Maha Krayem Abdo OAM

Maha is the CEO of the Muslim Women Association and is a widely respected Muslim woman activist, serving on many advisory committees, and respected by all groups that she works with.

Maha has worked in the social welfare field for nearly three decades and holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work, a Masters in Social Science, majoring in Young People and Children’s Studies, and a Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution. She is the Executive Officer of the United Muslim Women Association, which has been supporting, nurturing and representing Muslim women and their families for over 30 years.

Maha has been organising young Muslim women’s Leadership Camps on an annual basis for over 20 years. She has done a lot of work with young Muslim women leaders and mentored them on various projects, developed partnerships with various government and non government organisations at a local, state, and national level.

Maha has been involved on many Advisory Committees with a focus on correcting misconceptions about Muslim women and highlighting the difference between religious and cultural practices, ensuring Muslim women’s needs are taken into consideration in the development and implementation of services, programs, and policies.

Maha has served the Australian Muslim community on Ministerial Advisory committees, such as:

-Department of Sport & Recreation
-Substitute Care where she chaired a subcommittee researching the needs of young Australian Muslims in Out of Home Care.
-Muslim Foster Care Advisory Committee
-NSW Premier’s Council for Women
-Community Harmony Reference Group with the Community Relations Commission.
-The Human Rights Equal Opportunity Commission’s Reference group (Isma’ project) giving advice on eliminating prejudice against Muslims in Australia.
-The Clinical Excellence Commission Citizens Engagement Advisory Council (CEAC)

Maha has given presentations at various local, national, and international conferences highlighting the difference between religious and cultural practices in Islam and the status of women in Islam. She continues to be involved in religious dialogues at all levels.

Maha has received many awards, such as:

2014 NSW Human Rights Ambassador
2013 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Medal
2008 Queen’s Birthday recipient of the Order of Australia Medal
2004 Muslim Woman of the Year award, from Bayt Elzakat Sydney
2003 Muslim Woman of the Year award, from Affinity Intercultural Foundation
2003 Award of the Centenary Medal
2002 Premier’s Award for her work on the Muslim Foster Care Program