- Local Champion
Sherene is the Education Director at the Islamic Museum of Australia (IMA), which promoters and cross-cultural understanding. Through her museum tours, Sherene seeks to transform visitors’ perceptions about the Muslim community and promote respectful interfaith dialogue.
In 2016, in response to comments in the media advocating a ban on Muslim migration to Australia, Sherene wrote a letter to The Age reaching out to those who had shown support to the Muslim community by inviting them for coffee at the museum – “her shout.” This began the incredibly successful “Coffee with Sherene” - the first of which was attended by actress and comedian, Magda Szubanski, who spoke fondly of her experience on the ABC’s Q&A.
For eight years, Sherene served as Vice President, member of the executive committee and as media spokesperson of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Victoria’s peak body for the Muslim community.
A trailblazer for women in the Muslim community, she has mentored many young Muslim women, encouraging them to take up leadership roles.
Sherene is committed to challenging the divisive rhetoric surrounding Islam in Australia and promoting cross-cultural understanding. She has been involved in interfaith dialogue since 2001 and is passionate about building bridges with the wider community. To date she has conducted over 1000 information sessions on Islam to diverse audiences ranging from the Flying Fruit Fly Circus School to the Australian Federal Police.
In December 2007, Sherene was selected by The Age newspaper as one of Melbourne’s 100 Most Influential people and, in 2016, was awarded 'Muslim Woman of the Year' at the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards (AMAA).
Sherene was awarded an Order of Australia medal (OAM) on 26 January 2018.