From working with textiles in Pakistan to running a restaurant in remote Coober Pedy in far northern South Australia - the journey into aged care has been an unusual one for Ghufran Asim.
And its time to wish Ghufran, and all our Muslim staff, clients and residents, a blessed Eid Al-Adha - a three day observance from July 9-13 where the sacrifice made by the Prophet Ibrahim is remembered.
Ghufran, a Personal Care Worker at Uniting AgeWell Camberwell Community Condare Court is a devout Muslim who prays five times a day.
He also practices wudu - the cleansing ritual or ablution where the hands, mouth, nose, arms ears, hair and feet are washed before prayer, performed on a prayer mat which faces towards Mecca.
Because achieving this at work is difficult, Ghufran schedules his prayers outside of working hours to allow him to worship at home.
However, he says he would welcome a multi-faith prayer room, like the one that has just been created at Andrew Kerr Care.
“My faith is very important to me,” he explains.
His job is very important to him too. He absolutely loves working in aged care.
Ghufran, who has an associate degree in textile design, worked in the textile industry in Pakistan before he and his wife and their three daughters immigrated to Australia in 2011.
He missed his career in the textile industry, but in order to qualify for permanent residency, Ghufran and his wife needed to work regionally in Coober Pedy, on the Stuart Highway in far northern South Australia. The remoteness of the area was a far cry from the overcrowded city of Karachi where many of his family still live.
They looked around, found a niche in the market for Pakistani or Indian restaurants, and opened one that embraced both cuisine styles.
“The restaurant closed after a year, so I looked around for a new career. I have always been drawn to older people, so I did a Cert III in Aged Care and a Cert IV in Disability,” he explains.
Ghufran started working in aged care in the Aboriginal community there and found it hugely rewarding. He worked there for four years before he and his family moved to Melbourne in 2016, to look for the greater opportunities that a bigger city affords.
Ghufran started work at Condare Court in 2016 – and the rest is history.
“The staff are friendly and I enjoy the environment, which is very inclusive and welcoming. We all work together as a team,” he says.Find out more about career pathways at Uniting AgeWell