Shabnam is a project officer at the Centre for Multicultural Youth working to eliminate barriers faced by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and helping them become influential agents of change.
Shabnam was fifteen when her family arrived in Australia as Afghan refugees. Since then Shabnam has eagerly worked towards shifting the refugee narrative by highlighting, and drawing from, community strengths and expertise in creating solutions for the complex challenges rising from forced migration and settlement. She co-founded Noor Foundation, a youth-led organisation to support newly arrived individuals and families in Australia and Project ReConnect, a global initiative connecting refugees in transition with locals from their host communities to promote empathy and social cohesion. With experience across Australia, India and Europe, Shabnam is passionate about leadership and capacity building frameworks, with a focus on culture and diversity, within the not-for-profit, public service and education sectors.
Shabnam has previously represented Australia at the UN and several other international summits presenting key social policy issues and currently serves on multiple government and community advisory boards.
In her spare time, Shabnam enjoys breaking a sweat at the dojo – she is a national and international champion with a black belt in Karate.
Shabam will be joining the closing plenary on Friday 14 February