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Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-Australian writer, broadcaster and award-winning social advocate.
Abdel-Magied trained as a mechanical engineer and worked on oil and gas rigs around Australia for almost half a decade before becoming a full-time writer and broadcaster in 2016. She published her debut memoir, Abdel-Magied’s Story, with Penguin Random House at age 24, and followed up with her first fiction book for younger readers, You Must Be Layla, in 2019. Abdel-Magied’s critically acclaimed essays have been published in numerous anthologies, including the Griffith Review, the best-selling It’s Not About The Burqa and The New Daughters of Africa. Abdel-Magied has also appeared at literary festivals around the world, including the Jaipur Literary Festival in India and Colorado, Hay Festival in the UK and the Dalkey Book Festival in Ireland. Her commentary can be found in publications like The Guardian, Teen Vogue and The New York Times.
Abdel-Magied’s broadcasting portfolio is diverse: she presented the national TV show Australia Wide, a podcast on becoming an F1 driver, and a series on Breaking Barriers for Virgin. After hosting the internationally released documentary, The Truth About Racism, she created Hijabistas, a series looking at the modest fashion scene in Australia. Abdel-Magied is also a regular contributor to the BBC, the hugely popular Guilty Feminist podcast and various media outlets around the world.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied has delivered keynotes and workshops in over 20 countries on unconscious bias and inclusive leadership, working with the likes of IBM, Chevron and Visa. Her TED talk, What does my headscarf mean to you, has been viewed over two million times and was chosen as one of TED’s top ten ideas of 2015. A regular viral sensation, Abdel-Magied’s appearance on Q&A with former Senator Jacqui Lambie was viewed over 12 million times in less than a week, spurring a global conversation about being a young Muslim woman of colour in the West today.
With over a decade’s experience in non-profit governance, Yassmin Abdel-Magied founded her first organisation, Youth Without Borders, at the age of 16. She has since served on numerous board and councils, including the Council of Australian-Arab Relations, ChildFund and Electronic Frontiers Australia. She also served as the Gender Ambassador for the Inter-American Development bank. Abdel-Magied has been awarded numerous awards nationally and internationally for her advocacy, including the 2018 Young Voltaire Award for Free Speech and Queensland Young Australian of the Year in 2015.