Hussain joins Grace Papers live coaching session

Putting gender stereotypes on the chopping block for Father’s Day 2021
To celebrate Father’s Day, Grace Papers has teamed up with VicHealth to deliver a live coaching session on September 10 that will put gender stereotypes on the chopping block, and explore the many ways that food and the ritual of cooking and eating together promotes a happy, healthy and balanced household. 

During the session, Esso Australia PNG Joint Venture Asset Manager, Hussain Ali will join special guest, Medical Doctor, VicHealth CEO and media personality Sandro Demaio, to explore food as a vehicle - not just for nutrition, but for mental health and wellness, environmental awareness and community connection.

Register to join the session via Grace Papers.

As a first-time dad to baby Sebastian, Hussain knows first-hand the challenges of balancing keeping kids busy, engaged and healthy during COVID-19.

“I’ve had the privilege to take full-time parental leave while my wife, Roesia, returns to work as doctor in aged care,” said Hussain.

“I initially took four weeks of carer’s leave and parental leave when Sebastian was born. This time gave me the opportunity to support my wife’s recovery from the caesarean, get our little family settled at home and of course begin our parenting journey. 

“Then when Sebastian was eight months old, I commenced a period of four months of primary carer's leave and annual leave.”

Prior to commencing leave, Hussain says he had nothing but support and encouragement from his colleagues and manager, Johanna Boothey.

“Contrary to any discrimination or bias, I had more than a few male colleagues say they wish they had been able to access parental leave,” said Hussain.

“I am also extremely grateful for the support of my manager, who did a few things that made the experience seamless for me.

“Firstly, they asked for, and ultimately selected from, my list of recommended people to takeover whilst I was away. Knowing that my role was in good hands while I was away was priceless.

“Secondly, they allowed plenty of time for handover (a month in my case), which enabled me to provide enough context for my backfill to make the role their own.

“Finally, keeping in-touch throughout my leave and before my return-to-work date makes the transition easier. 

Hussain’s greatest challenge has been the realisation that the skills he uses in his ‘other’ full time job -goal setting, prioritisation and determination – are not necessarily the most effective skills with an almost one-year old.

“No amount of determination has helped me feed Sebastian his lunch when he is just not interested,” said Hussain.

“However, my greatest reward has been developing a new set of skills, that I have no doubt will help me in this next stage of life, both personally and professionally – patience, calmness, empathy and adaptability. And of course, the greatest reward is a cuddle or a giggle from Sebastian any time of the day or night.”