“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 you 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.



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

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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.



From time to time we seek 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.

Please note all volunteers will be required to provide a DCSI Children and Vulnerable Persons Check.




Leaving a Gift to Zahra Foundation Australia in your Will

Leaving a gift in your will to Zahra Foundation Australia is an enduring way for you to empower South Australian women and children to live a life free from violence and abuse.

Your bequest will support the ongoing development of our programs, services and opportunities that directly support families who have been affected by domestic violence. Zahra Foundation creates a meaningful impact by:

  • Creating pathways for women into further education and employment
  • Enhancing financial capability for women
  • Providing grants to women and their children to assist with the cost of obtaining and sustaining education and employment
  • Providing financial support at the point of crisis to support these families build a better life

If you wish to support us through a bequest we recommend that you seek independent legal advice before writing or amending your will. This will ensure the wording accurately reflects your wishes.

Your legal representative can talk to you about the different ways you can chose to leave a gift, either:

  1. Through nominating and leaving a specific amount of money
  2. Through leaving a share of your estate (what is left of your estate after payment of your debts and expenses and other gifts you may have made).

A clause in your will can be written as follows:

“I give to Zahra Foundation Australia (ACN: 606985639) for its general purposes the sum of $(insert amount), free from all duties, deductions and charges. The receipt of an authorized officer for the time being of Zahra Foundation Australia shall constitute a full and sufficient discharge of my executors’ duties.”


“I direct that (insert %) of my residuary estate be given to Zahra Foundation Australia (ACN: 606985639) for its general purposes. The receipt of an authorised officer for the time being of Zahra Foundation Australia shall constitute a full and sufficient discharge of my executors’ duties.” 

Please send all information and legal correspondence to Zahra Foundation Australia,PO Box 3082, Hilton Plaza, SA, 5033. If you would like to discuss your bequest, please call 08 8352 1889.

Thank you for considering making a life changing gift to our organisation.


About us

“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 a collaboration between 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 foundations establishment 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 co-located within Women’s Safety Services SA, the largest specialist domestic violence service in 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
    Atena Abrahimzadeh, Deputy Chairperson
    Koby Lockett, Treasurer, PKF Adelaide Accounting
    Rebecca Miller, Fundraising Professional
    Sandy Fawcett, Executive Officer
    Ross Wait, General Manager, Power Community Ltd (PAFC)

    Our Staff:

    Kylie O’Callaghan, General Manager
    Susan Guley. Financial counselllor
    Cath Sarah, Program Facilitator
    Melody Howlett, Program Facilitator
    Angelikh Koutsidis, Admin Assistant

    Kim McGarr
    Dikea Hadjis
    Lisa Semaan


“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


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Komms Haus logo


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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.


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.

Financial Counselling

We offer a specialist domestic violence financial counselling service for women experiencing domestic violence related debt and financial hardship.

We can also support you to apply for a Good Shepherd NILS loan to help you get back on your feet.

This service operates from Womens Information Service alternate Thursday’s

This service is free and confidential. Please call us to make an appointment 8352 1889.

Please note there is currently a wait of 2-3 weeks for an appointment.


This service is supported by Wyatt Trust

Alternatively, if you are in a financial crisis and are not able to contact us urgently,please call the National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007

Please note that we are unable to provide emergency relief.

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Pathways to Empowerment

Pathways to Empowerment

See our calendar of events for term dates during 2019.



“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

“What I experienced was way more than I was expecting. I was previously a hairdresser and have run three businesses in my past. I have had experience and knowledge but this has helped me to build my confidence to get back to where I used to be. It is important for the participants to have opportunities to link to employers and volunteers jobs. This course has connected me with new people that I can relate to and helped me as I used to be isolated, now I feel free. It has given me wings.” Tanya

“This course has changed my life”…participant

90% of participants who completed Pathways to Empowerment achieve a direct path into further education, employment or volunteering.

Open House


Each month we will open our doors for women to come and enjoy a morning tea co-facilitated by key services providers. The Open House allows a safe and supportive environment for women to come and access the information they need to become financial independent and break the cycle of violence in their lives. Most Open House events are held on a Wednesday – check the calendar of events for full details and presenters each month. Registrations are required and limited creche spots are available for most sessions.



Opportunity Knox


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We introduced our “Opportunity Knox” small grants program for women and their children in March 2017. Since then we have distributed over $20,000 to over 52 families in need. These grants support the costs associated with education and accessing or sustaining employment. Grants of up to $500 are available to those families who are connected to a domestic violence service. We believe that building women’s capacity and supporting them to create a pathway to economic independence supports them to break the cycle of violence and abuse in their lives. Rhiannon was just one of our grant recipients. You can read her personal story here.

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

Grant applications are only available via a domestic violence support worker. We are unable to accept self referrals.

“I just wanted to thank the Foundation for the help they have given me. I just received a call from the uniform shop to advise that my daughter’s uniform for her new school is ready for pick up and that Zahra Foundation have paid for it. I really appreciate the help you have given my children and I as we are in financial hardship and purchasing my daughter’s uniform has helped tremendously. Thank you so much again” …….Grant recipient



Throughout the year Zahra Foundation organises and participate in a number of events that raise awareness and funds for women and children affected by domestic and family violence. Check our our calendar of events for events coming up in 2019.


Community Fundraising

If you are interested in organising an event to raise awareness or funds for Zahra Foundation please send an email to admin@zahrafoundation.org.au or to get started you can download a copy of our Zahra Fundraising Agreement here


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.




Police response to Abrahimzadeh coronial findings, JULY 6 2014

A short film made in collaboration by clients of Zahra Foundation Australia

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

Zahra Foundation Gala supported by IAG

Official Office Opening 21 March 2018

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

PO BOX 3082, Hilton Plaza, SA 5033

ABN: 27 606 985 639


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

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