2023 Recipient Mahboba Rawi OAM

Mahboba Rawi is the founder of Mahboba’s Promise, a charity established in 2001 to improve the lives of vulnerable women and children in Afghanistan and Australia. In 2010, Mahboba was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to international humanitarian aid.

In 2023, the Mercy Foundation Board awarded the Cath Leary Social Justice Award to Mahboba Rawi.

This award acknowledges Mahboba’s outstanding work, effort and lifelong commitment to upholding human rights and human dignity in her work with Afghan women and children. The Board particularly recognises her courage and commitment to ensuring that marginalised women and children have access to education. Similarly, many Sisters of Mercy have dedicated their lives to educating young women and children facing hardship, following the example of their founder, Catherine McAuley.

The Board recognises Mahboba’s leadership in empowering Afghan women and children to make a positive and permanent impact on their lives and their community, in both Australia and Afghanistan.

In 2021, Mahboba’s Promise was awarded a Social Justice Small Grant to support the mental health of children recently arrived in Australia from Afghanistan. That same year, the Mercy Foundation donated $20,000 to Mahboba’s Promise, made possible by the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney and the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta.

In 2022, Mahboba and her son were awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal and in February 2023, the NSW Human Rights Medal.

We congratulate Mahboba on her achievements, her continued hard work over many years and her significant contribution to social justice.

Above: Sr Jennie Ryan RSM, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney and Dr Jennifer Leary, sister of Cath, award the Cath Leary Social Justice Award to Mahboba Rawi OAM, 31 August 2023.