Youth Spotlight on Salisbury

Mimona 1

FLEEING war-torn Sudan at the age of four to Egypt, before arriving in Australia to begin a new life with her parents and sister, has led Mimona Abdallah to believe in the good of humanity.

“I am greatly passionate about creating positive change in the environment I live in and the people around me,” Ms Abdallah says.

“I have been granted these amazing opportunities from living in Salisbury and I don’t take that lightly.”

Along with her family, she lived in Sydney and the Riverland before settling here – a place she unequivocally calls home. The 20-year-old’s turbulent start in life gave her a resolve to want to be a leading force in driving positive change in her community.

The youth activist and UniSA Bachelor of Health and Medical Science student has a strong vision for what the future of Salisbury should be.

“To me youth engagement is so important because they are what will shape our future…so having young people engage in all aspects of life will allow them to have the knowledge, form connections and be able to work out what they want to do in the future,” the Salisbury East resident says.

“I’m all about empowering young people, coming together and creating change.”

And Ms Abdallah believes the Community Hub will be a huge project in driving that positive change.

“Having this Community Hub will bring [the community] together to create ideas and get to know other young people as well,” she says.

“Every community needs a central meeting place and the Salisbury Community Hub will definitely be that place.”

The Community Hub project is a core element of the revitalisation of the City Centre and will create a place for the community to come together to exchange ideas, learn, participate and celebrate in a range of flexible community spaces. The concept was first announced in the City of Salisbury’s Salisbury City Centre Renewal Strategy 2012 and has been included in the long term financial plan.

The Community Hub will feature a new generation library, a community terrace, training and meeting spaces and an outdoor screen that will showcase events, performances and live television broadcasts, in addition to Council’s civic and administration functions.

There will also be a transformable inside event space that can accommodate up to 500 people which will be suitable for festivals, formals and performances and can be combined with outdoor event space in the adjacent Civic Square.

This will build upon the City of Salisbury’s successful events calendar including the Salisbury Writers’ Festival as well as the award-winning Salisbury Secret Garden. An important social function of Council is to provide community driven events, networks and opportunities for our residents and the Community Hub will further enhance the role we have of social inclusion for our youth, aged services, disability and access and intercultural communities.

However she also recognises the strong foundations of which Salisbury can build upon. She believes there is more the area could be doing in regards to youth engagement, beautifying the streets and more events.

“I am proud to live in Salisbury – it is rich with multiculturalism and is open to everyone. Just because you live in a place filled with rich homes it doesn’t mean it’s perfect, because people are so blinded by the cover, they don’t really open it to see what’s inside.”

She says she is excited about the future prospects of Salisbury, believing its uniqueness is what sets the City apart and will be the driving force behind the revitalisation of the City Centre.

“It’s not every day you go to a suburb in Australia and see a street lined with shops from all over the world, like an African groceries and clothing store, a Spanish café, a Asian bakery, an Indian spices, a Nepalese groceries and cheese market.

“I visit the Salisbury City Centre every day, because it’s like home.”