Our People

Academic staff 

Professor Mohamad Abdalla

Centre Director, Professor Mohamad Abdalla is one of Australia’s most prominent and respected Australian Muslim leaders combining the roles of an academic scholar, public intellectual, religious leader and commentator. In 2006 he established Islamic studies as a discipline at Griffith University, where he was founding director of the Griffith University Islamic Research Unit (GIRU). From 2008-2016 he was director of the QLD node of the National Centre of excellence for Islamic Studied (NCEIS), a collaboration between Griffith University, University of Melbourne and the University of Western Sydney. Over the years he held multiple distinguished community posts and was awarded multiple civic awards such as the Ambassador of Peace Award. Professor Abdalla is an expert in Islamic civilisation and its interconnectedness with the Western civilisation, Islam in Australia, Islamic thought and Islamic ethics. He has published widely in a host of reputable journals and publishers. His published books include Islamic Science: The myth of the decline theory (2009); Islam in the Australian News Media (University of Melbourne Press, co-edited);Interconnectedness of civilisations: Islam and the West (University of Melbourne press, forthcoming), and Islamic schooling in the West: Pathways to renewal (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming, co-edited).


Dr Nada Ibrahim

Dr Nada Ibrahim has a PhD in Islamic Studies (Criminology). Dr Ibrahim’s expertise is family relationships (especially addressing domestic and family violence at grassroots levels) with particular emphasis on the Australian Muslim community. She was recently engaged in a national research on the enforcement of domestic violence protection orders across Australia (forthcoming co-authored publications). She has also researched how Muslim victims/survivors of domestic and family violence (DFV) interact with the Australian criminal justice system, documented the prevalence of DFV within the Muslim community and identified the risk-factors associated with DFV perpetration and victimisation. She is currently in the process of establishing some strength-based community-related projects that address psychological/social/religious needs of victims, abusers, children, men and women to build healthy family relationships whilst empowering the Muslim community. Part of this process also involves equipping Imams/leaders, wider community, service providers, police and the justice system with culturally appropriate training that would better facilitate a community coordinated response to violence. Her research interests include intimate partner violence, family relationships, community development, Islamic psychology, mental health, Islamic family law, disadvantaged Muslim women’s issues, and broader Islamic issues.


Dr Nezar Faris

Dr Nezar Faris is a scholar in Management and Leadership with a focus on the context of Muslim organisations in the West. He holds a PhD in (Leadership) from Griffith University’s   National   Centre   of   Excellence   for   Islamic   Studies   (NCEIS). Currently, he is working on different journal articles and a book to be published from his doctoral thesis. His research interests include Leadership processes, power procedures and transitions, ethical leadership, sense making and cultural complexity.


Dr Mahmood Nathie

Dr Mahmood Nathie is a scholar and practitioner of Islamic Finance. Holding a PhD in Islamic Studies (Islamic Finance) from Griffith University’s National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies (NCEIS), he is a qualified CPA in Australia as well as a former chartered accountant in South Africa.  He has lectured and written extensively on Islamic finance and presented papers at international conferences. He holds a number of posts associated with charitable and community work.


Mr. Dylan Chown


Dylan Chown is a Research Fellow and the Program Director for Islamic Education in the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education (CITE) in the School of Education. He is a member of the Pedagogies for Justice Research Group. Dylan has twenty years’ experience in education combing roles of teacher, principal, consultant, researcher and lecturer. Dylan is completing his doctoral studies examining Islamic pedagogy and school renewal. He holds a Master of Education (Leadership) through the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies (NCEIS), Griffith University. His thesis examined education leadership and school vision. Dylan’s research interests include Islamic education philosophy and worldview; character education; teacher training; and Islamic research methodology. He is currently involved in a number of research projects associated with the CITE signature project – Islamic schooling renewal. These include the design and development of a National Islamic Studies Curriculum and Dignified Way which he co-designed. Dignified Way is a whole community model for character education and classroom management for Islamic schools. He is a co-editor of Islamic schooling in the West: Pathways to renewal (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming).


Professional Staff

Jen Manning

Jen Manning has been working at UniSA since 2008. Her roles have been wide and varied. Jen is Personal Assistant to the Centre Director and provides key assistance for the Centre’s staff and research administration activities.

PhD Scholars

Nadia Selim

Nadia Selim completed a Master of Applied Linguistics at the University of Queensland and a Vocational Graduate Certificate of TESOL and English language development at the Southbank Institute of Technology. She has specialised in the teaching of Arabic and has a particular interest in developing Computer Assisted Language Learning resources for Arabic and has therefore developed a website and mobile application to meet the needs of her students. Nadia’s PhD research focuses on Arabic as one of Australia’s Languages Other Than English (LOTE) and specifically in terms of how it is being taught at Islamic Schools. This research aims to further our understanding of Arabic and LOTE teaching in Australia by speaking to the broad demographic of second language learners tackling Arabic in one of Australia’s fastest growing independent sectors of education.

Hafsa Khan

Hafsa Khan is an Australian Muslim born to parents from the Pashtun tribal north of Pakistan. She is a Lawyer by qualification and her PhD thesis focuses on cultural and traditional norms relating to marriage practices in the Pashtun Muslim majority province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in North Pakistan. Her research aims to investigate the interplay between culture and Islamic law in order to determine the role culture plays in upholding practices that may contradict Islamic legal principles. Her research also seeks to ascertain the attitudes of Pashtun Muslims with the aim of effecting legal reform in order to work towards realising the legal rights of women in Muslim cultural societies, both within the scope of Islamic and international human rights law.

Muhammad Abdullah

Muhammad Abdullah has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Arabic and MiddleEastern Studies. From 1985 to 1990 he worked with the Department of Defence Navy until he returned to university in 1990 to complete a Diploma of Education in secondary mathematics. He began teaching in 1992 at Cleveland Street, a Government High School in Alexandria NSW. In 2001 he completed a Graduate Diploma of Education (English Literacy) at the University of Sydney. He later became a teacher of senior Aboriginal Studies. In 2005 he was appointed Chief Examiner of Aboriginal Studies and a senior marker in 2007. He was appointed Supervisor of Marking in 2015. Additionally, Abdullah has extensive knowledge of, and experience with, the Australian Muslim communities. For over 30 years he has volunteered his time for the empowerment of the Australian Muslim communities, giving valuable support to many of its members and organisations. Abdullah’s PhD focuses on a ground breaking project titled ‘The Formulation of a Pedagogical Framework for Islamic Schools in Australia.’ In 2016 his early findings were published in the peer reviewed journal Islam and Civilisational Renewal . He is a co-author of a forthcoming book titled Islamic Schooling in the West: Pathways to Renewal (Palgrave).

Carolyn McCosh

Carolyn McCosh has completed a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Professional Education and Training at Deakin University. She has extensive experience working in education and training in the Middle East, Asia and Australia where she has lived teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Through working with people from different cultural backgrounds including Arabic, Chinese and other nationalities she has gained a strong understanding of the different customs and religious practices of each culture.

Carolyn’s PhD research focuses on the education reform in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where she spent two years working as an Advisor for an education consultancy in a local school improving the English Language levels of the Principal and Arabic Teacher’s as well as assisting to plan professional development to enhance the pedagogical skills of the Arabic Teachers. Her research aims to understand the barriers to education reform in Abu Dhabi including the cross-cultural challenges of changing pedagogical practices in the classroom.

Areas of study and research

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