Mohamed Semra is a social activist, UN peace ambassador, and proud Braybrook resident who migrated from Sudan as a child and has now lived in the West for 16 years. He is running for Maribyrnong Council in the Stony Creek Ward to directly represent and amplify the voices and passions of our amazing community.
It’s the people that connect Mohamed to Maribyrnong, and he has witnessed first-hand during the COVID-19 pandemic a passionate, motivated and caring community, with which he shares this sense of resilience and compassion.
“Stony Creek residents of all ages and all races truly care about the wellbeing of their fellow community members. Many people in the West have been dealt a difficult hand, but what unites our community is that we are a determined people, who truly care about ensuring the best life for each other and our families.”
For Mohamed, the West has become a place where everyone feels as though they belong – it’s one of the many reasons he loves where he lives.
“It wasn’t that long ago that an African face was unusual in Australia. In fact, when I was at school I had my 15 minutes of fame when some friends and I from Maribyrnong College were asked to leave The Highpoint Apple store and it made international news! It was all a bit overwhelming for a school kid, but I received so much support from the local community that it inspired me to have the courage to stand up, and do the best that I could for everyone around me.”
For small joys Mohamed loves interacting with as many people as possible. As a child he had a severe stutter, and found it difficult to communicate, meaning that for a long time he didn’t do the things he wanted to do, out of fear of being mocked. Now having overcome this barrier, he has gained confidence and now you can’t stop him from talking with anyone and everyone!
“I feel so grateful to be a part of a community where I can express myself, and I love listening to the thoughts, stories and opinions of those around me.”
For favourite hangouts, Mohamed finds it difficult to go past Blue Bamboo in Braybrook for great Vietnamese, and also loves Aangan in West Footscray.
And his hopes for the future?
“My goal is to help create a community that every single person can be proud to call home. There is so much potential in the West, with the right leadership, energy and enthusiasm from council, we will be sure to get there.”
You can follow Mohamed’s progress via Facebook: