WITH more than 40 migrant families in Horsham, Oasis Wimmera's new president Anubha Jhallas Das wants to welcome more new families with open arms.
Mrs Das was elected as the third president of the group last week.
Originally formed in 2010, the group aimed to support overseas migrants to integrate into Australian society.
Mrs Das joined the group last year and has taken on many roles.
From heading the multi-cuisine group 'Taste of the World' to teaching the Wimmera residents how to dance to Bollywood songs, Mrs Das said she has always tried to make the new migrants feel at home.
"I get invited to schools and colleges as a guest teacher to teach Bollywood dance. The interest they have shown has taken me by surprise," she said.
Mrs Das is also the coordinator of Jellybeans, a playgroup for migrant kids.
Originally from India, Mrs Das moved to Horsham in 2014.
Following her arrival in Australia, Mrs Das became a new mother and didn't take up any work for the first few years in the country.
"It was quite frustrating for me because I was working back in India. That is why when I meet new families specially mums I can understand how frustrating it could be," she said.
Coming from a technology based background in India, Mrs Das said she took up any opportunity that came her way after her son grew up.
"I call Australia the land of opportunity. I spoke to my friend and only through word of mouth I was offered so many roles. People see your work and they approach you," she said.
Mrs Das said she always wanted to work for the community growing up.
"It was a passion in my heart. My paternal grandfather was a politician, I have seen my family doing things for the people. It is in my genes," she said.
"If you want to change something, you have to change yourself first. It is rooted in my family."
Mrs Das said Oasis Wimmera has always tried to involve all migrants in the community through different activities.
She said the group concentrated on the importance of sports and fitness.
"We organise badminton sessions every Thursday at Horsham College gym during the school term," she said.
The group also owned a community garden at the Anglican Parish of Horsham, for the migrants to exhibit their love for gardening.
"A lot of people don't have backyard and live in smaller houses but are interested in gardening so we can give a little land to grow whatever they like," she said.
She said her vision as the president was to introduce different education courses including free courses run by Horsham's Centre for Participation.
Mrs Das said she wanted to introduce courses especially for migrant women who didn't not speak English.
"Any kind of art like stitching or sewing, or any beauty salon courses will keep them busy. Eventually they can start their own business and earn their bread and butter," she said.
She said people often confused Oasis Wimmera as an Indian group.
"It is not an Indian group, it is for everyone. We welcome everyone to bring their thoughts and ideas," she said.
With increasing migrants in the town, Mrs Das said she saw language being the biggest barrier.
"If they are from certain community who have never spoken in English and their second language is different, it could be quite challenging," she said.
She said difference in culture was also an issue faced by the migrants but culinary activities helped bridge the barrier to a large extent.
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