For Jazeer Nijamudeen leadership has always been a journey rather than a destination, so even after relentlessly serving his community for more than 15 years he still feels there’s so much more to do.
The 27-year-old lawyer took on his first leadership role after being nominated for student representative council in year 7 during his secondary studies, and he hasn’t had a breather since.
“I wanted to help improve the class and school environment for students. This idea carried through to my university life and my career,” he said.
Volunteering for the Western Young People’s Independent Network, Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, Deakin University Faculty Academic Board, Deakin Sri Lankan & Indian Club (which Jazeer founded) Islamic Society of Deakin University, Muslim Legal Network (MLN) United Sri Lankan Muslim Association of Australia (USMAA) Youthlaw and Islamic Council of Victoria’s Youth Committee – to name a few.
“Leadership for me has always been a tool to help achieve positive outcomes rather than a destination. Leadership opportunities allowed me to strive harder, with less roadblocks, to achieve specific positive outcomes,” he said.
Amid advocating against racism, assisting recently arrived migrant youths to settle in Victoria, driving purpose-built prayer spaces at Deakin University, setting up networking opportunities for young lawyers and improving access to justice for youths, Jazeer managed to complete a Bachelor of Law, Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. He hopes to use these credentials in better serving his community.
“I see myself in a senior legal role where I can lead a team of committed, passionate individuals to achieve positive outcomes for the Australian community,” he said.
Listing identity, generational divide and access to opportunities as the major challenges facing Muslim youths today, Jazeer is calling on the Muslim community to be more inclusive, unite via positive platforms and network.
Inspired by leaders from all walks of life including Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali, Jazeer believes true leadership is about self-sacrificing for the greater good.
“They motivate me to push ahead when I feel I lack the personal resources for community pursuits,” he said.