As the AAIMS Second Conference on the Study of Islam and Muslim Societies concludes, AAIMS has also undergone a transition of our Executive Committee. After three years of outstanding work, AAIMS President Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh has stepped aside and Associate Professor Halim Rane is taking over as AAIMS’ new President.

We would like to thank the Executive Committee of the past three years: Vice President Professor Lily Rahim, Secretary Dr Joshua Roose, Treasurer Dr Leticia Anderson, Dr Susie Latham as well as Associate Professor Halim Rane for their work. The new committee will consist of Dr Zuleyha Keskin as Vice President, Dr Raihan Ismail as Secretary, Dr Leticia Anderson continuing as Treasurer, and Dr Jan Ail and Dr Joshua Roose.

Shahram Akbarzadeh is a Research Professor of Middle East and Central Asia Politics at Deakin University. In addition to his work as a professor, he is the International Deputy Director of Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation and the Convenor of the Middle East Studies Forum. Recently named Australia’s top researcher in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies by The Australian’s Research magazine, Shahram is an academic who has truly led the charge in this area of research. His passionate leadership has had a ripple effect in this field which has enriched existing research and emboldened new and diverse research to come. His legacies include being a co-founder of and nurturing the growth of AAIMS as well as being the founding editor of the Islamic Studies Series with Melbourne University Publishing. His tireless efforts to raise awareness in Australia on Iran and its role in international relations have also been commendable. Thank you, Shahram, for the inclusive, open culture you have helped to foster at AAIMS.

The new AAIMS President, Halim Rane, is an Associate Professor at Griffith University, co-founder of AAIMS and existing member of the AAIMS executive committee. His research focuses on the Islamic faith and political Islam, narratives and counter-narratives of Islamist extremism, maqasid and contextualisation in Islamic hermeneutics, media reporting on Islam and Muslim communities in the West. In 2015 he was named “Australian University Teacher of the Year” by the Australian Department of Education and Training. Halim has co-authored several books including Islam and the Australian News Media and Reconstructing Jihad Amid Competing International Norms. We are excited to see the new contributions he will bring to the table as President.

AAIMS is continuing to grow as a result of the hard work of all its members. With the integrity and commitment of our researchers; we will continue to make strides in this field.


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