60 seconds with Dawa Juma

123Multicultural Champion and English Language Enthusiast

What are you enjoying doing at the moment?

I am enjoying my work in aged care as I love to help people. I enjoy that I get to see different people with different stories and values.

If you were a super-heroine, what powers would you like to have?

I would use my power to stop war in Africa, especially in all the different countries having conflict. I feel that there are many women and children who are suffering the most. I would use my powers to manage or stop this.  

What talent would you most like to possess?

I would to be able to sing and dance.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

If I could have any job in the world, I would still love to work with people. For instance, working in a community, with women, a hospital or any organisation that has a goal to help people.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone new to Australian culture, what would it be?

The first advice I would give them is, don’t feel you are alone here. There are lot of activities and lot of people in the community from various backgrounds. I would encourage them to socialise and use their health supports. I would let them know about interpreters as these are there for them to use and that there are lot of groups available for children and family for example, soccer, English classes and women’s group.  

What’s your favourite word in the English language? Why?

‘Fork’. It is my favourite as in my country most people have different accents and I have heard it mispronounced in my English language classes back in my country, which always made me laugh.

If you could invite anyone (dead or living) to dinner tonight, who would it be?

I would invite Ian [one of the senior managers at work] because he is a man who is a feminist, from Australia and fighting for women’s health. At dinner I would thank him for his work and that we need more men like him.   

Your most cherished memory?

My second marriage. I didn’t think or expect it would be big event but in 2012 we got married and we had families from both sides attend. We did it traditionally and everything was perfect which made the wedding day memorable.  

Tell me about an amazing woman you know.

My manager, as she does not care about your level of education or how well you speak English level but is always encouraging and motivating. Most managers just tell you what to do, but she gives us choices and information that is helpful. She does not judge me on my English but looks at my skills and guides me in the right direction. Now I want to do more English classes even though I find grammar very difficult. I admire her constant encouragement.    

Do you have a song/music that inspires and motivates you?

My African music.

Is there a favourite cultural tradition that you like to follow?

Eating traditional food on one plate with everyone.

Do you think Australia is multicultural?

Yes, it is multicultural because according to history, Australia belongs to Aboriginal people so most people who have come here are all migrants from different countries.   

Finish this sentence: “We need feminism because…”

…we need people to do things that are special.