Speaker Profiles

Sheikh Suleyman Sertkaya

Sheikh Suleyman graduated from the School of Divinity at University of Marmara with MA in the Tafsir (exegesis) discipline of Islamic sciences, with focus Qur’anin Exegesis. He then completed his PhD thesis on Sīrah genre at ACU.

Currently, he is a lecturer at CISAC. Sheikh Suleyman’s major interests are: Sīrah of the Prophetﷺ (Biography of Prophet Muhammad) and Sīrah Philosophy, Interpretation of Islamic Sacred Texts, Tafsir (Exegesis of the Qur’an) and Hadīth (Prophetic Tradition) Disciplines, Islamic Theology, Comparative Theology, Radicalisation and Islam, Islam and Morality, Oral History, History of Islam and Muslims in Australia.


Dr Mahsheed Ansari

Dr Mahsheed  is a lecturer in Islam and Contemporary Islamic Studies and the Higher Degrees Research Coordinator at the Centre for Islamic Studies & Civilisation , CSU. Her research interests include the history of Islamic thought, spirituality and culture. Mahsheed is also a historian interested in the formation and development of minority communities in Australia. She is also working on the Muslim heritage research project at the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at CSU.

Currently Dr Mahsheed lecturers and coordinate's subjects; Muslims in Australia, Muslims in the West, Islamic Worldview, Essentials of Islamic Spirituality, Islamic Morality & Ethics and Purification of the Heart.


Tamana Daqiq

Tamana  is a solicitor working predominantly in the area of family law since 2009. 

Shas a double degree in Law and Psychology from Macquarie University. She is currently the Principal of a boutique legal practice “Hikma Legal”.

Graduating with 1st degree honours, Tamana has a Master's degree in Islamic Studies from Charles Sturt University. She is an Adjunct Researcher at the Centre of Islamic Sciences and Civilisation (CISAC), Charles Sturt University.

She is currently undertaking a part-time research position at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney.

She is a regular panellist on ABC RN’s God Forbid program discussing diverse subjects. 

Tamana is a mother and has a passion for community work  protecting human rights and serving and supporting those in need during difficult times.


Fathima Essop 

Fathima is a Risk Management Professional with experience in the corporate sector as well as teaching at various institutions. She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics & Psychology, a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, and has been trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). 

Fathima is a mother of 2 young children and she is passionate about raising our next generation of Muslim leaders.

While being a dedicated parent, Fathima is a founding member of the ISRA Islamic Children's Library that is being set up for Muslim children to explore, learn about and be inspired by Islam in a fun and engaging way.


Leila Khaled 

Leila has completed her PhD candidate at Charles Sturt University's Centre of Islamic Sciences and Civilisation. She was awarded a commonwealth RTP scholarship to research the effects of Islamic education on Muslim students in public high schools. Leila graduated with distinction in the Master of Islamic Studies. Her dissertation  was on religious freedom for Muslim minorities in Australia.She also successfully completed the Daar Aisha Sharia; as well as degrees in both Commerce (Management), and Teaching (Secondary). Leila has been learning and teaching Islam in various settings for over 25 years. She aspires to use her knowledge and experience for community service lecturing and teaching in Qur'an, tafsir and various Islamic disciplines at ISRA Australia.