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Nazra Ibrahim

Nazra Ibrahim works tirelessly to provide support to the Islamic community, particularly women and their families in the northern region in Melbourne.

Honour Roll

Her leadership ability and her understanding of cross-cultural issues has resulted in the provision of more culturally sensitive services by local government and has fostered the support of the community. Born in 1963 in Fiji, Nazra Ibrahim met and married an Ethiopian Australian and migrated to Australia in 1984. Nazra's three children were born between 1987 and 1992 and during those years she studied, receiving a Diploma of Education in 1989. From that time she worked part time as a Teacher Aid for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities. In 1997 she gained an Advanced Certificate in Intellectual Disability and in 1999 a Bachelor of Science - Intellectual Disability.

In 1993 Nazra and her family had a life changing experience. Her husband was severely incapacitated in an accident and during the ensuing long legal battle the family suffered severe financial difficulties until they received compensation. Nazra became aware of the struggles experienced by those in need and began to work for change. She now combines part time work and care of her husband with voluntary work for the Muslim community.

Realising that existing respite care services for carers of children with intellectual disabilities were not appropriate to the needs of the Islamic community, Nazra successfully established a Volunteer Respite Care service in 1997, which she still coordinates. In 1998, with the cooperation of the Moreland City Council and neighbouring councils, she initiated and continues to coordinate a culturally appropriate recreation program for young Muslim women. She is also the principal contact person called on by the Islamic community in Melbourne to support and counsel Muslim women with family violence issues. She has been an active member of the Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition since mid 2000 and is a volunteer community worker for refugees on temporary protection visas.

In 2001, in partnership with the Moreland City Council, Nazra developed a project under the Strengthening Families and Communities program to address issues facing Muslim young people and their families as a result of the conflict between the influence of Australian values and the expectations of overseas-born parents.

Nazra Ibrahim is motivated by her strong sense of social justice and is committed to helping people in need and promoting cross-cultural understanding among service providers and within the community.