A partnership between Homelessness NSW,
Domestic Violence NSW and Yfoundations

Lifetime achievement award

Lifetime achievement award

The Lifetime achievement award honours practitioners who have dedicated their working lives to the sector. Over the course of their careers, these leaders have shown commitment and leadership in providing effective and empowering responses to homelessness in NSW. It our pleasure to announce that both nominees received the award in 2018.

Feda Rifai from the Muslim Women Association


Over the last 22 years Feda Rifai has worked tirelessly at improving and strengthening the partner relationships of Muslim Women Association streamlining and formalising their organisation for better service delivery, transparency and accountability. She has championed that the MWA should not only be of service to women, children and families of the Islamic faith, but also to those belonging to all faiths and creeds under the all encompassing banner of humanity. Feda has been a key member of the MWA team, integral in evolving the organisation into the successful and vital specialist homeless service it is today.

Laurie Maher from Coast Shelter


Twenty five years ago, Laurie was appointed Executive Officer of Coast Shelter, an emergency accommodation service which assists those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Under Laurie's leadership, Coast Shelter has developed a strong identity within the Region as an organisation resolved to supporting and advocating for and assisting those in need.

Laurie has worked tirelessly advocating for the homeless and disadvantaged members of the Central Coast and has developed his organisation into a leader in its field, the largest emergency accommodation provider on the Central Coast that now provides accommodation up to 187 people each night in 10 refuges and numerous transitional housing programs across the Central Coast. He also established the innovative Coast Community Centre, which provides a myriad of practical supports and free meals to over 55,000 people in need each year.