Bee Cruse
Taste Tour of Lakemba
Sara Mansour - Bankstown Poetry Slam

Amalina Aman

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Amalina Aman knows a thing or two about challenges. Having been told from a young age by the community around her that fashion design wasn’t an appropriate career choice for an Australian Muslim woman, Amalina set out to prove them wrong by releasing her line of modest fashion that has now been seen on catwalks around the world. The Westies sat down for a chat about the journey so far and how Lakemba will always have a huge influence her designs. 
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Amna Karra-Hussan – Auburn Giants

Auburn Giants

When Amna Karra-Hussan decided she wanted to play AFL there was one issue that would stop most people in their tracks – no women’s AFL team existed in Western Sydney. Not seeing it as an issue, Aman decided to start her own and is now President of the Auburn Giants who have just entered their seventh season with all signs pointing towards a premiership for the club in the not too distant future. On a chilly autumn evening The Westies stopped by a training session to chat with one of the most warm, endearing and motivated people you are likely to meet. We chatted about how Amna started the club, the importance of women playing sport (far more than exercise) and the doors that open for you once you start knocking.  Continue Reading

Stories of Strength – Abdullah Sankari

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The Westies love a good story and believe that it is our individual story that makes us human – each of us have one that is as unique as our finger print. It is in sharing the story that we come to empathise with each other and start to see that the commonalities are far greater than our differences.

‘Stories of Strength’ is a project run by Bankstown Youth Development Services, which is about showcasing local Bankstown stories, focusing on experiences of strength and resilience. These stories are generated through a series of interviews conducted by local young people, who interview selected community members. Through inter-generational sharing of cross-cultural stories, the project aims to highlight the strength that individual experiences bring to create a strong and resilient community.

We had the pleasure of meeting a wise young man named Abdullah Sankari who interviewed Ilona Abou Zalouf, his best friend’s Grandmother who grew up in Germany during the Cold War for the ‘Stories of Strength’ project. We chatted about his experience with the project and what he learnt about strength and the power of sharing stories. Continue Reading

4Elements All Ages HipHop Festival 2017 – Review

4Elements

Last Saturday The Westies headed down to the Bankstown Arts Centre to check out 4Elements – all ages HipHop festival, hosted in Western Sydney with a real focus on local talent.  Continue Reading

LIFE’S SWEET ON EAT STREET!

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Parramatta’s Eat Street is always a hub of activity over the weekend, with people spilling across crossings and out of restaurants onto streets, revelling in the weekend, the incredible mix of restaurants and the beautiful weather that we have been having lately. But you know what isn’t so great and picturesque? Car parks.

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Peggy and Sean Wilcox – Mooney Real Estate

Mooney Real Estate

After several years in a less-than-fulfilling job, Peggy Wilcox decided it was time for a change and to finally follow that little voice that had always wanted to try working in Real Estate. Not to spoil the ending but things worked out well and now, three years down the track, she owns her own agency – Mooney Real Estate – along with husband Sean. Katrina chatted to both of them about starting the agency and what it’s like working with your spouse.  Continue Reading

Kiri Morcombe – WeAve

WeAve

I first stumbled across WeAve a few years ago when Liam Benson was running a beading workshop. The instant I walked into the room I felt welcomed and though the skill level of many of the group were well above my own, I never for a moment felt intimidated. WeAve is an initiative of Parramatta Artist Studios, it is a group of women who get together monthly to share textile skills and produce stunning works of art but the real beauty is what is woven into the group, a strong sense of inclusion, openness and support. Textile skills are not the only things shared; language, cultural traditions and mutual respect make up the strong fabric that is WeAve. I chatted with group co-ordinator and the thread that holds everything together, Kiri Morcombe to find out more about WeAve.  Continue Reading

On a Personal Note – Australia Day

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Australia Day

Where does one start? It’s a big topic and one that I have put a lot of thought into. First let me say that I personally 100% support a date change and I absolutely 100% support celebrating Australia Day – but not on January 26th Continue Reading

Nick Atkins – The Joan

The joan

One of the most impressive buildings standing in Penrith is The Joan – a building that inspires, impresses and slight intimidates. Take one step inside and you find a state-of-the-art facility quietly turning out productions that go onto to play on stages all over Australia and the world. We recently spoke with Nick Atkins, a producer at The Joan, who is in charge of The Q – a specifically designated division for developing and producing theatre “in and from the heart of Penrith”. Nick and The Q are instrumental in making the arts accessible to a region that is seriously under-funded and under-represented yet bursting with talent and local stories to tell. Continue Reading

Australia Day in Parramatta 2017

Australia Day Parramatta

Australia Day, however you recognise it, is a day off from work and a chance to get out in the gorgeous weather we have been having here in Sydney. It’s a chance to have a big old barbecue and listen to the Triple J Hottest 100 and celebrate all the amazing opportunities we have here in Western Sydney and in Australia. The City of Parramatta has a great reputation for hosting one of the hottest parties in Sydney, with their annual Australia Day celebration being touted as one of the best ways to listen to some of the best local music that Western Sydney has to offer.  Continue Reading