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Our Story

Uniting Canterbury Women was founded after the tragic terror attack in Christchurch on 15 March 2019.

Co-founder, Jo Bailey reached out to her only Muslim friend at the time, Zahra Hussaini, to talk about how to continue on the beautiful love and support for the Muslim community being shown by people in Canterbury and New Zealand, and Uniting Canterbury Women was born.

Zahra introduced Jo to four of her friends, Rebecca Parnham, Dr Hafsa Ahmed, Amber Johnson, and Naeema Masud. The six women bonded over coffee and cake, and together, organised the inaugural Uniting Canterbury Women event, which was attended by nearly 600 women.

Today, Jo Bailey and Rebecca Parnham continue to lead Uniting Canterbury Women and organise a range of events to connect wāhine across all cultures. They are supported by the rest of the UCW team, and new crew member, Suhayla Asghari, when they are available to assist.

Uniting Canterbury Women has a popular Facebook page with over 1250 followers. Zahra Hussaini runs the group's thriving Instagram page.

Many incredible connections and friendships have been made and continue to be made across the Uniting Canterbury Women community.

How we started

The original Uniting Canterbury Women crew were delighted to reunite to work on the Welcome Pack project for the Afghan evacuees. They were joined by new crew member, Suhayla Asghari, who filled the spot left by Naeema Masud, who now lives in Sydney.