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South Asian Heritage Month: Heritage and Belonging

Date: Wednesday 21st July 2021

Time: 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Venue: Online via Zoom

To mark South Asian Heritage Month, St Mary’s University is hosting a panel event where staff will meet to discuss what South Asian Heritage means to them, and to explore the diverse histories that help shape our identities today.

The panel will include:

  • Obi Oputa
  • Yasmina Mallam-Hassam
  • Melina Healy
  • Tally Kandola
  • Mandhir Gill
  • Shabana Marshall

Join us to learn and celebrate the many ways in which South Asian heritage has helped to enrich modern day Britain.


Obi has been a Careers Consultant for nearly four years, having worked at the University of Arts London before settling at St Mary's. Previous experience includes recruitment and account management.

Obi holds an undergraduate degree in Law (LLB) and is currently studying towards a postgraduate degree in Careers Guidance in Higher Education. He is also Chair of the St Mary's University staff BAME network.

About the speakers

Yasmina Mallam-Hassam

Yasmina is the Head of Employability Services and has had been a Careers Consultant, Business Consultant and Account Executive, having worked in six different universities in the UK and France as well as the telecommunications industry in the early part of her career. Her professional interests are in Career Development, Diversity and Inclusion and she has recently achieved a Level 6 Certificate in Inclusion from the CMI. In her spare time she loves dancing, reading and yoga and is a Marvel movies fan.

Melina Healy

Mel is a Learning Academic Development lecturer here at St Mary’s, having recently joined in January 2020. Her role is focused on driving student engagement and experience, and research in the area of student attainment. She has prior is an experienced Sports Therapist and a published author.

Tally Kandola

Tally is Head of Organisational Development and a Co-chair for the Race Equality Charter. She has over 15 years of experience within learning and organisational development, which she started in the NHS and now higher education since joining St Mary’s in January 2019. She is passionate about organisational culture and creating environments that enable people to be at their best. Outside of work she is loves to find out about different cultures, read, hike and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Mandhir Gill

Mandhir is the Quality and Standards Manager within Centre for Teaching Excellence and Student Success and supports the Faculty of Sport, Allied Health and Performance Science. He has over 12 years of experience working in various roles within the Higher Education sector. His professional interests include academic quality, operational effectiveness and optimisation of regulatory practices. Mandhir is proactively involved in BAME, Interfaith and Mental Health networks. He loves nature, photography and cricket.

Shabana Marshall

Shabana is a senior lecturer on the MA Education and PGCE programmes at St Mary's Institute of Education. She is responsible for introducing the MA module on Race, Equality and Education and is also a member of the Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team and the University's BAME network. A former secondary school history teacher, she has 17 years' experience working in anti-racist and Holocaust education. She is the convenor of St Mary's South Asian Heritage Month.

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