The Melbourne Dawoodi Bohras Champion Environmental Stewardship on Australia Cleanup Day

Dawoodi Bohras of Melbourne join hands with various organisations on Australia Clean Up day.

Over the past four years, the Melbourne Dawoodi Bohras have made a significant impact on Clean Up Australia Day. This movement, aimed at inspiring and mobilising people to improve and conserve the environment, eliminate litter and end waste, has been a platform for the Bohras to showcase their commitment to environmental responsibility and community well-being.

In the last two years, the Melbourne Bohras have forged a strong partnership with the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary in the Whitehorse Council area. This collaboration has not only allowed the Bohras to pool resources and share expertise but has also amplified their impact on the local environment.

Twenty-five community members, aged 10 to 70, joined hands with other organisations to collect 75 kilograms of landfill waste, making a tangible difference in their local environment.

The Dawoodi Bohra community holds cleanliness and environmental stewardship in high regard, viewing these acts as expressions of gratitude and responsibility. Rooted in the teachings of Prophet Mohammed, who taught, ‘Prefer for others what you prefer for yourself,’ the Bohras believe that caring for the environment transcends mere physical necessity. It becomes a spiritual duty and a moral imperative to personally ensure the well-being of our planet.

Mustafa Poonawala, a member of the Melbourne community of Dawoodi Bohras, said, “The Blackburn Lake Reserve holds a special place in our hearts, serving as a home for many families in our community. Our commitment to its preservation goes beyond a one-day cleanup event, reflecting our desire to maintain a healthy and sustainable environment for current and future generations.”

Anne Payne OAM, Chairperson of Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee, said, “Thank you so much to all the Dawoodi Bohras who gave up their Sunday morning to help in cleaning up Blackburn Lake Sanctuary on Clean Up Australia Day. Over 75 participants, including local Lions Club members, Deakin students, local municipal Councillors, including the Mayor and Councillor Denise Massoud, community indigenous nursery volunteers, Friends of Blackburn Lake Sanctuary volunteers and local families, collected 75 kgs of rubbish. The participants especially enjoyed the generous morning tea the Dawoodi Bohras provided.  We hope there are many more shared community opportunities.”

Participating in Australia Cleanup Day was undertaken as part of Project Rise, the Bohras’ global initiative to improve the lives of the less fortunate, and protect and enhance the natural environment.  By involving individuals of all ages, the Dawoodi Bohras hope to actively train the next generation to become responsible stewards of the environment.

The Dawoodi Bohras are grateful to Mayor Denise Massoud of Whitehorse Council, as well as the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee, for their unwavering support, encouragement and collaboration.  The Bohras look forward to continuing this journey together.

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