Islamic Woman’s Association of Australia hosted their SETS Community Leaders & Clients Engagement lunch event on Thursday 5 November 2020 at Panorama House at Bulli Tops overlooking Wollongong addressed by Councillor Bilal El-Hayek, Soofia Abbas and Loubna Hammoud.

This community consultation event was different to those of previous years as IWAA decided following a challenging year to combine the community leaders and clients into the same event.

A community consultation is hosted twice a year to showcase the journey of the IWAA Sydney SETS program, to discuss future goals and to engage attendees to complete a feedback form on their expectations and recommendations for the program.

Bilal El-Hayek (Photo by Mobinah Ahmad)

The lunch event was hosted by the Sydney Branch Manager Sue Hamdoush and speeches were given by Councillor Bilal El-Hayek of Canterbury Bankstown City Council, IWAA SETS Coordinators Soofia Abbas and Loubna Hammoud and well-being headteacher Lisa Fajou of Bankstown Senior College.

Sue Hamdoush (Photo by Mobinah Ahmad)

IWAA Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) Program commenced on 1 January 2019 servicing clients in Sydney south west, Sydney inner south west and Sydney Parramatta regions. They provide free settlement support to improve social participation, economic well-being, independence, personal well-being and community connectedness to a range of visas.

During the peak of COVID the SETS Sydney team continued their support to the community with a toy drive, gift hampers, fresh food and ready meals, supermarket vouchers, a blanket drive and meat parcels. They also continued with virtual and COVID safe workshops on respectful relationships, Australian culture, naplan support (years 3 & 5), public transport etiquette, school etiquette & manners and addiction control.

Almost 30 years ago, Galila Abdelsalam OAM founded The Islamic Women’s Association of Queensland (IWAQ) to assist Muslim women and families. She is passionate about educating, informing and supporting women which are struggling with many issues to settle in Australia.

Today IWAA, Islamic Woman’s Association of Australia, is specialising in Settlement, Aged Care, Disability, Respite and Community Development. They are serving communities Nationally with offices in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Townsville, Sydney, Melbourne City, Dandenong and in Adelaide.

Mr Zia Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief, AMUST (left) with Dr Makki Kashkool, Managing Director, Multicultural Research Studies & Arts Centre.

To find out more you can visit our website:; Facebook @IWAA Australia or Instagram IWAA_AUST