19 August - 20 August 2023

The Centre for Islamic Thought and Education (CITE), University of South Australia in collaboration with the Islamic Schools Association of Australia (ISAA) invite you to attend the sixth Annual Australian Islamic Schooling Conference with a focus on wellbeing (Āfiyah).

The known benefits of a wellbeing focus in Islamic schools are:

  • Enhanced student engagement.
  • Improved academic performance.
  • Reduced absenteeism.
  • Improved student behaviour.
  • Increased sense of community.
  • And so much more …

This conference is for academic scholars, school leaders, teachers, and policy makers.

Enjoy an engaging and interactive weekend that highlights both academic and practitioners’ findings, thoughts and experiences, and school/classroom-based examples related to all aspects of Islamic schooling. The conference allows for networking, exchange of ideas and helps forge positive relationships across a wide range of networks.

 This is an opportunity to discover:

  • How other educators in Islamic schools understand, deal with, experience, foster and enhance wellbeing.
  • What approaches Islamic schools undertake to achieve wellbeing for their leaders, educators, learners, and administrative staff.
  • How Islamic schools negotiate the demands of conforming to the Australian National curriculum and fostering of wellbeing.
  • What pastoral care school/classroom-based examples are available and how they foster and enhance wellbeing.
  • What creative and innovative policies are in place to foster wellbeing in Islamic schools.

Whether you are in leadership or the classroom, you will leave this conference inspired, energised and hopeful for the future of Islamic schooling in Australia in sha Allah. As attendees said last year: 

“It was incredible to be able to come together for the betterment of all schools and their students.  It finally feels as though we are working together to achieve a combined vision Masha'Allah.  Seeing all that is being done in other schools was truly valuable and inspiring…”

“I think it was great to see so many educators representing different Islamic schools sharing and learning together. It is so important that we all come together to raise the standards of education being offered at Islamic schools and the best way to do this is by focusing on Islamic pedagogy.”

“I truly benefitted from the practitioner workshops and seeing the amazing work being done in Islamic schools”.

The realization that we have an abundance of knowledge, talent and experience within our community that we can benefit from if given the opportunity.”

Purchase your ticket below,


If you or your school wish to receive an invoice, please email us directly at cite@unisa.edu.au to request a tax invoice.

Keynote Speakers

"An integrated approach to sustainable Islamic School Leadership: Conversations and possibilities."

Dr Paul Kidson is Senior Lecturer in Educational Leadership at the Australian Catholic University. His diverse educational career includes teaching English and Drama both in low socio-economic multicultural schools in Sydney’s western suburbs and socio-educationally advantaged inner metropolitan schools, curriculum leadership in regional NSW and Victorian schools, 11 years’ as a school principal, and as an Educational Leadership academic since 2017. In depth bio can be found HERE

Sheikh Ibrahim Abdullah Newman was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. He is an alumnus of Dar Al-Mustafa, a traditional Muslim seminary in Tarim, Yemen, where he studied the Islamic Sciences for a duration of ten years from 2003 to 2013. He specialised in the areas of Jurisprudence, Hadith Sciences, and Islamic Ethics. He has been involved in Islamic education for almost a decade, holding various senior leadership positions within independent schools. He is a qualified counsellor and a chaplain for the Islamic schooling sector. Throughout the last ten years since his return from Yemen, he has taught at several Islamic Institutions and is involved with various community projects with the goal of promoting pathways to prophetic models of learning and praxis.
Ibrahim’s interests include Islamic pedagogical approaches to learning, focusing on student engagement and well-being based on prophetic principles.
He is honoured to serve on the board of various community organisations and is the current resident Imam and Scholar at the Mareeba Islamic Society in Far North Queensland. Ibrahim endeavours through his work to promote the values of faith, belonging and service among young people in the Muslim and wider Australian community.

"Nurturing Flourishing Communities: Enhancing Wellbeing in Islamic Schools."

Hanan Dover is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and Clinical Director at Psychcentral with over 20 years of experience and is the Vice President of the International Association of Muslim Psychologists (IAMP). She has completed four degrees in psychology from the Western Sydney University (WSU) and is the Islamic Psychology Lecturer at ISRA/Charles Sturt University. Hanan is the Founder of Mission of Hope, a charity that centres mental health and community development of the Australian Muslim community. Hanan is also the Project Director of Hayat House and Hayat Line. Hanan is a founding member and current executive member of the Islamic Perspectives of Psychology Interest Group of the Australian Psychological Society and is the Convenor of the Muslim Mental Health Professionals Network (Sydney).

  • Picture Gallery AAISC6 2023 minus-thick plus-thick
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    Saturday 19 August - Morning Presenters

    10:30am - 11:30am - Concurrent Sessions

    "Journeying to Simurgh: Character and wellbeing in the Islamic Tradition."

    Abrahim Al-zubeidi is a teacher, writer and lecturer where he leads the religious studies and faith department as head of Illumination at an Islamic school, Playford College, in Adelaide, Australia. He currently holds a BEng and BBus from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne and a Masters in Teaching with areas of focus in Islamic pedagogy and science education from the University of South Australia. Abrahim is pursuing studies in Islamic sciences holding a diploma in Islamic theology and is currently studying a bachelor in Islamic sciences majoring in analytical jurisprudence and Quranic exegesis.  Alongside his role at the college, he works with various communities where he lectures, runs workshops and discussion circles that address contemporary issues regarding faith.


    "Towards Ultimate Wellbeing: A Definition and Model from an Islamic Perspective."

    Dr Aminah Mah, author of Watering the Roots: A 1-2-3 Parent Wellbeing Guide (a Muslim Perspective), was born in Taiwan, schooled in Malaysia, furthered her studies in Australia where she later settled with her family. Aminah’s diversified experiences as a mother, a nurse and teacher, and years of engagement with migrant and Muslim communities in Sydney and Perth extended her academic interests in parenting and wellbeing research. This had earned her Masters and PhD degrees in Education from the University of Western Australia. Upon completing her PhD thesis entitled Wellbeing and Counselling Services in Australian Islamic Schools in 2015, Aminah began to write a book on wellbeing that is accessible to the non-academics. While working on the book, Aminah gained her Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing. Dewtiful was established in 2021, through which Aminah works to enhance the wellbeing of youth and parents as a freelance wellbeing consultant. Aminah’s passion lies in educating and supporting young people to thrive from the grassroots level, i.e., developing parents’ wellbeing, as an indispensable part of a whole-school approach in Positive Education.

    "Teachers’ Digital Resilience: The Role of Protective Factors towards Teachers’ Psychological Wellbeing."

    Marini Kasim is a senior lecturer at School of Education, College of Arts and Science, Universiti Utara Malaysia. She is currently the Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes. Previously she had an experience as a General Manager and a trainer of a company. Besides that, she also had experience in the educational sector as she had been a school teacher for 10 years. Her interests include but not limited to research on management and psychological factors that supports learning.


    Aizat Akram is a master (by research) student who works as a research assistant under Dr Marini Kasim supervision in School of Education, College of Arts and Science, Universiti Utara Malaysia. Previously he worked as a substitute English teacher in Kedah. Currently, he is doing research on Psychological Capital and teachers’ digital competence.




    "Muslim Teachers’ Perceptions of Tarbiyah and its Implications on 'Āfīyah"

    Syed Ali Imran is the principal of Al Haadi School, a private faith-based school in Toronto, Canada. He obtained a BCom in Marketing from York University, Toronto in 2010 and pursued traditional Islamic studies in the seminary of Qom, Iran between 2012 to 2021. He further obtained a M.A in Islamic Studies from The Islamic College of London in the summer of 2018 and is currently pursuing a MEd in Curriculum & Pedagogy at OISE (University of Toronto). He is also a part time instructor at the Mizan Institute and a BA instructor at the Mufid Seminary.


    "The role of community engagement in enhancing wellbeing through restoring meaning in faith amongst teenage Muslims."

    Hena Jawaid originates from Pakistan. Her studies and training were in Pakistan and the US, completing 5 years of medicine and then 4 years training in psychiatry. As a mental health professional, she has contributed to international and national newspapers, and scientific journals to raise mental health awareness and reduce the stigma related to psychic illnesses. Currently, she is working as a student counsellor in a faith-based school. She is completing her master’s in social work in order to address mental health issues, inequality, prejudice, and oppression in developing societies. Hena is a staunch advocate of woman’s leadership. To this end, she has written journals and articles about mental health, highlighting the significance of emotional wellbeing, and healthy relationships in life. She has spent hours volunteering in NGOs, hospitals, teaching centers and orphanages in Pakistan. She is a fervent reader of history, theology, psychology, and spirituality. She is a spiritual person and inspired by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) life. She says, “My aim in life is to become a better human being and the best role model for my son. But above all, to fathom the essence of life and universe.”

    "Volunteering and wellbeing in Islamic schools."

    Dr. Ahmad Alzaareer has a Bachelor of Education degree, a Master of Education (Special Education) from the University of Sydney, a Diploma of Interpreting/Translation from TAFE SA and was recently awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from the University of South Australia (UniSA).  His PhD research focuses on volunteering experiences of Australian Islamic schools’ high school students in Australian Islamic schools. He has worked in the education sector for over thirteen years having taught in all levels including primary, secondary schools and higher education. He has worked as a Special Education, LOTE (Arabic) and Islamic Studies teacher at different Islamic schools in New South Australia and South Australia. He has taught at university level for several years, initially lecturing in Special Education in Saudi Arabia at undergraduate and Master’s levels. Additionally, he currently holds a position as a University Supervisor, responsible for evaluating the performance of Preservice Teachers and a Research Assistant at UniSA. His contributions to the field of education are evident from his several published journal articles. His research interests include volunteering at Islamic schools, student voice, inclusive volunteering, and the impacts of volunteering on wellbeing.

    "Enhancing Teacher Wellbeing Trhough Wellbeing Interviews: A Case Study at AIA Kellyvile"

    Imam Farhan Khalil - is currently working as the Imam and Head of Faith at Australian International Academy Kellyville. He is also a Marriage Celebrant and works closely with families and youth as a counsellor. He is full registered Imam with Australian National Imam Council (ANIC) he worked with NSW Corrections, NSW Juvenile Justice Cobham Centre, where he continues to work with the staff on advise them on religious affairs. He is a regular Khateeb at Hills District Muslim Society, Sydney North West Muslim Community. He was also been Finalist in 2020 for the Muslim Man of the Year Awards. He has Master’s Degree in both Islamic Studies and Teaching.


    "The well in wellbeing’ – how we do it in our classes at exit point?"

    Mohammed Azim is an experienced teacher with 36 years of teaching service. He has taught in various schools and universities and is passionate in the areas of educational leadership, curriculum development, Islamic Pedagogy, Teacher Coaching and English teaching, learning & assessments. He is a graduate from Deakin University and Monash University. He is currently the Head of English/Teacher Coach and Mentor for Secondary School Teachers at Al Siraat College. He is also an experienced NAPLAN, GAT and VCE English Assessor. Recently, he was selected by The Education View – Centre of Excellence in US in its ranking of the ‘Top 20 Thought Leaders to Follow in 2022’ globally. Apart from this, Mohammed Azim is the only Muslim educator from an Islamic School around Australia who has made it to the prestigious list of the ‘Top 50 of Australian Educators’ back in 2017. He is also one of the first Muslim teachers to be awarded the ‘National Teacher Award’ in 2011 by National Excellence in Teaching Awards Foundation. Mohammed Azim has also been recognised by AITSL in its Commendation for Teacher Leadership Award. He is also the recipient of the Global Educational Influencer Award in 2020.

    "No, money does not make you happier, but financial literacy does: Why financial literacy is essential for life-long wellbeing."

    Roset Khair is the Head of Teaching and Learning at Unity Grammar and has been an educator for over 11 years. Previously, Roset worked in the legal field and in corporate banking for over 12 years. She is passionate about project-based learning, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship and hopes to inspire educators and students to achieve their potential by creating and assisting other educators to create learning that is engaging and skill based, with relevance to its real-life application.  Her work in extends beyond her school, where she has been a Director of Economics and Business Educators NSW for over 5 years, the professional association that looks after all teachers in NSW for the subjects of Business Studies, Legal Studies, Economics and Commerce. In her role as Director, she provides consultancy on curriculum to various government departments, advocating on behalf of all teachers. She has also convened and presented many courses for the subjects of Commerce & Business Studies around assessment, literacy, creativity, and project-based learning. She is also the NSW Representative affiliate to Business Educators Australasia.

    "How robust financial management frameworks help directors sleep well at night."

    Fehraz Fallil is the Head of Finance and Strategy for the Crescent group and a board member/former chair of the finance committee of Malek Fahd Islamic School. He has previously held several senior finance positions at ASX listed companies and government agencies (including NSW Treasury).



    Saturday 19 August -  Afternoon Presenters

    13:45 - 14:45 - Concurrent Sessions

    "Developmental and Learning Problems in School Children: Understanding Impacts on Well-being in the Context of Islamic Schooling." 

    Habib Bhurawala is a Clinical Associate Professor and an experienced General Paediatrician with expertise in various leadership, medical education, and clinical roles. He is the National Vice-President of the Australian Islamic Medical Association (AIMA). He holds the position of Head of Department and Senior Staff Specialist in Paediatrics at Nepean Hospital in Kingswood, NSW. A/Prof Dr Bhurawala is a Clinical Associate Professor in Paediatrics affiliated with the School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia and the University of Sydney. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications, written two book chapters in Paediatric textbooks and led many research projects on paediatric health and medical education. With a strong commitment to teaching and supervision, A/Prof Bhurawala plays an active role in training and mentoring medical students, junior doctors, and paediatric trainees. He is a Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and an associate fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA).

    "Suicide Prevention and Building Resilience in Islamic Schools: A Case Study" 

    Ziyad Serhan, with a strong background in education and an active member of his local community, Ziyad is passionate about working with Culturally Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and faith communities. His experience includes being a high school teacher in a South-West Sydney High school, as well as co-founding Educaid Australia which focuses on delivering mental health education and suicide intervention training amongst CALD and faith communities. He is currently an accredited suicide intervention trainer and a Master Instructor in the mental health first aid course, delivering over fifty courses to school, community and workplace settings in the last few years. Ziyad currently works as a Senior Mental Health Consultant with Australia’s largest youth mental health organisation across schools in Western Sydney. He works with leaders across school communities to improve their approach to whole-school mental health and wellbeing, as well as provide suicide postvention support using an evidence based-approach. He is currently undertaking a second postgraduate studies in Masters of Counselling at Torrens University.

    "Supporting Board Members wellbeing/Whole-school community wellbeing."

    Dr Ayda Succarie is a Lecturer in Human Resources and Management, Academic Program Advisor and an International Academic Lead at the School of Business, Western Sydney University (WSU). She holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Business Administration, and a Graduate Certificate in Research Studies from WSU. Ayda specialises in governance, identity studies, management, social entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour, Islamic studies, and education systems. Her doctoral research examined the connection between professional identity and governance in Islamic schools and she is currently conducting research on the effectiveness of faith-based governance frameworks and governance renewal in Islamic school boards. Ayda’s research extends to student retention in higher education and social entrepreneurship, where she is the project lead for ‘Mateship Australia’. She has presented at several conferences and is writing publications on governance, student retention and social entrepreneurship. Ayda is a member of the Global Association of Islamic Schools (GAIS) and is the co-chair of the GAIS 2025 conference planning committee. She is also working with colleagues at the Centre of Islamic Thought (CITE), University of South Australia, exploring a project titled: ‘The implications of the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Education on the Professional Identity of teachers and leaders in Islamic schools’. Ayda has sat on and consulted to several Islamic school boards, both nationally and internationally, and actively engages with Muslim community organisations advising on organisational development, strategic planning and community wellbeing.

    "Leadership Strategies to maintain wellbeing - lessons from the life of our Prophet (pbuh)".

    Fazeel Arain comes from a varied background that has seen him work in a multitude of roles  across the accounting, technology and educational sectors. His experience in these roles combined with a strong interest in ensuring that the Islamic Community makes a positive contribution to Australia and the society at large has seen him initiate a large-scale project to establish Al Siraat College. The College is Foundation to Year 12 Islamic school with about 1,300 students and 1670 staff.


    "Addressing Sexualized Behaviours in Muslim School Settings: Practical Strategies for an Effective Response"

    Toltu Tufa - Author’s biography: Toltu Tufa, an Australian-based Muslim psychologist, operates multiple clinics in Melbourne, specializing in professional consulta=on and specialist psychological treatment. Her expertise spans various fields, including aiding victim/survivors of sexual assault and assessing/treating individuals convicted of sex offences. Passionate about education, Toltu is also an acclaimed TED speaker and educator. She has designed impaceul and award winning sexual assault prevention programs for state and private high schools across Victoria. additionally, she offers culturally sensitive consultation to Islamic schools, providing guidance on sex education and addressing sexualized behaviours from a holistic and faith-based perspective.


    "When nowhere is safe: Expreirences of anti-Blackness in Islamic Institutions"

    Assistant Prof. Shyla Gonzalez-Dogan - Shyla González-Doğan is an assistant professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Her educational training is in anthropology, education, and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Arizona and Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. González-Doğan is a community-based scholar who believes that the remedy for most social issues can be found in community-based organizing. She feels that sustainable change that leads to equal opportunities for growth and development is most effective when it is developed through community-based efforts. Community members must be included in the process of social change for both sustainability and buy-in. Prior to joining MLFTC, she taught at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College. She also has experience teaching in the K-12 school system and was the principal of a private K-5 Islamic school.

    "Thriving together: Cultivating a Culture of Wellbeing"

    Waseem Hassoneh - As a lifelong learner myself, and an emerging social worker, I transitioned in 2022 to the Islamic College of Brisbane as the Youth Guidance Officer at the ‘Wellbeing Hub’. I am responsible for leading a dynamic team of multidisciplinary professionals within our shared vision towards a central educational commitment of our college. I entered this role on the back of twenty years’ experience in youth work, mentoring, and chaplaincy, across sites of education and often-intersecting hubs and efforts in community, including for Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ), Holland Park Mosque, and Southside Academy. I have extensive experience working with young people (and their families) in crisis, at-risk, or disengaged, in community, educational, and correctional settings (current Muslim chaplain for correctional facilities across Queensland).

    I am passionate about the theme of ‘Āfiyah or wellbeing and my philosophy for my practice is focused on guiding, mentoring, and nurturing; drawing out that innate goodness within, enabling young people to develop holistically. I am committed to working with my team in service to our young people to facilitate their personal, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and educational development; and to enable them to develop their voice, connect with their purpose, and to reach their full potential so they can please God and benefit others.
    Susan Scott - Career educator who continues to seek opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. With over thirty years of experience and leadership roles such as: Chief Learning Officer at the Islamic College of Brisbane (current), Head of Middle School, Deputy Principal, Head of Curriculum, Literate Futures Facilitator, Mathematics Project Officer, First Steps Facilitator, Grammar Mentor, Professional Standards for Teachers’ Facilitator, and Teacher, I have developed exceptional communication skills by collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

    I am passionate about education and understand its importance in instigating change. With a wealth of completed leadership courses, expertise in curriculum development, and a newly completed Graduate Certificate Course in Islamic Education, I am committed to the aspirations in the Mparntwe Declaration of ‘promoting excellence and equity’ and I am driven to making the necessary changes required to educate our children to become confident and creative individuals, strong in their voice and identity, successful lifelong learners and leaders of tomorrow.

    "Thriving together: Cultivating Holistic Wellbeing in Learners, Educators and Communities"

    Mariam Bernard, Deputy Principal of Unity Grammar, with 20 years' teaching experience, has developed and fostered growth opportunities for all staff and learners. Mariam started her career as a Scientific Officer in Pathology at Liverpool hospital where she trained and supported new staff in process practice. This led her to undertake her postgraduate Bachelor of Teaching, for which she accepted a scholarship and was appointed at Mount Annan High School.  Mariam had established a clear wellbeing path including but not limited to building community relationships, coordinating PlanIt Youth Mentoring Program and supporting new scheme educators. This led her to experiences and opportunities in independent schools and found that she enjoyed working with and supporting the Muslim youth.

    Mariam found a specific need when Covid had impacted on closure of school, this led her to lead educator wellbeing sessions with the educators upon their return to school which also led her to understand the necessity of such programs within the school context.
    Mariam then pursued a Masters in Education focusing on wellbeing and leadership to increase and foster a sound program within her school environment and identified the importance of all three factors being Educator wellbeing, community understanding of wellbeing and learners’ wellbeing as interlinked and in need of each other.


    Zaynab Salim - The Early Practitioner Induction Course Coach at Unity Grammar, and a staff member for 13 years. Having graduated with a Master of Teaching (Secondary) in 2010, she joined Unity Grammar, a new Islamic school, with the aim to improve the learning and development of her learners through structured and well-planned lessons, a strong grasp on pedagogy, and implementation to suit, one learner at a time. Over the years, she completed countless Professional Learning sessions, with a notable mention to an Experienced Educator Accreditation, being the first Senior School staff member at Unity Grammar to be recognised at that level.

    In addition to her time at Unity Grammar, Zaynab was promoted to the Head of English in 2019, with a strong focus on educator empowerment, through a nurturing approach, what she later learned to be the ‘Coaching Way of Being’.
    After stepping away from her role for a short period of time in 2022, Zaynab reflected on and transformed her skill into something that will be impactful for educators and learners and researched how this is offered in Islamic Schools, pioneering coaching in our context. It is here that she knew WHY she was more effective as a Coach, to enhance the quality of education at Unity Grammar, one staff member at a time.

    "Art for Afiya: A Hands-On Workshop on Islamic Art to Foster Well-Being"

    Nazneen Wajid is a visual arts educator at Playford College in Adelaide, South Australia. At Playford, she has developed a particular focus drawing on Islam’s rich heritage of arts to connect with Muslim learner identities. Nazneen holds a B.Ed with a Specialist in Visual Arts from the University of Toronto (Canada). She is also an entrepreneur, managing her company Explore Islamic Arts, which facilitates art workshops for adults and children.
    The goal of this workshop is to provide educators with an opportunity to explore how artmaking can be used as a tool for promoting self-care and wellbeing, both for themselves and their students. Participants will engage in a practical, hands-on workshop where they learn about the heritage of Islamic art and its role in fostering well-being. Participants will create an individual abstract calligraphy art piece of their own and leave with a lesson plan on facilitating a similar art workshop on their own.


    "Burn-out, slowing down and key takeways with Kathryn Jones"

    Kathryn Jones is an esteemed education professional with over a decade of experience in the field. With a strong foundation in the IT industry spanning 13 years, she transitioned into the realm of education in 2009. As the CEO and Founder of the Back To The Fitrah Mentoring Academy, she is committed to empowering Muslim adults and children to unlock their full potential by delving into their innate resilience and mental well-being. Kathryn's approach is rooted in a framework based on Taqwa (consciousness of Allah), Tarbiyyah (nurturing souls towards Allah), and Tawakkul (trusting in Allah).
    Notably, Kathryn has developed a highly acclaimed online certification program, now in its 5th year, which trains Muslims worldwide to educate, mentor, and coach the Muslim Ummah, enabling them to develop emotional and spiritual resilience. With participants from 16 countries, this program stands as a testament to Kathryn's dedication to empowering individuals globally.

    A visionary leader, Kathryn founded the renowned annual We R all OK Conference, which effectively reaches over 70 countries. This influential conference addresses pressing issues faced by Muslims today, providing a platform for critical discussions and meaningful solutions.


    Sunday 20 August - Morning Presenters

    10:10 - 11:10 - Main Hall

    "Towards Islamic and other definitions of wellbeing-ness as experiences of inclusion, belonging and voice in a digital (post-Covid) world of global change?"

     Professor Stephen Dobson is Dean of Education and the Arts at Central Queensland University, Australia. His interests include all forms of assessment and evaluation (viva, feedback processes, assessment for learning), educational theory and policy, learning inclusion in a digital world and disadvantaged groups.  Stephen has published poetry and will soon commence an Adjunct Professorship at the Islamic University of Jakarta. Additionally, he is a guest professor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Inland Norway University.  Stephen was integral in the establishment of the Centre of Excellence – Educating for the Future in 2020 with members from the Centre of Islamic Thought and Education (University of South Australia), Islamic University of Jakarta, State University of Jakarta, Victoria University of NZ and Central Queensland University (currently negotiating membership).

    "Wellbeing and development through the lens of occupational therapy."

    Rochelle Mutton is a paediatric occupational therapist who has worked and completed advanced training in California, London, and Adelaide. Owner and director of Motivate Kids, Rochelle leads a team of 20 therapists who provide studio-based therapy to children with a range of diagnosis’ including Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Trauma.
    Motivate Kids have pioneered tailored partnerships with private, public, and catholic education schools to work collaboratively with teachers and support staff to better understand how to enhance their student’s wellbeing and academic success.
    As a convert to Islam, Rochelle recognises how the foundations of faith aligns with what we have come to learn about to raise children with a thoughtful mind, heathy body and tranquil soul.
    Rochelle is passionate about challenging society’s current view of child behaviour and how it is through connection and regulation that we can improve the developmental and wellbeing trajectory of today’s children who will be leaders of tomorrow.

    Sunday 20 August - Morning Presenters

    11:15 - 12:15 Concurrent Sessions

     "Secular Individualism as an Antithesis to Authentic Learning and Being: Critiquing Individualism in Education Through a Conversation between Islamic and Indigenous Perspectives."

    Raazia Rashid is an educator, writer, and learner. She is currently teaching middle school English and Humanities at Playford College in Adelaide, South Australia. She is passionate about integrating Islamic perspectives and approaches in her practice as an asset in the development of critical thinking, creativity, and God-centric character in her students, in a way that is contemporary and meaningful. She takes pride in being a young educator who strives to always stay in tune with the culture and thought process of her students in order to connect, engage, and best serve their needs. She holds a B.A in English and History from York University in Toronto, Canada, a Master of Teaching from the University of Toronto, and is completing a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University in London, U.K. In the past, she has also loved holding writing workshops, organizing programs and volunteering in the Muslim community, and writing and performing spoken word poetry.

    "Mental Wellbeing Support for Educators: A 30Day Personal Health Program Case Study"

    Dr Cam McDonald is an international leader in hyper-personalisation, precision health, epigenetics and its application to learning, health and wellness. He currently works with a variety of institutions, including early learning through to tertiary educational organisations, health research, and corporate wellness, with a focus on individuals and families in education. For the last decade he has partnered with world leaders in the field of precision health sciences, working across many fields to instigate positive change for our wellness at work, school and home. Dr McDonald blends his background as an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist, with his long-standing personal interest in health, and his passion for understanding the latest research in genetics and environmental influence on health. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and completed his PhD in the application of nutrition and exercise in preventing chronic disease. He currently has a focus in applying the science of personalisation and biological individuality to support schools, educators and students in better understanding optimal learning environments, student health and staff wellness. His work in this area focuses on fostering the best learning experiences to develop lifelong learners and thriving educational environments.

    "The importance of wellbeing as a whole of school approach to nurture students, support staff, leadership and meet organisational goals -The Minaret experience"

    Mohammed Taksim is the Executive Principal of Minaret College- a 3 campus Primary and Secondary College serving the community in South east of Melbourne. Mohammed commenced his teaching career in Fiji in 1991, teaching Secondary school Economics and Business studies before venturing into Banking and Finance. After migrating to Australia in the late 90’s he continued his career in Banking and Finance until his desire to do something more meaningful led him to change careers, up skill his qualification at University of New South Wales and joined the teaching profession once again in 2013. He has held multiple leadership roles in Islamic Schools and has served on Boards of Islamic schools in Sydney.


    "Fostering Holistic Wellbeing in Islamic Schools in Australia: A Comprehensive Study"

    Mahmoud Alazhari - Drawing upon my diverse background in religious leadership, community engagement, and
    youth development, alongside my experience of teaching Islamic Studies and Arabic within Islamic schools, I have cultivated an unwavering commitment to fostering the holistic welfare of students and staff within Islamic educational settings, particularly Islamic schools. In my capacity as a religious leader, former teacher of Islamic Studies and Arabic, Founder & President of the Rahilah organisation, Executive Committee Member at The Australian National Imams Council (NSW), and Scout Group leader, I have acquired invaluable insights into the intricate nexus between education and wellbeing. These experiences have provided me the privilege of directly witnessing the distinct challenges confronted by individuals operating within the Islamic schooling sector. Through active immersion within the milieu of Islamic schools, forging fruitful collaborations with key stakeholders, and formulating effective strategies, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted dynamics involved in cultivating a nurturing and supportive environment that facilitates optimal well-being.

    "A Coaching Approach to Professional Learning & Leadership"

    Esra Boz  is an educator and leader that form part of the Teacher Development Team at Al Siraat College in Melbourne. Both are curious and passionate about relational professional learning, critical leadership and coffee!




    Evla Han is an educator and leader that form part of the Teacher Development Team at Al Siraat College in Melbourne. Both are curious and passionate about relational professional learning, critical leadership and coffee!



    "Practical Workshop on Staff Wellbeing Initiatives Based on Tarbiyya and Tafakkur"

    Silma Ihram has a long history in education and educational initiatives. Establishing one of the first two Muslim schools in Australia in 1983 and a second K-12 school with additional child-care in 1996, Silma has worked as Principal in 4 schools and as Director of a VET College in between. During her tenure as a School Principal Silma has led staff through significant changes - specifically evident in supporting staff through the reestablishment of Noor al Houda Islamic College after its forced move to alternative premises in 2002.
    Silma is passionate about education and the welfare of students with a consultative approach to management which focuses on facilitating and mentoring staff development, student wellbeing, continuous improvement and embracing of new ideas and technologies.
    Having a background in research and Islamic Studies, Silma brings extensive experience, management skills and a drive for the future of education in the Muslim community to Islamic Education in Australia.

    "Old People's Homes for Teens: The Role of Social Connection in Promoting Wellbeing of Young People"

    Ali Faraj is one of Australia’s most respected young Muslim leaders. As the Director of Community with AFL club, the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants, Ali plays a central role in uniting one of the most diverse regions in the world, Western Sydney. Ali recently featured as an adolescent expert on the hit ABC’s Old People's Home For Teenagers, a show that brings generations together to combat loneliness, anxiety and depression. Ali has devoted his life towards improving the opportunities afforded to both Muslim and non-Muslim youths alike. He has spent the past decade engaging schools and teenagers in Western Sydney through a range of community outreach programs focused on social cohesion, education, employment, and leadership development. He is a qualified teacher and has been engaged by various Government and community working groups to help with social cohesion among young people right across NSW. Ali was an academic tutor at Western Sydney University guiding and mentoring future teachers and was named ‘Case Worker of the Year’ by the Migration Council Australia in 2015. Ali was born and raised in a Lebanese family in Western Sydney, and is a devoted husband and father of four.
     Ziyad Serhan, with a strong background in education and an active member of his local community, Ziyad is passionate about working with Culturally Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and faith communities. His experience includes being a high school teacher in a South-West Sydney High school, as well as co-founding Educaid Australia which focuses on delivering mental health education and suicide intervention training amongst CALD and faith communities. He is currently an accredited suicide intervention trainer and a Master Instructor in the mental health first aid course, delivering over fifty courses to school, community and workplace settings in the last few years. Ziyad currently works as a Senior Mental Health Consultant with Australia’s largest youth mental health organisation across schools in Western Sydney. He works with leaders across school communities to improve their approach to whole-school mental health and wellbeing, as well as provide suicide postvention support using an evidence based-approach. He is currently undertaking a second postgraduate studies in Masters of Counselling at Torrens University.

    "A Pursuit of Human Wellbeing: An Islamic Perspective"

    Dr Jan A. Ali is Senior Lecturer in Islam and Modernity in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, Australia. He was the Convenor of Islamic Studies in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and Community and Research Analyst in the Religion and Society Research Centre at the Western Sydney University. Jan is the Founding Convenor of the WSU Postgraduate Islamic Studies Network. He is a religious sociologist who specialises in Islam. His main sociological focus is the study of existential Islam. His published books are Organ Transplantation in Islam: Perspectives and Challenges (2022); A Sociological Study of Tabligh Jama’at: Working for Allah (2022); Islam and Muslims in Australia: Settlement, Integration, Shariah, Education and Terrorism (2020); Islam in the West: Perceptions and Reactions (2018, co-editor) and Islamic Revivalism Encounters the Modern World: A Study of the Tabligh Jama’at (2012).

    "Refining Behaviour Policies and Embracing islamic Pedagogy: Fostering Islamic Wellbeing in a Caring and Inclusive School Environment".

    Thamina Kassar is a secondary Science educator and a Wellbeing coordinator who strives to ensure that her learners are supported in all domains. With ten years of teaching across all stages of the secondary Science, she is passionate about working collegially in teams with a focus on theory to practice. Thamina has previously served as a Boys’ Year Advisor for 4 years before currently taking up the role of a Wellbeing Coordinator for the Malek Fahd Islamic Schools (MFIS), Greenacre Campus. Social-emotional wellbeing within an Islamic Worldview is something she is passionate about including the impact it has on learners’ education. Thamina is dedicated to promoting a holistic approach (mind-body-soul) to behaviour education with a strong belief in the long-lasting impact of nurturing wellbeing. Thamina strives to empower students, guide teachers, and foster positive connections, ultimately contributing to the overall wellbeing and success of the school community. Thamina holds a Masters in Education and is currently completing a post-graduate course in Islamic Pedagogy at the University of South Australia. She always strives to help those who need it.

    Billal Khoder is the Deputy of Secondary (Greenacre) at Malek Fahd Islamic School and is passionate about positively impacting the wellbeing of youth and school communities. Billal has dedicated himself to inspiring students and believes that all aspects of student success is created through positive relationships. The completion of the Graduate Certificate in Education (Islamic Pedagogy) course has enabled him to drive the renewal process of the Islamic at Malek Fahd Islamic School.

    Samara Jalloul is a secondary Science teacher and Head of Wellbeing for girls at Malek Fahd Islamic School in Greenacre, Sydney. She draws on her training in neuroscience, psychology and TESOL to identify and respond to learning needs of students. She has taken inspiration from her recent completion of the Graduate Certificate (Islamic Education) with UniSA to promote a faith-inspired approach to behaviour education.

    "Islamic Storytime – Wellness Through Connection."

    Gulhan Yoldas is the Community Engagement Lead at Al Siraat College, developing platforms for the school community to engage with one another and with the broader community in meaningful ways. Gulhan is a self-published author and columnist with her writing frequently appearing in the Australasian Muslim Times newspaper. Gulhan is a public speaker. She is a strong advocate for Gambling Industry reform in Australia. Gulhan Yoldas has a Diploma in Community Services.

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    Conference Book Download

    Click on the image below:

    Conference Book includes the program, Welcome Messages, presenter abstracts and bio's, we will not be providing printed copies.

    Conference Program Only Download (PDF)

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    Platinum Sponsor

    As one of Australia's leading Islamic superannuation funds, Crescent Wealth believes that investing shouldn't just be about making a profit; it should also be about making a positive impact. That's why we're committed to only the good, and investing in an ethical Shariah-compliant manner, with a focus on assets that have a positive social and sustainable impact. For more information or to make the switch contact us at 1300 926 626 or crescentwealth.com.au.

    Invictus Solutions is a community-led, purpose driven business for good that delivers education to Australians of all ages.
    Founded by Dean Mousad, a trusted figure within the community, Invictus Solutions’ formidable team includes Muslim educators, facilitators, mentors, consultants and counsellors.
    Our educational workshops (in growing demand in schools throughout Australia) cover topics dealing with real-life issues affecting young people. We work with teachers and parents in addition to students, providing a holistic approach.
    Website: https://invictussolutions.com.au

    Imbuity is a rapidly growing digital marketing, creative, and strategy consultancy specialising in the service of Muslim organisations. As young parents, our leadership team is passionate about education and wellbeing at schools, especially at our Muslim schools. Just as our independent schools provide CALD services which are mindful of Islam, Imbuity too seeks to fill a similar void in the fast-maturing Muslim economy with our services. We are proud to support the AAIS Conference.


    MCCA is an Australian Muslim community organisation, pioneering Islamic finance and investment products nationwide. Having been in existence for more than 30 years, we’ve helped build our community through our sponsorships, collaborations and by powering the dreams of Australian Muslim businesses and families, in achieving their financial endeavours.


    Gold Sponsors

    An all-in-one platform for your school, Compass is designed to streamline your administrative workflow and boost parent engagement. We do this by unifying over forty school management tools and applications to connect the whole school community and enhance the education experience. With complete visibility into payments, assessments, events, wellbeing and more, change the way your school works for the better. Chat to the friendly Compass team today about your school’s needs. Website: www.compass.education

    ISSA Logo.jpg

    The Islamic Schools Association of Australia (ISAA) is the peak body representing Islamic schools in Australia. ISAA advocates for and represents all member schools in particular and all Islamic schools in general on policy matters including representation at many forums at both State and Commonwealth levels.  ISAA currently has 36 member Islamic schools. In March 2023 ISAA held its inaugural Executive Leadership Retreat, open to school leadership teams from ISAA member and non-member schools with the objective to further enhance networking, collaboration and boost leadership capacity.

    Al Khalil Masjid.png                    ISSA Logo.png              


    In-Kind Supporters

    Minaret College logo.jpg                 


    Media Partner

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    Abstract Submissions are Now Closed, thank you to all the submitters

    CITE invites abstracts of original and critical research papers, or classroom-based examples addressing the broad theme of Wellbeing. Academics, educators, school leaders and school cohorts are welcome to submit.

    CITE invites:
    a) short descriptions of proposed interactive educator workshops that showcase school and/or classroom-based examples of well-being programs in practice 
    b) abstracts for critical research papers on conceptual or empirical research related to well-being in Islamic schools 

    Topics of interest for abstract submission include, but are not limited to:
    1. The meaning and application of wellbeing in the Islamic tradition.
    2. Wellbeing and pastoral care.
    3. Supporting student and staff wellbeing.
    4. Supporting Board Members wellbeing /Whole-school community wellbeing.
    5. Fostering an environment of wellbeing.
    6. Sustaining a culture of wellbeing in your school.
    7. How to plan student and staff wellbeing.
    8. Teaching and administrative staff wellbeing.
    9. Legal and moral responsibilities of schools to safeguard wellbeing of their stakeholders.
    10. School/classroom-based examples of wellbeing programs.
    11. Practical strategies to improve the wellbeing of staff and students.
    12. Wellbeing and bullying.
    13. Wellbeing and social media addictions.
    14. Mental health and wellbeing.
    15. Islamophobia, racism, and their impact on wellbeing of staff and students.
    16. Physical health & nutrition.
    17. Islamic spirituality and wellbeing.
    18. Spiritual intelligence and wellbeing.
    19. Religiosity and wellbeing in Muslim contexts.
    20. COVID-19 and wellbeing.

    Abstracts of no more than 300 words must be submitted together with an author(s) or school’s biography by 26 May 2023.

    Abstracts should be submitted to cite@unisa.edu.au in Word format and written in the following order:
    a) Author(s) name,
    b) Affiliation,
    c) Email address,
    d) Title of abstract,
    e) Body of abstract,
    f) Author’s biography (150-200 words)

    Email subject should be titled: AAISC6 Abstract Submission.

    Use plain text (Times New Roman, 12point, double spaced) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline).

    We will acknowledge receipt and respond to all abstracts submitted.

    Selected accepted papers will be published in a peer-reviewed publication.

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    In Person Conference is now SOLD OUT

    Online Available

    You can now Livestream the Conference

    Register via Eventbrite Online Conference Here
    Online Conference Selected Program (PDF)
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    Novotel Glen Waverley - 285 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley VIC 3150

    To receive a conference discount for Novotel Glen Waverley please use the codes below:
    Company name: ISSA Conference
    Customer Code: SCP4195649 (Business client with contract)
    Access Code: IS657AU817
    Booking dates: 16th – 21st August 2023 (negotiated room only rate will only be available over these dates)

    You will just need to select the destination, hotel name to generate the search, for example: Novotel Glen Waverley.

    Discounted buffet breakfast of $25 per person (reduced from $35 per person) can be added on by calling our Reservation team on 03 8561 2345 or adding it into your bookings notes while booking online – this offer is for ISSA conference delegates only and is not available to book online.

    Onsite car parking is available at $25 per vehicle, per night – subject to availability.
    Accommodation bookings can be made directly also by quoting the above customer code, please feel free to call or email or our reservations team on 03 8561 2345 and h2068@accor.com to make any bookings

    Ibis Melbourne Glen Waverley - 297 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley VIC 3150

    Parkroyal Monash - 872 Blackburn Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168

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    Professor Mohamad Abdalla AM


    Dr Nadeem Memon


    Mr Dylan Chown

    Advisory Committee: 

    Dr Jan Ali, Western Sydney University
    Dr Fida Sanjakdar, Monash University
    Dr Ibrahima Diallo, University of South Australia
    Mr. Abdullah Khan, President Islamic Schooling Association of Australia
    Dr Nada Ghamraoui, NNG Educational Consultancy
    Ms. Nuraan Samodien, Minarah College, NSW