Thank you to Yassmin Abdel-Magied, our keynote speaker and JPC Graduate of the Class of 2007.
At 16, Yassmin founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation focused on enabling young people to work for positive change in their communities.
Yassmin graduated top of her university year in 2011 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (First Class Honours), and was a recipient of the University of Queensland’s Dean’s Excellence scholarship. She currently works as an engineering specialist on oil and gas rigs.
As 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year, Yassmin has forged a formidable career as an engineer, social advocate and media commentator and she is a sought-after candidate for state and federal advisory groups.
She has sat on the Australian Multicultural Council, the Board of the Queensland Museum and the Design Council, contributed as a member of the Federal ANZAC Centenary Commemoration Youth Working Group and was on the organising committee of the 2014 Youth G20 Summit. A self-confessed petrol head with an obsession for Formula One, Yassmin is currently featuring in the latest Ford advertising campaign.
Born in Sudan and moving to Australia at the age of two, Yassmin advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She is also deeply passionate about diversifying public voices, connecting people and catalysing change. Her achievements across a number of fields provide positive proof that hard work, resilience and self-belief can reap rewards, regardless of gender, faith or cultural background. She particularly cares about making sure that young people — wherever they’re from — don’t feel like their opportunities and future are dictated by the circumstances of their birth.
In 2007, she was named Young Australian Muslim of the Year for her work in the community and in 2010, Young Queenslander of the Year. In 2012 she was named Young Leader in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards.
Thank you Yassmin for inspiring our students to realise that age is no barrier if you have the passion, the questions, the drive and the mindset to embrace your vision. You have shown them that the possibilities are endless when it comes to pursuing careers that are challenging and contribute to a better world.
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