CELBRATING CULTURE Janine Basha is the new president of the Lockyer Multicultural Association.
CELBRATING CULTURE Janine Basha is the new president of the Lockyer Multicultural Association. Francis Witsenhuysen

Janine's helping to bridge cultures in the Lockyer

Occupation: PhD student and mother.

Age: 40.

What have you enjoyed most about your time as president of the Lockyer Multicultural Association?

Creating opportunities for people to share their culture with others.

Why did you decide to get involved?

Having lived and worked in Taiwan, Israel, Scotland, The Netherlands and Uganda, I understand what it is like to live in a foreign country and learn another language. One friendly person or connection can make a big difference. The Lockyer Multicultural Association is a community volunteer organisation that celebrates cultural diversity and supports internationals living within the local community.

Have you met anyone famous? Who and when?

Being famous is a matter of interpretation - I was talking to the minister of agriculture for Belgium and I didn't even know who he was. I did mingle for a day at an agricultural show in Scotland with Prince Charles in 1999.

What is your greatest accomplishment in life?

I like creating opportunities for people. My greatest accomplishment thus far was helping start a school for orphans in Uganda. The first students have graduated from Grade12 and their lives have been changed forever.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

Be kind - you never know what is going on in another person's life.

What is the one thing you would like to change in the world?

For people to realise they are unique, gifted and powerful in their own way and have been created for a purpose.

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

I'm still feeling like I'm in my 30s.

What is your favourite hobby or recreation, and why?

Reading a book, as my brain and body can relax and recharge.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

The freedom to go to the creek in summer, where I could read, swim, fish, canoe and watch nature.

What is your favourite place to visit in the district?

Lake Apex at sunset.

What would you do if you won the Lotto?

Continue to develop and implement programs so farmers around the world can make a living wage and develop more agricultural training opportunities for young people. A friend in Uganda has an idea to create community housing for the elderly so I would like to design and build a sustainable model suited to East Africa.

Who are the people you most admire - dead or living?

Nelson Mandela - his ability to forgive and lead a nation with integrity

Wayne Bennett - he understands that each of us have a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual elements and we desire to belong, be accepted and be part of a family.


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