Blue Haven Illawarra | International Day of Older Persons: Mahin’s story
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International Day of Older Persons: Mahin’s story

My name is Mahin and I was born in Iran in 1941.

My family and I left Iran in 1992. Our journey led us to Pakistan, where we embarked on the process of acquiring passports and visas for Australia.

As Bahai individuals, we faced the challenge of the Iranian government’s refusal to issue passports to Bahai people. Finally in 1994, we successfully migrated to Australia. Upon our arrival, we reunited with our son and his family in Kiama, marking the beginning of a fresh chapter in our lives.

Upon arriving in Australia, I enrolled in English studies at Shellharbour in TAFE.

One day, as I was walking to TAFE, I encountered a gentleman in a wheelchair, accompanied by a caregiver who was assisting him. Seeing this man brought back memories of my mother back in Iran.

When I left Iran, my mother, who had been in good health, had a strong desire to accompany me to Australia. However, she was unfortunately denied a passport, which prevented her from leaving the country. This situation caused her considerable distress, and sadly, she fell ill and passed away after only a few short months.

The realisation that I couldn’t return to Iran to care for my mother was truly heartbreaking. However, when I witnessed the compassionate person assisting the man in the wheelchair, it sparked a determination within me to support elderly individuals in Kiama.

I discussed this newfound commitment with my son, who promptly contacted Kiama Council to enquire about opportunities for volunteering and assisting the elderly residents of Blue Haven.

Kiama Council invited me to participate in a two-day volunteering training course. Upon successful completion, I received a certificate that enabled me to engage in voluntary work within the Kiama community.

I have now been volunteering with Blue Haven for over 20 years and my experience has been incredibly gratifying and enjoyable. At 82 years old, volunteering keeps me feeling young and I continue to take immense joy in serving our community. I am always eager to lend a helping hand wherever it’s needed.


On this International Day of Older Persons, we celebrate Mahin and all the remarkable seniors in our community that inspire us with their strength and resilience.

Interested in volunteering with Blue Haven? Visit Blue Haven Illawarra | Volunteering and sign up now.


11th Sep 2023



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