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2017 Ita Manuwanti 2 What a treat it was to hear from Ita Rahmawati on Wednesday 15th Novemver 2017; and hear about her journey from Indonesia to Ballarat, Australia.

Ita, was born in Bekasi, Indonesia in 1989 and studied German Literature at university, graduating in 2011. She has a passion for languages, culture and movies, passions which fed her desire to live overseas.

In 2015 Ita met and married a gentleman from Ballarat and relocated to Australia in 2016 to a completely different way of life and culture, giving up her professional career and settling into life as a mother and wife. But life was lonely in a new country, trying to understand a new culture whilst practicing her Muslim faith.

Some cultural differences she overcome are the challenges of finding Halal food and the expectation that prayers are undertaken five times a day whilst continuing to work and look after her family. The weather was another challenging difference and getting used to the cold temperatures in Ballarat compared to Jakata.

Loneliness and isolation were a great part of Ita’s life until she discovered the great opportunities provided for the multicultural community in Ballarat. Ita now has many friends and work colleagues and has discovered a great community who accept and respect diversity in Ballarat. She is a member of the Islamic Society of Ballarat and actively participates in the development of infrastructure at the Ballarat Mosque.

2017 Ita Manuwanti An example of a project she has undertaken with the women of the Ballarat Muslim community is creating a Kids Mosque Library.This initiative has been supported by the City of Ballarat, to facilitate early education of Islamic teaching for Muslim children.

Today, Ita loves living in Ballarat and is working as a Customer Request Officer with Powercor Australia in Wendouree and is passionate about working with the Muslim community to develop the mosque for the benefit of the local Ballarat community in general.

Well done Ita to have settled into a new life in a new country in just three short years. We thank you for sharing your story and wish you every success for the future.

Images: top left, Ita with member Joy Rothwell

             bottom left, Ita with member Rob McDougall