Azza Mahmoud, aka Anne Aly, becomes Australia’s first Muslim woman sworn in as the Minister of Youth. Dr. Aly was also the first Muslim woman to be a member of Australia’s parliament in 2016. The Australian Government elected Dr. Aly for her experience fighting extremism and terrorism. Dr. Aly was born in Egypt in 1967 and moved to Australia at the age of two. She renounced her Egyptian citizenship in May 2016 to run for parliament in Australia.
Aly received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990 from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She also has a Master of Education degree and Ph.D. from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. Dr. Aly worked in education and multicultural affairs policy for the Western Australian government. She was also a Lecturer at Edith Cowan University and Curtin University, lecturing in counter-terrorism and security.
Aly has advocated for greater diversity and equality in Australian society throughout her political career. Australia has over 620,000 Muslims, including immigrants and descendants, and over 500 million Arabs, primarily Lebanese. Dr. Aly has been outspoken about domestic violence, calling for national action to address the fact that a woman is killed in Australia every week because of domestic violence.