Crescent Foundation distributes all monies and donations received to our partners who are Australian registered charities and hold Deductible Gift Recipient status.

Crescent Foundation Directors play an important strategic, governance and oversight role in the organisation.

Our Board


The Hon. Professor Bob Carr


Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr is also the longest continuously serving Premier
in New South Wales history.

He served as Minister for Planning and Environment 1984 to 1988 and as Leader
of the Opposition from 1988 until his election as Premier in March 1995. He was
re-elected in 1999 and 2003 securing an historic third four-year term.
He retired from state politics in 2005.

During his 10 years the State Government set new records for spending on
infrastructure, became the first government in the State’s history to retire debt,
hosted the world’s best Olympics in 2000 and achieved the nation’s best school
literacy levels. Forbes magazine called Bob Carr a “dragon slayer” for his
landmark tort law reforms.

As Premier he received the World Conservation Union International Parks Merit
Award for creating 350 new national parks. He introduced the world’s first carbon
trading scheme and curbed the clearing of native vegetation, both anti-greenhouse
measures. He was a member of the International Task Force on Climate Change
convened by Tony Blair, and was made a life member of the Wilderness Society in

Bob Carr has received the Fulbright Distinguished Fellow Award Scholarship. He
has served as Honorary Scholar of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue.
He is the author of Thoughtlines (2002), What Australia Means to Me (2003), My
Reading Life (2008) Diary of a Foreign Minister (2014) and Run for Your Life

In March 2012 he was designated by Prime Minister Julia Gillard as Australia’s
Foreign Minister, elected to the Australian Senate to fill a casual Senate vacancy
and sworn in to the Senate and Cabinet on March 13, 2012.

As Foreign Minister, Bob Carr fostered stronger relations between Australia and
Southeast Asia, lifted sanctions on Myanmar, campaigned for the passage of a
global Arms Trade Treaty and led the final stages of Australia’s successful bid for
Australia’s seat on the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member. His plan
for a Syrian medical pact was backed at the G20. He assisted Prime Minister
Gillard in achieving a strategic partnership with China.

Following his resignation from the Senate on October 24, 2013, the University of
Technology, Sydney appointed him to lead the Australia-China Relations Institute
– a think tank dedicated to Australia-China relations.

Bob Carr serves on the Board of Melbourne University Press; is a Director of The
Lysicrates Foundation and a Committee Member of the UNSW Matraville
Education Program Advisory Council.


Ms Samira Baqatada


Samira’s working experiences spans over 20 years and ranges from working overseas with NGOs and in Australia, with diplomatic missions of the Arab Gulf countries to Australia.

Samira specialises in the area of aid and development, Management, International business development, brand development, translation and media analysis.

Samira is actively involved in the local community. She has been associated with The Australian and Arab Women’s Friendship Association which promotes friendship, harmony and understanding and aims to breaking down racial and social barriers.

Samira has a Bachelor of Arts (English and Education) from the University of Aden 1993, PGC Management from the University of Canberra 2006, and Small Business Management IV, Canberra Institute of Technology, 2013.


Mr Affy Bhatti


Affy is a Management Consultant with over 16 years of experience leading projects and managing change from the UK and Australia. He leads Deloitte’s Project Risk practice in Perth which helps solve complex program and project management challenges.

Affy is also actively involved in community based work. He is a co-founder of Muslim Professional Network that connects Muslim professionals with community based, grass root projects, to enhance the standards of excellence in the WA Muslim community. He is the local chair of Crescent Institute, a not for profit organisation that provides meaningful access to Australia’s prominent business leaders through small intimate networking events.

Affy is also a current member of the WA Multicultural Advisory Committee, led by the WA Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests and was on the selection panel for the 2017 WA Australian of the Year Awards.


Penny Bingham-Hall


Penny Bingham-Hall BA (Ind.Des) FAICD, SF(Fin)

Penny Bingham-Hall is a non-executive director of BlueScope Steel, Dexus Property Group, Fortescue Metals Group, Macquarie Specialised Asset Management, Port Authority of NSW and Taronga Conservation Society.

With over 30 years’ experience in senior executive and non-executive roles in large ASX listed companies, Penny has a deep understanding of corporate governance. She currently chairs three HR & Remuneration Committees and is a member of numerous audit, risk, sustainability, safety and nominations committees.

Prior to becoming a company director, Penny was Executive General Manager, Strategy at Leighton Holdings (now CIMIC) after an extensive career in the construction, mining and property group. As part of the leadership team at Leighton she had responsibilities across the group’s Australian and Asian operations.

She has been Chairman of Advocacy Services Australia, Deputy Chairman of the Tourism and Transport Forum, and a director of Australia Post, Infrastructure. Partnerships Australia and The Global Foundation. Penny has a BA degree in Industrial Design, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and a member of Chief Executive Women and Corporate Women Directors.


Dr Sayd Farook

Executive Director

Dr. Sayd Farook is the Executive Director of Crescent Foundation. Dr. Sayd Farook is the Executive Director of Crescent Foundation and Managing Director of  Crescent Finance. He previously served as Advisor to the Executive Office of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In this capacity, he envisioned and executed strategic / transformation initiatives for Dubai and the UAE that pushed it ten to twenty years into the future, including Dubai 10X, Area 2071, UAE AI Strategy 2031, Dubai / DIFC Future of Finance Strategy, University Entrepreneurship Program and Dubai MIT REAP Team.

Prior to that, he was the Global Head Islamic Capital Markets at Thomson Reuters, where he advised and served large corporates, multilaterals and governments in the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia. During the duration of his five year leadership stint at Thomson Reuters where he oversaw the Islamic markets strategy, he conceived and led his 25 strong team to achieve a number of industry firsts besides growing and leading a profitable and highly visible business.

Prior to his role at Thomson Reuters, Dr. Sayd was a legal and structuring advisor at Dar Al Istithmar, a boutique advisory firm based in Oxford and owned by Deutsche Bank, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Saudi Bin Laden Group. Prior to this, he led the growth and innovation strategy at the Centre for Islamic Finance at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance. Sayd has advised, taught and drafted standards for regulators and universities throughout his career and sits on the editorial advisory board for two prominent blind peer reviewed academic journals.

Besides his executive roles, Sayd sits on the Board of Trustees as Vice Chair, for the Responsible Finance and Investment (RFI) Foundation. Sayd is also an early stage investor in more than a dozen mission-oriented start ups through Falcon Network, an angel investment network he co-founded.

As a personal passion, Sayd focuses on nurturing leaders who have the potential to deliver exponential impact through their influence and resources. Sayd loves to support (and is currently supporting) several education and refugee initiatives.

Sayd has a Ph.D at the intersection of Behavioural Economics / Finance and Risk Management / Islamic Banking, a first class Honours in Business and a Degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Technology Sydney.


Craig Foster


Following a celebrated football career, Craig became one of the nation’s most respected broadcasters with an 18-year, multi-Logie winning career at SBS Australia.

Craig is an Adjunct Professor of Sport and Social Responsibility at Torrens University, he sits on the Multicultural Council of Australia and works across a vast range of social programs from Indigenous rights and self-determination, homelessness and domestic violence along with refugee advocacy. He has been heavily involved in indigenous football, refugee children and refugee rights and homelessness, through sport programs.

He is a Human Rights and Refugee Ambassador for Amnesty Australia, Australia Committee member with Human Rights Watch, and Advisory Council member of the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW.  His social justice advocacy extends to several high profile, global campaigns, including leadership of the #SaveHakeem campaign to free Bahraini Muslim refugee Hakeem al-Araibi from a Thai prison, calling for the resettlement and freedom of over 400 refugees and asylum seekers indefinitely detained by Australia in PNG and Nauru for almost seven years, and the humanitarian response by global sport to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in Australia and expanded internationally.


Talal Yassine


Talal Yassine is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur and academic. In an executive capacity and for over two decades, Talal has straddled the worlds of business, finance and law.

Currently, Talal serves as Managing Director of Crescent Wealth, Non-Executive Director of Crescent Finance, Media Diversity Australia and as a Member of the Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. Talal also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of LandCorp Australia.

Previously, Talal has served on the Board of Australia Post, Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations.

Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.

Talal holds a Master of Laws, a Master of Business Administration which was focused on international business strategy. In November 2012, Talal was also appointed as a Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow within the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and in 2014 was appointed Adjunct Professor within the School of Business, Western Sydney University.

On Australia Day 2010, Talal was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business and to the community through a range of education, health and multicultural organisations.

AMEN BINAH BW Portraits0824

Amen Zoabi


Amen is a property development and construction industry entrepreneur with over 16 years of experience in delivering large scale projects and building successful businesses in Sydney. As Co-Founder of Binah, Amen leads one of Greater Sydney’s premier teams delivering world-class construction and property projects including Award Winning Western Sydney University Liverpool Campus. With a reputation built on honesty and integrity, Amen and his teams have firmly established Binah as a market leader in their sector.

With a strong commitment to community, Amen actively supports local organisations and initiatives and has resided as a Founding Member of one of Sydney’s fastest-growing Islamic Schools Unity Grammar since 2008. Utilising his private sector industry knowledge, Amen has supported the school’s growth with 950 students now enrolled and provides strategic advice on infrastructure master planning and approvals.

Amen is a strong believer in the power of contribution and supports a range of not-for-profit organisations and initiatives including RUOK, Ausrelief, Human Appeal, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and OZHarvest CEO Cookoff.

Amen holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from Western Sydney University and has completed the Mastery University Program with Robbins Research International.


Regina Abood

Company Secretary

Regina has over 20 years of experience in providing governance and company secretarial services to a range of companies and trusts. In addition to being the Company Secretary of the Crescent Wealth Group, Regina is also the company secretary of the Port Authority of NSW, Koda Capital and Aurora Education Foundation.

Prior to these roles, Regina held governance and company secretarial-related roles at AMP, Allco Finance Group, Infigen Energy and Company Matters.

Regina holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Western Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance. Regina is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Ben Wong


Ben is currently a Managing Director at MA Moelis Australia where his focus is working with technology and growth companies.  He advises the firm’s clients on strategy, capital markets and mergers & acquisitions.

Ben was part of the original team that established Moelis Australia in 2009 and has over 20 years of experience in investment banking.

Ben grew up in western Sydney as a child of first-generation immigrants.  After finishing high school, Ben was fortunate enough to land a cadetship at PwC and begin his career in financial services whilst completing university.  After graduating, Ben spent time living and working in London, before returning to Sydney starting his investment banking career at JPMorgan.

As a result of his background and experiences, Ben believes strongly about harnessing and nurturing talented, hardworking people from refugee and immigrant backgrounds.


Our Ambassadors


Raja Yassine


Raja is a passionate advocate and supporter of social inclusion and change.

Professionally Raja is a Human Society & Its Environment Teacher at Holroyd High School in NSW and also heads up the Parent Engagement Programs- Inclusion and Diversity, where there is a higher proportion of students from a refugee & migrant background.