Abla Kadous

President of the Islamic Women’s Welfare Association

NSWState RecipientSenior Australian of the Year2022

After moving to Australia from Egypt, Abla Kadous helped set up the country's first welfare service for Muslim women – all while raising five children.

Abla overcame financial restraints and other challenges to create the not-for-profit Islamic Women's Welfare Association (IWWA), of which she is currently President. The organisation helps Islamic women feel welcome and participate in their communities. It offers anti-discrimination forums, school-readiness programs, youth camps, cooking classes and events. It also provides food and other essentials to people in need.

Abla leads 50 other volunteers and staff and, despite being in her 70s, is still active in the thriving organisation. Impressively, she raised enough money through sewing, cooking and sourcing items to sell to buy a state-of-the-art function centre for IWWA.

Abla has also helped bridge the gap with other religions by organising inter-faith forums in Western Sydney.

Abla has been volunteering for more than 35 years. Her generosity and energy is a true inspiration to her family, community and country.