“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

The Foundation

  • Our Background

    The establishment of the Zahra Foundation Australia was initiated by Zahra’s children and Central Domestic Violence Service to support women and their children to live a life free of violence and attain economic independence. The work in establishing the Foundation is being administered by Central Domestic Violence Service and has input from the following project partners:

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

  • Our Mission

    To provide assistance to South Australian women and children experiencing domestic and family violence that supports their immediate crisis needs, and builds their capacity to attain 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

    The Board of Directors:

    Maurine Pyke QC, Chairperson, Central Domestic Violence Service
    Maria Hagias, Executive Director, CDVS
    Vicki Jacobs, Treasurer, CDVS
    Atena Abrahimzadeh, Family representative

    Staff:

    Kylie O’Callaghan, Fundraising and Marketing Manager

 

“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.”

EMERITUS PROFESSOR ANNE R EDWARDS

“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

Programs

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.

Build Your Independence – Turn Your Life Around

 

build your independence

To date Zahra Foundation has 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
Budgeting
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

Power, Knowledge, Freedom (PKF) Program

 

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Recently 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. The next Power Knowledge Freedom session will be held in August. Check back here for updates.

Grants

We are currently developing our processes for the distribution of small grants. Small grant opportunities will be made available to women and children through the regional domestic violence specialist services. Further information regarding this funding will be made available soon.

Media

“A Night for Zahra” – Official Launch

ABC NEWS, 5 SEPTEMBER 2015

Police response to Abrahimzadeh coronial findings, JULY 6 2014

In partnership with SBS Foundation we have produced a series of three TVC’s to be aired nationally throughout 2016

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Supporters

 

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.

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We have recently partnered with PKF Kennedy who will deliver a series of workshops for women with a focus on economic empowerment.

The Power, Knowledge, Freedom (PKF) Program will be delivered across metropolitan Adelaide from May 2016.  Further details, including dates and venues will be provided soon.

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

SBS_Foundation_WHT_RedBckgrd_Hor - CopySBS Australia will be airing a series of TVC’s raising awareness of domestic violence during 2016. These TVC’s were produced with the support of POP Pictures and you can view them here on our media page.

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Awards

 

Impact 100 South Australia – 2016 winners

We are proud to announce that Zahra Foundation are the 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.

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Merch

You can order your very own Zahra Foundation t-shirt for just $20.

Just send us an email admin@zahrafoundation.org.au to find out how.

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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: 08 8152 0021
Email: admin@zahrafoundation.org.au

ABN: 27 606 985 639

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

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