Moving to Queensland? A cultural case study.

When Hala moved from Jordan to Cairns in 2006, she didn’t have a Will – she’d never needed one.

In Muslim countries she explains, the Sharia – Islamic law – outlines such matters through documentation in the Quran, and migrants coming to Queensland are often unaware the law may be different.

“Everything is described there, including the division of a person’s property for their inheritance, and that the eldest boy becomes head of the family if necessary. This applies to everyone.”

Hala says that although this might sound confronting to Australians, the regulations were well understood in Jordan.

“In moving here, I knew things would be different but it wasn’t until I started talking to other women with families that I realised I should plan more specifically for what would happen to my children, if something happened to me”.

“That was really intimidating to think about. So, in the first instance I bought a Will kit from a bookshop, figuring I would just make the Will myself.”

The terminology and concepts she encountered were difficult for Hala, a highly competent English speaker, partly because of what she describes as “Australian phraseology”, and she sought legal help.

“I went through a local lawyer and now have a Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney. Everything is very clear for my husband and my family, and I’m really happy about that.”

“I really encourage those migrating to Queensland to talk to their community, understand what they can do to secure their future and get the right help to make those decisions,” Hala says.

The Public Trustee of Queensland, Samay Zhouand, said that Queensland Public Trustee was committed to increasing knowledge of the processes and support community members can access in relation to advanced life planning, in a way that they can clearly understand.

“I understand that Queensland laws and customs can differ to cultural and religious practices of other places when it comes to succession and end of life planning,” Mr Zhouand acknowledged.

“That is why I encourage all those moving to Queensland to be informed and prepared when it comes to making a Will, appointing an executor, or making an Enduring Power of Attorney.”

“If you are engaging with Queensland Public Trustee, and require additional language support to explain documents, processes and resources, we will arrange and pay for an interpreter”.

“These documents are important, and it is therefore paramount, that the process is as simple and as well supported as we can make it,” Mr Zhouand added.

You can make a Will in Queensland through your own solicitor, by finding one through the Queensland Law Society’s website, or through Queensland Public Trustee. If you need an interpreter, or language support, please call 1300 360 044.

Last published: 2/04/2024 4:47:57 AM