As one of the oldest Albanian organisations in Australia, the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) has reached some significant milestones.
In 2009, the AAIS’s Albanian Mosque – Melbourne’s first Mosque – turned 40 years old. This event was marked by a special Open Day, which was organised by the AAIS Committee Board and Women’s Committee, for all members of the community.
More recently, in 2013, the AAIS turned 50 years old. To celebrate this wonderful acheivement, the AAIS Committee Board and Women’s Committee, organised two events to mark very special occasion.
Communication with Members
The Committee Board of the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) maintains regular communications with members of our community via post, email, radio and SMS.
The AAIS Committee Board understands that the majority of members in our community live some distance from the AAIS, therefore, to keep AAIS members informed about AAIS events and activities, it is necessary for regular correspondence to be performed via the aforementioned mediums.
This work is performed on a voluntary basis by members of the AAIS Committee Board, Women’s Committee and financial members of our Society.
Albanian and Islamic Publications
The AAIS Committee Board has compiled and posted out a number of Islamic materials in both Albanian and English via audio cassettes, audio CDs, Islamic Calendar, AAIS Islamic Information Booklet and videos/DVDs to members of our community.
The work performed in organising and producing, as well as posting each item to over 1000 households is all performed on a voluntary basis by the AAIS committee Board.
All these items are provided to members of our community as part of their membership to our Society (AAIS).
Meeting between Albanian Islamic Societies
In the late 1990’s, the AAIS Board initiated steps in organising and hosting the first meeting between all the Albanian Islamic Societies of Victoria. Unfortunately, due to a lack of reponse, the first attempt to host a meeting at the AAIS was unsuccessful.
In 2000, the AAIS Board actively organised another meeting at the AAIS between all the Albanain islamic Societies in Victoria. On this occasion every Albanian Islamic Society attended the meeting.
The initiation of these meetings has built a sense of unity between each Albanian Islamic Society in Victoria and the broader Albanian Muslim community in Australia.
The Committees of each Albanian Islamic Society continue to meet twice a year and they have produced a number of joint activities that have provided good results for the broader Albanian Muslim community.
Memorandum of Understanding
In 2007, the landmark ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ was reached between all the Albanian Islamic Societies of Victoria (AISV). The agreement states that all four (4) Albanian Islamic Societies of Victoria will collectively hold all Islamic Religious days on the same day.
This meeting was a historical event because it is the very first formal agreement that was signed between all four (4) Albanian Islamic Societies of Victoria.
This decision was made in the best interest of the Albanian Muslim community and to further unite the Albanian Muslim community of Australia.
The Committee Board of the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) organises special community gatherings for its Financial Members. These gatherings may range from social activities, such as dinner functions and picnics, as well as seminars and meetings.
Although the vast majority of our activities are held in Victoria, the AAIS Committee Board also organises seminars and visitations to homes of financial members in NSW.
Australian Dignitaries and Government Departments
The Committee Board of the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) meets with Australian dignitaries and also attends a number of meetings with both local and Federal Government departments i.e. Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMIA), Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), City of Yarra Council, etc.
The AAIS Committee Board understands the importance of attending such meetings, as it establishes communications between the AAIS and different Government organisations, which inturn provides the AAIS with an opportunity to voice our opinions in matters that may affect both our Society and community.
Representatives of the AAIS Committee Board find time during normal working hours, as well as personal time to attend these meetings on a voluntary basis.
Overseas Dignitaries and Guests
The Committee Board of the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) hosts and attends meetings with overseas dignitaries and special guests to build ties and secure the future of the Albanian Muslim community in Australia.
The work conducted by the AAIS Committee Board towards establishing communications and holding regular meetings with overseas dignitaries and special guests has vastly contributed towards raising the profile of the AAIS, both within Australia and abroad. In turn, this work has directly brought the AAIS out of isolation and assisted the AAIS in gaining both national and international recognition for the professional work it conducts in providing community services.
The arrangement and attendance of such meetings by members of the AAIS Committee Board is all performed on a voluntary basis (both travel and accommodation costs are paid out of AAIS Committee Board member’s personal funds and not financed by the AAIS).
OCT 2013: Kosova Minister for Diaspora
AUG 2012: Albanian Foreign MinisterSEP 2011: Islamic Council of ShkoderFEB 2011: Director of Kosova MuseumAUG 2009: Albanian Cultural Centre NYOCT 2008: Mufti of KosovaOCT 2008: Albanian Islamic Institute AIITC
DEC 2006: Minister from Kosova
Albanian Mosque Open Day
The first Public Open Day that was organised by the AAIS Committee Board was held in 2004 and it was well received by the general public. There were well over 250 people (mainly non-Muslims) that attended this event.
The AAIS Committee Board and Women’s Committee held another Open Day in 2009 to commemorate ‘40 years’ since the establishment of the ‘Albanian Mosque’. This was a very successful event with approximately 700 visitors (Muslim and non-Muslim) attending the special occasion.
Organising and hosting public ‘Open Day’ events demand many hours of work. The time and labour dedicated by members of the AAIS Committee Board and AAIS Women’s Committee is all conducted on a voluntary basis.
Radio Broadcasts & Announcements
The AAIS Committee Board regularly prepares radio announcements that are broadcasted via the Albanian Community Radio in both Melbourne and Sydney.
2011: 3ZZZ – AAIS Board Election Results2009: SBS – 40th Anniversary2009: 3ZZZ – 40 Vjetori2009: 3ZZZ – 40th Anniversary2009: 3ZZZ – VIKTIMAT E ZJARRIT2008: 3ZZZ – Dita e Pastersis2008: 3ZZZ – RINDERTIMI I XHAMISЁ2007: 3ZZZ – Shperndarja e Kurbanave2007: 3ZZZ – NJOFTIM – RAMADAN2007: 3ZZZ – NJOFTIM – AGM2007: 3ZZZ – NJOFTIM – BAJRAM2007: FORUMI NE CANBERRA
Islamic Cultural Training Sessions
The AAIS conducts Islamic Cultural Training Sessions for both Government and non-Government Organisations.
The presentation briefly covers Albanian History, Albanain Migration to Australia, History of AAIS and the basic principle of Islam. The session concludes with a tour of the Albanian Mosque and some tea and coffee.
The AAIS Committee Board and Women’s Committee perform these sessions on a voluntary basis.
Mosque Tours & Presentations
As part of its ‘Cross Culture Program’, the AAIS conducts tours and presentations for many non-Muslim community groups and schools. The sessions provide information on the history of the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) and migration of the Albanian Muslim community to Australia, as well as some basic information about Islam.
The tours are organised and conducted on a voluntary basis by members of the AAIS Committee Board and Women’s Committee.
2014 FEB – HOSPITAL CHAPLAINCY2013 NOV – JEWISH VOLUNTEERS GROUP2012 FEB – ST KEVINS COLLEGE2011 OCT – ISIK COLLEGE2010 AUG – HEATHMONT COLLEGE2010 APR – DANDENONG KIDS CLASS2009 OCT – MERCY COLLEGE2009 APR – LOCAL STUDENTS
Islamic Awareness Session
The ‘Islamic Awareness Sessions’ are conducted for people in the broader community that would like to simply learn more information about Islam and the Australian Islamic community.
The AAIS has also conducted ‘Islamic Awareness Sessions’ in conjunction with Victoria Police Multicultural Liaison team.
In late 2005, the AAIS Committee Board introduced and organised the very first AAIS Blood Drive.
Since this time, there have been a number of other AAIS blood drives organised by the AAIS for our community. A blood drive was also organised for victims of the Victorian Bushfires in 2009.
This activity is organised voluntarily by members of the AAIS Committee Board and AAIS Women’s Committee.
Youth Sports Programs
The AAIS Committee Board operates a number of sporting activities for its youth i.e. indoor and outdoor soccer, indoor beach volleyball, etc.
The AAIS youth programs are generally sports oriented, however they do have a focus on building teamwork and leadership qualities with our youth.
The AAIS Board understands the importance of engaging our youth therefore the AAIS Committee Board and Women’s Committee is always looking at introducing new activities for our youth.
In 2002, the AAIS Committee Board initiated a major renovation project, which was overwhelmingly supported by AAIS financial members, to all AAIS buildings, which also included the Albanian Mosque.
In what has been one of the largest projects conducted by the AAIS Committee Board in the history of the AAIS, the AAIS ‘Building & Renovation Project’ was fully completed in 2013.
Other Functions & Meetings
Throughout the year, members of the AAIS Committee Board partake in a number of other functions and meetings, which are organised by Islamic Organisations, as well as National Companies, Businesses, Government and Non For Profit organisations.
As Melbourne’s first Mosque, the Albanian Mosque occasionally receives special visits from well known people.
AGM & Elections
As per the Albanian Australian Islamic Society’s Article of Association, every year the Society holds a General Meeting for all financial members. The Society also holds biannual elections to elect a new Committee Board for the Society.
Albanian Independence Day
The Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) previously organised Albanain Independence Day functions, however, in more recent times, the AAIS Committee Board has worked together with other Albanian organisations to help mark Albanian Independece Day.
Since the mid 2000’s, the Committee Board of the Society organises a stall at the annual Albanain Day Festival at Footscray Park.
In 2012, the AAIS Committee Board worked together with other Albanian organisations in Melbourne to plan a major event at Federation Square to mark the ‘100 Year Anniversary’ of Albanian Independence.
Further to this, the AAIS Committee Board also takes part in a number of other activities to celebrate this special day.
Muslim Achievement Awards
Every year, the AAIS Committee Board supports the Human Appeal International Year 12 Muslim Achievement Awards.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The AAIS Committee Board takes active responsibility in the upkeep (internal and external cleaning and maintenance) of all AAIS buildings and facilities, including the Albanian Mosque.
Members of the AAIS Committee Board dedicate their time towards the planning and preparation of all AAIS organised activities and also conduct the clean-up work after each event.