School visit

Mariam Issa comes from an oral culture that uses the wisdom of it's elders for centuries.  She uses numerous platforms as a story teller, communicator and nurturer to reach out to all members of community. Schools and educational centres are part of these platforms, and her message speaks to all these audiences, motivating and inspiring them to draw on their compassion, find inner strength and resilience. 

Mariam says,

"I believe that nurturing, mentoring and believing in the power of all individuals forms the collective strength of a community."

These testimonies are from some of the educational centres she's visited.



Mariam Issa recently visited our School to speak to a group of students and staff on the subject of cultural acceptance in our local community.

She shared her personal experiences and the challenges she faced as a refugee relocating to Australia. An insightful point was made on the day around the importance and necessity of transitioning away from the ideal of ‘helping’ and instead towards ‘supporting’ one another.

Mariam’s work with RAW is also truly exceptional. Her ability to put aside the initial struggles she faced in Australia and support women in similar situations, has clearly created a stronger community.

I highly recommend anyone interested in broadening their awareness of not only the world we live in, but also in considering the contribution that they can make, to reach out and support Mariam.


Milan Kantor

Student, Melbourne Grammar School

‘Few speakers in our Masters intensive at the University of Melbourne have made as much of an impact as Mariam Issa has in terms of provoking a real change of perspective on culture, belonging and community amongst students (and lecturers and other presenters too, for that matter!).

Mariam’s warm, open and engaging style nurtures a deep reflection amongst listeners and encourages everyone to return to the foundations of the work we all do in community planning and development: people, experiences, story and connection. Mariam’s curiosity about all these things is utterly infectious and I know that the experience of hearing about her experiences as a woman, a migrant and a community developer is one that our students will recall throughout their professional lives.’


Andrea Cook

Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning

University of Melbourne