GLADSTONE ISLAMIC CENTRE PROJECT
1. GLADSTONE REGION OVERVIEW
Gladstone is a regional town in central Queensland, 550 km north of Brisbane. Gladstone Region provides its 60,000 people with an enviable lifestyle within a dynamic and robust economy.
Gladstone is the home to two of the world’s largest alumina refineries, three LNG plants, an Aluminium smelter, and many other major industries. Along with one of Australia’s largest multi-commodity ports, these industries bring enormous economic benefits to the local, state and national Governments. Gladstone also has an internationally renowned university, all of which brings cultural diversity to the Gladstone region. The Gladstone region is known for its employment opportunities and attracting a skilled workforce worldwide.
2. GLADSTONE MUSLIM COMMUNITY
Gladstone Muslim community represents diverse cultures, professions and nationalities, united by their faith. Over the past years, the community has been actively organising various programmes and working closely with the Gladstone Regional Council and other interfaith organisations on Islam and multiculturalism matters. The society has been active in local Da’wah work, thereby facilitating the growing number of reverts within the region.
3. ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF GLADSTONE
Islamic Society of Gladstone Inc. abbreviated as ISG, established on 2 August 2012, is a Government registered organisation, and affiliated with the Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ) and the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC). ISG also serves the Muslims residing in Tannum Sands, Boyne Island, Calliope and Turkey Beach.
Gladstone experienced a growing number of Muslims from all across Australia and overseas over the past nine years. That led to an increasing demand for Muslim religious and welfare services. From a diverse range of backgrounds, community leaders got together to formulate plans to establish a community institution in the area. ISG evolved from those plans. Since incorporation, ISG has been providing some services to the Muslim community in the Gladstone region. With limited resources available, ISG has nevertheless been able to implement several key activities, including:
- Operate a Musallah offering five daily congregational prayer services as well as the Fridays’ Jumma prayers
- Facilitate the monthly delivery of Halal meat
- Quran and Islamic theology lessons for children
- Appoint Huffaz for Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan, and conduct special Ramadan classes for children and adults throughout the month
- Eid prayers and community Iftar gatherings
- Udhiya and Zakat collection and dispensation
- Facilitate marriage and funeral services
- Da’wah, Outreach programs and support for new reverts
ISG also actively participates in multicultural/interfaith events held in Gladstone like Multicultural Week (Gladstone Regional Council event) and GRIN (Gladstone Region Interfaith Network).
ISG has been arranging Islamic Open Day every year, except 2020, since 2014 for the Muslims and Non-Muslims, and inviting guest speakers to present Islam – the religion of peace. Guest speakers included Imam Yusuf Pears (2014), Br Ali Kadri (2015), Imam Akram Buksh (2018). and Imam Uzair Akbar (2016, 2017, 2019).
4. FIRST ISLAMIC CENTRE IN GLADSTONE
4.1. Geographic Location
Gladstone region spreads over 10,000 square kilometres in Central Queensland but does not have any facilities to cater to the growing Muslim population. The closest Masjid to South of Gladstone is approximately 200 km in Bundaberg and to North is approximately 110 km in Rockhampton.
4.2. Present Situation
At present ISG leases an old house in Gladstone CBD, which serves as the only Musallah for Muslim community to offer congregational prayers. Unfortunately, this Musallah facility, while just functional, does not cater for gathering, especially during the festival days. Consequently, a larger purpose-built facility is urgently needed.
Since the house is small and was not constructed for high occupancy, it does not have sufficient space to enable ISG to provide a full range of services to the Muslim community.
- No dedicated praying area for ladies
- No space for Islamic education for adults and kids
- No space for library
- No proper ablution/Wudu area for gents and ladies
- Limited parking available
- No area to host Islamic and religious lectures and dialogue
To overcome the space limitation, ISG hires a larger community hall for special events like Tarawhee prayers, Iftar, Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Adha and gatherings, and Open day.
4.3. Objectives and Benefits
The ISG proposes to build an Islamic Centre to provide necessary services to all Muslims. Once the project is completed, In Shaa Allah, this Islamic Centre will be much more than a prayer facility. It will be the focal point for Muslim children, the youth and the elderly, and both men and women. In addition to being a Centre of spiritual pursuit and learning, it will be an informal educational and recreational hub. An overview of the objectives and benefits of the project are as follows:
- Provide a better environment and facilities to all Muslims to abide by the principles and teachings of Islam concerning their social, moral and spiritual life
- Provide appropriate facilities for adults and children Quran classes and other Islamic lectures in order to enhance Islamic knowledge
- Provide a place for religious and social gatherings
- Facilitate the performance of religious ceremonies like weddings according to Islam
- Promote the understanding of Islam amongst the general Muslim community and Australian society at large.
4.5 The Islamic Centre Development Progress
The road to building the Islamic Centre has been filled with complications and setbacks. The Islamic Society of Gladstone faced many challenges along the way, which we, with Allah Almighty’s help, overcame and have been able to move forward.
The timeline below outlines our journey in trying to build the first-ever Islamic Centre in Gladstone. The project would not have been possible without the support from the community leaders and the general Muslim population, both locally and internationally.
The process began to actively search for places within the Gladstone city for a proposed Islamic development. Three potential properties shortlisted, and in consultation with the council, a space at 4 Anson close was chosen.
ISG entered into a contract for purchasing an 8,538 square meters block of land at 4 Anson Close to build the first Islamic Centre and Masjid. Architects, planner, engineers were engaged for preparing development application documentation.
ISG purchased the land at 4 Anson Close. This critical milestone was reached with Allah’s mercy and the Muslims’ generosity in Australia and abroad.
A formal development application was lodged to the Gladstone Regional Council for approval for building the Islamic Centre.
ISG received formal approval to build the Gladstone Islamic Centre from Gladstone Regional Council (GRC).
One of the neighbours appealed to the Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane against Councils’ decision of DA approval.
After 33 months journey, DA approval was granted from Planning and Environment Court Brisbane to build a worship place for the Muslim community in Gladstone.
Construction starts in shaa Allah.
4.6. Construction phases
The estimated cost for completing the project is A$1,600,00 (One million and six hundred thousand Australian dollars, or equivalent US$1,250,000). Considering the prevailing situation, the committee has decided to implement the project’s construction work in two phases – phase 1 and phase 2.
4.6.1 Construction phase 1
The Phase 1 construction works ($800,000) comprise the followings.
- Main Prayer area
- Kitchen, bathrooms
The phase one construction work starts in July 2021 in Shaa Allah.
4.6.2 Construction phase 2
The phase 2 construction works ($800,000) comprise the followings.
- Secondary Prayer area
- Outdoor play area
- Multipurpose rooms
- Nursery room
- Imam/Educator room
- Additional bathrooms
Start date of phase 2 work is yet to be confirmed.
5. FINANCIAL SUPPORT REQUEST
Alhamdulillah, with the mercy of Allah and generous donors’ support, we have completed the land purchase and development application approval process of the project.
At this stage, we urge all our brothers and sisters to help this noblest project by donating generously towards raising the fund of A$800,000 (phase 1).
5.1 Donation Options:
5.1.1 Electronic Funds Transfer through Bank
Bank name: Australia New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
Account Name: Islamic Society of Gladstone Inc.
Branch No. (BSB): 014 580
Account Number: 379 453 433
BIC/SWIFT Code: ANZBAU3M
5.1.2 Donation via Paypal
Donations can be made through PayPal. Please visit this link or click on the “Donate” button to make donations via PayPal.
5.1.3 Bank Cheques
Bank cheques must be made to “Islamic Society of Gladstone Inc.” and be posted to 9 William Street, Gladstone, QLD 4680, Australia.
6. CONTACTS FOR FURTHER QUERIES
Br Mohammad Moslem Uddin
+61 433 315 363
Br Syed Mujtaba Quadri
+61 469 274 277
Vice President and
Donation Campaign Manager
Br Md Anwar Rashid
+61 422 888 506
Br Imran Hassan
+61 426 994 545
Br Adnan Sohail Nasir
+61 452 192 595
Donation Campaign Secretary 2
Br Syed Midhatullah Quadri
+61 457 548 608
Br Ahmed Salama
+61 476 346 579
Executive Member and
Donation Campaign Secretary 1
Br Ashfaque Ahmed Chowdhury
+61 411 767 886
Br Khondokar Ashraful Islam
+61 488 003 352
Dr Mohammad Umair Siddiqui
+61 447 040 499
Br Mainuddin MD
+61 433 324 088
Current Musallah address
Islamic Society of Gladstone Inc.
9 William Street, Gladstone, QLD 4680, Australia
Proposed Islamic Centre / Masjid physical address
4 Anson Close, Toollooa, QLD 4680, Australia