Young Australian Muslims are the beneficiaries of two exciting new initiatives announced by the Islamic Museum of Australia (IMA).

In recent weeks, the IMA has launched a Future Leaders program, with a nine-week pilot commencing in July, ahead of the 12-month program starting in February 2022.  The program targets students 14 -17 years.

While it has a strong focus on developing their leadership qualities, the weekly program is also a vehicle for participants to learn more about Islamic contributions to civilization, the arts and architecture and the remarkable history of Muslims in Australia.

IMA Founder and Director Moustafa Fahour OAM said the exciting program will draw on the expertise of educators and guest presenters who will facilitate program topics from goal setting to driving social change.

“The program is quite unique in the breadth of topics covered.  We consider young Muslims as the custodians of both the Museum itself, and also in the sharing of Australia’s Muslim history,” Mr Fahour said.

“We believe that investing in our young people and assisting them to harness their leadership qualities will ensure that Muslim Australians continue to make significant contributions in the community, at the Boardroom table, in politics or wherever their journeys take them into the future.”

“Equally important is that the stories of our forebears are kept alive, that Australian Muslims continue to engage with the wider community, have pride in our history and communicate positive narratives that contribute to social cohesion.”

The Program will also incorporate Arabic classes and social activities.

“There’s an important social element to this program too, we encourage young people to learn from each other and lift one another up. The Muslim community is so diverse.  This is a tremendous opportunity for young Muslims to learn about the cultures of their peers.”

Separately, the Museum has opened applications to the IMA Patron’s Fund for the 2021/22 financial year. The Fund aims to support Australians looking to further their knowledge in a field of study or creative practice that will contribute to the IMA’s mission of providing cross-cultural experiences and contributing to social cohesion.

The grants are open to anyone who has contributed to the IMA since its inception including workshop facilitators, artists and volunteers.

Funds are available for individual grants of up to $10,000 per person, per year.

To learn more about Future Leaders or the Patron’s Fund, visit: https://www.islamicmuseum.org.au

The Islamic Museum of Australia is located in Thornbury, in Melbourne’s north. It is the only Islamic museum in the country and provides educational and cross-cultural experiences for all ages.

The Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.