Kazi Ali has been recognised for his remarkable community service that spans four decades. The veteran volunteer and President of the Muslim Cemeteries Board has worked extensively with Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria to facilitate the provision of burial space for the Muslim community in accordance with Islamic traditions.
In this spirit of inter-faith collaboration, Kazi Ali and Peter O’Meara, CEO of Catholic Cemeteries pioneered a deal to provide 4500 much-needed burial plots for Muslims at Kemps Creek Memorial Park in Sydney’s western suburbs.
Ali also worked co-operatively with Catholic Cemeteries on a new multi-faith cemetery in Macarthur that will provide future burial space for the next 100 years.
With Rookwood Cemetery almost at capacity, these additional sites are a significant result for Sydney’s Muslim community, which like others is struggling to find burial space to bury its dead.
Mr Ali explained to the Sydney Morning Herald that “This is the bondage that we have with the Catholics, we are blessed to have people like Peter who can work as a team rather than fighting.”
Raised in Bangladesh, Mr Ali studied and worked in the UK prior to emigrating to Australia in 1981. He was president of the Surry Hills Mosque and a founding member of mosques in Parramatta, Rooty Hill, Sefton and Quakers Hill.
Mr Ali has been tireless in assisting the Muslim community, not just in finding burial space but comforting families experiencing grief and learning to wash and prepare bodies in line with Muslim guidelines, ensuring everyone has a dignified farewell.
This exceptional and long-standing community service led to Mr Ali being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the Islamic community in January 2022.