• Guest speaker Moustafa Fahour OAM inspires Alumni from La Trobe University
  • Preparations underway for 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017

over-60-alumni-from-la-trobe-universityDubai, UAE: La Trobe University, an Australian multi-campus public research university based in Melbourne, has held its annual Alumni event in Dubai.

The networking lunch was hosted by Mr Kelly Smith, Pro Vice Chancellor International at La Trobe University.  The Alumni and other guests were welcomed by Mr Smith, as well as the Australian Ambassador to the UAE, Mr Arthur Spyrou, and Mr John Butler, Victorian Commissioner – Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

The guest speaker was a La Trobe alumnus Mr Moustafa Fahour. Mr Fahour shared his career journey from Founder and Director of the Islamic Museum of Australia, a not-for-profit foundation and Australia’s first Islamic museum, to Group Chief Financial Officer for Habtoor Leighton Group, based in Dubai.

“The multicultural and community environment around La Trobe University really helped solidify to me that if we work together, we can enhance social cohesion in the countries we live in. Just look at Australia and the UAE, the community harmony was by no accident. It’s in our hands to do something if we really believe in it, and give back to our society,” said MrFahour.

The event, held for the third time as part of an annual celebration in the Middle East, was staged ahead of La Trobe University’s 50th anniversary next year. Former La Trobe University students from across the Middle East attended the event.

La Trobe University has strong links with government ministries in the Middle East and it attracts many sponsored students from the region, as well as private students, to its undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

“This was an opportunity to reconnect with fellow alumni based in Dubai and to hear about the exciting program of events La Trobe has planned to celebrate its 50th anniversary,” said Mr. Smith.

“It is always a wonderful experience to be able to connect with Alumni again. We are very proud that our Alumni are following successful careers and are important members of the La Trobe University community based here in the Middle East. We are keen to develop our network of Alumni in the region, and we are encouraging all La Trobe friends and colleagues to get involved.”

Over 60 Alumni from La Trobe University and other guests heard Mr Fahour’s inspirational speech about his life and career, which includes over 15 years of experience in the banking industry and management.

He is an alumnus of La Trobe University, having graduated with a Bachelor of Business in 2001. In 2015, Mr Fahour was honoured with a Distinguished Alumni Award from La Trobe University for outstanding contribution to his field. He was also recognised with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2015 for his service to the visual arts and cross-cultural relations by the Governor-General of Australia. In the same year, he was selected in The World’s Most Influential Young Arabs under the age of 40 by the Arabian Business magazine.

La Trobe University’s 50th anniversary will offer an impressive program of events, which is currently being developed to recognise the milestone. Alumni can find out all about what is happening by visiting the website https://50years.latrobe.

One particularly exciting event for alumni will be ‘World La Trobe Day’.

World La Trobe Day will be an opportunity for Alumni, no matter where they are based around the world, to come together and celebrate their connection to La Trobe both in their communities and on social media.

About La Trobe University:

La Trobe University opened its doors in 1967 with 552 enrolled students. Shaped by the era of our birth, La Trobe developed a distinctive ethos that blends social engagement with the pursuit of academic excellence. Today, with over 36,000 students, including more than 8,000 international students from over 90 countries, the university has eight campuses in Victoria and New South Wales and are the largest provider of university education in regional Victoria.

The organization believes that education should be globally relevant, and encourage students to participate in overseas study programs – including studying law in China, nanotechnology in Japan, archaeology in Mexico and urban planning in Sri Lanka. La Trobe aims to empower their students to “be the difference”.

La Trobe is ranked in the top 400 universities in the world by the Academic Rankings of World Universities, Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings**

**Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016; Times Higher Education Rankings 2015-16, QS World University Rankings 2016