Organisation: Islamic Women’s Welfare Association

Seventy year-old Abla Tohamy Kadous continues to be an outstanding advocate and role model for Islamic women from all nationalities. She began her volunteering 35 years ago, when she established the Muslim’s Women’s Association before going on to set up the Islamic Women’s Welfare Association.

Today, she is still President of the Association as well as a leader to 50 other volunteer workers. She also leads four classes a week for the Association’s 1,500 members, helping to provide practical support for Islamic women to help them feel welcome and participate in their local communities. She organizes anti-discrimination forums, school readiness programs, youth camps, cooking and sewing classes and events for elderly people.

She has also helped bridge the gap between people from other religions, organizing a number of inter-faith forums in Western Sydney.

Her volunteer work is based on the principles of tolerance and understanding and aims to empower women in the Islamic community.  She is a role model, community leader and a tireless volunteer.


Photos of the NSW Volunteer of the Year State Ceremony are kindly supplied by Michael Mannington, Volunteer Photography www.volunteerphotography.org, and are available to view here.  Photos taken by Susan White of Corporate Digital, corporatedigital.com.au, are available here.


The Awards are in their 13th year and are an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers across NSW. They have grown to become one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across the country.

The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said the Awards helped uncover so many incredible stories of community achievement and goodwill across every corner of the state.

“We hold these Awards to recognise the special effort made by people who choose to go above and beyond to help others and their local community,” Ms Rygate said.

“They also highlight the contribution of all our volunteers and the organisations they represent. The Awards give us the opportunity to hear their stories, be inspired by their actions and pass on our thanks.

“There is no better job, than being able to meet these special volunteers and celebrate their contribution.”


The 2019 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs. They are also supported by Mint Awards and Thrifty Car & Truck Rentals.

NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards were an important way to recognise the contribution of the 2.1 million volunteers working throughout NSW.

“Each and every one of today’s Award recipients epitomise service above self,” Mr Ward said.

“Across the state, valuable volunteers are helping create stronger communities by generously dedicating countless hours to causes close to their heart.

“We can all learn a lot from hearing your stories and I congratulate all of you on your outstanding community service.”

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that volunteers were the backbone of registered clubs.

“On behalf of an industry which relies upon 32,000 volunteers, I congratulate all of these deserving winners,” said Mr Ball.

“ClubsNSW is proud to be a principal partner of these awards, which recognise the huge contribution that volunteers make across the state.

“Clubs rely on volunteers to help make their venues a great place to socialise, which in turn adds billions of dollars to the NSW economy every year.”