Our Executive Team

Walid Ali  

Chief Executive Officer

Walid Ali is an educationist who has spent more than 30 years as a teacher and educational leader, working and contributing to the education and wellbeing of generations of students from a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds in Australia.  

Walid served as school principal for almost 15 years before retiring from the sector at the end of 2017. He has extensive leadership experience in the not-for profit schooling sector in NSW, having served in roles as principal, Board Director and consultant during his long career in education.  As an organisational leader, Walid believes that leadership is something that is practiced rather than preached, and that the only way to lead is by example. Leadership through consultation and collaboration underpinned by the highest levels of ethical, moral and social justice drive his leadership approach.  

As an educational and organisational leader, my purpose and motivations are to make an enduring contribution to the welfare and wellbeing of communities through a leadership style that inspires and empowers all stakeholders to take ownership of their cause.”  

Walid holds a number of post-graduate degrees including Masters in Leadership, Human Resource Management and Research. His experience extends to Child Protection as an accredited investigator for more than a decade, leadership coaching, governance, policy writing, industrial relations and workplace management, risk and compliance, and work health and safety. Walid is also a registered Justice of Peace. 

Farzana Firoz 

Director of Corporate Services & Organisational Development 

Farzana is a Chartered Accountant with over nine years of experience in financial management, compliance and organisational development in the international development sector. Prior to joining Islamic Relief Australia in 2020, Farzana worked with leading INGOs including the World Bank, Save the Children and ActionAid Australia where she was instrumental in driving organisational success by ensuring robust financial management and accountability. Early in her career, Farzana worked with KPMG Bangladesh as an auditor. 

Farzana has a track record of transforming financial management systems, and developing and improving business processes and internal controls to boost organisational capacity and effectively deliver services. She has a keen interest in risk management and has made strong contributions to risk management and corporate governance processes. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and has completed her Chartered Accountancy from Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh. She is also an Associate member of CPA Australia. 

Asif Sana 

Director of Programs and Institutional Relations 


Asif has over a decade of experience in the humanitarian and development fields, leading programs across Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Asif joined Islamic Relief Australia in 2020 after holding senior management roles with a leading Islamic charity in the UK, where he managed large-scale emergency responses as well as long-term development projects to build local capacities and enable local decision-making.  

He takes an integrated approach to humanitarian aid and has extensive experience in planning, implementing and evaluating programs for disaster management – response, recovery and rehabilitation – and sustainable development. He has managed emergency responses to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, the 2015 Nepal Earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. He has also led development interventions across Gaza, Syria, Pakistan, Togo, Bangladesh, Somaliland and Kenya. Notably, he has helped establish a paediatric unit at Bab Al Hawa Hospital in Syria, directed the development of a hospital in Gaza and set up refugee camps in Somaliland. 

Asif has a strong track record of developing robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks to ensure program activities are delivered effectively and efficiently.  Highly skilled at relationship building, Asif has also played a huge role in establishing and strengthening strategic partnerships with international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs), government agencies, institutional donors, media and financial institutions.  

Abdulla Rahhal

Director of Fundraising & Community Relations


Abdulla Rahhal is a Marketing, Communications and Legal Professional with more than 15 years of experience in fundraising, supporter care, marketing, communications, and legal and compliance. Abdulla has been with Islamic Relief since 2015 and he is a current Professional Member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) as well as a Solicitor Member of the Law Society of NSW. 

Abdulla was promoted to his current role as the Director of Fundraising & Community Relations for Islamic Relief Australia in 2019, after holding multiple roles in the organisation including those of Marketing and Communications Manager and Office Supervisor. 

Before joining Islamic Relief Australia, Abdulla had worked at multiple law firms and community legal centres such as the Kingsford Legal Centre and the Welfare Rights Centre. He has a strong passion for humanitarian work and has volunteered his time, energy and skills to support many local community organisations over the years, including the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and the Office of the Grand Mufti of Australia. Before that, he was an Operational Manager at KFC Australia for nine years. 

Abdulla completed his Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law, Sydney.


STAY INFORMED