Work­ing to­wards cit­i­zen­ship

Shepparton News - - NEWS - By Ash­lea Wi­toslawski

De­ter­mined to be­come Aus­tralian cit­i­zens, a large group of women from Afghanistan have been hit­ting the books and study­ing to­gether at the Eth­nic Coun­cil of Shep­par­ton and District.

The group meets up ev­ery Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, bring­ing along their Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship text book.

Three lessons in, they have cov­ered a num­ber of top­ics such as indige­nous Aus­tralians, Euro­pean set­tle­ment, states and ter­ri­to­ries, f lags and im­por­tant days.

Class tu­tor Aleena Qazikhil was asked to take the class at the Eth­nic Coun­cil of Shep­par­ton and District as the es­sen­tial need was iden­ti­fied in the Afghan com­mu­nity.

Ms Qazikhil said the class was cre­ated be­cause of the can­cel­la­tion of cit­i­zen­ship classes at TAFE.

‘‘The class is only for ladies and will run for how­ever long is needed,’’ she said.

Ms Qazikhil said the women in the group had al­ready ap­plied to sit the cit­i­zen­ship test in the near fu­ture.

Last year, Ms Qazikhil said she ran a learner drivers pro­gram for these women and en­joyed be­ing in­volved in pro­grams that helped her com­mu­nity.

She gained her cit­i­zen­ship in 2013, af­ter liv- ing in Aus­tralia for 10 years.

Pic­ture: Ash­lea Wi­toslawski

Work­ing hard: A group of women from Afghanistan have been meeting weekly to prac­tise for the Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship test.

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