Diversity and Engagement Advisor, Office of Ethnic Communities, Department of Internal Affairs
Master of Arts with Second Class, First Division Honours
Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and Conflict Resolution
He enjoys enabling New Zealand’s diverse ethnic communities to prosper and thrive, says AUT social sciences alumnus Mohamud Mohamed who now works in the Office of Ethnic Communities at the Department of Internal Affairs.
“I have an interest in issues of social justice, human rights, gender equality, youth development, and supporting former refugee and migrant communities. I think work that fosters better relations between people and communities is even more important now as we come to terms with the Christchurch attacks of March 2019.
“I’m proud of my work in the public service and being able to work on projects that enhance civic participation and social cohesion, especially for our diverse ethnic communities. I’m also proud to have worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to find durable solutions for refugees who are some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
Mohamud’s hard work for New Zealand’s ethnic communities has certainly been recognised and in 2018 he was awarded a local hero medal and was a finalist in the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards: Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero Award category.
“I was honoured by these awards and nominations because they’re a recognition of hard work and dedication. It was an honour to be among local heroes who do incredible work in our communities.”
Building an understanding of society
He has always been fascinated by how society operates, says Mohamud who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and Conflict Resolution, followed by a Master of Arts in Policy Studies.
“I chose to study social sciences because I wanted to build my understanding of society at its many levels – from individuals, families and communities, governments and cultures through to our global system.
“I also realised that conflicts are inevitable in life, and decided to study conflict resolution to explore ways to peacefully resolve conflicts, whether they’re at an interpersonal, community, organisational or international level.”
After completing his bachelor’s degree Mohamud was encouraged to come back to AUT when he received an AUT Faculty of Culture and Society Masterate Fee Scholarship for 2017.
“I chose to complete a Master of Arts in Policy Studies because I have an appreciation for how public policy shapes society and how it impacts New Zealand’s diverse demographic populations. I understand the impact good and bad policies can have on people's lives.”
Advice for other students
There were many highlights throughout his time at AUT, says Mohamud who completed his master’s degree in 2018.
“The main highlights for me were meeting and making lifelong friends, and discovering and learning more about myself during the journey. I also enjoyed experiencing triumphs on sometimes turbulent times.”
His advice for other students is simple – follow your passion and never give up.
“I know that many people reading this will be going through their own personal difficulties. My advice to you is to keep going, keep hoping and keep believing because success will be coming your way.”