Power of pos­i­tiv­ity on show

A WIN­NING FEEL­ING

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

ABDULLAHI Alim wants to un­lock the po­ten­tial of dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple. The Man­ning res­i­dent, who was born in So­ma­lia, has been named as a fi­nal­ist in the 2017 WA Aus­tralian of the Year Awards in the young per­son cat­e­gory along­side Formula One driver Daniel Ric­cia­rdo, singer Troye Si­van and wheelchair bas­ket­baller Ryan Morich. “We moved to a poor area of Nairobi in Kenya be­cause of civil un­rest and then we moved to Aus­tralia when I was five,” he said. “As a refugee, you don't pick where you get to live but in Aus­tralia we have safety and se­cu­rity and my family has a most for­tu­nate life.” Mr Alim is com­plet­ing a grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate in in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship on­line at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity. “The word in­no­va­tion is mean­ing­less most of the time; it's some­thing that sounds hip and cool but I want to work in the so­cial im­pact space. I truly be­lieve that tal­ent is univer­sal but op­por­tu­nity is not,” he said.

“I want the work I do to help dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple so they achieve what­ever they set their minds to.”

Mr Alim said he felt like a win­ner just by be­ing named as a fi­nal­ist in the awards.

“I've al­ready seen changes in the mi­grant com­mu­nity just from me be­ing named as a fi­nal­ist,” he said.

“I don't con­sider that I'm against the other young peo­ple; I've al­ready won re­gard­less of what hap­pens.”

Mr Alim has been in­volved in hackathons, which are fast-paced events held over a two or three-day pe­riod dur­ing which the par­tic­i­pants de­velop a pro­to­type prod­uct, ser­vice or strat­egy.

“I got in­volved through The Light­house Strat­egy and the idea be­hind the events was to solve is­sues you would see on the 6pm news bul­letin,” he said.

“One of the ideas was an antiex­trem­ism hackathon, which in­volved di­verse tal­ent work­ing on peer to peer so­lu­tions.

“There were five hackathons held around the coun­try and the im­pact was pow­er­ful be­cause it brought peo­ple to­gether and gave them a plat­form to get rid of the is­sues.”

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d461231

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