Building bridges for connected communities

Accepting his Governor's Multicultural award


Nasir Hussain (MSW’16) is passionate about supporting, connecting and empowering new migrants. He has been working in the Department of Child Protection supporting children and families living in disadvantaged communities since graduating in 2016.

Since migrating to Australia in 2006, Nasir has devoted himself to building bridges between the Muslim and wider Australian communities, which includes helping new migrants & international students settle into their new lives in Adelaide. His hard work and commitment to volunteering in multiple organisations saw him receive the City of Charles Sturt Citizen of the Year Award in 2023 and he became the first Pakistani to receive this award.

Nasir was recognised as a finalist for the 2021 SA Social Worker of the Year Award. In 2018, and again in 2023, he was a finalist in the Governor’s Multicultural Award in the volunteering category.

It’s easy to see why Nasir has been recognised so many times for his extensive volunteering. Since January 2024, he has been volunteering as an Australia Day Ambassador with Australia Day Council of South Australia. From 2018 Nasir has been volunteering as a board member of the Multicultural Communities Council of SA. In 2016 he volunteered as a PEACE Community Ambassador or PEACE Multicultural Services, Relationships Australia in SA. While studying, he also volunteered his time and expertise with Families SA Central by supporting children from diverse backgrounds and cultures and transporting children to and from family visitations.

During 2014-16, Nasir volunteered with Baptist Care as a Fuse Friendship Mentor for refugee and asylum seekers and is an active participant in the Islamic Leaders Advisory Forum, as organised by the Department of Home Affairs.


We spoke to Nasir about his career journey and determination to help those assimilating into a new culture.


What drives you to do the work you do?

When I emigrated to Australia in 2006, some of the biggest challenges I faced were navigating a different culture, different language, different systems, and having no emotional or social support from family members, relatives, or close friends as I didn’t know anyone here.

Over time I started getting support from other members of the Muslim community who had migrated to Australia from all over the world. It made me want to help others as I had been helped, but at the time there wasn’t a specific organisation dedicated to providing support or guidance to overcome the challenges experienced by new migrants and international students as they settled into Adelaide.

I am passionate about connecting, mentoring, empowering and building the capacity of new migrants, refugees, and international students from various cultural backgrounds and have volunteered my time for many years to help new migrants to settle in Adelaide.


Tell us more about the not-for-profit you established to help migrants settling in Adelaide

In 2017, I established the not-for-profit organisation, Muslim Australia Connections of SA (MACSA). I’ve been the President since it began and work with many dedicated volunteers to deliver our programs. MACSA provides ongoing support and help to new Muslim arrivals. We support families, individuals and international students, temporary and permanent residency visa holders from Interstate, Pakistan and worldwide to settle stress free in SA and integrate into Australian society.

Through MACSA, we help new migrants find accommodation, provide support with writing CVs and finding employement, organise job readiness and capacity building workshops, welcome dinners, beach safety programs, social gatherings, picnics, Eid celebrations and leadership programs and much more.

It’s incredibly rewarding to support new migrants and international students as they settle in and achieve their hopes and dreams. Seeing them succeed and thrive in their new environment is what motivates me to continue this work.

Nasir Hussain at a multicultural event with Premier Peter Malinauskas
Nasir Hussain at a multicultural event with Premier Peter Malinauskas


How did your Flinders degree prepare you for your current role?

My Master’s in Social Work provided me with a strong foundation in understanding the needs of individuals and communities, as well as the skills to connect, support and empower them. I also gained practical skills in case management, group work, and how to collaborate with other key stake holders and other multicultural and mainstream organisations and service providers.

In my work, I often apply strength based, empowerment, and relationship approach and the knowledge and skills I gained during my degree is really helping me to support new migrants. It has been invaluable in preparing me for my role in supporting new migrants, and I continue to apply my learning every day in my work.

I am a people person and found Flinders to be a supportive and multicultural environment. It helped me to build my confidence and provided me with a transformative experience that helped me grow as an individual. At work and during social interactions, I always recommend Flinders Social Work to people and organisations I talk to.


What does being a Flinders University graduate mean to you?

I feel proud to be a Flinders University graduate and I have wonderful memories of my time there.  I developed lifelong friendships and learned valuable life skills. I was recently invited back to give a presentation to Social Work students on the topic of working with Diverse populations and this gave me a feeling of great pride and accomplishment.


What would you say to anyone who is thinking about studying Social Work at Flinders?

If you are passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, especially in disadvantaged communities, then Social Work can be a very rewarding career with many different career pathways. Flinders is very welcoming, friendly, and supportive and will prepare you to be a professional, knowledgeable and a confident social worker.


Interested in studying a Master of Social Work? This program is accredited with the Australian Association of Social Workers and available via graduate entry.

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College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Social work

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