CAIRO – An Australian Muslim of Kashmiri origin has been named as Australia’s ‘Top Emerging Leader’, gaining MBA Scholarship at the University of Sydney Business School MBA program in 2014.
“It is, of course, a proud moment for me. I dedicate this award to my homeland Kashmir which lives in my heart and soul,” Omar Khan, 34, told Kashmir Reader on Tuesday, November 19.
“Though I have been living in Australia for more than two decades, I haven’t forgotten Kashmir even for a moment.”
The $60,000 worth award was sponsored by Australian Financial Review’s BOSS and University of Sydney Business School.
The award includes Membership to the BOSS Emerging Leaders Program, a Master class with some of Australia's foremost leadership educators, Media training by the Australian Financial Review.
Khan will also be granted a seat at a Leadership Lunch with some of Australia's most high profile professionals.
Khan has been the director of strategy and development at Crescent Wealth, an Islamic investment firm, who has also taken the role of executive director at YoYo Button, a mobile technology start-up.
Coming to Australian at a young 12-year-old boy, he has been in Australia for more than two decades.
“From the age of 12, I did not really see my father until I finished high school,” Khan was quoted by The Australian Financial Review.
“At the time it was difficult, but looking back it was an amazing opportunity to come to Australia and study.”
In Australia, Khan has studied commerce and law at Deakin University and the University of Melbourne respectively.
Khan has also served at Australia's finance and investment sector.
By 2011, the business entrepreneur has joined Australia’s first investment firm that follows Islamic business principles, Crescent Wealth, after grading in a handful of managerial posts.
Following rigid rules in the selection process, the judging panel of the award has picked Khan from eleven finalists for his outstanding leadership skills.
"This search isn't about finding a candidate with above average academic ability," Professor Richard Hall, Associate Dean Management Education at the Business School, said.
"What we're looking for is someone who represents the very ideal of leadership; someone who we believe is destined for greatness in industry, and who can show us a true passion for development that they can use to become a great leader.”
The Judging panel comprised financial experts, directors and professors from University of Sydney Business and the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS who expected a promising career for the young Muslim leader.
“Mr Khan now has a life-changing opportunity to share his journey with other emerging leaders from a diverse range of backgrounds,” said the Business School’s co-dean Professor Tyrone Carlin.
The Emerging Leaders Scholarship “provides the next generation of leaders with a unique opportunity to develop their leadership practice,” said Professor David Grant, business school co-dean.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
Islam is the country's second largest religion after Christianity.
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