The National Muslim Youth Summit held in Canberra on Saturday saw 145 delegates from across the country engage in constructive and robust discussion about the challenges they face.
The summit, jointly organised by the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy (ISRA) and the Canberra Islamic Centre (CIC), had a full agenda ranging from extremism and Islamophobia to unemployment, social exclusion and mental health.
Prominent speakers from the Muslim community kicked off the day including youth worker Shaykh Wesam Charkawi, Muslim youth activist, author and engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied, community leader Dr Mehmet Ozalp, and author, activist and academic Mehal Krayem.
ISRA president Dr Mehmet Ozalp urged everyone in the room at the National Portrait Gallery to work towards building an Australian Muslim identity their grandchildren could embrace and perpetuate.
"It is not about casting anything aside but looking for ways of being Muslim and Australian at the same time," he said.
"If you look across the world practising Islam each area has a unique character. Islam is adaptable and fluid in a sense outside of its core principles, and it can adapt to local settings. We have done it in Africa, Central Asia and India, why can't we do it in Australia?"
Hafsah Farouk, 23, of Jerrabomberra said being surrounded by diverse Muslims from every state and territory except Tasmania was powerful.
"One major problem is that we don't see ourselves as fitting into Australian life or culture and may not feel accepted for who we are," she said.
"It is a great atmosphere. With everyone here it gives us a sense we aren't alone in what we are feeling. We have all come to be the change and see what they can do to resolve some of the challenges Muslim youth face."
She said radicalisation and extremism were difficult but important topics to address.
"We need to interpret and discuss our religion, our rules and obligations and their natural meaning and form so there is no room for misinterpretation," she said.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied's casual and lively storytelling had the room captivated, and at times in stitches.
The charismatic drilling engineer, author and founder of Youth Without Borders rounded out her series of funny anecdotes with two take-away messages.
"Never let anyone's expectations of you limit what you do," she said.
"And never underestimate your capacity to change the world around you. You don't have to change the world, but don't forget by doing simple things like changing someone's mind, you create change."