The first group of Marriage Mentors celebrated their graduation on Thursday the 24th of March 2022.

The Pilot Marriage Mentor cohort comprises of qualified practitioners from across Victoria’s diverse Muslim community including Imams, General Practitioners, Marriage Celebrants, Counsellors and Psychologists. They are now all qualified to work with Muslim pre-marriage couples and equip them with the tools to create long lasting, happy and healthy marriages.

If you are a couple about to embark on the journey of marriage, finding the right Good Beginnings Marriage Mentor for you is the perfect place to commence your journey.

Meet the Marriage Mentors below and contact them directly to book.

GOOD BEGINNINGS MARRIAGE MENTORS

Dr Esma Kurt

Dr Esma is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Mind Care Consulting. Her diverse experience includes working in school settings, both as a teacher and a psychologist, paediatric psychology, providing early intervention and assessment, and working at Headspace providing support to young people. She has completed internships at the Austin Hospital Clinical and Health Psychology Department, the Royal Children’s Hospital CASEA program, and at ReGen, an addiction treatment centre. Esma is the current President of the Muslim Mental Health Professionals Association and actively presents workshops and seminars within the local community.

In her practice, Esma utilises Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Processing (EMDR). She has completed her level one training in Gottman Couples therapy and currently works with couples to support them in enhancing their relationships. She recently founded the Equine Approach, providing equine assisted psychotherapy in addition to a range of other therapeutic modalities, combing her passion for wellbeing and her love of horses. She regularly works with trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, as well developmental disorders and is passionate about working towards solutions that meet each individual where they are.

Esma is extremely excited about Good Beginnings and believes that this mentorship program is pivotal in creating healthy, respectful and committed relationships which can lead to strong, nurturing and value driven families.

Dr Rebecca Wade

M: 0410 854 694

E: rebecca@rebeccancounsel.com

Rebecca is a long-standing convert to Islam and member of Benevolence. She is both a qualified counsellor and general practitioner and offers a non-judgmental, caring space to help couples explore their relationship. She practised as a GP for seven years and has worked as a GP advisor to the Department of Education for ten years. Passionate about mental health, Rebecca undertook a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and now works at a low-cost counselling service caring for the community in Doncaster and surrounding areas.

Rebecca’s work is inspired by the Prophetic model of marriage and aims to help couples and families in developing caring relationships that ultimately benefit the family unit. She has a deep appreciation for the excitement and enthusiasm that goes into preparing for marriage and is committed to supporting couples to better understand their strengths and facilitate communication skills. Rebecca has four children, two rabbits and enjoys mountain holidays.

Malakeh Mourad

Malakeh Mourad is a holistic Counsellor, member of The Psychological Counselling Association of Australia (PACFA) with over 15 years’ experience. She brings to her practice a powerful synergy of experience, passion for healing, personal and spiritual growth and development. She has worked in mental health and employment services, community, youth empowerment, and business development sectors. Malakeh is currently working toward an accreditation in Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP) and a Diploma in Islamic Psychology.

Malakeh is the founder of Fitrah Counselling, working at the intersection of Islamic spirituality and mental health practice. Fitrah refers to a person’s natural state of being; an innate natural predisposition inclined towards good and to know and to submit to Allah – a spiritual wholeness. The return to Fitrah is an invitation Malakeh takes great pride in extending to clients and is based on her own homecoming journey reclaiming her Fitrah, back to Allah, back to Love. Malakeh proactively supports individuals to journey inwardly, to understand themselves, align their purpose and actualize their fullest potential, from the inside out. In this way they attain psycho-spiritual integration and inner peace,  An-nafs al-mutma’innah (‘the self-made tranquil’).

With sensitivity and compassion, Malakeh supports individuals, couples, vulnerable youth, men and women from culturally and linguistically diverse and faith backgrounds as well as people with disabilities across a range of interpersonal experiences. Using a strength-based approach she works with the individual to meet them where they are in their personal journey, taking into consideration their brand of spirituality and respective cultural and world views. Malakeh provides practical solutions to help individuals resolve problems and long-standing patterns with a person centered, faith and evidence-based approach. Blending conventional and alternative methodologies, she draws on a variety of styles and techniques tailored to each client for optimal results.

Malakeh brings her lived experience as a wife and mother, coupled with her holistic approach to the Good Beginning program.

Hiba Abdul Kader

M: 0434198569

E: hibaa.92@hotmail.com

Hiba has a background in Psychology and is furthering her education in Holistic counselling to incorporate Islamic principles into mental health management. She has completed several courses that she intends to combine into practice, these include, gentle parenting according to the Prophetic model and professional organising. Hiba’s passion is to work with women, couples, and families, and provide them with the tools to manage stress, nurture their personal relationships and offer strategies to organise their space to help turn their home life into the entire family’s sanctuary. Hiba has been married to Abdul-Kareem for ten years, with whom she shares two young children. She can deliver her service individually, or alongside her husband.

Abdul-Kareem Elsayed

M: 0425617975

E: rugmerchantssale@gmail.com

Abdul is passionate about serving the community and has done so for over a decade through various organisations. He also runs a small business and is a men’s wellbeing coach. Abdul is currently furthering his studies in men’s counselling, as he is passionate about providing tools and support in men’s mental health, as area he believes is often overlooked. He is incredibly active within his community, taking part in many team sports, community events and youth camps. Abdul intends to support men and couples with their journey in fostering and building healthy, happy families. He has been married to Hiba for ten years and is a father to two young boys. He can offer support individually or as a team, alongside his wife.

Manal El-Hallab

Manal is a warm and compassionate psychotherapist, with extensive counselling experience. A registered member of Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation Australia (PACFA), Manal’s experience extends to working with youth, adults, and families with a wide range of mental health concerns and diverse cultural backgrounds. She has also worked closely with individuals and families impacted by substance use within the Muslim community.

Manal’s key specialist area is relationship and couple’s therapy. With an extensive background and special interest in childhood trauma, she recognises the important link between the quality of early life attachments and patterns of interpersonal relationships in later life. She is committed to addressing gaps within the mainstream service sector and providing holistic support that is grounded in both evidence-based psychological theory and faith-based perspectives.

Her therapeutic approach is calming and gentle, yet empowering. Through a client-centred approach, Manal draws upon a range of therapies that best reflect the needs and values of her clients. These include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, Family Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy. Manal’s values and experience are embodied in her unique approach in assisting couples to overcome relationship challenges, strengthen intimacy, and establish long-lasting, meaningful and satisfying relationships.

Nurcihan Ozturk

P: 0408059286

E: ozturkn@hotmail.com

Nurcihan Ozturk is an experienced community development worker who immigrated from Turkey in 1969 as a young child with her family. In her practice as an Authorised Marriage Celebrant, she enjoys working with young couples and providing them with the necessary support to ensure that they have a successful marriage. Nurcihan also works as a Cross-cultural trainer with the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

As one of the founding members of the Victorian Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Coalition (VIRWC) in 1997, she has spent many years passionately advocating for women’s and Muslim human rights. Her work in human rights also includes a longstanding role with the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) where she devoted her time to representing workers’ rights. 

Nurcihan was selected for the first Women’s Honour Roll by the Victorian Government in celebration of Australia’s Centenary of Federation in 2001. She is the current President of the Turkish Women’s Recreational Group (TWRG) and holds a certificate in Community Services and Advanced Diploma of Interpreting.

Nurcihan works tirelessly and with passion on issues affecting the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds in particular women.

FB: Nurcihan Ozturk

IG: Nurcihan Ozturk Marriage Celebrant