I am pleased to announce the appointment of three eminent Australians to the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) - Sue Ismiel, Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Houssam Abiad.

Established by the Australian Government in 2003, the Council has built professional, community and institutional linkages between Australia and the Arab world.

The Council’s flagship programs focus on supporting international speakers, visiting fellows and media students and on the promotion of women.

The new members will bring a wealth of experience in a range of fields and greatly assist the council’s mission to strengthen our economic, political and cultural ties.

Ms Ismiel, a Syrian-born mother of three, is an active philanthropist, the CEO of Nads, an international cosmetics company and an Ambassador for ChildFund Australia.

The 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year, Ms Abdel-Magied, is a Sudanese-born engineering specialist and an advocate for empowering youth and women, and promoting cultural diversity in Australia. 

Mr Abiad is the Deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide. Born in South Australia, Mr Abiad grew up in Lebanon and returned to Adelaide at 19 to build a successful career as an entrepreneur and community leader.

I also pay tribute to current members Anne Aly and Roland Jabbour who conclude their terms having made a significant contribution to the Council’s work.

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