Studies show that there is a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors amongst Australian women of Middle Eastern background.

The Heart Foundation and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched “Business Women Champions of the Heart”, the nation’s first network of senior business women dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease in women on Wednesday 15 August at MinterEllison, Sydney.

Mobinah Ahmad was selected as an ambassador for the Business Women Champions of the Heart initiative, as a senior female leader at the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

“I was so shocked to learn that heart disease was three times deadlier than breast cancer in women. It made me realise that I need to be more aware of my health and do more research for my own sake and for my community,” she said.

As an ambassador, Mobinah spoke about the importance of educating the community about heart disease in women, especially in migrant communities.

“It just made me realise, that as a community, from a Muslim multicultural community  background, we don’t talk about heart health, especially for women.”

Mobinah spoke about the importance of having ambassadors from migrant committees who represent this cause, and talked about the impact they can have.

“There’s the saying, “if you educate a woman, you empower a community”, this initiaive is like that. As ambassadors, it’s our responsibility to see what we can do, back to our networks and see we can educate women and families”

The impact of heart disease is felt most keenly amongst women from low socioeconomic and culturally diverse communities.

It’s important to have culturally sensitive targeted intervention programs to decrease modifiable risk for CVD, obesity, physical inactivity and smoking.

Studies show that the implementation of primary care measures for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in migrants is necessary and it should consider the ethnic differences and heterogeneous risk profiles.


The network comprises 16 senior female leaders of industry associations and business chambers from across Australia. They will be ambassadors for the Heart Foundation, supporting its efforts to educate the community about heart disease in women.

The business leaders involved in the initiative are:

Mobinah Ahmad Executive Officer, NSW Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Joyce DiMascio Chief Executive Officer, Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia

The Hon Patricia Forsythe Executive Director, Sydney Business Chamber

Dominique Lamb Chief Executive Officer, National Retail Association

Wendy Machin Independent Chair, Customer Owned Banking Association

Amanda Mansini Executive Director, Operations Australian Resources and Energy Group, AMMA

Elizabeth McIntyre Group Chief Executive Officer. Think Brick Group

Charmaine Moldrich Chief Executive Officer, Outdoor Media Association

Theresa Moltoni OAM President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Queensland

Melina Morrison Chief Executive Officer, Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals

Megan Motto Chief Executive Officer, Consult Australia

Samantha Read Chief Executive Officer, Chemistry Australia

Sally Sinclair Chief Executive Officer, National Employment Services Association

Gillian Stapleton Executive Director, Direct Seeling Australia

Nola Watson President, NSW Business Chamber

Denita Wawn Chief Executive Officer, Master Builders Australia