Young Muslim Leadership Program 2007-2013

23 May 2007

Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University and the Islamic Council of Victoria

Melbourne, Australia

The Leadership Training Program for Young Muslims was one of the major programs of the La Trobe Centre for Dialogue. It was conceived by Joseph Camilleri, the Centre's Director, and established following representations to the Victorian Government and the strong support offered by the then Premrier of Victoria, the Hon Steve Bracks.

The program, widely acclaimed as one of the most innovative of its kind, was designed to empower young Muslim men and women (naormally aged between 20 and 30) and help them to reach their full potential as citizens and future leaders. It was offered in close collaboration with the Islamic Council of Victoria.

Specifically, it aimed to:
  • develop the skills they needed to engage confidently and creatively with all levels of government, business, academia, the professional world, the media, and religious and community organisations;
  • give them the opportunity to meet and converse with decision makers in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne - this included visits to the state and federal parliaments, government departments, universities, courts, businesses, media networks, churches, templeses and synagogues, as well as a range of non-governmental organisations;
  • encourage new thinking about Australia and its place in the world and the contribution Muslims can make to help meet the challenges of the future.
The course included:
   Workshops, seminars and lectures
   Field trips in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne
   Use of audio-visual materials
   Debates and role play
   Interviews with guests
   An extensive workbook of reading materials and exercises
   A live-In conference.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and several of its Southeast Asian institutes, supported and funded the participation of young Mulsims from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Over the 7-year period more than 200 young Muslims completed the program, many of whom have since taken up leadership roles in their respective communities as well as fulfilling important roles in their professional careers.
The program was coordinated by Mr Larry Marshall for the first five years and by Dr Sven Schottmann for the following two years.