About Us

About Victorian Arabic Social Services(VASS)

VASS is an incorporated not-for-profit association providing support to people of Arabic-Speaking-Background (ASB) communities in Victoria. VASS provides a range of support including counselling, case work, referrals, advocacy, community development, mediation, and social,
cultural and linguistic support to people of ASB and other culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

VASS is managed by a Board of Management as elected by VASS members at an Annual General Meeting. VASS has a current charitable status which includes:

Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)

  • Charity Tax Concessions
  • Income Tax Concession

VASS members come from a broad spectrum of occupations including community, welfare and social workers, counsellors, psychologists, teachers, doctors, lawyers, academics, engineers, accountants, artists, business analysts, IT specialists, government workers, self employed consultants, students and volunteers.

Who are Arabic speaking background communities?

Arabic-Speaking-Background communities are people who identify with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Born in one of the 22 countries of the Arab World *
  • Have ancestral link to the Arab World.
  • Speak Arabic as a second language after their native language and have their own identity (e.g. Assyrian Chaldean, Kurdish, Armenian)

Arab World is made up of 22 countries who are members of the Arab League of Nations and where the Arabic language is an official language.

The following countries are members of the Arab League of Nations:

  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Comoros
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

Mission

The Victorian Arabic Social Services is dedicated to addressing the social, cultural and welfare needs of the Arabic speaking background (ASB) communities in Victoria.

Vision

Our vision is for a more inclusive Victorian community that values the strengths of Victoria’s vibrant and diverse ASB communities

Organisational Values

  • VASS is committed to serving ASB communities by remaining non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian and inclusive of all ASB community groups
  • VASS recognises the cultural, religious and regional diversity of ASB communities
  • VASS acknowledges the common threads that bind members of the 22 Arabic speaking countries located in the world.
  • VASS work is underpinned by community development principles which aim to develop the citizenship status of ASB communities through improved access to services , decision making and civic participation
  • VASS supports and adheres to the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
  • VASS values inclusivity. VASS adopts an inclusive framework to its operations and does not refuse its services to people of non-Arabic backgrounds.

History

The Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS) started in 1986 as a network of workers who met regularly to discuss issues of concern to the Arabic–Speaking–Background (ASB) communities in Victoria. VASS grew over the years to become a key service provider with specialist expertise and knowledge in working with ASB communities and advocating on their behalf. VASS now has offices around the State in Broadmeadows (Head Office), Newport, Dandenong, and Fawner. VASS has also increased the range of target clients it services, with people from
Assyrian Chaldean, Iranian, Kurdish, Turkish and Horn of African backgrounds being the main communities VASS is experiencing a high demand from.

Board of Management

VASS Board of Management 2014-2015:

  • Ali Mustapha (Chairperson)
  • Mohammad Dahdoule
  • Samira Zeno
  • Sherin Ahmed
  • Mohamad Alman
  • Mohamed El Turabi
  • Zahra Baho
  • Yousif Dawood
  • Omar Tabiaat
  • Youssef Issa
  • Fatoum Souki

Supported By

VASS is pleased to receive funding and in kind support from a number of government departments, Councils, and other charitable funds. Here are some of our major supporters that we would like to thank:

  • City of Casey
  • City of Hobson’s Bay
  • City of Hume
  • City of Whittlesea
  • City of Moreland
  • Department of Health (Victoria)
  • Department of Social Services

VASS has long-standing partnerships with the following Universities, who have worked with VASS in research projects and student placements for many years:

  • La Trobe University
  • Monash University
  • Deakin University