speaker biography


Mariam Ardati
Mariam Ardati is  a Funeral Director, Consultant and Educator based in Sydney. Following an information management pathway and many years working in health-related industries, over the past 14 years, Mariam has been dedicating her time as both a volunteer and care consultant for a number of funeral services.

 As a death-literacy advocate, she also runs Death Cafes and workshops on death and dying from an Islamic perspective to health professionals in government and non-government organisations and community groups. Since  2019, she is an advisor to the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) on Funerals and Burials. She is now a sitting member of the Consumer Consultative Group for NSW Cemeteries and Crematoria.

Her qualifications include a Health Sciences degree (Health Information Management) from the University of Sydney, Accredited Mental Health Chaplain, and Certificate IV in Funeral Services Management. She is the only Muslim funeral director in NSW that holds recognised qualifications in funeral services management.

Ramia Sultan

Ramia Abdo Sultan is a lawyer, wife, and mother of 3 girls. 

She runs her own legal practice Lawbridge Lawyers & Consultants with 3 other partners.

Ramia has a Master of Islamic Studies from Charles Sturt University and is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Gaza Children’s Fund Inc.

Ramia has also been recently appointed as Community Relations Advisor for the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and currently sits on various committees to impart positive social change including an advisory committee with the Australian Human Rights Commission.  

Ramia also runs study circles (halaqat) throughout the week for young women aimed at empowering women with both spiritual and social awareness.

Zuleyha Keskin 

Doctor Zuleyha is co-founder of Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia (ISRA), and Course Director and Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University.

She facilitated the development of Bachelor of Islamic Studies, Bachelor of Islamic Studies (Honours), Master of Islamic Studies, Master of Classical Arabic and Master of Contemporary Islamic Studies. Zuleyha has been the Course Director at CSU for these courses since their inception in 2010. She also lectures in Islamic Spirituality (Ihsan Essentials), Morality and Etiquette in Islam and Islam in the Modern World.

Zuleyha is also the Managing Editor of the Australian Journal of Islamic Studies (AJIS) and the Vice President of the Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS).

Omer Atilla Ergi

Doctor Omer A. Ergi is an Islamic theologian and an author of six books.

Omer has been involved with Islamic sciences since 1990. He has been involved on the editorial board of various Islamic magazine publications. He has taught Islam in various study circles since 1995. Omer has delivered speeches at a number of conferences and panels at La Trobe University, Monash University, Victoria University and Melbourne University.

Omer also contributed to the activities of the Australian Intercultural Society as a board member and Executive Advisor from the 2002 to 2010 during which he also published a magazine titled Dialogue Asia-Pacific. In 2013 he completed his Masters in Islamic Studies at CSU and currently completing his PhD in Islamic Studies

Omer is a recipient of a number of awards for his contributions to dialogue and social harmony. Omer has published six books and edited sixteen. Currently he is the general manager of ISRA Melbourne and an Lecturer at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation.

Makiz Ansari

Since 2012 Makiz has been teaching Religion & Values and Studies of Religion in Amity College and has been actively involved in the educational and well being of youth . 

 She also runs courses in Islam for diverse audiences, the community and ISRA, teaching Theology of Quran courses since 2014. She is in process of completing her Masters of Islamic Studies Degree with CSU.

Makiz graduated with Political Economy and Government & International Studies from University of Sydney and had initially been a Research Assistant in Political Economy at Sydney University. She then went on to complete her teaching degree and has taught economics and social sciences in high schools but her further studies and social activism took her passion towards religion and theology. Makiz has been active in inter-faith and intercultural dialogue activities since 2003.

Mehmet Ozalp 

Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp is a theologian, author and academic and the founding director of the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC) at CSU. He is an executive member of Public and Contextual Theology (PaCT), a research centre at CSU.

Mehmet studied Islamic theology and religious disciplines and various professional courses in management and leadership.

Mehmet has pioneered designing and conducting Islamic courses in English within the Muslim Community from 2000. He has developed and written material for numerous courses on Islamic theology, history and contemporary issues around Islam, including a four-year advanced course titled Theology of Qur'an. Mehmet has lectured in Islamic courses as part of Sydney University's Continuing Education Program from 2003 to 2008. He has also lectured on Islamic theology, culture and history at the University of Newcastle from 2007 to 2010.

Mehmet is the author of several books including 101 Questions You Asked About Islam and Islam in the Modern World and Islam between Tradition and Modernity: An Australian Perspective. He has also co-authored Sustained Dialogue: Close Encounters of the Muslim-Christian Kind Mehmet also published book chapters and journal articles.

Mouna Elmir

Mouna Elmir is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Arabic Languages and Cultures at The University of Sydney researching the English Translation of the verses of women from a feminist perspective. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) from Western Sydney University and in 2012 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Languages and Linguistics from the same university. She was awarded the Master of Philosophy with Distinction from the university of Sydney, her thesis focused on the English translation of the verses of war by Mohammed Abdel Haleem. 
She is an Adjunct Lecturer in Arabic Language at Centre for Islamic studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University. Her research interest covers the fields of Qur’anic Studies, Translation, Arabic teaching, Sociolinguistics and gender studies. Mouna was qualified for a Professional Award, The Golden Key International Honour Society Award for outstanding academic achievement at Western Sydney University.
Mouna is a volunteer at ISRA and has a passion in community service. She was amongst the organising panel of the Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University Islamic Studies Conference. She has participates in school talks and in spiritual talks.

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