Farida Joonebhai Pacey: A Voice of Progress on International Women’s Day

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8, the Dawoodi Bohra community of Sydney takes immense pride in one of its own, Farida Joonebhai Pacey, a mother, a dedicated speech pathologist, clinical educator, and a researcher at the University of Sydney. Farida’s exemplary work in improving the lives of children with speech disorders has garnered her widespread recognition, including a prestigious university teaching award.

Farida’s journey is one that intertwines professional excellence with heartfelt community service. Her research has been pivotal in enhancing reading capabilities in children with speech impediments. As a clinician, she has provided treatment to hundreds of children facing challenges with speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Amongst these are many members of the Sydney community of Dawoodi Bohras, for whom Farida’s expertise has been a beacon of hope.

Farida is a celebrated figure for her engaging talks on improving speech and language. She emphasizes the importance of nurturing Lisan al Dawat – the Dawoodi Bohras’ native language – at home, advocating for the preservation and daily use of the community’s linguistic heritage. 

Farida’s commitment to the Dawoodi Bohra community extends beyond her clinic.  For over 15 years, she has helped to educate young minds, nurturing their spiritual and intellectual growth as a teacher of religious classes at Saturday School. Her dedication to this role reflects her deep-seated belief in the power of education and service.

Reflecting on her dual role as a professional and a community educator, Farida said, “I am blessed to have this opportunity. I get enormous satisfaction when I see the impact of my work on the lives of the children and their families.”

On International Women’s Day, Farida’s story is a testament to the strength and capability of women to lead and make a difference in their communities. Farida draws inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s words, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

In celebrating Farida Joonebhai Pacey, we recognize not only her individual achievements but also the collective progress of women around the world. Farida understands the impact of education and how this can change the world, as Malala Yousafzai says, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” This is what inspires her to continue her therapy and research on children’s literacy.

The Dawoodi Bohra community of Sydney, and indeed the global community, is enriched by Farida’s unwavering dedication to her profession and her community. Her achievements underscore the importance of perseverance, education, and service—values that are universally celebrated on International Women’s Day and every day.

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