Monochrome digital photograph of Sheik Fehmi El-Imam as a young child with his family in a formal family portrait taken in Tripoli, Lebanon circa 1937. Fehmi's mother is on the far left and his father at the centre of the photograph.

Sheik Fehmi El-Imam migrated to Australia on the ship Hellenic Prince from Lebanon in 1951. He first worked as an electrician until he was approached to take on a role as Imam due to his Arabic language skills and knowledge of Islam. He agreed to do so on a voluntary basis at the mosque in Carlton.

In 1964, Fehmi, along with other key Muslim leaders, founded the Australian Federation of Islam in Australia. He was appointed as a full-time Imam with the Islamic Society of Victoria in the early1970s. After holding other key roles he became the Grand Mufti of Australia from 2007-2011 and was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to multiculturalism, the Muslim community and multi-faith understanding.

Description of Content

Family group portrait.

Physical Description

Monochrome digital photograph.


Statement of Historical Significance:
Muslims in Australia are an under represented cohort in both the museum's collections and Australian history more broadly. As an-ever growing faith in Australia, it is important to trace the migration and settlement of Muslim Australians across time in order to help provide a historical, social and cultural context for Muslim Australians today. This collection is the key outcome for the collaboration between the Museum and Dr Dzavid Haveric, MV research associate, who has published a seminal history of Muslims in Australia. This collection is the result of his research and community interviews.

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