Waleed Aly is a broadcaster, author, academic, rock musician and former AFL mascot. His social and political commentary has produced an award-winning book and multiple literary short-listings, and appears in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Australian, The Sunday Times of India, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He is the author, most recently, of What’s Right? The Future of Conservatism in Australia (Quarterly Essay 37). His debut book, People Like Us: How arrogance is dividing Islam and the West (Picador, 2007), was shortlisted for several awards including the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and for Best Newcomer at the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards.
Waleed Aly is the host of Big Ideas on ABC1 and News 24, and has frequently hosted ABC News Breakfast and 774 ABC Melbourne Mornings. Waleed is currently a lecturer in politics at Monash University, working in their Global Terrorism Research Centre.
In 2005, Waleed was made a White Ribbon Day Ambassador for the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and was named one of The Bulletin magazine’s ‘Smart 100’ in 2007. He was also an invited participant to the Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit in 2008 and in 2011 he was named Victoria’s Local Hero in the Australian of the Year Awards.
When he’s not broadcasting or writing Waleed is probably doing something musical. He is the guitarist and main songwriter for Melbourne originals band Robot Child, and co-wrote the theme music for Salam Cafe. In 2009, he played the lead guitar part in the world’s first ever theatrical production of Pink Floyd’s classic album, The Wall with Nuworks Theatre in Melbourne, in the process helping to raise $60,000 to rebuild a girls’ school in Afghanistan that the Taliban had previously destroyed. He is almost certainly the only Australian terrorism expert to have written a formal harmonic and structural analysis of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Waleed Aly hosts Drive on ABC Radio National and writes fortnightly for The Age.