On May 18th, the African Women’s Forum highlighted ‘The Australian Experience: New African/Australian Women and Families’ as its focussing theme.

Speakers in session one; spoke about ‘Turning Challenges into Success’. Community leaders, Mary Riek (CEO of Wang Community Association and Kushland Family Day Care) and Mariam Issa (founder of Resilient Aspiring Women), spoke about the challenges they faced as new Australian’s to overcome adversities and the personal qualities they drew upon to establish successful organisations; which are now an inspiration to all Australian women. The second session featured Theresa Sengaaga Ssali (Senior Social Worker with the New hope Foundation) and Diane Simboro (founder of Refugee Women in OZ), speaking about ‘Best Practice; Strategies to Fast Track Settlement’.

All speakers have years of experience in African/Australian settlement and shared invaluable insights on best practices for new African/Australian’s. A networking break between the two sessions (sponsored by the Victorian branch of the Women’s Federation for World Peace); allowed participants to dialogue with service providers and mingle with each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

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