Talal Yassine, Managing Director, Crescent Wealth
I was recently invited to give an important keynote address at La Trobe University’s Iftar function on the 14th of April, during which I addressed several pertinent topics surrounding the contemporary Muslim identity in Australia.
Ten years of Crescent Wealth engaging with and supporting the Muslim community has provided me with the opportunity to reflect on a decade of challenges faced by Muslims as a minority group, as well as a marked shift in confidence and the prospect of a thriving generation who are increasingly integrated.
I am proud of the role Crescent Wealth has played in the journey towards envisioning and building a better future for Australian Muslims.
Encapsulating the mood on the night, I felt that ten years into the Crescent Wealth journey, our community is increasingly displaying the wonderful mix of Australian humour, love for life and sticking up for what’s right. This has been brought about by a united mindset and, more notably, through our ability to combine it with our Islamic values of fairness, justice and caring for the weak and underprivileged.
It’s especially important to acknowledge the leap Muslims have made when it comes to education. Not only are Australian Muslims better educated, but they are also generally younger than average Australians and focused in urban centres where there are more employment opportunities. Some 78% of Australian Muslims possess a graduate-level university degree, relative to 30% of the broader Australian population.
However, the Australian Muslim community continues to face challenges, with a long history of discrimination and societal disillusionment at the forefront of my concerns for the future of Islam in Australia.
If organisations talk about diversity, they also need to walk the talk. It’s not necessarily a lack of diversity measures but rather a lack of implementation of diversity and inclusion practices across businesses and organisations.
49% of respondents to Scanlon Foundation’s 2020 Mapping Social Cohesion Survey had more negative feelings about Muslims than they did about people of other faiths. 6% of Muslim respondents said they did not feel welcomed or part of Australian society and did not feel Australian, with an unsurprising 80% of Australian Muslims surveyed said they had experienced prejudice or discrimination.
On the night, I called upon the next federal government to fully embrace the integration of Muslims into Australian society, to build a future for Australia that lives up to its reputation as “a lucky country where people can have a fair go”.
Yet, compared to 10 years ago, we are harnessing the collective energy and wealth of expertise that our community has, and cultivating, elevating and facilitating the success of our Australian Muslim community as we move into the next decade.
For its part, Crescent Wealth is dedicated to achieving this purpose, through our community-oriented programs. I explained how we are actively working to ensure we have a community of financially empowered, confident Australian Muslims that are positive contributors to their communities and the fabric of wider Australian society.
Our role at Crescent Wealth is not just about being a provider of financial services for the Muslim community – it is to be an organisation that speaks authentically to Australian Muslim professionals throughout Australia as an institution that represents them and their values.
For instance, this Ramadan, we made it our mission to accomplish this through four different programs designed to measurably enhance the quality of our leadership and transform the Australian Muslim identity to one driven by strength in unity. Our Community Champions Ramadan campaign, for instance, achieved its goal of raising over $500,000 dollars for several of our very own Australian Muslim charities and home-grown initiatives.
Our Half a Million Blessings. Crescent Awards and Muslims at Work initiatives are just a few of our many different grassroots initiatives designed to measurably enhance the quality of our leadership and transform the Australian Muslim identity to one driven by strength in unity – and the results speak for themselves.
It is now time to collectively harness those capabilities to power a truly thriving community.
Check out the recording of my keynote address here:
To find out more about how we support the community through our work, visit: https://crescentwealth.com.au/islamic-super/supporting-our-community/
Our Crescent Awards campaign is YOUR opportunity to help celebrate the outstanding achievements of our leaders, educators, and students of our much underappreciated education sector of the community. Find out more today: https://crescentawards.com.au/
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.