Dr ALY: On 19 January this year, Cowan and the broader WA community lost a treasure and a long-time community advocate in Mr Eshtref Abduramanoski. Eshtref was born on 23 August 1938, and sadly passed away at the age of 82. He migrated to Australia from Macedonia in the late 1960s with his wife, Zera, as part of the third wave of Roma people to arrive from all parts of Europe who were brought in to address labour shortages in Australia. I was honoured to be asked by the family to attend and speak at his funeral, held at the Swan Valley Mosque and Pinnaroo Valley cemetery.
It is often said that those of us who achieve success in life stand on the shoulders of giants. Eshtref Abduramanoski was a giant. I first met him around two decades ago, working in the multicultural community sector. I remember his broad smile, his sense of humour and his absolute and unwavering dedication to advocating for the Roma community. He was a vocal advocate and served on the International Romani Union as well. I will remember him as the man who reminded me a bit of my own dad and who was always ready with a smart quip and a stern word of advice. I learned a lot from him and I am truly grateful. To Eshtref's family—his wife, Zera, and the many who live in Cowan—I share my condolences. May he rest in peace.