Veteran Australian Muslim community leader, Abbas Chelat has won two awards in quick succession to recognise his achievements both in the community service and business fields.
In January Mr Chelat was recognised for his service to the community by the United India Association (UIA) and then in February, he was recognised by the Sydney Malayalee Association as the Entrepreneur of the Year 2018.
On receiving the entrepreneur award, Mr Abbas stressed the need for establishing a community centre for the Malayalee community.
“We need a place for ourselves – a building or converted factory – something where we can gather at least two thousand people for events such as this.” he proposed. He asked the current and future executive committees to place this as a priority.
Mr Abbas arrived in Australia 40 years ago in 1978 and along with a distinguished career global education and career with Tata Engineering and 14 years at Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), he ran numerous successful businesses including multiple Donut King franchises and his current lab furniture enterprise. His businesses have employed over 300 Australians over 35 years.
His community work has been as long and as committed. He is a founding and current board of directors of the Islamic Association of Western Suburbs Sydney (IAWSS) and was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Islamic College of Sydney. The college now goes up to Year 12 and has over 1200 students.
Mr Abbas has held various positions, including Secretary and Treasurer, of the Sydney Malayalee Association and was the President of the World Malayalee Association for over seven years.
He is also active in the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre and the Indian Crescent Society of Australia which aims to engage with the Australian government and associated communities for a better understanding of Indian Muslims in Australia.
As the first Indian Malayalee Muslim to settle in Sydney, he and his wife, Saffiya, have provided considerable support to new Australians in their migration from India and UAE and provided assistance as they establish themselves into Australian society.
Video of the UIA Award:
Video of the Sydney Malayalee Association Award: