The Muslim Leaders Forum for Gambling Harm Awareness was held on Wednesday 5 December in Melbourne equipping them with resources to help families experiencing gambling harm.

The event, held at Al Siraat College was sponsored by Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria and supported by Victoria Police, City of Whittlesea, Arabic Welfare, SHARC and Banyule Community Health.

 MC Abu Bakr Ayoubi and Grade 3 students Al Siraat College.

The purpose for the gathering was to raise awareness on gambling harm in Victoria and equip Muslim leaders with the local resources available to them in supporting families experiencing gambling harm.  

The event was MC’ed by senior student Abu Bakr Ayoubi and the Welcome to Country was made by local indigenous Muslim elder Andrew Gardiner.  


Keynote speaker, former mayor of City of Whittlesea and ECCV chair, Kris Pavlidis said that residents of her municipality currently lose 300 thousand dollars at the Pokies every single day. 

She explained that the council has petitioned heavily this year towards having fewer machines and reducing operating hours for pokies venues. 

She shared some of the successes they’ve had in blocking new pokies machines being introduced to the City of Whittlesea. 

One case with Commercial Hotel who wanted to introduce pokies machines went all the way to the Supreme Court but was later withdrawn, a significant win for the community. 

 Keynote speaker Kris Pavlidis

Inspector Andrew Falconer shared some alarming local statistics which highlight the correlation between gambling harm and family violence and crime in the area. 

Manal Shehab from SHARC, Wendy Khalil from Arabic Welfare and Sarah Quirk from Banyule Community Health each shared the effective resources they currently offer families seeking help in Victoria.  

Mufti Aasim Rashid shared the Islamic perspective on gambling and the importance of preserving life. 

The closing dua was made by Br Fazeel Arian. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing harm from Gambling please call Gamblers Help on 1800 858 858.  Language support is available via the link below: