My lockdown life: Yaz Mubarakai

WA Parliamentarian Yaz Mubarakai on how he is making the best of COVID-related changes in daily life

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My lockdown life: Yaz Mubarakai

Shahyaz Yezdi “Yaz” Mubarakai is a Labor member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly representing Jandakot.  

Born and raised in Mumbai, he moved to Australia in 1997. More than twenty years later, he calls the local community south of Perth his home. Here, he has raised a family and been a small business owner, operating the Success post office, Café Royal and Majestic India restaurant.

Before entering state parliament, he served as a councillor for the City of Cockburn, gaining an insight into the importance of well-planned and serviced communities.

In his spare time, Yaz Mubarakai plays for the Leeming Spartans Cricket Club.

“I am passionate about jobs, education, transport and strengthening our wonderful multicultural community in my seat of Jandakot and across Western Australia,” Yaz says.

lockdown life: Yaz Mubarakai
Standing behind community efforts for the COVID-impacted

How are you coping with work-from-home?

My work situation hasn’t changed greatly as I have always been mobile – working from home, office and parliament. The main difference has been the restriction of face-to-face interaction and transferring that engagement to online Zoom meetings with multiple stakeholders in different locations, still working collectively towards a common goal. It has been good to be able to make time to get on the phones and call and check in on our more vulnerable members of the community who are the most isolated at this challenging time.

The kids have been at home and online learning for their schooling, Years 7 and 9, has been a learning curve – that said, we are very lucky to have an excellent system and support to facilitate it in this very unusual situation.   

After hours, what are you watching?

On Netflix Story of God, Tiger King and Roman Empire.

Rather than too much TV, we have been playing lots of board games as a family and we bought a table tennis table for my children to learn the sport which is an old love of mine.

Reading?

Emails and more emails!!

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Listening to?

Mainly Indian classical or anything that’s on Triple J.

Cooking?

Evenings have been filled with preparing dinner as a family and eating together, which is an absolute gift at the moment and rarely happens during ‘business as usual’ due to my duties in Parliament and out in the community after hours.

How have you been exercising/staying fit?

I have been spending more time on fixing things around the house that have been ignored for the last four years starting with the garage and shed. I’m currently applying sealing coats on the deck outside before the winter rains begin.

Acquired a new skill?

I have learned to use Zoom, and to work from home sharing space with my energetic children, as my wife manages the post office in Success WA.

Revived an old passion?

It has been fantastic connecting with old friends from school, also cycling on the weekends with my teenage son and taking walks with my wife around the beautiful Bibra Lake.

What’s family time like?

During these uncertain times we have all adjusted to work within our environment with the children, appreciating the opportunity to spend time as a family unit. What not so long ago seemed onerous and difficult now appears to be the new normal, which has perhaps been a blessing in disguise!

What have you learned about yourself this past month?

I have learned to apply myself to make the best of the situation. No matter the size of the challenge at the start, as you apply yourself to adapt, the challenge becomes manageable and enjoyable. I have also learned just how resilient and caring our local community is – community members and businesses have stepped up to provide donations of essential items for those in need and have been helping to check in on the more vulnerable members of our community – at times that they themselves have also been struggling – it is very heartwarming.