Auburn baker Abdullah Khadim Hussain has remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to assistance from Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) to operate in a COVID Safe way.
Abdullah is the owner of Afghan Traditional Bakery at 91 Auburn Road – a much loved bakery known for its huge, tandoor-cooked Afghan breads that are longer than skateboards.
While business has slowed due to fewer visitors from other suburbs, Abdullah’s been able to retain his three casual employees and maintain his generous practice of supplying free bread to those in need.
Along the way he’s needed to make COVID Safe adjustments including providing hand sanitiser for customers, limiting the number of people in the store at any given time, and keeping a record of customers who dine in for contact tracing purposes.
WSLHD Multicultural Health program officer Fouzia Hamdard, Arif Nabizadah from the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors, and the WSLHD Environmental Health Team visited Afghan retail businesses in Western Sydney last year to address owners’ questions about COVID-19 as relates to their business.
Fouzia helped Abdullah by supplying signs and other COVID Safe business resources translated into Dari for the benefit of staff and customers alike.
“The government support is so kind. Fouzia comes all the time and helps a lot,” Abdullah said.
“It is helpful to be able to ask in my own language and she explains everything very nicely. I am so, so happy; we are so grateful for these people who help us in our own language.”
Fouzia has helped other businesses in Auburn, Merrylands and Guildford, and regularly provides the Afghan community with updated information through her network of contacts.
She has also helped places of worship plan for religious festivals in a COVID Safe manner.
“I understand my community and their concerns, and I’m glad I can help them access accurate information. People feel more confident speaking with me directly to share their concerns,” Fouzia said.
“There are many misconceptions about COVID-19 spread through the internet and word of mouth. It’s important we pass along reliable information in people’s own language.”
If you are a Western Sydney business, our Environmental Health team can:
- Help you understand Public Health Orders and other regulations
- Provide advice and guidance to help your business comply with the rules
- Support you with information and resources to be a COVID Safe business
Contact the Environmental Health team directly by phone (02) 9840 3603 or email WSLHDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
WSLHD also has a range of local business support resources here.
Translated material to support businesses, organisations and individuals can be found here.