Tasneem Chopra is a cross-cultural consultant who speaks across the private and public sector to issues of cultural competence, gender, leadership and intersectional discrimination.
Tasneem completed a Masters of International Development at La Trobe before she was appointed the Board Director for Ambulance Victoria, The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), NOW Australia, the Luke Batty Foundation and Chair of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights. Tasneem is also a TEDxMelbourne presenter and a media commentator.
Growing up in regional Victoria, Tasneem notes that the perception of her ethnicity has changed over time.
“I grew up in Bendigo, when diversity was just being slightly off colour with your skin," Tasneem said.
"It was never political. It was certainly not based on any religious bigotry. I’ve gone from being something exotic and different, to being something that people should be scared of."
Realising the narrative had changed surrounding her ethnicity, Tasneem set about making a difference.
“If I then have the ability to address [the issue] through conversations or public speaking or workshops or working in schools - which I love to do - then I think it’s incumbent on me to do it," she said.
Tasneem says that she decided on La Trobe to help take her skills to another level.
"I want to take it to the next level. For me that was to take the skills and the learning that I had, and elevate myself to an international practise so I could use them in another setting," she said.
“One of the reasons I chose my Masters in International Development was specifically because of the reputation that I believe La Trobe had in assisting me get the skills I needed to engage that level."
After completing her Masters at La Trobe, Tasneem witnessed the University's diversity first-hand. She believes that reputation will carry on for generations to come.
"La Trobe is a microcosm of diversity. When young people from diverse communities go to La Trobe and have a positive experience, they feed that back, and it creates a domino effect," she said.
“I think diversity has to be something that we embrace – not to be tokenistic and to tick a box – but because it’s the decent thing to do."
Tasneem was awarded a La Trobe University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018.
Last updated: 14th May 2019