By Brendan Rees
A game of netball has helped women from the Hazara community to become more inclusive in Hampton Park.
Hampton Park Football and Netball Club welcomed women from the Hazara community to their club during a netball activity morning at Robert Booth Reserve on Friday 10 August.
The event is part of a partnership project with the Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network and community development organisation Community Four.
Community Four CEO Gavin Ackerly says it was a great example of how diverse community groups can work together to tackle social challenges.
He says the project aimed to assist Hazara women to develop their English language and life skills, as well as bring new members to the Hampton Park Football and Netball club.
According to Mr Ackerly, the venture was not about charity but achieving a win-win for both community organisations.
“We worked closely with Zakia Baig, the president of the Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network, to design this project. She is passionate about expanding the networks of the women in her community,” he said.
“We agreed that any English language program for Hazara women had to include ways for them to build their networks with the wider Australian community.”
Mr Ackerly says Community Four approached Hampton Park because of the strong role grassroots football and netball clubs play in bringing communities together.
“Hampton Park was our first choice because they have a reputation of being inclusive. Our experience working with them has been very inspiring. They are genuinely committed to diversity.”
The Hazara Women’s English and Lifeskills Project is made possible by the Scanlon Foundation and runs every Friday at the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre in Dandenong. More information can be found at communityfour.org