“We are wanting to set up this foundation to help those whose situation we were in when we fled our family home. Thinking back now, my mother was the rock and the backbone of our family. Her positive outlook on life is a trait that I miss and will never forget. This particular trait is one we hope to capture with the foundation."

Arman Abrahimzadeh


If you would like to hold a fundraising event for Zahra Foundation Australia please get in contact with us. We are more than happy to help your promote your event and provide you with materials and a guest speaker to help make your event even more of a success.

We will send you a copy of our fundraising agreement that provides you with permission to use our branding, hold raffles and auctions and source donations of goods and services on behalf of the foundation.

We would love to hear from you so please call Kylie on 8352 1889 to see how we can work together.

The Foundation

“Violence against women is a global problem receiving at last serious international attention as a crime and a breach of human rights and justice, Australia adopted in 2011 a National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children and in 2015 domestic and family violence are a particular focus for concerted national effort. To achieve success in reducing the extent, the degree and effects of such violence, requires all of us to be involved – governments, business, community organisations, service providers, education, sports and arts bodies and the media – and men and women individually and collectively.

The Zahra Foundation offers us all another way of engaging in this urgent and important work. As a woman living in South Australia, an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality, and as Chair of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), I give the Foundation my strong support.”


  • Our Background

    The establishment of the Zahra Foundation Australia was initiated by Zahra’s children and Women’s Safety Services SA (formerly Central Domestic Violence Service) to support women and their children to live a life free of violence and attain economic independence. The work in initially establishing the Foundation was administered by Women’s Safety Services SA (formerly Central Domestic Violence Service) and involved input from the following project partners:

    · Atena, Arman and Anita Abrahimzadeh
    · Domestic Violence Crisis Line
    · Migrant Women’s Support Service
    · Northern Domestic Violence Service
    · Southern Domestic Violence Service
    · Yarredi Services, Port Lincoln

    Zahra Foundation is now co-located within Women’s Safety Services SA and maintains a close connection to the South Australian domestic violence sector.

  • Our Mission

    To assist South Australian women and children affected by domestic and family violence, empowering them and providing pathways towards economic independence.

  • Our Vision

    To instil HOPE and optimism in the lives of women and their children
    To provide women and their children with a range of financial and educational OPPORTUNITIES
    To build meaningful relationships and PARTNERSHIPS with the business and community sector
    To deliver programs and create opportunities that promote women’s economic EMPOWERMENT

  • Our Brand

    The Zahra logo features a distinctive Lotus flower. Across many cultures, the Lotus is symbolic of purity and beauty. This beautiful flower grows and emerges from dark, muddy waters. The red Lotus in particular is representative of love and compassion, and is often depicted fully open symbolising ‘ideal state of heart’. The flower has been illustrated with reference to traditional Persian artwork – reflecting Zahra’s cultural background. Deep pinks and reds have been chosen to represent Zahra’s strength, beauty and presence, while Purple is symbolic of women suffrage.

  • Our Team

    Our Board of Directors:

    Maurine Pyke QC, Chairperson
    Koby Lockett, Treasurer, PKF Kennedy
    Atena Abrahimzadeh, Family representative
    Georgina McGuinness, Media/PR
    Tracey Finlay, Fundraising
    Sheena Jackson, Legal
    Sandy Fawcett, Executive Officer
    Marg Green, Beyond Bank Australia

    Our Staff:

    Kylie O’Callaghan, General Manager
    Kelly Barrett, Program Manager
    Susan Guley. Financial counselllor


“The foundation aims to assist women who have been threatened and abused in the hands of their partners. And mothers that want to save their children from violent homes. The goal of the foundation is to empower these women to stand on their own feet. This foundation will also be a tribute to women who sadly lost their lives in search for hope of a better life for themselves and their children.”

Atena Abrahimzadeh

In honour of Zahra

Zahra migrated to Australia with her husband and children in 1997. Zahra left her family and friends behind with great hope for a better life for her family.

The restrictions of being in an abusive and controlled marriage limited Zahra to live a full life that she had hoped for. Despite all this, Zahra embraced the opportunities in Australia.

Zahra endured much pain and abuse throughout her marriage. However, Zahra remained positive, strong and never lost hope. Zahra’s strengths were her great sense of humour and commitment to family. Zahra was a caring mother devoted to her children. She fiercely protected her children from threats and abuse by her husband.

In 2009 Zahra took the brave steps to leave the family home with her children and were assisted by the Central Domestic Violence Services. Zahra and her children stayed in hiding in order to keep themselves safe. As a mother her strength never wavered even though the threats continued to haunt her and her children. However this did not affect her attitude, approach and willingness to continue to rebuild her life.

On 21st of March 2010 Zahra attended the Persian New Year function at the Adelaide Convention Centre, to celebrate this cultural event and her 44th birthday. This celebration was cut short when her husband took her life in front of 300 witnesses.

Her legacy lives on through the commitment of her children and the establishment of the Zahra Foundation Australia.

Zahra Foundation Australia officially launched on September 5 2015, at the Adelaide Convention Centre as a way of reclaiming the space for Zahra and her family. Among the 400 guests were many prominent Australians, including 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty.

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“My mother Zahra was a brave woman who endured so much pain and abuse from her husband through her married life, yet she remained strong for her children. She was a woman with so much hope. My mother is my hero."

Atena Abrahimzadeh



We are proud to announce our Major Community Partner

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You can support us by opening a Beyond Bank, Community Rewards Account and nominating us as your chosen charity.

PKF_KENN_Blue_RGBOur partners, PKF Kennedy, deliver a series of half day workshops for women with a focus on economic empowerment. The details of these programs are advertised under the programs page.

Komms Haus logo

Komms-Haus have partnered with us and provide us with design and communication support pro-bono. Their support in our event and program branding has been invaluable to us and we appreciate their ongoing support and committment to addressing domestic and family violence.


Norman Waterhouse Commercial Lawyers have provided all work pro bono for the Foundation’s establishment.




SBS_Foundation_WHT_RedBckgrd_Hor - CopySBS Australia aired a series of three TVC’s raising awareness of domestic violence during 2016 and will continue during 2017. The TVC’s were produced with the support of POP Pictures and you can view them here.


We recognise that financial abuse and disadvantage is one of the biggest barriers to women leaving and remaining free of abusive relationships. Zahra Foundation specifically aims to address this through the development and delivery of programs that promote the economic empowerment of women and their children. Creating pathways for women into further education, training and employment is crucial to supporting women to break the cycle of violence and poverty in their lives.

The work of Zahra Foundation is evidence based and supported by recent research and recommendations delivered by various peak bodies and leaders in the field. Financial literacy and education has been identified as a key strategy in addressing the issue of domestic and family violence. These programs are complimentary to initiatives that meet women’s immediate crisis needs such as safety, housing and counselling.

For an understanding of the various ways women affected by domestic violence can be financially abused, you can download a copy of the Economic Abuse Wheel.

Pathway to Empowerment 2017

Pathways to Empowerment

Term 2 2017

Eastern suburbs (5 minutes out of town on public transport)

Registrations are now open.

Flyer for Term 2


“You really helped me move out of my comfort zone and get back towards doing my job that I know I was good at. I am preparing now so THANK YOU again”…participant

“This course has been invaluable”…participant

“This course has changed my life”…participant

Financial Fitness

In February, we ran a one day Financial Fitness Workshop for women from culturally and linguistically diverse background with a focus on financial and physical fitness. Everyone knows that talking about money can be dry, and boring but also confronting for women who don’t understand systems and may be faced with considerable debt and financial hardship following domestic violence. This is why we wanted to make this day as informative, fun and engaging as possible. So, we partnered with financial counsellors and specialist multicultural workers from Centrelink, as well as Bellydance Arabesque  and Yin Personal Safety Services.

The day was broken up into 4 workshops:

  1. Money, Relationships and You
  2. Come and Try Bellydance and Yoga
  3. Centrelink Multicultural Support Officer
  4. Self defence and empowerment for women

All women were provided with financial literacy packs, women with limited English were provided with interpreters, and for lunch they had a feast of Afghani food from Kutchi. We were so pleased to receive an email the next day from one of the participants.

“I would like to say that thank you so much for the workshop from yesterday. I have learned so much from it; especially, the Money Smart workshop. I go through the website and this is a very useful website. of course, I have to say that I like the food too. Even though it was my first time to try the eggplant, I have to say it’s an interesting eggplant.  The dancing class was actually a good exercise for me. Sharon’s self-defense class made us a good laugh, she is a very strong woman and taught me to build a strong confidence being woman.”

Financial fitness packs

Cooking the Books 2016

Cooking the Books was a one day program delivered during Adult Learners Week 2016. Participants learnt how to cook a quick and heathy meal on a budget, while at the same time learning money management skills with the help of PKF Kennedy Accounting. The women also learnt some yoga techniques as a stategy for self care. The session was held at the Women’s Community Centre, connecting them with other women, a great space, a range of other programs and supporting them to break isolation.

Power, Knowledge, Freedom (PKF) Program


pkf and zahra


In March 2016, we partnered with PKF Kennedy, a South Australian based accounting firm, to deliver a series of four, one off information sessions for women. Harnessing PKF’s financial expertise, and our understanding of women’s needs, the Power, Knowledge, Freedom Program will be an informative, but informal, way of women accessing the knowledge they need, to help them on their way to become financial independent.

Our next PKF session will be held on May 10 2017 at a venue to be disclosed at time of registration. Hear from experts in accounting, financial counselling, banking, lawyers and Centrelink. Zahra PKF workshop

Build Your Independence 2015


build your independence

In August 2015, Zahra Foundation delivered two financial literacy programs in the Western and Southern regions of Adelaide. The “Build Your Independence” Program was a 5 week program covering the following topics:

Surviving Financial Abuse
Learning Financial Basics
Saving and Investing
Understanding Your Credit and Avoiding Financial Rip Offs

The women attending the program provided us with valuable feedback and you can read the full evaluation of the Western region program here.

Build Your Independence Evaluation

We continue to work with our partners to expand, develop and deliver ongoing training and education opportunities for women which supports them to build their capacity to live a life free from violence and abuse.

Thank you for your services. I’m proud to walk away with things to look out for when it comes to money. Thank you!”…..Participant


We are working towards the launch of our small grants program for women and their children. The grants will become available in early 2017. The grants will create outcomes of further education or employment. Grants of up to $500 will provide women who have been affected by domestic or family violence to establish a pathway to economic empowerment and supports them to break the cycle of violence and abuse in their lives.

If you would like to make a donation to support this program, just click DONATE.



Zahra Foundation has launched our first resource available for women who have seperated or are thinking about seperating. It contains information and a checklist of things to think about, particularly when it comes to money. It also provides information on other services available. Publications are available by calling the office, or you can download one here in two formats.

Zahra Foundation 8p A5 booklet single pages

Zahra Foundation 8p A5 booklet

You can now view and download a copy of our 2015 2016 Annual Report here. Hard copies are available by calling the office.


Throughout the year Zahra Foundation organises and are involved in a number of events to raise awareness and funds for women and children affected by domestic and family violence. keep up to date here, or via our Facebook page for events coming up in 2017, and how you can get involved.

Our annual Women on the Run event will be held at Henley Beach on Sunday, December 3 2017.

Watch the video from 2016 here, thanks to Ben Duigan and Kabelo from Novatech Creative


Women On The Run 2016

wotr-webbanner-v2“Women on the Run was brilliant and I look forward to attending and encouraging friends to come next time. I’m sure the event will build on the success of the inaugural run”……..participant

“Of course the weather last year was the main challenge but I loved it in spite of that. There is something about being in the company of women (and men) who wish to make a difference that brings lots of hope and positive engagement to what is a horrible issue for many women. I spent a lot of my year training workplaces about dfv and I talk at the end about workers finding ways to contribute that is not always about ‘solving dfv’. This event is a great way for people to contribute. Thank you for organising – a great team effort”………..participant

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We are often looking for skilled and event volunteers to support the administration and fundraising needs of our organisation. We advertise our volunteer positions via Volunteering SA & NT and Good Company.

We will also post information about volunteers required here and on our Facebook page. Alternatively email us at admin@zahrafoundation.org.au and we will see if we have a role that fits.

We are currently seeking volunteers for our Bunning Community BBQ on Sunday May 7, so if you are interested please call the office on 8352 1889.



Police response to Abrahimzadeh coronial findings, JULY 6 2014

In partnership with SBS Foundation we have produced a series of three TVC’s, airing nationally from April 2016.

sbs foundation




Impact 100 South Australia – 2016 winners

We are proud to announce that Zahra Foundation are the 2016 winners of the Impact 100 South Australia, $100,000 high impact grant.

Impact 100 is a giving circle where over 100 people donate $1000 each which is then awarded to the winning organisation after a grant application and presentation process.

If you would like to become a member of Impact 100 to be part of this amazing initiative you can visit their website here for more information.





We have tshirts available for sale at $25 each plus $10 postage.

 pig 2

These piggy banks are part of our economic empowerment strategy for clients. They hold $250 in $2 coins and are used to demonstrate to clients that its possible to save while on a budget. You can have one too, for $10 plus postage. They come in PURPLE or PINK.

Or you can use one for a fundraiser and take our “Piggyback Pledge”. Take the pledge to take one, fill it with gold and donate it back to us! Easy.

Call the office to order yours today. 8352 1889.

Contact us

Zahra Foundation Australia

If you would like to know more information about Zahra Foundation Australia, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’d love to hear from you.

Phone 8352 1889
Email: admin@zahrafoundation.org.au

PO BOX 79, Hilton Plaza, SA 5031

ABN: 27 606 985 639


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If you need support for domestic or family violence please call:

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