The President Silma Ihram spoke of the need for an organisation which was not based on ethnicity, and which catered for the growing need of Australian Muslims to define a new cultural identity that related to the Australian environment and situation. Reverts who marry into the Muslim community and those who have been born and bred in Australia can find that they are lost between a multitude of ethnic organisations which are welcoming but where Australian born and bred Muslims do not find compatibility in their culture and outlook.
This view was amplified by Malikeh Michels, who is also a local Councillor on Auburn Council, who related some of the stories of those that she has dealt with, and who have struggled to find the support and mentoring that they needed to live as a Muslim in Australia who has an Australian identity.
Barbara Perry, in her guest speech stated that she was thrilled that AMWA had launched in Auburn saying "I thank you for your deducation to educating Muslim women and girls on their Islamic faith and rights as women. This is a critical part of continuing the work of esteeming, empowering and liberating women. Even more when one considers the misunderstanding and ignorance that exists about the status of women in Islamic communities." She also lauded the contribution that Jamila has made through her book and her long history of active community involvement. She then officially declared that AMWA was launched. The full text of her speech can be found here.
Professor Julie Howell who was the official delegate launching Jamila's book, reflected on the important role such informative texts play in educating the wider society about Islamic law. She also reflected on her knowledge of Jamila and her support for the excellent work that she has been involved with to date.