Home » Podcast » SKANDARI FOUNDATION: Connecting Communities, Embracing Diversity

SKANDARI FOUNDATION: Connecting Communities, Embracing Diversity


In this week’s episode, Josh chats with Mina Skandari, Finalist – 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards NSW/ACT. Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award 2023.


Mina has founded SKANDARI FOUNDATION, which is all about creating community connections, Unity and diversity. She is very compassionate, caring and selfless, Mina has distributed many hampers and food packages to homeless people, disability pensioners and many other people struggling during tough times. Mina is also a childrens author, she has written a book “YOU ARE AMAZING AND UNIQUE IN THE WAY YOU ARE” the book is filled with positive affirmations concerning mental health, self love and about accepting your differences. Mina is also a mother of 2 who recently graduated from university (3 months ago) with a bachelor of social science majoring in criminology. Mina also works full time and does a lot of community service / volunteer work. She has been involved in organising multicultural festivals with Multicultural Society Of Campbelltown, she arranged the young championships awards for Macarthur, her dedication commitment and selfless act for her community is special and she deserves recognition for always putting her community first despite her busy life schedule. Mina has achieved so much despite being a refugee from Afghanistan and coming to Australia when she was only 9 years old. Despite the war and trauma she has achieved so much and followed her dream/goal which is to help people and especially those who are struggling


connect with Mina Skandari on Instagram , Facebook

Follow us on our Inspirational.Australians Instagram Page

Want to recognise someone making a difference? Nominate them now in 2 mins!

Find out more about partnering with Awards Australia





00:00:08] Josh

Welcome to inspirational Australians, where we share stories of Australians making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. We at inspirational Australians acknowledge the will, one dry and vulnerable people of the poor nation as their traditional owners and custodians of the lands and waterways on which this podcast is produced. We pay our respect to elders, past and present,  and those who are emerging and extend our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,  and inspirational Australians. We are inspired by the world’s oldest living culture

[00:00:46] Speaker 1

and pay homage to their rich storytelling history. When we share stories on our podcast. Hello and welcome to the inspirational australian’s podcast for your weekly dose of inspiration. So we’re in December already this year has gone past. It’s almost over and we’re probably coming to the end of season two of the inspirational reigns podcast. And take a little break over the end of December and January period. But the awards that we run he had awards Australia do not stop. So the young achiever awards will be open over December and for most states and territories open over January as well. So head to two young achieved awards dot com if you’re interested in celebrating young people and giving them a platform to have their work showcased. And I was proud to be speaking to a young Achebe awards finalist from twenty twenty three. Today by name of MENA.  Bhandari, before I introduced MENA, I just wanted to let everyone know that this episode is being brought to us by Spirit Super, which is the Super fund for hard working Australians. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t pay enough attention to assert that. It’s either too hard, too confusing, or we simply don’t know what Super is, but that’s okay. Spirit Super Max learning about looking after your Super, Super easy, with a focus on strong returns award winning service, and Super experts offering practical and helpful advice. Spirit Super is here for you. And your Super. For more info, go to a Spirit Super account that you consider the PDS and team datastore, Super ecommerce, so that you slash PDS before making a decision. Issue is motor trade association of Australia, Superannuation fund, pity loyalty. Date by C provided by quadrant first PD loyalty. Date,  past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance. So thank you for Super for sponsoring this episode and supporting young Australians, just like Manus gandara, who was a finalist in the twenty twenty three Spirit Super connected communities award. So main is passionate about creating unity in diversity. MENA founded the scandal free foundation. She distributed hampers and food packages to homeless people,  disability pensioners and others struggling during tough times. Mina wrote, you are amazing and unique in the way you are. A book filled with positive affirmations, concerning mental health, self-love and accepting differences. And so MENA,  I’m going to welcome you on and how are you doing today?

[00:03:20] Speaker 1

Thank you so much for having me on this podcast. I’m doing really well. I’m working from home so it’s really, really good. Yeah. Before we went live, you were telling me about the working full time with kids and all that stuff and there’s a lot of other things that you do as well. So yeah,  the juggle was always there, isn’t it?

[00:03:42] Speaker 1

It is. Yes it’s. It’s sometimes full on, but it does make you into a very resilient, much stronger person. Yeah,  for sure. So speaking of being employed, being a mum, you’re an author, you’re

[00:03:57] Mina

a founder, you’re a volunteer advocate,  humanitarian. There’s so much on your plate. So in a way,

[00:04:04] Mina

does your passion come from to do that?

[00:04:08] Josh

It’s about, oh,  I found my passion when I worked on myself. When I Became self aware,

[00:04:17] Josh

I discovered that I have so many. I have so much to give back. I did used to

[00:04:23] Josh

underestimate myself as I’m just one person. How much can I do besides working or besides being a mum?

[00:04:30] Josh

So when I went through the journey of healing,  Discovering who I am Discovering my all my traits,

[00:04:38] Josh

whether it was positive or negative, I came to realise that I can make

[00:04:42] Josh

a difference that I’m here for a purpose. I think every individual has a purpose and there’s

[00:04:48] Josh

a reason why we’re all here. And I believe that the reason I’m here is to have

[00:04:53] Josh

a positive impact in my community. So I do my

[00:04:55] Josh

best to do as much as I can for my family, for myself, my community. And so that’s,

[00:05:05] Josh

that’s how I get my motivation.

[00:05:09] Mina

Yeah, that’s a really great philosophy. It sounds

[00:05:12] Mina

a bit tiring to be honest as well.

[00:05:13] Mina

At the same time. Yeah,  so you mentioned growth there,

[00:05:21] Mina

sorry. And healing specifically. You know, can you tell us

[00:05:26] Mina

a bit more about that because, you know, it is a word, it’s bandied around

[00:05:30] Mina

a little bit. And obviously, you know,

[00:05:32] Mina

we all have our own experiences in trauma in life and we all need to kind of go

[00:05:38] Mina

through that healing process.  Exactly.

[00:05:40] Mina

Experience is

[00:05:41] Josh

exactly how I see it. I believe that every individual has been through something that’s shaped them into

[00:05:48] Josh

the person they, they’ve become and doing my research after I Became a mom,

[00:05:54] Josh

I realized a lot of the things that I do,

[00:05:56] Josh

although the way I react over react is due to my child wounds,

[00:06:02] Josh

and that doesn’t always mean that it’s because you’ve been through

[00:06:05] Josh

a traumatic childhood. It could be due to like having parents who are not emotionally available,

[00:06:13] Josh

not receiving the love you needed feeling like you were not good enough or being

[00:06:18] Josh

raised the traditional way of like getting punished if you made a mistake. Being told that, you know,

[00:06:22] Josh

you’re not good enough so all that really does impact you in your adult life

[00:06:28] Josh

unfortunately. And we tend to everything personal like what else?  When I Became a mum,

[00:06:33] Josh

I realized this when our children overreact or when they’re having

[00:06:37] Josh

a tantrum. We take it Personally if someone speaks to us in a certain way,

[00:06:41] Josh

we take it personal and like most of us don’t realize when we take it Personally,

[00:06:46] Josh

it’s actually because we haven’t healed from,  from that wound. That’s like basically renewing all that,

[00:06:54] Josh

that feeling that we’ve went through. So I discovered this when I had kids,

[00:06:59] Josh

I thought, okay, this is not normal. Why am I getting,

[00:07:01] Josh

why am I taking my children personalities or behaviors or tantrums, person,  why am I making it about me then?

[00:07:08] Josh

? Or trying to even give me a hard time,

[00:07:10] Josh

they’re trying to communicate that they can. So working on that working on,

[00:07:16] Josh

why am I the way I am researching it led me to the conscious parenting journey of

[00:07:22] Josh

becoming a conscious parent. So I follow a lot of parenting coaches,

[00:07:27] Josh

such as like my, my two favorite daughter, shefali. She’s inspired me to be

[00:07:31] Josh

a better, mum. I’m still trying. There are

[00:07:34] Josh

days where I lose my cool with my kids,

[00:07:36] Josh

but I’m trying to adopt Dr. shafali. She’s inspired me in my healing journey. Dr.

[00:07:41] Josh

Vanessa Habib, I think Dr.

[00:07:42] Josh

Vanessa is from Canada and Dr..

[00:07:44] Josh

She follows from other United States or Canada, I’m not sure,

[00:07:48] Josh

but they help me discover and reach my full potential. Because before that I was in my comfort zone,

[00:07:54] Josh

I had the I wasn’t ready to go because I was scared. I was very comfortable. It

[00:08:00] Josh

was in my comfort zone and within I think it’s been about four or five years that

[00:08:06] Josh

I’ve been working on it and I’m still not one hundred percent there. But I’ve,

[00:08:10] Josh

I’ve changed a lot. I’ve changed my mindset, which is a big thing as well. Like in your healing journey,

[00:08:18] Josh

changing the way you think changing the way you see things being more optimistic.

[00:08:24] Josh

Believing in yourself, like I said, we’re all here for a reason. We all have

[00:08:27] Josh

a purpose. And one person can make

[00:08:31] Josh

a big difference in the community. We just need to work on yourself and take the

[00:08:36] Josh

time to focus on who you’re supposed to become. For me,

[00:08:39] Josh

I think covid was one of the big reasons. covid and lockdown was one of the big

[00:08:44] Josh

reasons. I wanted to write more books,  I wanted to discover more of my potential like my,

[00:08:51] Josh

my talents basically. So for me healing and growth is

[00:08:56] Josh

a big thing. And I don’t know if I mentioned it previously,  but I ended up Publishing a book titled,

[00:09:02] Josh

Hugh bloom grow and it says you reach your full potential once you feel, and it’s

[00:09:10] Josh

a book with positive quotes about my journey. My success that I’ve written two poems and I’ve added,

[00:09:17] Josh

I think over one hundred and fifty points about healing and

[00:09:21] Josh

growth. And that’s, that’s really cool. So I’ve

[00:09:26] Mina

got a few questions for you. You mentioned that you were writing more after Kobe. Does

[00:09:30] Mina

that mean you’d already started your journey as an author before covid?

[00:09:37] Josh

Oh, well it would be,  it would have been just when covid started my very first book. I published in

[00:09:43] Josh

January two thousand and twenty one. So no,  you lost your equivalent of my first book,

[00:09:50] Josh

which is dedicated to my daughter and other children. My very first book you are

[00:09:55] Josh

amazing and unique in the way you are,  was actually published in twenty twenty watching during covid,

[00:10:01] Josh

but not during lockdown

[00:10:03] Mina

yet. Yeah, yeah,  and so then you wrote that book for your little one and is that a children’s book?

[00:10:09] Josh

It’s a children’s book filled with positive affirmations,  that rhyme. And it’s such a empowering book for children,

[00:10:17] Josh

especially children who are from a minority background,  children who feel different, whether they have a special needs, whether they,

[00:10:26] Josh

you know, look different or present themselves differently.

[00:10:30] Josh

Like, for example,  the stuff scarf I’ve included,

[00:10:33] Josh

every Is just has beautiful characters from different backgrounds and different

[00:10:39] Mina

cultures. That sounds lovely and it’s so important to you know,  it doesn’t matter what community, what ethnicity, religion,

[00:10:49] Mina

we’re part of to educate our kids about others. And how they live their life is,

[00:10:56] Mina

you know, is okay, and it’s a, I just think that’s

[00:11:00] Mina

a really important thing in now. So that sounds like

[00:11:04] Mina

a really good book and what was it like, you know,

[00:11:07] Mina

I find that to be honestly Quite daunting and scary. The thought of writing

[00:11:13] Mina

a book and it was published. Yeah,

[00:11:16] Josh

it was really hard,  which is why when I wrote it like I finished writing it in January twenty twenty

[00:11:23] Josh

one. But I think I published a bit a bit later because it took me about

[00:11:28] Josh

a year to actually publish it. So the book was ready. Illustrations wasn’t ready,

[00:11:34] Josh

but the book itself, the text, it was ready. I did my research,

[00:11:40] Josh

I found publishers, but they charge over eight thousand dollars just for

[00:11:46] Josh

a children’s book, and that’s only to public to find a publisher. Illustration was a separate course. So for me,

[00:11:53] Josh

I needed something that was basically reasonable for the money in my budget. So I

[00:12:00] Josh

ended up Publishing self-publishing on Amazon,

[00:12:02] Josh

but obviously I had to pay for the Illustrations. And I also did my research with the,

[00:12:07] Josh

with different illustrators and I found some popular Australian news traders. I don’t remember their names, but they charged

[00:12:13] Josh

a thousand five hundred thirty eight which was a really high amount in my budget. It was, it was just,

[00:12:20] Josh

it was too high. Obviously they work. I respected. They were famous illustrators. I

[00:12:26] Josh

ended up finding my illustrator from Italy. I did my research.

[00:12:30] Josh


[00:12:31] Josh

a group on Facebook and I somehow was guided,

[00:12:33] Josh

I feel like God sent this amazing illustrator. My way, she’s from,

[00:12:39] Josh

from Italy and her name is cinnamon cinnamon rabbit. So she’s Turkish, but she’s,

[00:12:45] Josh

she lives in Italy and she’s highly talented. And her Illustration works was

[00:12:50] Josh

exactly what I expected. It was up to my expectations. And she,

[00:12:55] Josh

she drew the characters beautifully and I hope that I can show you one, it’s

[00:13:01] Josh

a beautiful book with very nice

[00:13:04] Mina

Illustrations. Yeah, well, we’ll have to put the,

[00:13:07] Mina

the links to the Amazon site on our show notes. And I really enjoy hearing about

[00:13:13] Mina

the process because another one of our guests, Paul,  he talked me through his process of writing

[00:13:23] Mina

a book and then some of the same challenges. Publishing how extensive it is,

[00:13:27] Mina

how difficult the process, how to find an illustrator. That Yeah,

[00:13:31] Josh

it was very difficult. It took me a year just for my first book. It took me

[00:13:37] Josh

a year to find the right illustrator to also learn how to, how do I publish,

[00:13:43] Josh

how do I, I was not familiar with the journey. So it was,

[00:13:46] Josh

it was like you said it was daunting for me and I think that’s the thing. What I

[00:13:50] Josh

use when I first announced the good news that my first book was published. But it

[00:13:56] Josh

Became so easy. The second and third time it was like, it just happened in a click.

[00:14:01] Mina

Yeah. Well I guess he knew

[00:14:02] Mina

a lot of the process not doing it for the first time anymore. So. So yeah,

[00:14:06] Mina

so you’ve had now three books and you say,

[00:14:08] Josh

yeah,  three

[00:14:09] Mina

books. And they’re all available via Amazon or

[00:14:13] Josh

all are on Amazon. Yes,  yes. All three. So,

[00:14:17] Mina

and do you see in your future, you know,  more writing directing?

[00:14:21] Josh

Yeah. I can see myself writing maybe three books a year. The problem is,  children’s books, specifically because that’s,

[00:14:30] Josh

that’s my passion. So I can read the books to my children. It’s just difficult with

[00:14:35] Josh

the cost even Illustrations across the law,  like each book would have cost me. I would say two and

[00:14:40] Josh

a half to three thousand. That’s still a lot of a lot of money,

[00:14:44] Josh

especially now.

[00:14:45] Josh

I’m a mom, we purchased a house and the interest rates are crazy. That’s another topic

[00:14:52] Mina


[00:14:52] Josh

I’ll have to balance and it’s really difficult at the moment, paying a mortgage,

[00:14:57] Josh

trying to keep up with the bills, the expenses with the groceries. It’s a lot. So I, I have,

[00:15:06] Josh

I do want to publish more and more books in the future. I can see myself as

[00:15:13] Josh

someone who’s going to continue to,

[00:15:15] Josh

to write. But I just need to find that. How have the budget basically to be able to

[00:15:21] Josh

do to do

[00:15:22] Mina

that?  Yeah, definitely. Circling back a little bit about something else you mentioned about losing your cool sometimes

[00:15:29] Mina

that as a parent, you know, if a parent says to you,

[00:15:34] Mina

I’d never lose my cool. Then they’re lying firstly, but yeah, it is,

[00:15:38] Mina

it is tricky. And I really like what you’re saying about, you know,

[00:15:42] Mina

conscious parenting. I’m not familiar exactly with the philosophy,  but it kind of seems to be pretty self-explanatory,

[00:15:50] Mina

but it is half the battle is just getting yourself in the right mindset to to be

[00:15:54] Mina

there be present for your kids. Exactly. So

[00:16:02] Mina

Tell us a little bit about the other work that you’ve done mainly because you know it is

[00:16:07] Mina

the list is so long and we only have

[00:16:10] Mina

a limited time. So I want to hear about each of the elements you founded. The skin

[00:16:16] Mina

diary foundation to tell us what that is,  why you founded it in the first place and where that’s going.

[00:16:23] Josh

So I wanted to begin by saying my family and I, we,

[00:16:29] Josh

we didn’t really have the opportunities that families have nowadays. We lived in,

[00:16:36] Josh

we escaped, the war from Afghanistan Became refugees in Iran, and we didn’t live

[00:16:41] Josh

a very luxury life. We struggled a lot with that financially. We really,

[00:16:48] Josh

really struggled fancy food or eating meat everyday. That wasn’t

[00:16:52] Josh

a thing for us. So coming from a family who went through struggle,

[00:16:57] Josh

experienced war trauma escaping it. And coming here,

[00:17:02] Josh

we always wanted to give back because we could empathize with people who are

[00:17:06] Josh

struggling. We knew what it feels like to go to bed hungry, too. Personally,

[00:17:12] Josh

I didn’t have any toys until the age of maybe eight really until the age of eight

[00:17:19] Josh

in Iran, I remember my mom somehow saved and purchased us all three dolls in

[00:17:25] Josh

a little bag. And that was the very first first toy that I had. I was

[00:17:29] Mina

eight and eight years old,

[00:17:30] Josh

migrated and then we migrated to Australia and I kept that boy. I played with it

[00:17:35] Josh

until I was like eleven twelve because I missed out on my childhood. I never,

[00:17:39] Josh

we never had toys out boys with nature playing soccer,

[00:17:44] Josh

adding pressure. We were basically outside all the time. So we went through

[00:17:48] Josh

a tough upbringing. We struggled and we always my dad,

[00:17:53] Josh

actually my dad and my older sister.

[00:17:55] Josh

Always thought about giving back to the community because even in Australia we,

[00:17:59] Josh

we see so many people so many families struggling because homeless people on the

[00:18:03] Josh

streets and they’ve just been left like that and people look down on them like,

[00:18:07] Josh

why don’t they go get a job well, how can they win when their mental health state,

[00:18:11] Josh

when their mental health is not in a good state?

[00:18:14] Josh

When the government doesn’t really try hard enough to get them off the streets,

[00:18:17] Josh

they just leave them they. So it’s, I guess,

[00:18:21] Josh

blamed on the structure of society so we have to step up other communities other

[00:18:26] Josh

organizations have to step up because we know what it feels like. We know what it

[00:18:30] Josh

feels like to be to live in poverty, to live living struggle,  which is why my dad and my sister,

[00:18:36] Josh

five years ago planned to found an organization. But even that journey was daunting. More than becoming an author,

[00:18:45] Josh

the most difficult journey was to finalize the foundation and make it official

[00:18:52] Josh

to establish it to basically register it. But we had it in mind since two thousand and sixteen,

[00:18:58] Josh

two thousand and seventeen that we want to give back. But especially my dad and my

[00:19:02] Josh

sister, Nick finally happened last year in January. So last year in December,

[00:19:07] Josh

we founded it and we’re doing our best. We can,

[00:19:10] Josh

we collect hampers fortnightly. We hand it to the most vulnerable in the community.

[00:19:15] Josh

We help a local, we help a local school at the moment just one school,

[00:19:20] Josh

but we are hoping to expand that and give more to the community and we’re grateful

[00:19:25] Josh

for second bite for giving us those hampers. Which is amazing because we thought

[00:19:31] Josh

then how can we distribute those hampers on their

[00:19:34] Mina

behalf?  Yeah, they’re a very cool organisation as well as they can buy. So how did you manage to partner

[00:19:40] Mina

up with them?

[00:19:41] Josh

Second bite. We have a really, really

[00:19:43] Josh

D D friend who has become like family to us to me and my family. His name is Andrew

[00:19:49] Josh

and I met him at a,  it was an awards award night for. Yeah, there was

[00:19:57] Josh

a community excellence. I think it’s the Afghans getting blacktown, they had

[00:20:02] Josh

a awards night and I was, I was one of the,

[00:20:06] Josh

I think I was one of the finalists. I received an award from them. They found out

[00:20:11] Josh

about my story.

[00:20:12] Josh

So I was, I was invited to receive my award for my community work,

[00:20:16] Josh

and Andrew was there from second life with his team. And we had just so we had just

[00:20:23] Josh

founded skin foundation. And this is again from God. It’s like

[00:20:26] Josh

a miracle because when we met Andrew, he just spoke to us and he connected and,

[00:20:32] Josh

and we told him about our foundation and he said, I’m from second,

[00:20:35] Josh

but he’s my card. We give out hampers. And I,

[00:20:39] Josh

and I said this is what we’ve been looking for prior to that. At another event we

[00:20:43] Josh

had, we talked about how we hoped to find a partner or

[00:20:47] Josh

a sponsor to give us funding or hampers so we can hand out to homeless people. And

[00:20:53] Josh

then two weeks later we meet Andrew from second life, which was

[00:20:56] Josh

a miracle basically. And that’s how we Became we connected with friends and ever

[00:21:02] Josh

since we have been partnering and assisting each other.

[00:21:06] Mina

Yep,  that’s fantastic. That it worked out like that. And it, Yeah,

[00:21:11] Mina

that’s the good thing about, you know, some people I think have

[00:21:17] Mina

a negative connotation with the word networking. For example, Mina,  but I think it’s really powerful and really positive thing,

[00:21:24] Mina

if done in the right way and with authenticity. Because obviously you were just

[00:21:28] Mina

there. Yeah. Being your authentic self, having a great conversation and to positive purpose is aligned to correct. And I

[00:21:36] Josh

believe I strongly believe in manifestation and having that mindset. Whatever you put your

[00:21:42] Josh

mind through, it will come your way,  and I’m grateful because through all these events that I’ve attended throughout all

[00:21:50] Josh

this my journey,  I’ve had the chance to meet people and I’ve had the opportunity for them to get to

[00:21:56] Josh

know me. And they showed interest in my story,

[00:21:58] Josh

my journey and they’ve approached me and gave me the opportunity to speak about it

[00:22:02] Josh

and inspire other people. So I feel like everything comes in place and what’s meant to be it will,

[00:22:07] Josh

it will happen and it will come your way. You just have to believe. And I believe I

[00:22:11] Josh

said, I know we’re going to find someone and that night when it happened,

[00:22:15] Josh

it was the best feeling. I couldn’t get over to tell my whole family about it. We

[00:22:20] Josh

found some leads, you know, they approached and they gave, they caught and well,

[00:22:24] Josh

here we are, we can finally do something better for the community.

[00:22:28] Mina


[00:22:28] Josh

It’s,  it’s a great feeling.

[00:22:31] Mina

So yeah, so this Kendrick foundation,  you deliver these hampers and food and things like that. You,

[00:22:37] Mina

how about billboard born question, I’m sorry, logistically, how do you do that?

[00:22:43] Josh

My person in the beginning,

[00:22:45] Josh

my sister and I used to actually drive to the warehouse without two kids. So my son

[00:22:50] Josh

was six months at the time my. My sister’s daughter was three months at the time,

[00:22:56] Josh

so we would drive her little SUV every two weeks,  sometimes every week on how much stock they had,

[00:23:02] Josh

much like how much time they had available for us. And we would drive there every,

[00:23:06] Josh

every Wednesday, which was the day that, that me and my sister had. Well,

[00:23:09] Josh

it Became very difficult because I’ll call her once more for all these numbers. So

[00:23:15] Josh

my dad happens to have a van and he’s our president, by the way,

[00:23:18] Josh

My dad is the president and we approached him and we said, dad,

[00:23:21] Josh

is that okay with you to go with my sister Marla,

[00:23:24] Josh

to go with her and pick up the hampers and he was more than happy to do that,

[00:23:28] Josh

so I’ve taken off taking a step back of my plate at the moment

[00:23:32] Josh

a lot of things going on. So my sister and my dad,  they go there every two weeks and they,

[00:23:36] Josh

they collect their hands and they do the distribution.

[00:23:41] Mina

Yeah, it’s a very hands on foundation.

[00:23:44] Josh

Yeah. And like I said,

[00:23:46] Josh

we are hoping to have more services in the future. We want to have more events and

[00:23:51] Josh

more workshops to assist women who are experiencing a domestic not just women,

[00:23:56] Josh

anyone who has experienced domestic violence, for example,

[00:23:59] Josh

we want to assist them. We want to have with them in the future,

[00:24:02] Josh

not to just help with hampers. We want to expand that

[00:24:06] Mina

in the future.

[00:24:07] Mina


[00:24:09] Mina

Yeah. So I still don’t understand. I can’t wrap my head around when you get time to,

[00:24:14] Mina

to do anything with all this stuff you’re working in. Quite impressive, made up,

[00:24:20] Mina

but I want to go back just a little bit to talk about your journey to Australia. You mentioned that

[00:24:26] Mina

a bit before and what was it like when you left Afghanistan?

[00:24:31] Mina

Do you remember that when you were little at the time?

[00:24:34] Josh

It’s interesting because when I tell the stories to my mum Recently, I said, mom,

[00:24:39] Josh

I have this image in my head, I have this, I don’t know whether it’s a dream,

[00:24:43] Josh

whether it’s a thought and when I described it to her,

[00:24:46] Josh

she said that was when we were escaping the war from Afghanistan,

[00:24:49] Josh

we went to Pakistan from Pakistan. We went to Iran and I have very vague memories.

[00:24:55] Josh

Now of the war. I feel like the impact has stayed had it stayed with me. My sister

[00:25:00] Josh

at the time, probably four. She remembered the war, she remembered the bodies,  she remembers everything,

[00:25:05] Josh

she remembers the sound of the bombing. She was four at the time. And then she was

[00:25:10] Josh

traumatised to the point where you couldn’t recognize her. Her eyes were like

[00:25:16] Josh

basically this. You could see the trauma in her body. It’s like she was paralyzed.

[00:25:21] Josh

 Basically, my mom and dad,

[00:25:23] Josh

obviously they saw everything. My dad lost his parents right in front of him when

[00:25:28] Josh

the bombs hit their home. He had to actually pick them up,

[00:25:32] Josh

pick up the pieces and basically bury them. So his trauma is on another level with

[00:25:37] Josh

me Personally, when we escaped Afghanistan, I don’t remember the bombings,

[00:25:42] Josh

I don’t remember the sounds, but I do remember some vague, like the,

[00:25:46] Josh

the journey being on the bus being in the camp. I think it was in Pakistan,

[00:25:51] Josh

it was distant. Maybe I was little but I when I told my mom about it,

[00:25:56] Josh

there was curtains and like tents basically,

[00:25:59] Josh

and she saying that was Pakistan. How do you you and your two and a half. I was

[00:26:03] Josh

a toddler, and I remember when we arrived in Iran, when there was

[00:26:06] Josh

a helicopter passing by or a plane, me and my siblings,

[00:26:10] Josh

we would shake. And we would say, is there going to be parents?

[00:26:14] Josh

My mom told me, I don’t remember this. Exactly,

[00:26:17] Josh

but I do remember feeling scared when I heard a plane or

[00:26:19] Josh

a helicopter call my sister because she was older, she was always,

[00:26:23] Josh

always happy to be always had this faith. And she remembered it slowly,

[00:26:30] Josh

slowly. I mean, we stayed in Iran for about seven years, maybe seven, seven years,

[00:26:35] Josh

I would say. Then we obviously had a tough time there because in Iran,

[00:26:40] Josh

although the people, the civilians like the people there they,

[00:26:44] Josh

they nice. Of course, there are some people that are racist,

[00:26:47] Josh

but the government is extremely racist. They don’t accept Afghan refugees in what

[00:26:54] Josh

have become a little bit of we experience racism,

[00:26:57] Josh

discrimination everything. We would basically model to attend school unless we had

[00:27:03] Josh

a green card. Basically in it to pay for that. So my parents could only afford that

[00:27:07] Josh

for sure. So me and my older sister went to school in Iran. It was free,

[00:27:12] Josh

although my mom’s great great grandfather is Iranian. So my mother has Persian

[00:27:19] Josh

in her. She’s a, she has Iranian blood, but they didn’t,

[00:27:23] Josh

they would not accept. So we had to actually pay to attend school. And we had to

[00:27:27] Josh

say that we were Iranian,

[00:27:28] Josh

so we would speak in daily like in their accent and in the language. And no one

[00:27:34] Josh

knew we were Afghan because if they found out we would either get kicked out or we

[00:27:37] Josh

would be made fun of and looked down, looked down on. So we had to,

[00:27:41] Josh

we decided we cannot survive in Iran. We had to move to Australia,

[00:27:46] Josh

which we obviously got sponsored by my mom’s sister,

[00:27:49] Josh

and we moved here in two thousand and four. I was only eight. I think I was only

[00:27:53] Josh

eight, eight and a half. And it was a complete different environment. I was not happy, of course, it was

[00:27:59] Josh

a peaceful country, a beautiful country, but for us all,

[00:28:04] Josh

especially my siblings and myself. I remember I struggled for the first two years.  We couldn’t speak the language,

[00:28:10] Josh

we couldn’t speak English. We had to miss out on our class and be able to attend

[00:28:15] Josh

the ESL classes at the time. Within seven months we could speak very little English.

[00:28:22] Josh

I remember being bullied because I would be putting myself posting. I remember

[00:28:26] Josh

being bullied and my boys in particular. Because I had an accent and I couldn’t

[00:28:31] Josh

speak very well.

[00:28:33] Josh

But after the two years passed, it Became much,

[00:28:35] Josh

much more. I feel like I belong to you Became

[00:28:38] Josh

a lot easier to adapt in the new environment, but it was very challenging.

[00:28:45] Mina

Yeah,  it’s a tough age. Really, nine. Coming to a new country,

[00:28:49] Mina

not knowing the language. Because at that point, you know,  the primary school kids are probably

[00:28:56] Mina

a lot of their play would be very verbal. You know, if you’re

[00:29:00] Mina

a few years younger or maybe even five, I think it could have been

[00:29:05] Mina

a bit easier in some respects because that kids plays

[00:29:09] Mina

a lot more I guess not. It is not as

[00:29:13] Mina

reliant on talking. You know what I mean at

[00:29:15] Mina

that younger age, so that would have been so tough for you?

[00:29:17] Josh

Yeah, it was very tough, very tough.

[00:29:21] Mina

When did you know, because I can imagine,  you know,

[00:29:24] Mina

two different pathways. If you will or fork in the road. You’re getting that

[00:29:28] Mina

bullying the racism, the, the difficulties it would be easy to, you know,

[00:29:35] Mina

to be Quite withdrawn or not so outgoing. Want to help people,

[00:29:39] Mina

but you chose the other path. You chose the path of wanting to give back wanting to

[00:29:44] Mina

help others. What was it that, that drove you down that way?

[00:29:49] Josh

I also mentioned this to people that I chat to having empathy is one of the

[00:29:55] Josh

most required the most important skill.

[00:30:01] Josh

Each individual needs to have

[00:30:02] Josh

empathy and compassion. If we can’t empathize with another person,  especially even our children, for example,

[00:30:09] Josh

to empathize to feel what they’re feeling to actually show. Sure that it’s hurting

[00:30:13] Josh

you as well. All of that must be horrible. That must be

[00:30:17] Josh

a very hard experience. How did you do it?  Like, you know, you’re strong well done to you, you know,

[00:30:23] Josh

showing empathy is really important and having,

[00:30:26] Josh

having empathy and compassion for others. I think that that’s something we have as

[00:30:31] Josh

a young age. We’ve always felt other people’s pain on a very emotional,  very compassionate,

[00:30:36] Josh

very empathetic person. I feel people’s pain. If someone’s crying,

[00:30:41] Josh

I cannot like I can’t see. And I feel and I get teary,

[00:30:46] Josh

and I try to like comfort them. I take it personal,

[00:30:50] Josh

which is something I’m working on to become more, a bit more,

[00:30:53] Josh

more resilient. I think it’s, it is an IT is a power to feel what other people are feeling,

[00:30:58] Josh

but to be able to help others. You need to not take it personal,  not get too emotional about it,

[00:31:04] Josh

but help them because you understand what they’re going through. Just just by empathizing,

[00:31:10] Mina

you know,  I think some people struggle with that next step of empathy as well,

[00:31:13] Mina

which is all right. Listening to the problem empathizing with you,

[00:31:18] Mina

and then knowing what to do next, because I don’t know if it’s a traditional Aussie stereotype or just

[00:31:23] Mina

a generational thing of maybe our parents age means,

[00:31:26] Mina

or things like that. But often people’s instinct is how do we fix it?

[00:31:32] Mina

You know, what can I do to fix it,  but often case that’s actually not helpful.

[00:31:38] Josh

Exactly. Exactly,  and I’m glad you mentioned that because

[00:31:41] Josh

a lot of the times and these go back goes back to parenting. We try to fix how they

[00:31:47] Josh

feel. We, when we try to fix how they feeling,  we’re not Listening to them. We just say, oh,

[00:31:52] Josh

then do these. Or what if we give them options?  From my experience,

[00:31:56] Josh

the best way to empathize with someone is to guide them. It’s to find out what they

[00:32:02] Josh

want to do. Listen to them. This is what I’ve learned throughout my journey. I’ve

[00:32:06] Josh

listened to so many lectures from different coaches.

[00:32:09] Josh

I’ve attended many workshops about parenting about growth,

[00:32:15] Josh

basically which helped me realize we shouldn’t figure how other people are feeling

[00:32:20] Josh

what as long as we empathize with them and ask them and guide them, let them find

[00:32:24] Josh

a way, ask them. What do you want to do?  Do you know what you can do in this instance?

[00:32:29] Josh

If they don’t know, maybe they can find a plan, maybe they can sit down and say,

[00:32:32] Josh

well this is how I’m feeling. Is it in my control? Can I change the situation?

[00:32:37] Josh

If I can’t change the situation, can I change the way I’m looking at it?

[00:32:41] Josh

But if I have the control to change my situation, can I get out of it?

[00:32:46] Josh

Then you know the answer. What can you do?

[00:32:48] Josh

Try your best to put yourself first and do what’s best for you because deep down we

[00:32:54] Josh

know what we want. We just haven’t discovered it yet because I guess we’re so like

[00:32:59] Josh

we’re so stuck in our head in our own head overthinking. Things so empathizing and

[00:33:05] Josh

talking to someone can help them find a solution. It’s not about us fixing it. We just have to

[00:33:10] Mina

listen. I agree with you,  No way in. I knew the person facing the Issue. I had to really find

[00:33:17] Mina

a solution. Have you have you done coaching before because I think you’d be very good at it.

[00:33:21] Josh

I lie for my family for my siblings. I’m like, they’ve always told me,

[00:33:26] Josh

you always left us. You always tell us great things you’re really good at giving in

[00:33:31] Josh

as you’re really good at helping, not professionally. But I do hope that I can be a parent, like

[00:33:37] Josh

a conscious parenting coach when I’ve become that fully conscious parent. But at

[00:33:42] Josh

the same time, we can’t always be perfect. We like I say,

[00:33:45] Josh

we sometimes lose it as well. We go against what we preach,

[00:33:49] Josh

what we know is wrong. Sometimes we lose our cool and we do the exact opposite,

[00:33:55] Josh

which I think is okay because we’re human. Yeah. As long as we’re repairing it and

[00:34:00] Josh

we’re I think to our children, to anyone who is fit, that shows that you’re

[00:34:04] Josh

a compassionate person. That cares, because so many people say, well,  you’re practising conscious parenting. You’re not

[00:34:11] Josh

a fully conscious parent because I know,  like I said in front of my parents in front of my husband,

[00:34:15] Josh

I’ve lost my boys my key. But I would say that in the future I do plan on becoming

[00:34:22] Josh

a coach or a conscious parenting coach to help other parents discover their skills on how to

[00:34:29] Josh

be the most in the most fun conscious parent parent, they can.

[00:34:34] Mina

Yeah,  but you’re right. You said it yourself, a human, we’re

[00:34:37] Josh

human, we all make,  we all make mistakes. We all have emotions, anger, happiness, frustration,

[00:34:45] Josh

even like sometimes we can be a little bit not aggressive, but like

[00:34:51] Josh

a little bit aggressive. We can all become that because it depends on the situation

[00:34:55] Josh

because we all have those emotions and they’re all valid. It’s just about knowing

[00:35:01] Josh

being conscious about what you’ve done and repairing that and fixing fixing what you’ve done wrong.

[00:35:07] Mina

So, you know, correct me if I’m wrong,

[00:35:09] Mina

but it seems like you’re really seems like you’re looking to learn all the times to

[00:35:16] Mina

grow and develop. You know,

[00:35:18] Mina

how old do you have advice for other people and how they can kind of follow that

[00:35:23] Mina

and what you know to fulfill their potential.

[00:35:27] Josh

Of course,  the first thing is to overcome the overcome the imposter syndrome.

[00:35:35] Josh

The fear of not Believing in yourself. Oh, I’m not good enough. You know,  how much can I achieve?

[00:35:41] Josh

Underestimating us. That’s everything I need. Just because we have a full time job just because we’re

[00:35:47] Josh

a parent. It doesn’t mean we can’t follow our dreams because we’re not here to just

[00:35:52] Josh

have our nine to five jobs. We don’t need to just be a mom or

[00:35:55] Josh

a dad. We’re here to do more. Discovering your own strengths, weaknesses,  becoming self-aware of your own characteristics. Because

[00:36:05] Josh

a lot of the times we don’t,

[00:36:07] Josh

we’re not conscious about why we are the way we are. We just think, well,

[00:36:11] Josh

this is how I am and I’ve always been like this. I think that’s not good enough

[00:36:15] Josh

because we can change is just a lot of us are in our comfort zone because it is

[00:36:20] Josh

a comfortable place to be. It’s nice and warm. We don’t want it because we’re so

[00:36:25] Josh

used to it. Like I said, I found my potential,

[00:36:29] Josh

I found I found my strengths and my abilities when I

[00:36:36] Josh

Became so far away. And I’ve mentioned this in other other talks that I’ve had in

[00:36:41] Josh

the past. It’s about wanting because we can’t change anyone. It’s like you have to

[00:36:47] Josh

want to change to be a better person. So getting out of your comfort zone,

[00:36:51] Josh

start reading how I started was I started reading lots of books and watching lots

[00:36:56] Josh

of videos about self-growth. So Dr. Pettersson actually he’s one of my very favorite clinical psychologist. I adore him.

[00:37:05] Josh

He is the most beautiful individual. He’s helped me so much. I’m not sure if you know him Dr.

[00:37:12] Josh

Jordan Peterson. He had a talk in November and there was thousands. In fact,

[00:37:18] Josh

he was like a big stadium filled with I guess I wanted to go,

[00:37:22] Josh

but I couldn’t attend and he has helped me in my growth journey. He has helped me

[00:37:27] Josh

discover my potential because there’s a book that he has. I have it buried some bits and pieces,

[00:37:32] Josh

but his book is twelve walks of life. And he has another book called for

[00:37:36] Josh

a second series of the twelve rules of life. Dr.

[00:37:41] Josh

Barbara a new has helped me in my healing journey through

[00:37:43] Josh

nature, through herbs, Dr., shefali, Dr.,  Vanessa. If you type their names on Facebook and Instagram,

[00:37:52] Josh

and you watch their videos, they are so helpful. And just by reading a lot and watching basically taking lessons,

[00:37:59] Josh

we need to take lessons to learn and repair into ourselves and we learn the things

[00:38:04] Josh

we’ve never taught. So getting rid of like bad of the things we believed in that

[00:38:11] Josh

did not work. It’s like unlearning them and re learning the right way it’s. It’s

[00:38:15] Josh

very difficult because so much of it. So many of us are stuck with who we are,

[00:38:20] Josh

who we are, who we’ve been for such a long time. That’s something I would

[00:38:25] Mina

say. You’ve touched on it,  but it takes effort, doesn’t it?  It

[00:38:28] Josh

takes effort and it takes a lot of thinking, a lot of becoming with a lot of awakening. Which

[00:38:34] Josh

a lot of us don’t do because we rely on mass media. We rely on others to

[00:38:41] Josh

tell us what is right and what is wrong. We don’t actually go, you know,

[00:38:46] Josh

we don’t actually go out of our way to find out the truth or to find out things for

[00:38:52] Josh

ourselves. There’s a lot of distractions. Basically that’s what I mean to say. One more thing that really helped me,

[00:39:00] Josh

Josh. I decided to get rid of my CV five years ago because I

[00:39:06] Josh

realised there’s so much misleading information from the news. There’s so much one

[00:39:12] Josh

sided story from the news and it just makes you depressed you,

[00:39:16] Josh

you turn on the news and it’s about feelings.

[00:39:19] Josh

It’s about things that basically

[00:39:21] Josh

create fear within us and that feeling will not let us discover the truth. So when

[00:39:27] Josh

I got rid of my television, when I got rid of mass media media,

[00:39:31] Josh

I was able to focus and even some people in my circle, I started to have

[00:39:37] Josh

a very small circle of just me, my husband, my kids,

[00:39:40] Josh

my parents and my siblings. I got rid of all the distractions that was not benefiting me. Yes,

[00:39:46] Josh

I did checking on others. I still genuinely cared about other people,

[00:39:50] Josh

but I prioritized myself and my peace of mind. So that’s when I discovered my

[00:39:56] Josh

potential. When I got rid of all the distractions, that’s

[00:39:58] Josh

a big thing that helped me get out of my comfort zone and find my outlet

[00:40:05] Josh

become more awake and become more conscious when I can get rid of all this,  all the distractions.

[00:40:12] Mina

Yeah, it’s something that sometimes comes

[00:40:14] Mina

a bit later in life when you get to that stage and you realize that negative

[00:40:18] Mina

impacts on your life are actually not worth it. Maybe it’s actually not a nice time. Maybe it’s

[00:40:24] Mina

a parenting thing because I know that for me that’s when that that Became more evident to me as well.

[00:40:28] Josh


[00:40:31] Mina

It may not. Thank you for sharing all that with us.

[00:40:33] Mina

It’s highly personal at times and you’ve been very vulnerable with us,  which I appreciate because it’s

[00:40:40] Mina

a it’s when really good. The good content comes out,

[00:40:44] Mina

I think. Yeah. And people are vulnerable so that how can people connect with the

[00:40:49] Mina

scan diary foundation or find your book?  Remind us again where we can do that.

[00:40:56] Josh

How people can connect. siskin Gary

[00:40:57] Josh

foundation would be to be on our Facebook page and our Instagram page. If you type

[00:41:03] Josh

skin diary foundation, please give it

[00:41:05] Josh

a like follow and support us that way if we have events in the future, we’ve done

[00:41:12] Josh

a lot of collaborations with other organisations. We Recently had our breast cancer

[00:41:17] Josh

event. We’ve done a lot of work for cancer. Only a few weeks ago we had our breast cancer event,

[00:41:24] Josh

so that’s how you can support follow what we do,

[00:41:26] Josh

get involved in our events and be curious about what we do,

[00:41:30] Josh

ask us how you can help. Maybe in my books you can find them all on Amazon if you

[00:41:35] Josh

actually just talk my name.

[00:41:37] Josh

All three books will pop up. It’s much easier than

[00:41:39] Josh

having to type the title of the book if you just type. mina’s diary on Amazon since

[00:41:44] Josh

my three books will pop

[00:41:45] Mina

  1. Yes, brilliant and good people connect with you via LinkedIn or when you

[00:41:51] Josh

scan diary on LinkedIn, you can also connect with me. My Instagram is private,  but my the foundation is definitely

[00:42:00] Mina

public. Yeah, perfect. Perfect. Well,  one thing before I,

[00:42:05] Mina

before we wrap up is I want to ask you about the young achiever awards. Your

[00:42:10] Mina

experience being part of it at the awards night and what it meant to be selected as

[00:42:16] Mina

a finalist because obviously speaking to you,

[00:42:19] Mina

I can tell you not doing entering awards programs to it. Sorry you’re not doing all

[00:42:24] Mina

your work. Didn’t receive an award,

[00:42:27] Mina

but it must be good to get that kind of recognition to show that you’re on the

[00:42:32] Mina

right path and the impact of having the community is actually being noticed.

[00:42:36] Josh

Of course, I think a lot of people who do inspirational work,

[00:42:41] Josh

they do it from the heart. So Personally speaking,

[00:42:44] Josh

everything that I do comes from the heart, it comes from my struggles and from,

[00:42:49] Josh

from my level of empathy. So I do it for the community without wanting to receive

[00:42:54] Josh

anything in return, but it is

[00:42:56] Josh

a surreal feeling. It is one of the most amazing to be recognized to be

[00:43:03] Josh

appreciated. It makes you feel like you’ve inspired others because when they hear your story,

[00:43:08] Josh

they go wow. Like I had friends who said you

[00:43:10] Josh

are on the news. You were on seven.

[00:43:12] Josh

You and I never mention my words. I don’t mention anything to my circle. A lot of things about me,

[00:43:17] Josh

they don’t know. Recently I’ve had friends who found that I’m an all star Recently.

[00:43:21] Josh

I’ve had friends who found out about us about our foundation. So I don’t go

[00:43:25] Josh

randomly talking about what I do unless someone asked or when they find out they

[00:43:29] Josh

show so much interest like well. But it was an amazing experience. I came to the

[00:43:34] Josh

awards night with my auntie, her husband, and my siblings, my. My three sisters,

[00:43:39] Josh

two of them couldn’t and couldn’t attend. And just just looking at the event,

[00:43:44] Josh

he was so amazing it was beautiful and to be on the stage when they called my name.

[00:43:50] Josh

And when they announced on the screen, what I did, I felt very proud in a humble life, in

[00:43:54] Josh

a very humble way. I felt so proud and honored to be recognized and by

[00:44:01] Josh

our network with so many great individuals that were sitting with us. I’m in

[00:44:06] Josh

contact with three of the finalists who actually I’m really reaching out to me on

[00:44:10] Josh

Facebook and they send me requests and I was more than happy to obviously respond.

[00:44:14] Josh

So it was a really great experience and I loved I love the event and I was there,

[00:44:20] Josh

I got interviewed by seven news and ended up being on seven news. So that was also

[00:44:24] Josh

a great experience. Very amazing.

[00:44:28] Mina

Yes, yes.

[00:44:29] Mina

Well,  it was great to have you involved and as I said on the top,

[00:44:34] Mina

the if you’re Listening to this fairly close to the release date,

[00:44:36] Mina

the nominations will be open. So if you’ve heard this, you’ve been inspired,

[00:44:40] Mina

you know, young people in your network, we’re doing a great job. You are

[00:44:43] Mina

a young person yourself and the unachievable,

[00:44:46] Mina

it’s don’t come completely free to enter. You can receive free one on one mentoring

[00:44:52] Mina

simply for nominating, even if your nomination goes no way. You get that. So yeah,

[00:44:58] Mina

thanks for your time today. Mina. I really appreciate it. I know how busy you are.

[00:45:03] Mina

I appreciate you spending this hour with us and look forward to following your

[00:45:09] Mina

journey and seeing because that’s the exciting part. The journey has

[00:45:13] Mina

a long way to go and so many great things to be to come.

[00:45:17] Josh

Definitely for sure. I’m excited for the future as well. The inspirational australian’s podcast is brought to you by awards,

[00:45:29] Josh

Australia we recognise,  celebrate and share the stories of the inspirational Australians through our awards

[00:45:36] Josh

programs across the country. To find out more to nominate an inspirational

[00:45:41] Josh

Australian in your life, or to partner with our awards, visit awards,  Australia dotcom. If you enjoyed today’s story,

[00:45:50] Josh

we’d love it if you could subscribe rate and review to make sure you don’t miss an

[00:45:54] Josh

episode. And to help our guests reach more people with their inspirational stories stories. stories stories.

[00:45:58] Josh

stories stories. stories stories.