OUR TEAM

Raqīb’s management team is comprised of professionals with a diverse range of expertise and experience across areas such as peace and conflict, security, and information and communications technology. They're united in their commitment to empowering our youth and achieving social cohesion.


ANOOSHE MUSHTAQ

Principal


Anooshe is the Founder and Chairperson of the Raqīb Taskforce. She has extensive experience of working in and with public and private sector organisations, mostly in senior capacities within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. As a Muslim and being an immigrant, she is deeply familiar with the highly diverse Muslim community in Australia. She has developed a particularly extensive network with the youth of Muslim community. Anooshe with the young Muslims is developing online social inclusion narratives countering hate speech and extreme messages which exists in the public domain. She established Raqib Taskforce to empower young people in Australia.

Anooshe is an accomplished public speaker and writer. She is regularly invited to speak at national security conferences on the topics of preventing violent extremism, counter-terrorism, social media extremism and Islamic State’s recruitment strategies. She publishes regularly in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Huffington Post, ABC News, Australian Security Magazine and Security Solution Magazine. She is a Research Associate at the Australian Security Research Centre (ASRC).

https://anooshemushtaq.com/

ZAHID SHAHAB AHMED PhD

Principal


Dr Ahmed is Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin University. He holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations (University New England, Australia), and MA in Peace Education (United Nations mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica). Dr Ahmed specialises in issues of peace and security in the Muslim world. Prior to joining Deakin University, he was Assistant Professor at the Centre for International Peace and Stability in Pakistan. He has over ten years of experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating projects in Asia, especially in Pakistan.

During 2005-06, he was involved in the project ‘Peace Education: Islamic Perspectives’ at the University for Peace. In 2013, he worked with the Prince Claus Fund to evaluate projects under ‘Culture and Conflict’ programs in in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In 2014, he evaluated nine projects of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Pakistan. During the same year, he carried out evaluations of three US Department of State’s Security programs involving madrassa teachers and imams (Muslim prayer leaders) in Pakistan. In 2015-16, Dr Ahmed conducted evaluations of ten programs on Peace and Security through education, funded by USIP, European Commission, and UNICEF, in Pakistan. The USIP published the findings of his research as a special report entitled 'Peace Education in Pakistan'. Based on his expertise, he was invited for a workshop on PVE through education at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in February 2017.

http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/zahid-ahmed

Rev. BILL CREWS AM

Principal


Originally an engineer, Bill commenced working full-time at the Wayside Chapel in the early 1970s where he was involved in creating the first 24-hour crisis centre in Australia and was later its Director.

He was a member of the New South Wales Drug and Alcohol Authority and helped establish drug rehabilitation, education and prevention programs throughout the state, and with Ted Noffs created the created the Life Education Centre. He founded and chairs the Exodus Foundation, a charity that assists homeless and abandoned youth, offering a range of critical services including food, shelter and literacy programs.

https://www.exodusfoundation.org.au/

Dr STEPAN KERKYASHRIAN AO
Hon D. Litt

Principal


A past Head of Radio for the Special Broadcasting Service where he played a major part in the establishment of a professional national multilingual radio service, in 1989 Stepan became Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Ethnic Affairs Commission.

He oversaw the introduction of major new initiatives in multicultural policy and practices including the introduction of the Principals of Cultural Diversity and inclusion in legislation in 2000. He has also been President and CEO of the Anti-Discrimination Board and Chair and CEO of the Community Relations Commission (CRC).

In November 2014 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of the NSW Cemeteries and Crematoria Board. He is also a member of the Security Professionals Registration Board and Vice President of the Diocesan Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Australia and New Zealand.

https://www.australiaday.org.au/ambassadors2/view/?id=252

MATTHEW CURTIS

Principal


Matthew is an Executive Director of the Raqīb Taskforce.

With a background in diplomacy and government, he has consulted in the strategic and national security domain for some 15 years, providing advice to a wide range of government and private sector organisations.

Matthew is an Executive Board member of Security Professionals Australasia and until 2015 chaired the profession’s peak body, the Australasian Council of Security Professionals. He currently also chairs the Standards Australia Mirror Committee responsible for representing Australia in the development of international standards on protective security. He holds an NV2 security clearance.

http://www.curtiscorp.com.au/

REPRESENTATIVES


SAMEY MINKARA

Director, Safe Spaces Program


Samey is a community engagement specialist, a social worker and advocate with significant experience working with young people and communities of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, particularly in outreach, case management and capacity building. A highly qualified and experienced outreach professional with extensive background in Management, Community Development, Case Management, Outreach Activities and Strategic Planning gained from over 8 years of hands-on experience. Key to success is the hands-on experience together with the strong passion to listen to those who are in need, and the ability to understand, listen and help the youth achieve their highest potential. Previously a Youth worker, Case Manager, Intraweb Coordinator at Barnardos Australia, he is dedicated to engaging communities and empowering them to take action on issues affecting their lives.

Samey has developed and coordinated many youth and community programs, and has vast experience in working on challenging target-driven projects to meet key performance indicators. He is able to work with communities and young people at all levels as well as regularly liaise with professionals, chair meetings and case conferences with professionals and senior management. Working in partnership is a key factor in all the roles he has taken on and he is driven to meet community and organisational needs by negotiating and working with all stakeholders in the private and public sectors.

https://www.facebook.com/BarnardosAustralia/videos/10154480164091904/

ABUBAKR MAHMOUD

Producer & Media Consultant


Abubakr Mahmoud is a journalist and digital producer who is the Production Manager for the Raqib Taskforce (Raqib).

Passionate about content-gathering, filming, and production, he has been instrumental in Raqib’s collaborative video series in partnership with Google Australia, Love Frankie, the Australian Film Television Radio and School, and the Australian Government.

He is currently completing an internship with ABC TV, working across all production departments.

AbuBakr Mahmoud and his family are first-generation Australians who arrived in 2000 as political refugees from Sudan. AbuBakr and his family settled in Liverpool when he was seven years old.

AbuBark’s interests are equality, cultural exchange, patience, and those being oppressed around the world.


SAAMER MATUSE ELALI

International Musician & Artist, Youth Consultant


Saamer has 10 years of experience in developing, writing, recording and releasing original musical projects as a solo artist. He is an Australian and international actor with a history as an artist and musician. Amongst his achievements was his inaugural acting role in the award winning short film 'Between the Flags' for which he garnered the award for Best Male Actor at the Tropfest Short Film Festival in 2007.

During 2009, Saamer featured in the cinematic-released feature film 'Cedar Boys', playing the character of 'Hamdi', sharing the screen with Martin Henderson (The Ring) & Rachel Taylor (Transformers). He contributed to the soundtrack of Cedar Boys, with at least three original songs making the final credits. This led to Saamer securing a highly coveted and recurring role in the hugely successful Australian prime-time television series "Underbelly-The Golden Mile" in late 2010. One of his video Inshallah received over 4,000 views - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mSZHxnR15U

Saamer regularly hosts a Youth Workshops, mentoring venerable youth (Freelance and program based). He develops leading - creating entertaining and relevant activities that aim at boosting self-esteem and gaining group participation especially designed to appeal to disenfranchised teens who feel alienated or misunderstood. Saamer’s core skills are; leadership, working with youth on all levels, creating activities, public speaking, group participation, building rapport with venerable youth.

Saamer has held several youth based initiatives including Aboriginal youth based programs, positive male role model workshops, anti-social programs to create more understanding and tackling social obstacles many young minority teens face.

Saamer worked with Youth Off The Streets Outreach Centre as a Youth Worker - Assisting adolescents to develop their capacity to take responsibility for their lives, by planning for and facilitating treatment options as necessary, employment and further education options and life skills training in preparation for discharge- whilst offering care, mentoring opportunities, support and structure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mSZHxnR15U

ASTRID VASUDEVA

Communications & Project Manager


A former ghostwriter, Astrid has a professional background in writing and editing for a range of clients, including a Sydney-based public affairs firm and a national communications company. Her focus area is on understanding the religious and cultural influences over conflict and peace, as well as the fundamental intersections of religion and social/political/cultural life through multiple lenses. She works to ensure that Raqīb successfully executes programs and projects, produces compliant documentation and recommendations, and communicates its positive counter narrative online and on the ground.