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Our Team

IMA Staff

Our Staff

Sherene Hassan

Director of Education and Community Engagement

Sherene served as vice president, and executive committee member of the Islamic Council of Victoria for eight years.

To date she has conducted over 1000 information sessions on Islam to diverse audiences ranging from the Flying Fruit Fly Circus School to the Australian Federal Police.

Sherene has been involved in intercultural dialogue since 2001 and is passionate about building bridges with the wider community.

In December 2007, Sherene was selected by the Age newspaper as one of Melbourne’s 100 Most Influential people

In 2016, Sherene was selected as ‘Muslim Woman of the Year’ at the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards (AMAA).

In January 2018 Sherene was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Formerly a chemistry and physics teacher, Sherene has taught in many states across Australia with over 20 years of experience in the sector.

Sherene has worked closely with educators to align IMA’s education programs to the National and Victorian Curriculum. She is often called upon to conduct incursions at schools for student audiences as well as professional development for teachers across Victoria and other states.

Wafa Fahour

Operations Manager

Wafa started with the Museum as a volunteer in 2013. She became a full time member of staff in 2017 and her portfolio includes Admin, Operations and Retail Manager.

She is the vital first point of contact with the Museum for many of our guests, converting enquiries from schools, community groups and corporates into bookings for tour, venue hire and cultural awareness training.

Wafa has been volunteering in the community since 2011, starting as a Volunteer Hospital Chaplain with the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) which she continued to do for eight years. Her work with the ICV led her to build an initiative benefiting the youth of The Gambia, Africa. With the contributing efforts of family, friends and her community, Wafa led the ‘Majid Orphanage Program’ which saw the opening of a boy’s mosque/orphanage in 2012. Her continued efforts with this initiative also culminated in the building of over 20 wells and many more mosques and orphanages, enabling better opportunities and living conditions for the youth of this community.

Dr Mahmoud Mohammed

Collections and Conservation Manager

Mahmoud is responsible for the art department and research activities at the Museum. His role includes curatorial work, exhibition management and collections care and conservation.

Mahmoud has a PhD in Cultural Materials Conservation from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor in Conservation from Cairo University- Fayoum Branch. He is a casual lecturer at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. Mahmoud has a long experience in collections care and conservations science both professionally and academically. Throughout his learning journey he has collaborated with and trained in international institutions around the world including the USA, Italy and Egypt.

Mei Nee Cheong

Media and Marketing Manager

Mei Nee is the Media and Marketing Manager at the Islamic Museum of Australia. She also oversees the IMA’s Public Programming and coordinates the relationship between the Museum and its partners.

A marketing generalist, she has worked across tourism, travel, the arts and arts education in marketing roles in South Australia, Queensland and Victoria, including eight years with the South Australian Tourism Commission, four years with the Queensland Museum, three years with the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, two years with Helloworld/Qantas Holidays and two years with the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Mei Nee holds a BA (Hons), with a major in International Relations from the University of South Australia. She has volunteered for organisations including Amnesty International and the United Nations Association of Australia.

Merve Onder

Marketing and Public Programs Coordinator

Merve graduated in 2017 from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Arts, majors in Anthropology and History.

She started at the Museum as a volunteer in 2016, then employed as Marketing and Public Programs Coordinator in 2018, working on cross-cultural and education programs in partnership with local organisations and educational institutions including the Jewish Museum of Australia, Korin Gamadji Institute and La Trobe University.

Merve volunteers at Scienceworks and has been involved with other organisations including ICMG Australia and Digital Women’s Network. 

Rukaya Taleb

Public Programs Coordinator

Rukaya coordinates the Public Programming for the Islamic Museum of Australia. She has been in the role on a part-time (two days per week) basis since July 2018 and prior to this, has volunteered with the Museum since 2016.  She is responsible for coordinating monthly events at the Museum including school holiday programs, Community Week.

Rukaya holds a Bachelor of Science through the University of Melbourne and is currently undertaking a Masters (Speech Pathology). She is also undertaking a Masters in Islamic Studies through Charles Sturt University.

She is a respected member of the Preston Mosque community, where she has been actively volunteering since she was a child. She has also volunteered for other organisations including Islamic Relief and the National Zakat Foundation.

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