We were honoured and delighted to host Sami Yalavac, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Bupa Australia and New Zealand, and Hebba Elmasri, Assistant Manager at Bupa Optical, as guest speakers to our sold out event ‘From Migration to Innovation’ on 19 April 2018. As the CIO, Sami is responsible for information services and technology, business roadmap planning and delivery across all businesses in the Australia & New Zealand region within a team of more than 500 people in a business which turns over more than $8 billion annually and has over 20,000 employees.
Hebba Elmasri is a qualified optical mechanic, with over 15 years of experience in varied roles including account management, event management, project management and working as a treasurer of a non-profit organisation, just to name a few.
Sami and Hebba were able to engage the audience through their respective personal and professional journey, and provided practical tips for ways to maintain your identity as both a Muslim and professional in the workplace. Hebba reflected on her challenging yet ultimately successful journey and how she overcame each obstacle. Sami touched on how his measure of success has nothing to do with status or position, but rather as a result of how he spends his time, maintains his values and does work that ultimately provides meaning and the capability of supporting communities. He inspired the audience to take action to grow their career, such that no two work days should be the same.
Sami inspired the audience with numerous other leadership lessons drawing on lessons from his own experience and religious teachings, including:
– Network: ask for support and help to achieve your career goals
– Communication and People Skills: successful people require strong soft skills. Technical skills are not enough
– Courage and Action: do not wait for directions, initiate action. Promote yourself, before you expect others to
– Persistence: do not let failures and obstacles to stop you
– Continuos Improvement: seek knowledge and aim for the best in everything you do
Guests also began the night by dividing up into allocated groups and answering questions regarding their personal views on issues such as superpower preferences and the characteristics of a good boss. These ‘ice-breakers’ are a key feature of our events and allows guests to meet a wide range of people and feel comfortable in new surroundings.
Since its establishment in July 2017, the Muslim Professionals Association has strived to create a central organisation of diverse Muslim professionals with opportunities to network amongst one another, allow for the creation of a central database for Muslim professionals, and to create avenues for emerging young professionals to gain mentorship. We are proud to showcase Muslim contributions to the broader community and our aim is to develop a network which displays a vibrant Muslim community with depth and breadth of experiences.
We would like to thank everyone who was able to secure tickets to this event, and look forward to working with the community for upcoming events and initiatives. We would also like to thank the team at BUPA for supporting this event.