ABDULLAHI Alim wants to unlock the potential of disadvantaged people.
The Manning resident, who has born in Somalia, has been named as a finalist in the 2017 WA Australian of the Year Awards in the young person category alongside Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, singer Troye Sivan and wheelchair basketballer Ryan Morich.
“We moved to poor area of the Nairobi in Kenya because of civil unrest and then we moved to Australia when I was five years old,” he said.
“As a refugee, you don’t pick where you get to live but in Australia we have safety and security and my family has a most fortunate life.”
Mr Alim is currently completing a graduate certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship online at Stanford University.
“The word innovation is meaningless most of the time.It’s something that sounds hip and cool but I want to work in the social impact space,” he said.
“I truly believe that talent is universal but opportunity is not.
“I want the work that I do to help disadvantaged people so they achieve whatever they set their minds to.”
Mr Alim said he felt like a winner just by being named as a finalist in the awards.
“I’ve already seen changes in the migrant community just from me being named as a finalist,” he said.
“I don’t consider that I’m against the other young people, I’ve already won regardless of what happens.”
Mr Alim has been involved in hackathons, which are fast-paced events held over a two or three-day period during which the participants develop a prototype product, service or strategy.
“I got involved through The Lighthouse Strategy and the idea behind the events was to solve issues you would see on the 6pm news bulletin,” he said.
“One of the ideas was an anti-extremism hackathon, which involved diverse talent working on peer-to-peer solutions.
“There were five hackathons held around the country and the impact was powerful because it brought people together and gave them a platform to get rid of the issues.”
Mr Alim said more hackathons were planned for the future, including one about indigenous entrepreneurship.
“We want to mobilise indigenous people and provide them with solutions,” he said.