The Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian awarded the SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal to Abla Tohamy Kadous on Saturday 13 March 2021 at Sydney’s International Convention Centre in recognition of the Muslim veteran leader’s services for the community in general and women in particular spanning for more than 35 years.

A number of awards were presented at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner 2021 in the presence of over 600 guests recognising and celebrating the significant contributions made by individuals and organisations in building community harmony in NSW.


The following are the 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals recipients recipients in various categories:

  • Australian National Maritime Arts and Culture Medal – Ghada Daher-Elmowy
  • Adaps Corporate Business Excellence Medal – Navitas English
  • Welcoming Cities Local Government Business Excellence Medal – Tamworth Regional Council
  • Not for Profit Business Excellence Medal – Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS)
  • All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Language Services Medal – Prof Rifaat Ebied
  • SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal – Abla Tohamy Kadous
  • Settlement Services International NSW Human Rights Medal – Dr Roger Gurr
  • Commbank Regional Unity Medal – Miza Torlakovic
  • Village Plaza Sports Medal – Bevan Stuart Calvert
  • Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal – Rev Fr Fadi Nemme
    Highly commended – International Student Water Safety Video
  • National Rugby League Youth Medal – Angelica Ojinnaka

One of Abla’s greatest achievements, was the establishment in 2000 of the Islamic Women’s Welfare Association (IWWA), a not for profit organisation of which she is President. 

Abla currently manages over 50 staff members and volunteers.  IWWA has close to 2000 members from over 50 different nationalities and the welfare of the members has always been Abla’s focus.

Abla oversees the running of weekly women’s lessons in English, Arabic, Urdu and Bahasa, school readiness programs, preschool, playgroup and three Arabic community language schools for children. 

Classes for Pre-Teens and Teenage girls are also held and the first all girl’s Islamic Jujitsu team was formed by Abla.  Abla also organises Ramadan Iftars, Eid celebrations, Seniors day trips, school holiday activities and personal and community information sessions for the members of IWWA.

During recent years Abla has set up a food assistance programme at IWWA in association with Second Bite, OzHarvest, Coles and Baker’s Delight.

Abla has previously been awarded:
City of Canterbury Citizen of the Year Awards 2008
Australian Muslim Lifetime Achiever of the Year 2017
NSW Volunteer of the Year – Senior Winner Mid-Western Sydney 2019
NSW Volunteer of the Year – Senior Volunteer of the Year 2019
Westfield Local Hero 2020 – Burwood 

To enquire about IWWA’s programmes visit the office at 181 Haldon Street, Lakemba or telephone 9759 1675 and 0451 394408.
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