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About IWSA

About IWSA

About IWSA

Who We Help

We offers services to migrant and refugee women of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing:

  • Homelessness; and/or
  • Domestic and family violence or abuse.

We provide support, assistance, and information to:

  • Those without any other support
  • Those who are isolated
  • Those at risk of homelessness, abuse, and ill health.

Our Story

In March 1982, three hundred women gathered in Sydney to speak out publicly on issues affecting migrant and refugee women of non-English Speaking background. As a result of this landmark meeting, a working party was convened which led to the establishment of the Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association in 1985 and its incorporation in 1987.
Since then, Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association has focused on these key areas:

  • Anti-discrimination
  • Childcare
  • Domestic violence
  • Education
  • Employment and training
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Industrial issues
  • Issues of access and equity
  • Legal issues

Our Vision

We dream of a society that values the rich and diverse contributions of immigrant and refugee women.

We endeavor to encourage culturally and linguistically diverse women by empowering them to access the resources they need to live independently – free of violence, oppression, exploitation, and discrimination.

IWSA represents the issues and ideas of immigrant and refugee women at all levels of government, in the community services and industrial sectors, and to the media.

Our Values


We take a person-centered, strengths-based approach to empower women of non-English speaking backgrounds to speak, act, and choose with enhanced knowledge and confidence. We uphold the rights of all women to have dignity, choice, and independence in their lives.


We operate on the principles of anti-discrimination and respect. We strive towards equality and equity for culturally and linguistically diverse women by:

  • Respecting your views and choices
  • Fighting for our rights
  • Challenging stereotypes seen in the mass media or other sectors of the community.

Women’s safety is our priority. We have an inclusive environment which is free from violence and harassment. We provide culturally safe and culturally appropriate services to immigrant and refugee women.

In all aspects of our work, we strive to ensure the rights and privacy of service users are upheld.

Social Justice

We do what we can to break down the barriers for immigrant and refugee women which prevent them from participating fully in our Australian society.