Annual General Meeting 2012

VASS’ Annual General Meeting 2012 was held at VASS’ Broadmeadows Head Office, C2, 1- 13 The Gateway, Broadmeadows on November 15, 2012. The primary role of the Annual General Meeting is to inform stakeholders, funding bodies and members, as well as the broader public, of VASS’ work and spending for the past financial year. To discharge this obligation, the Annual Financial Report was distributed and the Board of Management for 2012 – 2013 was announced. Mr. Ali Mustapha retained his role as Chairperson, and Ms. Leila Alloush remained the Public Officer/CEO.

The keynote speaker for the night was Ms. Maria Vamvakinou, MP for Calwell who reflected on her own migration experience and raised concerns about the many issues faced by the diverse Arabic Speaking Background (ASB) communities of Australia, especially within her own electorate. Furthermore, Ms. Vamvakinou delivered a message from the Prime Minister of Australia, Ms. Julia Gillard. We once again thank her for her attendance.

Furthermore, Mr. Frank McGuire, Member for Broadmeadows attended and delivered a supporting message, and VASS is happy to continue an ongoing relationship with Mr. McGuire. Ms. Bronwyn Halfpenny, Member for Thomastown also delivered a message of support and reflected on her experiences with VASS.

Following this, a cultural events ensued with both the Darebin Arabic Women’s Group delivering a cultural dance performance, drawing inspiration from Kurdish culture. This was followed by our own staff member, Yousif Aziz, conducting a singing choir and his own compositions, from traditional Arabic music, to gospel fusion. This illustrates the achievements of the ongoing work from the re-vamped A.R.A.B. program at VASS.

Finally, a cultural feast was offered to all attendees. VASS thanks all funding bodies, personnel and community members for their ongoing support. We are proud to have concluded yet another successful year and look forward for what will hopefully be an enriching year ahead.

Harmony Day 2012_March 19, 2012

Monday 19th March, 2012

See attached flyer Harmony Day1

Media Release December 20, 2011_Media Workshops for Youth

Media Release

December 20th, 2011


The Curbing Radicalisation through Youth Resilience and Community Partnerships project is an initiative of the Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS) funded by the Australian Government, Attorney-General’s Department.  The project focuses on developing and facilitating a series of workshops and activities for Arabic Speaking Background (ASB) youth living in the municipality of Hume, Moreland and Hobson’s Bay.  Participants are recruited from high schools, tertiary institutions, local communities and police members. Workshops and activities are aimed at building resilience by providing avenues for positive expression and mutual understanding of diversity.

As part of the project, VASS invited Monash Researchers from the Global Terrorism Research Centre (GTReC) , Dr Pete Lentini and Dr Anna Halafoff, to present their research findings to members of the Muslim community through weekly workshops. These workshops encouraged an exchange of discussions, experiences and possible solutions to issues between the researchers and the participants of the workshops.  Workshop themes included Multi-faith Understanding, Middle Eastern Culture in Contemporary Australian society (Issues of Identity), Impact of Global Issues on Islamic and Middle Eastern communities living in Australia, Non-violent Techniques in Overcoming Racism and Stigmatisation and How to Get Involved (Media Training).

VASS received positive feedback from workshop participants who felt that they made gains in conflict resolution, insight into people’s problems, well balanced views on Islam from life experience, theoretical knowledge of radicalisation and possible solutions at localised levels.  Participants also felt that the openness and honesty of the discussions made the tools for learning effective.

The next step is to assist participants to create online forums and opportunities to blog online, assist participants in computer programming and website creation with the intent of sharing Islamic values and culturally appropriate forums like Halaltube and Muslim Village. Those interested will also be given the opportunity to maintain their cultural and religious rights through multimedia, animation and storytelling.

Media workshops are due to commence in January 2012.  For expressions of interest please contact Donia Salem at VASS on (03) 93592861 or



Youth Leadership Program

VASS and Monash University invite you to take part in a series of 4 workshops (LEADERSHIP TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT) addressing youth and community issues of Middle Eastern and Muslim communities in Victoria.

The program is part of the Curbing Radicalisation through Youth Resilience and Community Partnerships and the first workshop will take place Tuesday November 22nd, 2011 at the VASS Head Office in Broadmeadows.

Click on the link below to find out more about the program.

Youth Leadership Program

Hume Festival of Music 2011

The Hume Festival of Music 2011 provides free music skills workshops and free open-air concerts.

On Thursday 20th October 2011, the VASS Hume Assyrian Chaldean Women’s Group will be presenting ‘Yalikhta D’Khlolane’ at the Lynda Blundell Community Centre (185-225 Blair St, Broadmeadows). The event will commence at 10am until 12pm.

It is an open event and welcomes the community of Hume.

Please see attached flyer

Yalikhta Dkhlolane Event Flyer

For more information contact Mesko Ayouz on (03) 9359 2861 or

The Event is proudly funded by the Hume City Council Festival of Music Community Grants Program.

VASS Short Film

Please click on the link to watch the ‘VASS Short Film’ which is based on young people’s view points and experience with diversity and social cohesion in Australia. The short film is part of a leadership course within the VASS We are One project.

The short film is supported by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship through the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program.

VASS 2011 Fundraising Dinner

The Victorian Arabic Social Services(VASS) organised a Fundraising Dinner on Thursday 10th March 2011 to support the movement from 178 Dallas Drive Broadmeadows to 1c and 2c, 1-13 The Gateway, Broadmeadows.

The dinner was held at Aurora Receptions and invited over 250 community leaders, politicians, business leaders and service providers to enjoy an evening of entertainment by Philly and Zein from the Anti Racism Action Band, Singer Abboud Al Jendi, three course meal and an opportunity to network with people that support VASS and the community it services.

The organisation was successful in raising money to support VASS’s movement into an office that is in the center of Hume, that offers disability access, that offers space for staff, students and volunteers and that will continue to offer youth, family, aged care and social support services to members of the Arabic Speaking Background communities residing in Victoria.

We are One Leadership Course

The We Are One project is a VASS project funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship from November 2009 until December 2011 under the Diversity and Social Cohesion program. The project aims to engage both first and second generation migrant youth in secondary schools in the Hume, Moreland, Whittlesea and Hobson’s Bay LGAs to address the issues of disempowerment, alienation and racism.

The We Are One Leadership Course invited 25 young people on a 5 day course which included drills with Life Saving Victoria and Richmond Footy Clinic, Public Speaking workshop, mosaic with Australian Federal Police, tour with Victoria Police and a chance to meet members of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. The course ended with a graduation ceremony that recognised each young persons involvement and celebrated their growth and confidence. Each young people was given a Certificate of Appreciation to add to their resumes.

This project is proudly supported by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship through the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program. For more information, visit

Refugee Week 2010

The VASS Arabic Women Social Support Group participated in the 2010 Refugee Week celebration’s which aims to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue making a valuable contribution to Australia.

The women wore traditional Middle Eastern costumes and preformed to folklore music, allowing members of the public to also participate in the festivities.The event was held in Reservoir and 90 people from the community participated.

2010 VASS Annual General Meeting

The Victorian Arabic Social Services 2010 Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 21st October, 2010 at Rivioli Receptions on Sydney Road, Brunswick. The meeting invited Guest Speakers Liz Beattie MP – Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs and Paul Windsor – Acting State of Victoria which both gave inspiring and memorable speeches. Over 200 community members and leaders, service representatives and stakeholders gathered at the meeting and witnessed the election of the 2011 VASS Board of Management. The Mesopotamian Group entertained the guests with traditional music and musical instruments, allowing for guests to get up and dance to the music. The Annual General Meeting ended with a delicious Middle Eastern buffet.

Liz Beattie MP and Paul Windsor, Acting State Director of Victoria

Mesopotamian Music Group

VASS Staff 2010