About

I do various things. I currently lead Welcoming Australia.

I write about my journey, experiences, and observations at the intersection of belonging, creativity, enterprise, faith, justice, leadership, and parenthood.

A journalist once described me as a genuine contradiction, however, I prefer a work in progress.

I love working with passionate, principled and purposeful people.

I apply ten key principles in my work.

I am passionate about living and sharing a story that is bigger than myself, and helping others to do the same.

Connect

Email me at hello@aleemshaun.com.

Find me on:


Bio (formal)

Aleem has spent more than 20 years seeding and mentoring the development of leading initiatives and social enterprises that advance inclusion, belonging and justice for diverse communities.

He is the Deputy Chair of Oxfam Australia and a mentor and advisor to various startups, community enterprises and government agencies.

As the CEO of Welcoming Australia, Aleem is working with leaders and organisations in Australia and across the globe to advance communities where people of all backgrounds can belong, contribute and thrive.


Bio (creative)

Aleem was raised in a multi-faith and multicultural household that gardened sustainably, practised consumer activism, owned a personal computer, and embraced ‘diversity and inclusion’ – long before any of those things were fashionable. He often went to the Mosque on Friday (with his Dad) and to Church on Sunday (with his Mum).

As a child, Aleem refused to wear shoes anywhere, ever. He dreamed of being a writer, teacher, designer, humanitarian, football (soccer) player and professional Lego constructor.

Now a bit older and wearing shoes, Aleem does all those things — except he doesn’t get paid to construct Lego.

Currently, Aleem is the CEO of Welcoming Australia and Deputy-Chair of Oxfam Australia.


Origin Story

I was born in 1974 after the Maiwar (Brisbane River) broke its banks and was raised in a multi-faith and multicultural household.

I am a first-generation Australian on my Dad’s side. His great-grandparents, from Northern India and indentured labourers under the British Empire, eventually found themselves in Fiji.

My Dad, a Muslim and the son of an Imam (Islamic equivalent of a Catholic or Anglican priest), migrated from Fiji to Australia in the 1960s. He met my Mum, who was Anglo-Irish, a nurse and youth leader at the local Methodist Church. To cut a long story short, the rest (as they say) is history.

I often attended the Mosque on Friday with my Dad and Sunday School with my Mum. My first and last names are Arabic, but my middle name is Shaun (like the sheep).

My Dad was a telecommunications and computer engineer and teacher, and we were the first family in our suburb to own a personal computer.

Our neighbour was a Canadian national and the Manager of the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre, and we would attend theatre, art exhibitions, and cinema.

We attempted to garden sustainably on a suburban block.
We juiced anything green before Boost Juice commoditised it.
We boycotted the local supermarket because it was owned by a South African multinational during the apartheid regime.
We participated in land rights marches.

We were a very welcoming and community-minded household.

To say that my childhood was formative is a gross understatement. My life and vocation have continued to operate at the intersection of belonging, creativity, enterprise, faith, justice, sustainability and technology.