First Islamic School in Australia’s Northern Territory Open to Students of All Faiths

13:30 - March 16, 2022
News ID: 3478202
TEHRAN (IQNA) – For 25 years, Shaikh Abdul Quddoos Azhari has been dreaming about opening an Islamic school in Australia’s Northern Territory.


This year, his dream has become a reality.

"We needed enough students to sustain the school, the right block of land and all necessary approvals," he said.

Although the school is named the Australian International Islamic College, there are no restrictions on who can attend.

Mr Abdul Quddoos said the school would be open to students of all faiths, not just Muslims.

Already, his dream project is attracting positive reviews.

Year 6 student Aariq Rahman said he enjoyed his new school much more than others he had attended.

"It may not be as big or have as much things as my old school, but it has that feeling, that Islamic feeling," he said.

Aariq said the school gave him a sense of belonging.

"You know you're around people like you," he said.

Primary school teacher Vinsky Rzepka said she was so pleased an Islamic school was opening its doors in Darwin that she moved back to the Top End to teach year 1.

"I actually started working for … the Gold Coast campus three years ago and this job here gave me an opportunity to move back home to Darwin," she said.

The campus sits on a 50-acre block at Berrimah, an industrial suburb in Darwin's east, with several semi-permanent structures acting as classrooms.

The school only offers primary education for now, but there are plans to expand and support students through to year 12 with exchange opportunities for foreign students.

Australia is home to more than 600,000 Muslims, accounting for about 2.6 per cent of the population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That figure is 1 per cent in the Northern Territory.

School leaders said they wanted to provide an education that consisted of traditional Islamic and family values, while sticking with the Australian curriculum.

Teacher Muhammad Shukron Muttaqin Nadjamuddin said instilling those values was vital.

"We also teach the Islamic values to build them 'Islamically', as well to become the very best Muslim role models for the future," he said.


First Islamic School in Australia’s Northern Territory Open to Students of All Faiths


Leaders at the school hope it will encourage more Muslims to live in the NT.

"[The] Islamic school will help the Muslims to stay in Northern Territory, stay in Darwin … they used to run away from Darwin to down south," Mr Abdul Quddoos said.

Aariq said his parents "sprang at the opportunity" to send him to the school after moving to Darwin.

"There was really no Islamic schools where I lived back in Melbourne," he said.

Ms Rzepka said she hoped the school would create opportunities for Muslim families to flourish in the NT.

"I just think it means that not only families, but their kids have somewhere to go," she said.

"Our numbers are going to grow over time …  everything's getting done."

For the students, the school is already a haven.

"I already made lots of friends and I really couldn't wish for a better school," Aariq said.