‘ Faten El Dana –An ambassador for migrant women’

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On March 7,  NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Women Minister for Women announced the winners of the 2014 NSW Women of the Year Awards at NSW Parliament House.

 Faten El Dana  is the  winner of  AH Beard’s Community Hero Award. She is very active in the community as an ambassador for migrant women.  She is also  the president of the Muslim Women’s welfare of Australia. She is a program coordinator at 2MFM and is involved with numerous community projects around women’s health, family issues, job searching, interpretation and many others.

Faten’s dream was to become a midwife however she realised once she reached tertiary level that midwifery was not available in Beirut. The only university to offer the course was in a distant city that was torn by civil war. With tenacity and passion, she would not give up her dream.

Faten immigrated to Australia in 1989 to pursue her dream to help women through their most life-changing experience – child birth. Her focus and motivation saw her study full-time while also raising her three-month old son alone.

She has won many awards throughout her time in Australia, which include an Order of Australia Medal and the NSW Premier’s Lebanese Community Award both in 2012.

Since arriving in Australia, Faten has witnessed the difficulties migrant women face. After becoming a midwife she realised just how much support and advice migrant women needed especially when it came to their health. She became passionate about educating these women about health issues and connecting them to the right resources and services to help them live healthy lives.

This passion spread to other areas of the community and Faten became a consultant for the Arabic speaking community.  She now runs projects helping families with children with special needs, ensuring they have access to the relevant supports they require. Faten works with migrant school children helping them with their English and enabling them to settle into the school system. She is also involved with a campaign around awareness of Hepatitis C.

Faten uses her radio program to promote awareness of all these issues. She has played an integral role in helping many migrant women and their families settle into life in Australia. In 2008, she was awarded the best live-to-air program presented by women.

Her phenomenal success in leading the way for Muslim women and families and her outstanding work as a radio presenter has led her to become the first ever Head of Radio Programing at the station, a role previously always held by a man.

Faten is a remarkable woman who through her midwifery, teaching, coaching, radio presenting and roles in many organisations, has become a leader in society and paved the way for other women to follow.

She is an inspirational role model to so many women and her dedication, passion and success will enable her to continue to help the many migrant families settle into their new home.

 

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