The highly anticipated graduation ceremony for Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC), Charles Sturt University (CSU) in collaboration with Islamic Sciences and Research Academy (ISRA) was held on Saturday 4 May 2024 at Waterview, Sydney Olympic Park.

Awards were presented to students who completed their degrees, diplomas and graduate certificates in Arabic and Islamic Studies towards the end of academic year 2023 including the first cohort of students who completed the graduate certificate in Islamic psychology.

ISRA graduation ceremonies are a unique combination of intellectual, academic, emotional and spiritual experience held in a dignified yet family-friendly atmosphere where the graduating students are given the opportunity to deliver a short reflection on his/her educational experience that includes thanking their teachers as well as the family for support.

The formal program commenced after the entry of the academic procession followed by the national anthem with acknowledgement of the country by the MC, Mr Berat Karaca and recitation of Quran by Sheikh Mohamad Harby.

Professor Mehmet Ozalp, CISAC Head of school welcomed the graduating students, their families, academic staff and guests congratulating the graduating students for their achievements and acknowledging the support of their families.

The keynote address at the graduation ceremony was delivered by a former graduate of ISRA, Ms Ramia Abdo Sultan who was introduced as Australian Palestinian,  a wife, mother and distinguished lawyer with a speciality in Islamic inheritance law.

She runs her own legal practice with partners,  Lawbridge Lawyers and has completed a Master of Islamic Studies with Distinction from Charles Sturt University.

Ramia also serves as a Community Relations Advisor to the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and sits on various boards including the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), the Gaza Children’s Fund and  Charity Right Australia.

ISRA students constitute a diverse range of students in terms of age, professions, background and faith. A number of these students complement their previous professional studies with learning of Islamic sciences through ISRA courses and many of them have full time jobs as well as families with children.

The ISRA graduation ceremony 2024 presented awards to 79 graduates:

  • 1 Associate Degree in Islamic Studies,
  • 23 Bachelor of Islamic Studies,
  • 1 Diploma of Islamic Studies,
  • 2 Graduate Certificate in Classical Arabic,
  • 14 Graduate Certificate in Islamic Psychology,
  • 1 Graduate Certificate in Islamic Studies,
  • 3 Graduate Diploma of Classical Arabic,
  • 6 Graduate Diploma of Islamic Studies,
  • 9 Master of Classical Arabic,
  • 2 Master of Contemporary Islamic Studies,
  • 14 Master of Islamic Studies,
  • 2 Undergraduate Certificate in Islamic Studies and
  • 1 Master of Arts (Islamic Studies Research).

One by one the gradients were presented to Professor Mehmet Ozalp Head of School, CISAC and received their awards from Professor John McDonald, Executive Dean Faculty of Arts and Education, CSU.

After the presentation of awards, Professor McDonald gave concluding remarks before A/Prof Zuleyha Keskin, Associate Head of School, CISAC brought the 2024 graduation ceremony to an end by inviting the graduates to show their appreciation to their teachers, family and colleagues who supported them throughout their studies by standing to applaud them.

All graduates were presented with gifts by ISRA alumni while congratulating them followed by photographic session and refreshments.