Portrait of Berhan Ahmed

Berhan Ahmed

Dr Ahmed is a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne and chief editor of focus e-magazine. He is a board member of the international research group on wood protection, and AMES, and chairperson of the African Think Tank. He is well known in Melbourne through his commitment to numerous community and business issues and was the Victorian Australian of the Year 2009.

As the founder of the African Think Tank, he advises businesses, foreign governments, and all levels of Australian government on community issues.

Dr Ahmed is motivated by five core principles: social justice, sustainable development, Aboriginal reconciliation, building stronger and dynamic communities, and applying democracy in action. His current leadership role will explore new ways of engaging Melbourne residents and businesses in decision-making.

Dr Ahmed’s leadership priority is to make Melbourne’s diverse community a strong, dynamic showcase of multiculturalism in Australia and around the world, and a society that values its heritage while embracing multiculturalism, tolerance, respect and care for each other. The challenges will be faced with happiness, resident’s consultation, and team work.

His values come from his own life experience, including his memories of being a refugee as a teenager: discriminated against, entrenched in poverty and treated as enemy (before he knew what an enemy meant). This stands in sharp contrast to the dignity and love that he received from his family and from his adopted country, Australia.