take of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I also performed in a play that dealt with real life scenarios of religion in everyday life, from interfaith marriage, the question of wearing or not wearing the hijab, racism, and homophobia, followed by a question and answer session with the audience. 

Last updated:

08 Jul 2021

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