Brothers in Need is a not-for-profit organisation which was established to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged people within our community. The charity is an important part of daily life for families doing it tough, the poor and needy, the sick and elderly.
This year, Crescent Foundation partnered with Brothers in Need to help reach as many people as possible, providing them with many of the basics that we often take for granted.
We caught up with Dean Mousad, the organisation’s Director to learn more about why he founded Brothers in Need and his vision for a kinder and more inclusive world.
Crescent Wealth: What led you to create Brothers in Need?
2014 was a major turning point in my life – I completed Hajj and shortly after my grandmother passed away. I realised how sacred life really is. Prior to this, I wasn’t treating my life as valuable. My Egyptian parents migrated to Australia when they were teenagers for a better life and at the same age, I was throwing mine away.
I spent my late teens & early twenties working in events & promotions and had got caught up in a life that involved drugs, alcohol and gambling. As a young adult, I remember knowing I was discarding the principles my parents had instilled in me growing up, but at the time, partying seemed more fulfilling. My whole perspective on life changed after Hajj and when I had to bury my grandmother. I truly understood that material possessions mean nothing – that the impact we have on each others lives are the things that truly remain.
I set up Brothers in Need as a way to do more valuable work. Having known what it’s like to struggle, I wanted to support those who were in that stage of life too. I run BIN with fellow directors Masoud Orami and Baris Idik and most people assume that we named the organisation for the people we wanted to help – in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s actually us who are in need of forgiveness and redemption. We are the Brothers in Need.
Crescent Wealth: Tell us about how you got started and how you’re serving the community now.
I was working in Martin Place, Sydney at the Reserve Bank of Australia. I was becoming more and more aware of the gap between the high-flyers entering buildings through the rotating doors and the homeless trying to stay warm just next to the rotating doors. It was around this time that the Lindt Siege happened and just as I had been guilty of treating all homeless people as a homogenised group – all the same and inflicted by substance abuse, I was experiencing the same type of stereotyping – being treated as a terrorist simply because I am a Muslim.
I wanted to serve the homeless and I wanted to demonstrate that stereotypes are wrong. Brothers in Need began providing free meals to the homeless in Martin Place once a fortnight which quickly changed to once a week. Shortly after we added Monday night dinners in Parramatta, expanded into Brisbane and now we are out on the streets providing meals to those in need 6 days a week across NSW and QLD. Our fresh meals are restaurant-grade and we also provide non perishable items, hygiene items, socks and beanies. We’ve even incorporated barber services which have been really appreciated.
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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.