17 June 2022

On Wednesday 15th June, a very special milestone was realised – the formation and first gathering of a Queensland Islamic School Professional Learning Community (PLC).

Lead educators from the Islamic College of Brisbane (ICB) and the Australian International Islamic College (AIIC) along with members of the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education (CITE), University of South Australia (UniSA), met for a day of professional learning, sharing, dialogue, and forward collaborative planning at Michaels’ Oriental.

With ICB founded in 1995, and AIIC in 2002, the overriding sentiment from both Colleges and all those present was “it’s time!”

This special group of passionate educators and leaders from both Islamic Colleges in Queensland (across campuses) have been collaborating, learning together, and experimenting in their professional practice as part of their engagement in the Graduate Certificate in Education (Islamic Education) at CITE. The program is the first of its kind in Australia, and the only post-graduate teacher education program based on Islamic Pedagogy - meaning a distinct philosophy of education drawn from the Islamic tradition, that can inform and shape contemporary educational approaches, as well as drive innovative and faithful renewal of educational practice for educators, and school wide aspirations for renewal. 

Lead educators from Wisdom College will also join at the next PLC gathering in term 3 which will ensure all schools that cater for predominantly Muslim students in QLD will be connected and collaborating, biithnillah.

For QLD, our new PLC is as exciting as it is a hopeful future focused initiative. A shared commitment has been established to move forward collegially and collaboratively as we pursue distinct educational goals, priorities, and aspirations – individually as well as collectively, and always with our students, colleagues, school communities, and broader communities in mind.

All members appreciate that coming together as fellow educators makes sense, as we are one another’s potential greatest allies, cheerleaders, supporters, advocates, and sources of inspiration.

We are incredibly grateful for the tawfiq – meaning the inspiration and the will to initiate this. We are excited and deeply hopeful for the great potential and the practical openings, biithnillah. For we know, from little things big things grow, biithnillah.


Increasingly, collaboration is seen as key in education and most especially in Islamic schooling circles. For many years, there have been various platforms that have enabled opportunities for collaboration, such as the Islamic Schools Association AGM, the Australian Islamic Schooling Conference (CITE), as well as semi-formal and ongoing associations and gatherings between schools.

Colleagues in Victorian Islamic schools have been leaders in this space, earlier establishing a PLC and working hubs between Islamic schools and with other sector schools. In addition, we have seen great energy and activity around inter-faith collaborations which are increasingly common across states and including many Islamic schools.

A Professional Learning Community refers to a community of educators committed to continuous professional learning and growth, to sharing research and ideas, to engaging in ongoing professional learning around the similar contexts, similar community needs and aspirations - ultimately to better realise our aspirations for student and educator success and wellbeing as well as the broader benefits that our schools and our graduates offer our community, communities, and society.

According to CITE in the soon to be released stimulus paper titled, A Shared Vision for Islamic Schooling in Australia,

“Research on professional learning illustrates that educators gain most benefit from opportunities that speak to the school’s context, dilemmas, constraints, and aspirations. Such professional learning opportunities centre educators as the experts of their own context, draw from the learning assets of the educators themselves, and provide guidance on developing collaborative ways forward. Such approaches to professional learning foster a deep sense of educator purpose and efficacy and increase commitment toward a shared vision.”

Standing: Sefina Hassam (Head of Teaching and Learning, AIIC), Iman Partoredjo, Rabul Khan, Raihana Ferdous (Head of Secondary, AIIC), Merima Celahmetovic (Head of Campus, AIIC Gold Coast), Zeena Ackland (Head of Wellbeing, ICB), Susan Scott (CLO, ICB), Taaibah Abdus Samad, Rashida Islam, Iram Khan (Head of Primary, ICB), Suraiya Girach, Maneesha Iqbal, Mariam Ghood (Board Member, AIIC)
Seated: Sami Muamar (Head of Secondary, ICB), Dylan Chown (CITE, UniSA), Timothy Searle
Virtual: Dr Nadeem Memon (CITE, UniSA)
Absent on the day (but with us all the way): Ayman Zaffar