Tuesday 11 June 2024, saw the Lebanese Muslim Association host a highly successful Multicultural Health Expo in the Events Hall of its services building at Lakemba, in southwest Sydney.

As Australia’s oldest non-profit Islamic organisation and a major influence within the Muslim community in this country, this event again highlighted the LMA’s commitment to fostering community wellness and unity.

The Expo was a collaborative effort between the LMA, local community health services and allied health professionals, featuring 30 stallholders who are all experts in their respective fields.

These professionals provided the public with valuable information and referral options, significantly benefitting those who attended.

The impressive list of stallholders included Canterbury Bankstown Council, Bankstown Women’s Health Centre, South Western Sydney Multicultural Health Service, Kids Express, Koorana Child and Family Services, MD Podiatry, Bloom Health Care, Asian Women at Work, Services Australia, Carer Gateway – Benevolent Society, Justice Support Centre, Sydney – Breastscreen NSW, Youth Action, Cancer Institute, MTC, Canterbury City Community Centre, Shisha No Thanks, Gambleaware, Sacred Heart Home and Community Care, Your Side Australia, STARTTS, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, ONE DOOR, Transcultural Mental Health Centre, EACH and Sydney Local Health District.

The highlight of the four-hour event was the launch of the ‘Raise Above’ Migrant Domestic Violence Women’s Support Group by Bilal El-Hayek, the Mayor of the City of Canterbury-Bankstown.

Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek with the team from MASNAD.

This new support group (which is an initiative of the LMA and the brainchild of the Association’s Culturally Responsive Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Moushumi Martin) aims to assist migrant women experiencing domestic violence, with a special focus on those from Bangladeshi backgrounds.

“The Multicultural NSW-supported Expo was a soft launch for the LMA, marking our return to hosting health expos after a five-year hiatus,” chief organiser Khaled Kamalmaz (pictured in main photo with LMA colleagues Nicole Morell, Elena Julca, Lynda Kartout, Baria El Monla and Natalie Dergham) told AMUST.

“Before COVID-19, we hosted much larger community wellness expos and given the success of today’s event, we are planning to organise a much larger-scale Health Expo next time.”

Multicultural NSW funded the Expo.

The benefits of holding a Multicultural Community Health Expo are many. They promote inclusivity and diversity, providing a platform for different cultural groups to access health services and information tailored to their specific needs – the previously referenced ‘Raise Above’ initiative being a great example of this.

These Expos also foster a sense of community, encouraging people from various backgrounds to come together, share experiences and support one another.

This sense of unity and shared purpose is particularly important in multicultural societies like Australia, where understanding and co-operation among different communities are essential for social harmony and public health.

Brother Mahmoud Daher is the owner of MD Podiatry.