Every Friday at the Melbourne Grand Mosque, Muslims come together for the Jumu’ah prayer – a gathering of great cultural and religious significance to the community.
CAPTION: Sergeant Brodie Stewart, left, Chief Petty Officer Sarah Lindsay, Flight Lieutenant Abdul Khan and Chaplin Darren Cronshaw engage with community members at the Melbourne Grand Mosque. Story by By Flight Lieutenant Abdul Khan.
One Friday in October, members of the ADF, including ADF Careers specialists, were welcomed to the mosque in Tarneit.
Air Force’s Chaplin Abdul Kader, who is part of the Board of Imams Victoria (the denomination that oversees the Melbourne Grand Mosque), said the initiative was warmly received by the leadership.
“This event symbolises unity and diversity in our great nation. We are proud to open our doors to our fellow Australians,” Chaplin Kader said.
The congregational prayer happens twice on Fridays, with about 2000 worshippers attending each session. This means that more than 4000 worshippers had the opportunity to speak to ADF personnel.
Flight Lieutenant Abdul Khan, of the Chief Information Officer Group, explained that the activity was aimed at attracting potential ADF candidates from the Muslim community, breaking down barriers and expanding diversity within Defence.
“Defence is diverse, it is inclusive, and it is actively looking to better reflect the community we serve,” Flight Lieutenant Khan said.
“Our presence at the Melbourne Grand Mosque is a clear signal that we value diversity and welcome those from all backgrounds to join our ranks.”
ADF personnel engaged in conversations with community members, answered questions about the more than 250 roles available in the ADF, and provided information about the many benefits of an ADF career.
“Our presence fostered open dialogue, ensuring that potential candidates felt heard and valued,” Flight Lieutenant Khan said.
The local community responded positively to the initiative, sharing their feedback in person and on social media.
“Australians from all walks of life shared their support, emphasising the importance of cultural inclusivity within the ADF.”