The inaugural Australian Muslim Women’s Festival was held over 3-4 June with over 60 speakers and artists from different backgrounds, disciplines and denominations coming from Australia and abroad.

The name of the Festival, ‘Muslim Agenda’ is a “tongue-in-cheek subversion of the narrative that every Muslim-led event is a trojan horse for the ‘Muslim agenda’ – ours being empowerment, enrichment and elevation”. 

The festival not only hosted interstate speakers but also international ones, including Linda Sarsour & Noor Tagouri. The same was for attendees who for some, travelled from all parts of Australia whilst others came all the way from Chicago, US.

Photo: @sabreen.hussain

The opening night on Friday 3 June 2022 welcomed over 200 guests at the Bankstown Arts Centre and was a night of speed networking, poetry performances and a reading by Amani Haydar from her book ‘Mother Wound’.

It was only a taste of what was to come the following day.  

From trailblazers & community leaders to celebrities & quiet achievers, the festival day brought together Muslim women from a range of different fields including academia, medicine, law, the arts and education.

This gave a platform for their stories and experiences to be told and in turn, an opportunity for all to build networks, draw connections and foster collaborations that go beyond the day itself. 

Whilst some tuned in to the range of panel discussions taking place, others enjoyed a session of paint n sip on the lawn or an Islamic Calligraphy class.

The Festival had it all covered. 

Sara Mansour, Founder & Director of Muslim Agenda

This could not have all been said without mentioning Sara Mansour, founder & director of Muslim Agenda and a trailblazer herself.

“It was an incredible success. Across the two days we had hundreds of women attend who gave back overwhelmingly positive feedback. One woman sought me out just to give thanks and say ‘This is therapy. I wish we had this when we were younger’.”

The outlook of Muslim Agenda from Sara is that it becomes an annual event where she will also “consider other satellite events”.