Education

Working towards citizenship

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, flags 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 living in Australia for 10 years.