Speaker Profiles

Dr Suleyman Sertkaya

Dr Suleyman graduated with MA in the Tafsir (exegesis) discipline of Islamic sciences and with a focus on Qur’anic Exegesis. He  completed his PhD thesis on Sīrah genre at ACU.

Currently, he is a lecturer at CISAC. Dr 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 CISAC, CSU. Her research interests include the history of Islamic thought, spirituality and culture. Mahsheed is a historian currently 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 and currently Principal of boutique legal practice “Hikma Legal”.. 

She has a double degree in Law and Psychology from Macquarie University and Masters degree in Islamic Studies from Charles Sturt University. Tamana is an Adjunct Researcher at CISAC, Charles Sturt University. She is currently undertaking a part-time research position at the Faculty of Law.

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 been learning and teaching Islam for over 30 years.  Currently undertaking PhD research at Charles Sturt University to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of online Islamic Special Religious Education for Muslim youth in Sydney public high schools. Leila is passionate about using her knowledge, experience, and research to positively impact human practices and well being through improving educational practices.


Heather Fagan 

Heather has been Muslim since 2009, during which time she has completed a Masters of Islamic Studies with Charles Sturt University where she is currently enrolled in the Masters of Classical Arabic.

Heather has been volunteering and working with ISRA since 2009, where she has undertaken many roles, including Principal of Youth College, Studies of Religion Coordinator, First Year Academic Mentor and New Muslim Coordinator. Heather has taught numerous community courses on Islam and is a guest speaker on Islam in schools and community organisations across the state.


Naseema Haffejee

Naseema is a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Acupuncturist, Hijama therapist, herbalist and Mizan fertility massage therapist. She has a Bachelors degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Western Sydney University with certification in further Traditional Chinese Medicine studies from the University of TCM (Nanjing, China). Naseema divides her time between three Sydney based clinics in Birchgrove, Westmead and Strathfield. Naseema’s passion lies in facilitating women through their individual health journeys across a wide spectrum including general pain management, stress and anxiety, female reproductive health from menarche, through to menopause.


Naimah Abdat

Naimah is a naturopathic doctor with experience of almost 10years. She is a wellness educator and a skin diagnostician. She specialises in natural fertility, skin diagnosis and Unani-Tibb medicine (Prophetic Medicine) which she studied under Hakim Salim Khan. She is currently also a Masters student in Medical Science- Infection and Immune. Naimah believes in continuously striving for a balance in all aspects of life, and continually holds workshops to educate others on forming a healthy foundation to build the balance on.


Menna Kamal

Menna is a student currently undertaking studies at the University of Sydney. She has an Ijazah in Quran recitation (Hafs) and other texts. More importantly, she has a passion for teaching Quran to children through to adults. She is now managing, training and teaching students and teachers according to the Madinah Series of Cirriculums and is a Quran teacher at multiple centres including ISRA Youth College and ISRA Quran Academy.