SAHELI Projects

South Asian Women’s Wellbeing Centre

Merrylands, NSW

Open-Day-at-Women's-Wellbeing-Centre-webIndividuals and organisations in the South Asian community have come together to provide a space for women from our communities to gather, share information, and make new connections. The South Asian Women’s Wellbeing Centre is based in Merrylands (NSW), close to the community. There are health, wellbeing, arts and job-readiness programs being offered. It is also simply a place to meet.

The initiative is a response to the lack of a community-based space for women from our communities to meet, discuss matters that are important to them, make connections, and share and learn relevant information that assists us to settle well in Australia. The centre will evolve in response to needs and wellbeing for the women in our communities.

Boronia Multicultural Services is leading this initiative, in partnership with SAHELI, Tamil Women’s Development Group and SEWA Australia. A large number of volunteers from our communities are supporting the delivery.

You can support this by:
1. Spreading the word individually to women you know who will gain value from coming along
2. Getting involved
3. Informing wider media and community organisation networks so that every woman in our community is aware that there is a place for her to come to.

For more information, contact: Viji Dhayanathan, Support Worker
(02) 9631 1777


Pink-Sari-Parade-at-Parramasala_1-webThe Pink Sari Project aims to raise awareness about breast screening and the importance of early detection of breast cancer among the Indian and Sri Lankan communities. In the latest ABS Census 2011, people from these two communities are one of the largest and fastest growing groups in NSW but, have one of the lowest rates of breast screening in NSW. Women in the 50-74 age bracket are the target participants for this project.

The Pink Sari Project is a community initiative led by the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS) in conjunction with Breast Screen NSW and Refugee Health Service supported by an interdisciplinary academic team from the University of Technology (UTS). The Project is funded from the Evidence to Practice Grants of the Cancer Institute NSW.

SAHELI has been one of the lead community organisations actively implementing various initiatives, with an ultimate aim of raising awareness and improving breast screening rates among women in our communities. For more information please visit


13th September 2014
SAHELI was actively involved in the launch of The Pink Sari Project led by NSW Multicultural Health Communication Services at the Thornleigh Community Centre which was attended by representatives from various Indian and Sri Lankan community organisations.

27th September 2014
SAHELI assisted the Sikh Youth Australia to kick-start the Pink Sari Project campaign at the Turramurra Sikh temple.

Pink-Sari-Parade-at-Parramasala-web17th October 2014
SAHELI’s organised a Pink Sari march at the Parramasala Festival welcoming parade at Parramatta to promote the PINK SARI PROJECT and to raise awareness about breast screening.

19th October 2014
SAHELI assisted MHCS at the Hindu Council’s Diwali event to conduct surveys as part of the Pink Sari Project to explore awareness and attitudes towards breast screening .

Participants-athe-Pink-Sari-Project-13-9-14-web16th November 2014
SAHELI promoted the Pink Sari Project at the Pink Ribbon breakfast at Parravilla in Parramatta.

16th November 2014
SAHELI joined forces with Sikh Youth Australia (SYA) once again to extend the Pink Sari Project campaign to Parklea Sikh temple in Sydney. 43 women completed the forms to undergo breast screening.

22nd November 2014
SAHELI and Sikh Youth Australia ran the Pink Sari Project campaign at the Sikh temple in Parklea for the second time. About a dozen women completed the forms to undergo breast screening.

23rd November 2014
SAHELI and Sikh Youth Australia extended the Pink Sari Project (PSP) campaign to the Sikh temple at Revesby while a concurrent PSP promotion was taking place at the Pop Up clinic at the Sikh temple at Parklea.


SAHELI has been working with Settlement Services International (SSI) on the Community Kitchen Project and has also supported SSI with social and cultural events for the asylum seekers. SSI’s Community Kitchen initiative is an inclusive event which is partly a cooking class and partly a social outing for community-based asylum seekers, released from Immigration Detention, many of whom experience isolation.

4th November 2013
SSI in partnership with SAHELI and the Tamil Womens Development Group organised a Diwali celebration at Ryde. Enthusiastic men of Afghani background participated in a cooking lesson facilitated by a Sri Lankan lady on how to prepare a healthy and nutritious Sri Lankan meal. Around 150 asylum seekers, mainly from the Sri Lankan Tamil community interacted with each other in social and cultural activities.

26th February 2014
SAHELI partnered with SSI at a Community Kitchen event held at Auburn Community Centre, attended by 150 asylum seekers mainly from Sri Lanka and the Middle East. Women of Sri Lankan Tamil background enjoyed a cooking lesson from the Punjabi cuisine facilitated by an Indian volunteer. The day came to a close with a Zumba lesson, a game of soccer, a meditation session and a sumptuous meal.

Rangoli-for-Diwali-at-Girraween-Park-web26th October 2014
SAHELI in partnership with SSI and the Community Migrant Resource Centre participated in a Diwali celebration at the Girraween Park, attended by over 200 Sri Lankan asylum seekers and refugees, despite the scorching heat. While some of the women and children were engaged in rangoli, the men enjoyed a game of cricket. The morning concluded with SAHELI’s promotion of the Pink Sari Project, vibrant dance performances, Tamil melodies and a delicious Diwali lunch for all.