|Name Houssam Abiad|
Houssam abiad on the challenge of change
Houssam Abiad (born 17 September 1976 in Adelaide) is a South Australian serial entrepreneur and the Former Deputy Lord Mayor for the City of Adelaide. Abiad, was elected onto the City of Adelaide in 2010 as Central Ward Councillor.
- Houssam abiad on the challenge of change
- Professional Career in Australia
- Political career
- Islamic State
- Integration of Muslims
- Better Adelaide
- Personal life
Abiad was born in Adelaide, South Australia at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and his parents decided to migrate back to Lebanon with the family at the end of 1979, he was only three years old. His arrival in Lebanon in 1979 saw him and his family endure over 15 years of Lebanese Civil War where Abiad attended Tripoli Evangelical School in Tripoli, Lebanon. He completed his schooling in Lebanon, and after his family lost everything in the Lebanese Civil War they decided to come back to Adelaide, South Australia in search of a better life. Abiad arrived back in Adelaide in 1995 at the age of 19.
Abiad attended Norwood Morialta High School for his year 12 and graduated in 1996. He was accepted at Flinders University to study a double degree in Health Sciences and Biomedical Engineering. He graduated in 2007 with a Double Degree with Honours. While at university in 1999, Abiad, with a partner, established his first business Digimob Australia, which grew from a humble retail store on Pulteney Street in Adelaide's CBD to one of Australia’s largest mobile phone service centres, acquiring its competitor Alltech Phone Repairs in 2011. But this was not enough to satiate his appetite for start-ups. He then launched Felici Espresso Bar on Rundle Street and Muscle Online soon followed, providing e-commerce platforms and online solutions for small business.
Professional Career in Australia
Abiad attended Norwood Morialta High School for his year 12 and graduated in 1996. He was accepted at Flinders University to study a double degree in Health Sciences and Biomedical Engineering. He graduated in 2007 with a Double Degree with Honours. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, completed the course in 2012. Abiad is also a fellow of the Governor's Leadership Foundation.
in 2007, Abiad was awarded the First Prize for Best Engineering Honours Project by the Australasian College of Physical Sciences and Engineering in Medicine, the First Prize for Best Engineering Honours Project by the Society of Medical and Biological Engineering and First Prize for Best Engineering Honours Project by the Engineers Australia's College of Biomedical Engineers.
At the age of 20 Houssam's interest in business started to grow, and with partners over the years he has established companies and businesses in the telecommunication, hospitality, digital marketing and real estate property development.
In 2010, Abiad was awarded the Australian Leadership Award at the Future Summit in Melbourne at the Grand Hyatt for his contribution to entrepreneurship and the community. And nn 2011, he was the finalist of three for South Australia in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Abiad was appointed as a director on the Rundle Mall Management Authority in 2010 and played an integral role in delivering the Rundle Mall redevelopment in 2011 by securing $30 million of funding via the Adelaide City Council. He specifically focused on digitising and future proofing the Rundle Mall with smart technology that will underwrite the future success of the precinct.
Abiad, is also a member on the Development Assessment Panel for the City of Adelaide that overseas development approvals for the City. He also Chaired the Finance and Business Services committee at the City of Adelaide delivering, with Council, four consecutive budgets with a frozen rate in the dollar for constituents in the City of Adelaide.
He also served on the South Australian Motorsports Board that delivers the Clipsal 500 V8 Car Race in Adelaide every year.
In 2015, Minister for Foreign Affairs (Australia) the Hon Julie Bishop, appointed Abiad to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia),Council for Australia-Arab Relations commenced his new role in January 2016. In 2017, Houssam was appointed as the acting Chairperson for the council.
Abiad represented the City of Adelaide on many International Delegation, including to a Business & Education Delegation to Chengdu, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Also represented Adelaide at the Future Governments Summit in Phuket (city) where Adelaide was awarded Future City of the Year Award for 2013.
In 2015, Abiad was invited as a Keynote Speaker to address the Smart Cities Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2017, he was also invited to present on Smart Cities in Melbourne, Victoria.
Abiad was elected to the Adelaide City Council in 2010 as Central Ward Councillor. He was elected as Deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide City Council in 2014.
He also serves on the Capital City Committee for the City of Adelaide, the peak political body where the City Council and State Government meets periodically to discuss the strategic agenda for the City of Adelaide.
Abiad is also a member of the Liberal Party of Australia and has served as the Vice President of the Adelaide SEC from 2011-2012.
In 2013, The Advertiser (Adelaide) recognised Abiad as one of the Top 50 Rising Power Brokers in South Australia.
Abiad has been actively involved in the South Australian Community since his arrival back in Adelaide in 1995.
He has served on the board of Engineers Without Borders South Australia, and on the board of the Australian Refugee Association.
He is currently the Chairperson for the Australia Day Council in South Australia and is a board member on the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia.
Abiad is also a mentor in support of entrepreneurialism in South Australia for Innovyz. and have spoken at many events in support of innovation such as Startup Weekend, inBusiness, Property Council of South Australia, Australian Institute of Business, New Venture Institute, and much more.
Houssam was apportionment in 2016 as the Chairperson of Future SA.
Abiad completed his secondary schooling at Norwood Morialta High School and earned double degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences with Honours at Flinders University.
He has also completed an extensive year of leadership skill building at the Leadership Institute of South Australia, graduated as a fellow for the Governor's Leadership Foundation. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, completed the course in 2012.
Abiad has expressed his disapproval of young Muslims who support Islamic State. He has stated "It is not Islam, it is not a state, it is not something that is supported within Muslims, let alone anyone in the Middle East for that matter." "They are barbaric. They are not human and they are a bunch of people no-one should ever support."
Integration of Muslims
Abiad has commented on the challenge Muslims face at integrating and finding acceptance in Australia, stating that areas like Adelaide are quite different to Sydney. "The first [Australian] mosque was built in Adelaide and I think there's a level of acceptance and tolerance in the community." "In Sydney [there are] specific areas like Bankstown and Lakemba. This is a problem for me. You need to integrate and be involved in your community. Integration doesn't mean you assimilate. It doesn't mean you forget your identity. It doesn't mean you forget your culture. It just means you are able to communicate your culture with people and put that in the melting pot."
Abiad's political and community positions are based on better activation, spaces, technology and accessibility.
Abiad has earned awards for his academic achievements, community involvement and extra curricular activities including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2011, Australian Leadership Award, Future Summit 2010 & 2009, Winner of ADC Australian Leadership Award 2010, Governor of South Australia’s Multicultural Award 2008, Pride of Australia Medal 2008 and The Australasian College of Physical Sciences and Engineering in Medicine's First Prize, National Best Engineering Honours Project 2007.
Houssam Abiad was born in Adelaide but moved to Lebanon with his family as a young child. Abiad spent his entire childhood in Lebanon and has described his experiences of the area as being plagued by war and conflict. Abiad moved back to Australia at the age of 19. Abiad married Ava Abiad in 2015.