The National Centre of Excellence aims to advance the knowledge and understanding of the rich traditions and modern complexities of Islam, and to profile Australia's strengths in the field of Islamic studies. The Centre will also assist in developing a national and regional response to needs in research, teaching and community engagement.
The National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies has provided access to academic expertise at the University of Melbourne, Griffith University and the University of Western Sydney since it’s initiation in 2007.
The University of Melbourne has taught Arabic and Islamic studies for more than four decades. Research is conducted through the Asia Institute and the Centre for Islamic Law and Society in areas such as modern Islamic thought, philosophy, literature, gender and law.
The Griffith University Islamic Research Unit, established with substantial funding from the Queensland Muslim community, has developed a strong relationship and reputation with Australian government agencies and the Muslim community.
The University of Western Sydney also has a substantial program of studies in Arabic at undergraduate and postgraduate level and research expertise in Arabic language, interpreting and translation, sociological and cultural studies.
All three universities have been managing their own Centre independently since 2012.
- The Centre aims to be a world-class centre of research educational excellence in Islamic studies
- The Centre's activities will focus on issues of significance and relevance to Islam and Muslims in the contemporary period with a special focus on Australia
- The Centre will function as a source of expert advice for government, national and international organisations on matters related to contemporary Islam
- The Centre's courses aim to provide a knowledge and skill foundation for students aspiring to religious and community leadership roles in Australia and will provide opportunities for professional development in relevant areas
- The Centre's courses will help prepare people for work with and in Australian Muslim communities, for instance schoolteachers, social workers, health professionals, business managers, community leaders and other professionals
- The Centre will establish international connections and develop research programs that will advance Australian and international understanding of Islam
- The Centre will have an ongoing engagement with the Australian community, which will inform its programs and activities
- The Centre's teaching and research activities will promote harmony and cultural inclusiveness