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Living on the EDGE: Mohamed Imran Zaveer

Fiona Ren

Wed Feb 22 2012


WHOEVER thought a poor man’s cup of tea could change the way you think about the world? Today, we discuss leadership and inspiration with EDGE participant Mohamed Imran Zaveer.

What’s your name, and how old are you?

My name is Imran Zaveer and I’m 24 years old.

Where are you from? Where and what course or program are you doing?

I’m originally from Sri Lanka and I am currently studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and in my final year

How long have you been in Melbourne for and why did you choose to come to Melbourne?

I have been living in Melbourne for the past four years. As a kid I travelled a lot and when I came on holiday to Melbourne back when I was 14-years-old, the multicultural society and lifestyle appealed to me, and I decided that I would one day pursue my higher education here.

What got you into the EDGE program? And what are you expecting to get from the program?

I am always looking to develop my skills and explore my strengths and I realised that this program was going to be very useful in helping me in both these aspects. Having been a leader of a large student organization at Melbourne University and been in various leadership roles probably helped me get into this program.

Two weeks into the program I now have a much better idea of how every challenge given to us is increasing our knowledge on how best to deal with the outside world in order to achieve our goals. So self development in a career context is what I would like to gain from this program.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is a skill. You can either be a natural or it can be acquired through experience. Personally, I believe that a leader should always lead by example no matter what.  A leader should be privileged to be in that position and strive to be the best he or she can be and inspire followers to bring out the best in them as well.

What or who do you draw inspiration from, and why?

I draw inspiration from everyone around me.

A poor man who lives in a hut once offered me a cup of tea because my car broke down and I had to wait till help arrived. I got two teaspoons of sugar with my tea and later find out from others that the family was so poor they would normally have their tea black.

These kinds of experiences in life makes me believe in the humanity and compassion that abounds in people and that inspires me to be a better person.

If you could champion one cause for international students in Melbourne, what would it be?

I guess it would be the cost of public transport. I have had to use public transport extensively in my time living in Melbourne and I find that it is incomprehensible as to why international students have to pay full fare. Students should be treated equally and in a great city such as Melbourne I don’t understand why this is the case when usually equality is treated with such high regard!

What, in your opinion, is the most common misunderstanding/stereotype that people have of international students in Melbourne?

I think it would be that international students are unable to communicate in English.

What are your other talents/hobbies outside the classroom?

I play for a pool league in the city, I play badminton weekly, I’m involved with the dancesport club at Melbourne Uni and I do Street Latin and Argentine Tango myself. I have a scuba diving license and I used to do regular dives in Sri Lanka but after coming to Australia, I have stuck to snorkelling because the water is so cold!

I also get involved with social work whenever the opportunity presents itself and I have been involved with a student group known as Student Appeal at Melbourne University for the past three years, and we raise funds for students in need of rent assistance.

Where is your favourite spot to hang out in Melbourne?


What song gets you pumped or excited?Think Eye of the Tiger or Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” or any Bon Jovi track.

Incredible by M beat ft General Levy. Its not popular at all but for anyone who has watched Ali G would know it. When I drive listening to this song I really get pumped!

If I had a million dollars I would…. invest in Facebook shares right now!

If I only had $5 I would…. go to Coles, stare at the chocolate aisle for half an hour and then pick something I think is worth it.