The AMU Alumni of Australia raised well over the target 0f $10,000 for school funding in India on the annual Sir Syed Day held on Saturday 11 November at Auburn Town Hall in Sydney attended by a record number of Aligarh Muslim University alumni, supporters and community members.

The innovative initiative, a first on Sir Syed Day in the 30 year history of the Alumni was to raise funds for the building project for Hamara School with the aim of raising $10,000 that resulted in raising almost $15,000 within 15 minutes with the generosity of the audience present there.

Sir Syed Day marks the celebration of the birthday of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University in India, and commemorates his legacy by reflecting on his achievements and the emulation of his spirit in the field of education.

The Alumni, in addition to holding social events runs a long standing and highly successful scholarship program, with a track record of over 30 years, for students in India by raising funds in Australia

Syed Hamid Ali, President of AMU Alumni of Australia was delighted with the generous response displayed at the event saying, “The incredible turnout and overwhelming support for your donation efforts are truly commendable where we exceeded our target by almost 50% by collecting $15000. Thank you once again. Your contributions have a significant impact on our mission, and we are grateful for your generosity.”

He further added, “The cultural program, presented by our talented young children, was nothing short of amazing. Their performances filled the evening with joy and showcased the incredible talent within our community. We are delighted that everyone enjoyed this aspect of the event.”

The funds were raised for Hamara School, a grassroots level institution in UP, India that has been running in rented/makeshift accommodation since 1998, growing from 10 students to  over 300 students in 2023.

The school has embarked on an ambitious initiative to co-build a sustainable building that will provide classrooms and a school precinct but will also utilise the expertise of local tradesmen, most of whom have children in the school, providing them employment.

Mr Zamir Khan, Coordinator of the Sir Syed Scholarship Committee presented the annual report of the Scholarship program saying that this year, 41 students from AMU and 1 student from Jamia Millia Islamic benefited from the Sir Syed Scholarships program.

Twenty-seven students who had been receiving the scholarship completed their education successfully and were replaced by new deserving students.

A total of 338 students from Hamara School, Aligarh, received while 150 students from Saima Mansoor Public School were awarded scholarships under the school scholarship program.

For one university scholarship, the alumni collects AUD 300while for primary school scholarship it collects AUD 50. All donations are tax deductible.

The Chief Guest at the Sir Syed Day was Professor Asif Iqbal currently leading the executive management team of the Southern cross institute in Sydney.

Educated on several continents, Prof Iqbal’s initial commerce degree was from Pakistan while in Australia, Prof Iqbal has held positions at the University of Wollongong, Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, and the University of Newcastle in theFaculties of Business and Law.

During his address, Prof Iqbal enlightened the audience on the latest frontiers in learning and teaching and the challenges facing university academics and administrators.

While highly appreciated the track record of the Alumni he offered to fund 5 scholarship @$300 each for Students in India and one scholarship with the value of $25,000 for Indian students to study in Australia.

The highlight of Sir Syed Day 2023 was the highly inspiring speech of the keynote speaker Captain Mona Shindy who with the help of her presentation described her amazing journey and achievements as a migrant to Australia.

Mona Shindy was born in Egypt in 1968 and migrated to Australia with her family at the age of three, soon losing her father when she was very young where her mother raised her family of four young kids.

Her 32 year Royal Australian Navy career as an electrical engineer saw her serve on a number of the nation’s most technologically advanced warships which took her to all corners of the world.

She was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2015 for contributions to cultural and

business reform initiatives she championed for Defence while in the same year she was named the 2015 National Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

During her address Captain Mona Shindy highlighted the challenges she faced in Australian navy as a woman and then particularly as Muslim woman specially after she decided to don the hijab after performing Haj in 2014 becoming the first Hijabi in The Australian defence forces.

She thanked her husband Mr Mohammed Moukahal, who was present at the event, for providing family support without which she could not have continued her naval career being on the ship for long periods of time.

The highly entertaining kids program was hosted by Maryam Ali and Hiba Zanjani where the participants included:

  • Haya Zia
  • Naba Zia
  • Izzah Omar
  • Maryam Omar
  • Hadi Riyaz
  • Hanan Riyaz
  • Hannah Shakeeb
  • Aizah Asad
  • Izaan Shahnawaz
  • Aleeza Arif
  • Zayd Rehan
  • Anima Bilal

The Sir Syed Day 2023 was sponsored by:

  • Mr Azam from Low Cost Housing,
  • Mr Azm Khan from Loan Nerds,
  • Mr Rehan Jamal from Red Lea Chicken Fairfield,
  • Mr Nabeel Ansari of Noble Clinical Rehabilitation,
  • Mr Kazam Mohammad from Wishful Home Renovations,
  • Mr Irfan Kureshi from Infinitive Finance Solutions.
  • ASM International Freight Services,

The outstanding catering service and dinner was served by Himalaya Restaurant.