Muslim women hub founder named NSW Senior of Year

MOTHER of five and long-time volunteer Abla Kadous has been named the 2022 NSW Senior Australian of the Year after spending the last 37 years helping hundreds of migrant women settle into their new home.

The Greenacre resident, 72, who also won NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year in 2019, is now up for Australian Senior of the Year which will be announced among the Australia Day Awards in January.
Founder of IWWA (Islamic Women’s Welfare Association) in Lakemba in 2000 along with several others, Abla estimates her service has supported thousands of women and their families from 40 to 45 nationalities in the last two decades.
“But I don’t do what I do for any recognition and it was a surprise to find out I had won the NSW Senior of the Year,” she said. “The other nominees were all great people who have achieved excellence in their fields so I feel very honoured.”
Abla says there have been many highlights over the past nearly four decades since she arrived in Australia from Egypt but she counts the trust she has earned among Muslim families as her greatest achievement.
“They know they can ring me at any time of the day or night as I am always ready to help” she said.
“I have seen so many go from struggling to becoming happy, contributing members of the community and I am very grateful for that.”
Closed for the rest of the year except for grocery services and telephone counselling, IWWA will resume all of its programs in February, including anti-discrimination forums, school-readiness programs, parent support groups, youth camps, cooking classes and more.