Hena Kalam is ExxonMobil’s Pipeline Risk Coordinator and a professional engineer. Alongside her professional work, Hena is passionate about giving back to the community by actively volunteering for causes she believes in. She is a teacher and Deputy Principal at BeneKids, and also serves on the board for the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights (AMWCHR). Hena's volunteering work is part of her commitment to contribute to society by strengthening communities through mutual respect, love and harmony.
Rita Narangala has been an active supporter of Benevolence since 2011, and is also a playgroup teacher at BeneKids. Rita brings her skills learnt as an engineering manager to steer Benevolence's strategic direction in the areas of risk, ethics and governance. Rita’s personal passions are her children, environmental sustainability, and furthering WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) in developing countries. As a convert, Rita deeply appreciates the importance of Benevolence as a community and family for those without ancestral roots in Islam.
Maryam Badvi has been enthusiastically involved in Benevolence Australia since 2008. She has developed strong relationships through Benevolence, and is keen to propogate the connectivity and Islamic knowledge to equally benefit the community. Maryam's background is in legal and scientific studies, and she is motivated to provide her skills and knowledge as a lawyer to the Benevolence Board and broader community to support Benevolence’s vision, strategies, governance, and community work.
Meriem E. Abida is skilled in intervention and change management, holding a Masters of Science in Business Studies from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. She is passionate about bringing people together in the Muslim and wider community to foster social cohesion, harmony, and connectedness. Meriem believes Benevolence has an authentic and vital role within the Australian Muslim community and the outreach sphere on a national and international level.
Being the CEO, Meriem is steering Benevolence through its new phase of growth as it transitions from a grassroots organisation providing a safe space for Muslims, to a leading voice in shaping the Australian Muslim narrative. Working closely with the Board of Directors, Meriem oversees the management team and provides strong and clear leadership as Benevolence expands through collaboration, bringing the vision of Benevolence to a broader audience.
BeneKids and BeneYouth
Azi Mustapa earned her Commerce and International Business degree in the US, and began her career with American Express as a Financial Advisor and then found her passion in Human Resources and Operations. With an international background spanning Malaysia, Laos, Egypt, Indonesia, the United States and now Australia, she has now made Melbourne her home. Her drive and achievements are born from a genuine desire to help others realise their goals and reach their potential. Azi has a passion for working as part of a community to earnestly make a contribution to others and make a real difference and add value to those around her.
Media and Public Affairs
Jessica Swann has a background in international journalism in the Middle East, USA and Australia with ABC. She holds a Masters in Islam in The Modern World from the Australian National University and Food Security, Food Wars and Agricultural Policy from the Crawford School of Public Policy. As Media and Strategic Public Affairs Manager, Jessica oversees the direction of Benevolence Australia’s reputation and positioning as a primary resource in public affairs and contributor in the media on issues relating to Islam-West relations and understanding Islam and Muslims in Australia. Further to her role with Benevolence, Jessica is consultant National Secretariat at the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and a teacher in Media at Swinburne University of Technology.
Dee Darwiche is a post corporate young woman, who spent many years in the technology, digital and marketing space, where she represented some of Australia and the world's leading business, financial and telecommunications organisations. She holds a Bachelor of Information Systems with a Major in Business, and is passionate about creating educational programs that promote harmony. Dee manages the end-to-end delivery of Benevolence's Outreach programs which includes school programs that complement the Victorian and Australian Curriculum. As Outreach Program Manager Dee's role is aimed at exploring common misconceptions and challenging stereotypes about Muslims through educational programs.