Professor Mohamad Abdalla is Director of the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education at the University of South Australia. He is one of Australia’s most prominent and respected Muslim leaders, combining the roles of an academic scholar, public intellectual, community leader and commentator. Over the last 15 years, Professor Abdalla played a leading role in establishing Islamic Studies (Research and Teaching) as an academic area of study in Australia. In 2005, he established the Griffith University Islamic Research Unit (GIRU), and gradually built a team of academics on modest resources. From 2006-2014, he was successful in attracting more than $1.3 million in funding, which helped build staff capacity in Islamic Studies at Griffith University. In 2008, he played a key role in securing $8 Million for the establishment of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies (NCEIS), a dynamic collaboration between the University of Melbourne, Griffith University and the University of Western Sydney. He also played a key role in establishing Islamic Studies as a Major across three universities. Professor Abdalla’s international reputation attracted a number of prominent RHD candidates including the Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, and Mr. Khalid Abdul who after completing his Masters with Professor Abdalla became the former Chief Minister of Selangor, Malaysia.

Professor Abdalla is recognised as a leader whose work has had positive social impact. This is clearly demonstrated in his leadership role after 9/11 where he led a reconciliation strategy to build bridges of understanding between the Australian Muslim and wider communities.  He has attained numerous civic awards, including: The Lord Mayor Australia Day Achievement Award; Community Leadership Award; Ambassador for Peace Award; and Pride of Australia Medal (Finalist).