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Tasneem is a whole lot of parts, symbolising the hybrid identity of today’s global citizen, which she speaks to with sheer wit. She is an East African born, Indian origin, Bendigo raised, Melbourne loving, daughter, mother, middle-child, karaoke swooning, sleep deprived, vertically challenged, feminist, Muslim, exhausted, activist – and she won’t compromise on any of those titles.
I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. My family migrated to Australia when I was four, starting off in Alice Springs and then moving to Bendigo in Central Victoria. I completed my primary and secondary school here – spending my formative years in the country. It was only when I started university that my family moved to Melbourne, where I have remained.
I am currently a Cross Cultural Consultant, recently working as a Museum Curator while doing Public Speaking concurrently. My previous roles have included a motley mix along themes of diversity, arts and justice –through roles such as: Project Manager, Author, Community Development Worker, Electorate Officer, Arts Event Producer, Leadership Program Convenor and Migration Agent.
These are varied – but largely reflect the political and social environment I find myself in. They include: social justice, identity, belonging, racism, multiculturalism, stereotypes, refugees, gender, intersectional racism, social change, diversity, diversity in leadership, women in leadership, media bias, media challenges, minority voices, immigration policy, Muslims, Islam, Australian Muslim experiences, myths and misconceptions about Islam/ Muslims/ Women, modest fashion, muting, social control and structural disadvantage.
There have been many and varied – notably along themes of communication and social change. They include:
Then there’s a few lists I’ve made, including:
My authored works have been published in Australia and Indonesia. My academic article Burqas, Bombs & Bogeymen is accessible online and my editorial works have been published in The Age, The Australian, the Guardian, Crikey, The Herald Sun and others.
I’m passionate about social change and the role of actors and observers in achieving this. These passions come through when I speak to young audiences, and include: social justice, identity, belonging, racism, multiculturalism, stereotypes, refugees, gender, equality, feminism, intersectional racism, social change, diversity, diversity in leadership, women in leadership, media bias, media challenges, minority voices, immigration policy, Muslims, Islam, Australian Muslim experiences, myths and misconceptions about Islam/ Muslims/ Women, arts, education, equality. I enjoy the challenge of addressing school cohorts on many of these topics as I am constantly learning from student interactions.
I may be a familiar face to some having had media appearances over the years, including; The Project, Sunrise, Insight, Q&A, The Drum and Salam Café. I’m also a regular on ABC radio panels.
I have a biography in the works, which I’m hoping to complete before I die! However, life keeps throwing curve balls my way, creating more chapter opportunities. I see this as the universe artfully mocking my perceived complacency that I couldn’t possibly have more to write about.
“On behalf of the students and staff of Minaret College, I wish to thank you for visiting to our college and sharing your personal and professional stories. Students were left with an understanding of how moments from their lives and simple observations can lead to a wonderful story. Thank you so much for your excellent presentation. Your ability to work with a large group of students was very impressive and allowed a fun experience for the children to fully participate in sharing your ideas. I have received a lot of positive feedback from the students and teachers on your ability to reach out and capture such a diverse audience.
I have never seen our students so excited and so highly engaged during your speech and video you shared with us. Your words of wisdom were very powerful and profound. They gave us many opportunities to think and self reflect.”