Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Charleswood, Winnipeg, Canada, District 5550 

Host Club: Brisbane Planetarium Club, Brisbane, AUS, District 9600 

Nadia Mahmood is a first generation Canadian, raised in an interfaith and intercultural home. Nadia has travelled, volunteered and worked in more than 30 countries. During her dual Bachelors degree in International Development and Political Science, Nadia interned in Pakistan with local NGOs providing education for child labourers and advocacy for the rights of landless and stateless communities. 

After graduating in 2003, Nadia taught English in Nepal and Taiwan, and volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India. She then worked in the field of women’s rights and community development in Afghanistan with the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development. Next, she spend several years as a Program Coordinator for Medical Emergency Relief International, implementing emergency health, water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence prevention programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by coordinating flood disaster relief operations in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. Nadia then returned to Canada to work as the Manager of Diversity and Intercultural Services at Red River College in Winnipeg, designing and implementing programs to support refugee, immigrant and international students, create inclusive learning environments and facilitate diversity and intercultural training programs. She has also been an active member of grassroots organisations analysing the impact of immigration and settlement policy and advocating for the fair treatment of newcomers in Canada. She has also served as a board member for Humankind International, a group including former University of Queensland Peace Fellows, implementing a peacebuilding Early Childhood Education program in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. 

Nadia is extremely grateful to Rotary and the University of Queensland to have this opportunity to process and unpack her experiences, learn how to more effectively address causes of conflict and oppression and continue working towards navigating cultural difference to create a more just and equitable world.