Photo: Council of Migrant and Refugee Women of SA (CMRW) with Lady Mayoress Genevieve Theseira-Haese, City of Adelaide; the Honourable Michelle Lensink MLC; Mary Patetsos, Chairperson of FECCA; Fiona Mort, Director of Office for Women; Elizabeth Ho OAM, Deputy Chair of AMRC; and Eugenia Tsoulis OAM, CEO of AMRC.
This forum and launch was hosted by the Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC), African Communities Council of SA (ACCSA) and Middle Eastern Communities Council of SA (MECCSA) at the Multicultural Centre for International Women’s Day, celebrating and recognising the social and economic achievements of women.
The inaugural council board was launched by Mary Patetsos, Chairperson of Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia (FECCA), with a congratulatory address by Fiona Mort, Director of Office for Women.
The council aims to bring together strong community voices with institutional reach, and policy advocacy networks to facilitate opportunities for migrant and refugee women to directly engage in driving positive change at the state and national level. The council’s role will also entail addressing priority issues in areas such as Training and Employment Pathways for Vulnerable Women, Access to Health Services, Domestic Violence Services, Support for Isolated families, particularly in Regional Areas, Services for Skilled Migrants and Housing Equity.
The council members are women of migrant and refugee background, who have extensive experience in working on women’s issues, and will contribute their independent skillsets and expertise to achieve the council’s objectives, whilst engaging and mentoring women from new and emerging communities in South Australia. Council members include Laura Adzanku, Community Support Worker at PEACE Multicultural Services – Relationships Australia SA; Reyhana Akhy, teacher; Hiba Alwani, Syrian Youth Leader and elected to FECCA’s Women’s Advisory Committee; Quyen Hoang, with experience in aged care; Dr Annette Osei-Kumah, Manager of ACCSA and a background in women’s Health; Vahedeh Mansoury Chairperson of MECCSA and working for the Southern Domestic Violence Service as team leader for Ninko Kurtangga Patpangga; Shingi Mapuvire, Public Relations Officer of the African Students Council of SA (ASCSA); Serajum Munira, Community Information Officer at Women’s Information Service, Office for Women SA; Zita Adut Deng Ngor, Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Legal Service (SA); and Shreshtha Kumar, also providing executive support to the council.
The organisers wish to acknowledge Lady Mayoress Genevieve Theseira-Haese, City of Adelaide; the Honourable Michelle Lensink MLC and the Honourable Rachel Sanderson MP for participating in the launch and forum with over 120 people from a diversity of backgrounds. It was fantastic to hear from some of these young woman forming the Council of Migrant and Refugee Women of SA (CMRWSA). It highlighted that migrant and refugee women know how to dream big and how to make their dreams come true with strength, compassion, warmth and vibrancy. Their collective experiences form a fantastic vision to support, promote and advocate for other women going forward. I’m excited to have been there at this very important beginning, Director of Sustaining Endeavour, Uma Preston said.
Additional comments included: Truly moving and inspiring stories and a very real sense that with the wisdom of the experienced and the talents of the new women coming into leadership fabulous things will be happening across many communities! Congratulations for this fabulous new council, Certified Life Coach, writer and artist, Carol Omer said.
For further information regarding CMRW, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 8217 9544.