Speakers & Facilitators

  • Gulnara Abbasova

    Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)

    Gulnara has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, international policy and diplomatic environment, with a particular focus on human rights and social inclusion in general, and Indigenous and migrant communities in particular. She is currently leading the development of a national migrant women’s health strategy at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), in collaboration with medical practitioners, community and Government. Previously, Gulnara was the Director of FECCA providing strategic representation for ethnic communities and their organisations across a broad range of policy and service design areas. Prior to moving to Australia, Gulnara worked at the UN where she supported multilateral negotiations to develop international legal instruments on economic, social and cultural issues affecting local communities. Gulnara also delivered global human rights capacity building programs for civil society. She earlier worked in the community sector focusing on strategic organisational development and international stakeholder engagement around human rights and development.

  • Maha Abdo

    Muslim Women Association

    Maha has spent the last 23 years working together with the Muslim Women Association to help give Muslim women safety and assurance in difficult and trying circumstances. Today she represents and gives voice to all women abroad as well as in Australia. She works at the local, national and international levels advising government on policy, services and strategies to create a harmonious community for future generations of Muslim and non-Muslim women. In 2015 Maha was a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal, and she was the 2014-15 NSW Human Rights Ambassador.

  • Qanita Ahmed

    Advance Diversity Services

    Qanita Ahmed came to Australia in 2004 as a skilled migrant from Bangladesh. As a Pharmacist in Bangladesh, she is passionate about the health sector and has worked as a part-time bilingual educator for a Bengali Antenatal Model of Care project in St George Hospital, Sydney, which is a partnership project between Advance Diversity Services (ADS) and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. With her artistic talent, she contributed towards the logo artwork of the project which is currently used by the hospital. As a current client of ADS,Qanita volunteers for her religious community and for ADS as a representative of Bangladeshi Reference Group. She is an active community member of ADS's Cultural Hub which operates as a social enterprise and offers her expertise in face painting, henna art and scale modelling. She currently owns an entertainment and event management business.

  • Dr Gávriel Ansara

    Ansara Psychotherapy

    Dr Gávriel Ansara has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Surrey in England. Dr Gávi provides culturally safe support through Ansara Psychotherapy, his polycultural, non-pathologising, and person-directed psychotherapy practice informed by social justice principles. Dr Gávi received the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Transgender Research Award for a significant, original research contribution to the field and the UK Higher Education Academy's 2011 National Psychology Postgraduate Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. He is a Board Member of the Australian LGBTIQ Multicultural Council and was a lead author of Scottish guidelines on working with LGBTQI asylum-seekers and refugees. His diverse professional background includes university lecturing, crisis intervention team supervision, group facilitation, youth and family casework, leading a health research and policy unit for a national peak body, hospital-based psychosocial support, and community-based outreach.

  • Cecilia Anthony


    Cecilia is an advocacy, policy and strategy expert with specialist experience working with and for diverse communities. With a career that has included working in government, and the corporate and community sectors, Cecilia is skilled is relationship management, as well as developing policy and campaign strategies, with clear and measurable objectives. She has a leadership and management background. With strong communication skills she is able to empower and lead teams, develop strategic aims and work with a diverse range of individuals, communities and organisations to identify and achieve shared goals. Cecilia brings her core belief that all communities have a right to self-determination and to have their voices heard by decision makers to the work she does.

  • Maya Avdibegovic

    inTouch - Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence

    Maya Avdibegovic is the CEO of InTouch, Multicultural Centre against Family Violence. InTouch is a statewide service, which provides services, programs and responses to issues of family violence in CALD communities. Maya was born in Bosnia and graduated from Sarajevo University. She fled war-torn Bosnia in 1992 and lived in Germany for three years before migrating to Australia in 1995. Maya has qualifications in education, accounting and business management. Since she joined inTouch in 2009, the agency has expanded its work across the continuum of family violence and implemented a range of innovative initiatives leading inTouch towards its long-term goal of becoming a multi-disciplinary service – ‘a one-stop-shop’ – for CALD victims of family violence. Being a refugee and a migrant herself, Maya is passionate about supporting migrant women and their families to settle in Australia and have equitable access to services.

  • Monica Barone

    City of Sydney

    Monica has been the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Sydney since 2006. In this time she has overseen the development and implementation of the City's long term vision for Central Sydney - Sustainable Sydney 2030. She manages approximately 2000 staff and contractors, an annual Capital expenditure and Operational expenditure budget of approximately $880 million (2015/16) and $11.6 billion dollars of net assets including the Council's commercial property portfolio. The City will be providing for a capital works program of $1.8 Billion over the next 10 years. Since her appointment the City has completed hundreds of infrastructure projects including active transport, community facilities and parks - winning over 90 national and international awards. Monica is on the Committee for Liverpool and Designing Western Sydney – 200,000 jobs Steering Committee and the Springboard Advisory panel. She is a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was on the board of Sydney Festival for 10 years until mid-2015.

  • The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP

    Member for Willoughby
    NSW Treasurer
    Minister for Industrial Relations

    Gladys was elected Member for Willoughby in 2003. She was appointed Minister for Transport following the election of the O’Farrell Government in March 2011 and has served as Deputy Leader of the NSW Parliamentary Liberal Party since April 2014. After the election of the Baird Government in March 2015, Gladys was appointed Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations. Gladys is a Master of Commerce graduate from UNSW and prior to entering Parliament worked as a General Manager for one of Australia’s largest financial institutions. Gladys has also completed studies in Government and Public Administration (B.A., Uni. Syd). She lives in North Willoughby and has had a life-long association with the local area.

  • Ace Boncato

    Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association (MDAA)

    Ace Boncato has worked at the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association for nine years. She has experience in policy, systemic advocacy and managing and coordinating capacity building projects; and had managed the NSW Network of Women with Disability. Prior to working at MDAA, Ace studied a Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology, Sydney, with a focus on Human Resource Management and Business Law. As an alumna of Sydney Leadership (through Social Leadership Australia) and with a passion for social justice, Ace continually works towards looking for ways to increase the equity in access and participation of people from non-English speaking / culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with disability, particularly working towards gender equity.

  • Antoinette Braybrook

    Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria (FVPLS Victoria)

    Antoinette Braybrook is the CEO of the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria (‘FVPLS Victoria’). She is also National Convenor of the National FVPLS Forum, which comprises 14 organisations delivering services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims/survivors of family violence and sexual assault around Australia. Antoinette is an Aboriginal woman born in Victoria on Wurundjeri country. Her grandfather and mother’s line is through Kuku Yalanji, Far North Queensland. Antoinette graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Laws in 2000 and was admitted to practice in 2004. This year, Antoinette was awarded the 2015 Law Institute of Victoria’s ‘Access to Justice/Pro Bono’ Award and was also awarded the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women’s 2015 ‘Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisation’s’ Award. Antoinette is a member of the Aboriginal Justice Forum, Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum and Ministerial Advisory Panel on Family Violence.

  • Jennie Brockie (Facilitator)


    Jenny Brockie is well known for hosting SBS TV’s weekly Insight, where she facilitates lively and thought provoking discussions on a wide range of topics. Jenny’s career spans television, radio and print. She has received a swag of awards for her work including the Gold Walkley, two AFI Awards, a Logie, and a Human Rights Award. Jenny has also won eight United Nations Association Media Peace Awards for her work on Insight.



  • Dr Jennifer E. Cheng

    Western Sydney University

    Jennifer E. Cheng is Career Development Fellow in the Religion and Society Research Cluster at Western Sydney University. She has published widely in areas of Islamophobia, experiences of Muslim minorities, and discourses of racism and anti-racism in Australia, Switzerland and Germany. She completed a postdoc at the University of Bern, Switzerland where she investigated political discourses on Islam and Muslims in debates on the minaret ban in Switzerland. Her PhD, completed at Macquarie University, examined the way Australian politicians talked about Muslims in parliamentary debates during the citizenship reforms in 2006-2007. Her research interests lie in Islamophobia, racism, anti-racism, multiculturalism and citizenship, particularly in explorations of Muslim minorities in Western countries.

  • Tasneem Chopra

    Cross-cultural Consultant

    A Cross-cultural Consultant, Tasneem was recently listed as “One of 16 Women To Watch in 2016" by Latte magazine. She has also been listed in The Age Magazine’s Top 100 most influential 'Movers and Shakers' in Melbourne and The Australian Magazines 'Top Ten thinkers'. Through her consultancy, Tasneem tailors sessions on cultural competence across the private and public sector. She is a Director on the Board of Ambulance Victoria, and Chair of Lentil As Anything and the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights. She is also Senior Curator at the Islamic Museum of Australia. A TEDxMelbourne presenter (Don’t Believe the Hype, Exceed it) and writer, Tasneem’s latest paper was the Griffith Journal for Law & Human Dignity’s, ‘Burqas, Bombs and Bogeymen’ highlighting media bias of Australia Muslims. Tasneem has appeared in numerous editorial outlets, including The Guardian & The Sydney Morning Herald and has features as a commentator on Q&A, The Drum and national radio.

  • Donatella Cifali

    Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service of NSW

    Donatella Cifali is a Social Worker working as a Clinical Supervisor at the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service of NSW. Since 1993 Donatella has worked in the areas of drug health, mental health, transitional support to people leaving prison, aged care advocacy, Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing, family support, domestic violence. Donatella enjoys working at the junction of individual, community and systemic issues as they intersect and impact one another, with a view to empowerment and justice.

  • Professor Mary Crock

    University of Sydney

    Mary Crock (BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) PhD (Melbourne University)) has worked in the area of immigration and refugee law since 1985. She is Professor of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney. An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, she has been Chief examiner/ Head Assessor in various Specialist Accreditation programs in Immigration Law across Australia since 1994. She was a member of the Expert Advisory Committee for the NSW Commission for Children and Young Persons from 2008 to 2014; and was a board member of the committee of management of the community radio station 2RPH (Radio for the Print Handicapped) from 2006 until early 2012. She has served in executive positions for the Law Council of Australia and the Refugee Council of Australia; and worked as adviser to the Australian Senate (Inquiry into Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, 2000) and as consultant to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (on immigration detention).

  • Tianna Dencher

    Access Community Services

    Tianna Dencher is the Manager of the Spice Exchange and Harmony on Carmody Café at Access Community Services in Logan, Queensland. Tianna has been working in the Community Services sector for 6 years and has worked with Access Community Services for four years. Tianna has experience in working as a case worker, Community Engagement officer and is dedicated to supporting refugee and migrant women access meaningful engagement and employment pathways through social enterprise initiatives.


  • Nadia Dghaich

    Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) Multicultural Health Service

    Nadia Dghaich is a working mother of 4. She migrated to Australia in 2002, and graduated with Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Wollongong. Her love of numbers was overshadowed by her need to better “her” community. For over a decade, Nadia’s been working closely and tirelessly with the local Muslim community of the Illawarra on a wide range of projects, ranging from advocacy, to social awareness, and community education. Her passion for advocacy and equity has driven her to reskill in the area of public health. Today, she is employed by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s (ISLHD) Multicultural Health Service. In upholding the CORE values of the health service, she works closely with the Muslim community of the Illawarra, in ensuring that services are both accessible and equitable for those that may need them most.

  • Sonia Di Mezza

    ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS)

    Sonia Di Mezza is the Deputy CEO of the ACT, Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS), and a solicitor, based in the ACT. She holds a Masters of International Law with a major in human rights law. She has worked as a human rights lawyer in Pakistan, Lebanon, Sudan, India and Australia, and speaks five languages. She provides advocacy for older people, people with disabilities and people with mental health issues in the ACT, predominately representing clients from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, as well as implements cross-cultural competency training in the ACT for aged care service providers. She is a carer representative on the Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) project, works on a part-time basis as a human rights researcher, and is on the board of an international human rights NGO, Peace Brigades International.

  • Maria Dimopoulos (Facilitator)

    Myriad International Consulting Services

    Maria Dimopoulos is nationally and internationally recognised as an expert specialising in the intersections of diversity, gender equality and the law. Much of Maria’s work has been aimed at promoting and enhancing a gendered approach in the ongoing complex legal and political reform processes and in ensuring the meaningful inclusion of diverse women’s voices and perspectives in those reform processes. Maria’s expert contributions have included knowledge provision and advisory roles in gender justice, advocacy, bridging and supporting participation in mainstream processes, coordination, capacity-building, and piloting innovative projects. In 2008, she was appointed by the Federal government to the National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. The Council provided expert advice to Government on reducing the incidence and impact of domestic and family violence and sexual assault on women and their children and was tasked with the development and distribution of a National Plan of Action. Maria was also a member of the Access and Equity Inquiry Panel which reported to Government in 2012 on the accessibility of government services to multicultural Australia. Maria is also a recipient of an Amnesty International Human Rights Award for her work on the legal and human rights of women from culturally, religiously and diverse background.

  • Hina Durrani

    FECCA Women’s Chair

    Hina Durrani is the FECCA Women’s Chair. She was born in Pakistan and came to Australia as an international student to study a Master of Professional Accounting Specialisation. She has previously studied a Master of Public Administration. Hina believes strongly in engaging women and children with higher education. She developed a passion for women’s rights when working with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Her priority is improving the educational opportunities for women and children.


  • Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC

    Greens NSW MP

    Dr Mehreen Faruqi is the Greens NSW MP. She joined the NSW Legislative Council in June 2013. Her portfolio responsibilities include the Environment, Transport, Roads, Maritime and Freight, Status of Women, Multiculturalism, Animal Welfare, Drug and Harm Minimisation, Young People, Western Sydney and the NSW Mid North Coast. Since migrating from Pakistan to Australia in 1992 with her young family, Mehreen’s work has focussed on developing real solutions to social and environmental challenges. She is a civil and environmental engineer. In 2013, Mehreen received the UNSW Faculty of Engineering Award for Leadership and was voted No.5 in Fairfax Media Daily Life’s list of top 20 women for 2013 who made a difference and inspired Australians, and was a finalist in 2015. In 2015 she was announced as one of the top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia.

  • Carmen Garcia

    Community Corporate

    Carmen Garcia is the Managing Director of Community Corporate, a strategy business that helps organisations, government and businesses challenge conventional thinking in order to achieve exceptional outcomes with long lasting impact. Through strategic planning, partnerships and program design, business and sustainability planning, modelling, and organisational positioning. She is known as a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility in the migration arena and passionate about giving people dignity through work. She is a member of the Settlement Services Advisory Council of Australia, and recently appointed the inaugural chair of the Social Enterprise Alliance of SA. She serves as a Director on the Australian Sponsorship 4 African Kids an AusAid recognised charity. She has held several senior positions in both the NGO and Government sectors and has won several awards including the Young Achiever of SA Award for Community Service, finalist for Telstra Business Women’s Awards and in 2016 was the only Australian listed in the Top 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the World.

  • Erin Gillen

    Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA)

    Erin Gillen is the Acting Director of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), the national peak body representing culturally and linguistically diverse Australians. She coordinates FECCA’s access and equity work and also focuses on policy affecting migrant and refugee women. Erin has a particular interest in the effect that the intersection of multiple forms of disadvantage or discrimination have on women’s lives.


  • Estela Gimenez

    Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District - Multicultural Health Service

    Estela Gimenez is Multicultural Health Officer with Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District - Multicultural Health Service, and holds post-graduate qualifications in health promotion, nutrition and dietetics, public health and adult education. She has over 20 years’ experience working to plan, implement and evaluate health promotion and health management programs in public and privately funded health services. She has a special interest in health literacy helping services to provide equitable access to CALD communities, as well as empowering CALD communities to have the confidence, support and resources to manage their health. For the last 3 years she has focussed on reducing socio-cultural isolation among CALD women and improving ambulatory care for CALD communities.

  • Dr Erika Gonzalez

    The Australian Institute for Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT)

    Dr Erika Gonzalez has over 10 years’ experience teaching translation and interpreting at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Currently she teaches at the University of New South Wales, Western Sydney University and Macquarie University. She is also the Chair of the Professional Development Committee at AUSIT (the Australian Institute for Interpreters and Translators) and the National Professional Coordinator. Erika is also a conference interpreter and freelance translator. She started her career as a community interpreter in Spain with refugees and immigrants from a broad range of countries and cultural backgrounds. Erika is a mother of two and an active volunteer in her community.

  • Eugenia Grammatikakis (Facilitator)

    FECCA Senior Deputy Chairperson

    Eugenia has over twenty five years of experience in the ethnic and multicultural field at the Community, Commonwealth and Local Government levels. Eugenia is a member of a range of Boards and Advisory Committees including Vice President of Australian Greek Welfare Society, Chairperson of the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network, member of the SBS Community Advisory Committee and of the Board of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Eugenia currently holds the position of Social Policy and Program Coordinator with Monash City Council.

  • Mojgan Habibi

    University of Newcastle

    Mojgan Habibi is a conceptual artist and researcher, she has completed her Master of Fine Art at RMIT in 2012 and is currently undertaking PhD research at the University of Newcastle. Mojgan Habibi researches how political content in art is expressed in environments where political freedom is restricted. She researches the role of political art not as a tool of healing, therapy or rehabilitation but as a tool of communicating political thought in times of censorship. She has been the winner of “Chapel on Station” competition and “Commended sculpture for Newcastle emerging artist prize”. She has been a finalist in several sculpture exhibitions. Mojgan will discuss her work “Turquoise paradox” in the National Multicultural Women’s Conference 2016. This installation speaks about the oppression of women. The work is critical of the ongoing use of traditional symbols and behaviours, which are demeaning or reinforce ideas of inequality.

  • Melinda Hall

    AMES Australia

    I love cooking and had my first taste of the hospitality industry working as a kitchen hand. Whilst studying at University and even while working as a golf caddy in Japan, I continued developing my skills by sneaking in between rounds and during breaks into kitchens to assist the chefs. Over the last three decades I have worked at various Melbourne restaurants and events including Mietta’s, Jacques Reymond, Del Los Santos and Style AID. Enjoying every minute of the crazy fast paced multicultural hospitality industry. A strong believer in the positive contribution and social capital immigrants bring to our community I joined AMES Australia. This perfectly aligned my desire to give back to the community and pass on my industry knowledge and experience. I discovered the perfect combination of hospitality and opportunities to empower individuals with the skills and confidence that will assist them achieve successful settlement outcomes with the Sorghum Sisters.

  • Dr Sonja Hood

    Community Hubs Australia

    Dr Sonja Hood is the CEO of Community Hubs Australia. She leads a national partnership with schools, government, corporates and philanthropy to engage culturally isolated women and pre-school children through place-based hubs in primary schools and community centres. Prior to this, Sonja was the General Manager of Community Engagement at the North Melbourne Football Club, heading up The Huddle to engage culturally diverse young people through education and sport. Sonja has over 20 years of social policy and program experience in the US, UK and Australia. She has a PhD from the University of Melbourne in population health, and a Master’s degree from Penn State in policy.

  • Mavice Hove

    Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma Inc. (QPASTT)

    Mavice was born in Zimbabwe and is a proud mother of three. She first came to Australia in 2007 to study and returned to Zimbabwe in 2009 after graduating from the University of Queensland with a Masters in Development Practice. Mavice returned to Australia in 2010 with her family and has been in the position of Group Facilitator at QPASTT since 2012. She is committed to providing culturally appropriate support to refugee and migrant women to help them settle and integrate with the Australian society. Mavice was instrumental in forming the African Australian Women’s Network- Brisbane, a subcommittee of Queensland African Communities Council. She successfully coordinated and hosted the 2016 International Women’s Day Celebrations with a grant from Multicultural Affairs Queensland (MAQ). Mavice strongly believes that given culturally appropriate genuine opportunities to be educated, supportive social relationships, supportive policies and political will, CALD women can achieve their full potentials in life despite previous traumatic experiences.

  • Dr Jackie Huggins AM

    National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

    Dr Jackie Huggins is a Bidjara (central Queensland) and Birri-Gubba Juru (North Queensland) woman from Queensland who has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for over thirty years. Jackie is a celebrated historian and author who has documented the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the decades. In 2001, Jackie received the Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Throughout her career spanning over four decades, Jackie has played a leading role in reconciliation, literacy, women’s issues and social justice. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and Flinders University (with Honours), a Diploma of Education and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Queensland. Most recently, Jackie was the Director of Jackie Huggins and Associates, a consultancy business, following a long and distinguished record of public service and professional achievement.

  • Kate Jenkins

    Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner

    Kate Jenkins commenced her term as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in April 2016, bringing a wealth of human rights and legal experience to the position. Kate recognises the immediate priorities of preventing violence against women and their children; securing women’s economic security; and advocating for greater diversity in decision making roles across our community. Kate is leading a number of projects at the Australian Human Rights Commission including conducting a national survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault in university settings and continues the collaboration on cultural reform with the Australian Defence Force. Kate is the convener of the Victorian Male Champions of Change group, and the Co-Chair of Play by the Rules. She is also a member of the Boards of Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Carlton Football Club. Kate was recognised in the 2015 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for her work in public policy.

  • Dr Rebecca Jenkinson

    Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)

    Dr Rebecca Jenkinson is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and the recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Research Fellowship. She also holds a Research Fellow position at the Burnet Institute, an Invergowrie Foundation Public Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an Adjunct Lecturer position at Monash University. Rebecca’s interests, skills and expertise are in the design, development and conduct of cross-sectional, longitudinal and mixed-methods studies related to young people’s health behaviours. Rebecca is an investigator on a number of research projects involving migrant and refugee women, including the ‘Building a New Life in Australia’ study and the ‘Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women’ study.

  • Jenny Jesson

    Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre (LMRC)

    Jenny is the Family Support Manager at LMRC, responsible for the delivery of a range of programs for families, young children, school-aged, youth, seniors and also arts and events. She has over 30 years experience working in the Community Services sector and has qualifications in Early Childhood Education and Adult Education. She has worked extensively with the diverse local CALD community in the Liverpool/Fairfield area in various capacities. Jenny is especially passionate about empowering children and women to grow to reach their true potential through skill development and capacity building with a focus on celebrating and nurturing the special relationship between parent and child by community provision of responsive inclusive practice.

  • Angela Julian-Armitage

    Migration Institute of Australia

    Angela Julian-Armitage is the National President and Queensland and Northern Territory President of the Migration Institute of Australia and a practising Barrister at the Queensland Bar. Angela operates a Migration Law practice and assists solicitors and RMAs with Review and Appeal work in the area of Migration Law. In addition to her Migration Law expertise, Angela conducts a wide-ranging commercial practice. Angela belongs to PD Connolly Chambers in Brisbane.

  • Renata Kaldor AO

    Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

    Renata Kaldor is Chair of the City Recital Hall, Angel Place and serves on the Board of The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and Australian World Orchestra. She is also on the Advisory Boards of: the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law (UNSW); Heads over Heels; and the NSW Alzheimer’s association. She was previously held the positions as a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House: Judicial Commissioner of NSW; the Deputy Chancellor of Sydney University; Board Member of The Sydney Symphony Orchestra : Chair of Women’s Advisory Council of NSW; Board Director of NSW State Rail Authority; Director of Garvan Foundation; Director of Public Interest Law Clearing House; as well as a number of companies and community organisations associated with Education , Business and Law Renata has a Bachelor's degree in Arts and a Diploma of Education from the University of NSW. Renata was honoured by the Australian government with the award of an AO in 2002 and a Centenary Medal 2003: She became an Honorary Fellow of The University of Sydney, 2005.

  • Tina Karanastasis (Facilitator)

    FECCA Senior Deputy Chairperson

    Tina's involvement in multicultural and ethnic affairs extends over a 30 year period. A community development worker with the first MRC in South Australia, she went on to occupy senior management roles across the government, non-government and community sectors including Regional Coordinator of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Tina has contributed to the development of key services and programs for CALD communities in SA and has advocated strongly for the advancement of Multiculturalism as a policy for all Australians. She has extensive experience in Access & Equity reform and currently holds the position of Senior Program Manager, Service Development, with Ethnic Link Services at Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide.

  • Uieta Kaufusi


    Uieta Kaufusi is a proud Tongan woman based in Canberra and is the National Sector Engagement Manager for 1800RESPECT the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselling service. Prior to joining the 1800RESPECT team in May this year, she led a breadth of initiatives around addressing Domestic and Family violence both in Australia and overseas. In her previous role as Programme Manager of the DV-alert program for Lifeline Australia, Uieta led the development and implementation of the first ever National training package on family violence for frontline workers working with multicultural communities and also led the development and implementation of the Indigenous DV-alert stream. Uieta has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural communities here in Australia and worked with Maori and Pacific communities in New Zealand. Uieta is a member of the Tongan Canberra and Queanbeyan Association, Interim Committee of Canberra CALD Women Forum (CCWF), White Ribbon Australia Indigenous Reference Group and the Lifeline Aotearoa Pasifika Reference Group. She has also sat on several community and government advisory groups both in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Gail Ker OAM

    Access Community Services Ltd

    A nationally lauded and award winning visionary, Gail Ker is the CEO of Access Community Services Ltd where, with humility, compassion and a tireless work ethic, she leads her nearly 300 staff in pursuit of their organisational vision; to create social, cultural and economic experiences and opportunities that transform the lives of individuals and communities globally. Gail is a recognised thought leader in needs-based community planning, innovative business models, social cohesion, strategic partnerships, employment pathways, funding opportunities and strategic direction. Under her tutelage and leadership, Access has grown from a one room youth employment service in Logan City into one of Australia’s leading organisations in the provision of settlement, employment, training, youth support, housing and social enterprise services for migrants, refugees and Australian born clients with an annual over turn over in excess of twenty million dollars. Gail’s knowledge is actively sought by politicians, industry leaders and research bodies alike, both nationally and internationally. From 2007 to 2014 she attended the UNHCR’s annual consultations with NGO’s in Geneva.

  • Mehal Krayem


    Mehal Krayem received a PhD in Communications from the University of Technology Sydney in 2015. She is now a researcher at the International Research Centre for Youth Futures. She teaches Social Inquiry and Communications at UTS and is a committee member of the Arab Film Festival Australia. In addition to being the co-founder and editor of Sajjeling.com, a magazine aimed at rewriting the Arab-Australian narrative, Mehal is working on a forthcoming book based on the results of her PhD thesis, to be published next year.

  • Dai Le


    Dai Le was born in Saigon, Vietnam and spent years in refugee camps in South East Asia before being accepted for resettlement in Australia, arriving with her mother and two younger sisters in December 1979. Dai is a former journalist, film-maker and broadcaster with the ABC. Through her social enterprise, DAWN, an organisation that champions diverse leadership in the Australian workspace, Dai is challenging the status quo by harnessing the potential of Australians of culturally diverse backgrounds and unlocking their potential to be leaders in their field. Dai has been a passionate advocate for the community through her roles as a former Community Commissioner of Multicultural NSW and as a Board Member for STARTTS (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors). She was also on the board of Global Sisters (a not-for-profit start-up that focuses on building economic independence among migrant and refugee women). Dai is a breast cancer survivor and currently serves as an Ambassador for the NSW Cancer Council.

  • Nadine Liddy

    Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN)

    Nadine Liddy is the National Coordinator of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN Australia) and has worked in the youth and multicultural sectors for over 20 years. The MYAN has a specific focus on promoting the rights and interests of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and supporting their active inclusion in all aspects of Australian society. Nadine has a background in service delivery with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and has also worked extensively in policy, advocacy and sector development in relation to multicultural youth issues. Nadine has also worked in the international context, undertaking research and advocacy on refugee and asylum seeker issues and supporting young people in international and regional advocacy opportunities.

  • HeeYoung Lim

    Multicultural Communities Council of SA (MCCSA)

    Hee Young Lim works as a Community Coordinator for the Multicultural Communities Council of SA (MCCSA). She has completed a Master’s degree of social work. After graduating from university, she worked as a script writer for 8 years for Korean television, and then worked for 6 years as a bibliotherapist for children and their parents. During this time she realised she wanted to assist the isolated and vulnerable people. She coordinates the Community Visitors Scheme, which is run for elderly people in aged care facilities, and the Kickstarting Childhood Success project that is run for CALD children and family. Hee Young Lim tries her best to support multicultural people to settle well in Australia, so that they are able to receive full rights to enjoy their lives in Australia.

  • Wendy Lobwein

    AMES Australia

    Wendy Lobwein has recently returned to Australia after more than twenty years leading the development of Witness and Victims Support and Protection services with the United Nations at two war crimes courts, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Netherlands, and the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) in Cambodia. Wendy has been called upon to advise and consult with emerging judicial entities and NGO’s in countries all over the world particularly in relations to the management of survivors and witnesses to crimes of sexual and gender based violence. Wendy has had a particular focus in the area of violence against women, domestically in Australia starting with the vulnerability of homeless young women in Queensland, through two Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA’s), then as a founding staff member of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House) before moving internationally to take up her work with the international war crimes tribunals. Wendy is currently leading the development of an AMES Australia Prevention of Violence Against Women in culturally and linguistically diverse communities project, in collaboration with community and government organisations.

  • Alexandra Long

    Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN)

    Alexandra Long is the Executive Officer of the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN) NSW. A passionate social justice advocate, her experience spans the youth, multicultural and education sectors both in Australia and overseas, with a focus on young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. She has worked as a high school teacher, a youth worker and an adolescent sexual health educator in Uganda and has a passion for capacity building and sector development. In 2012, Alex co-authored the school resources accompanying the SBS series, Go Back To Where You Came From.

  • Mary Mabil

    Access Community Services

    Mary is originally from South Sudan where she lived with her mother and father, until her father took ill and moved to another city for treatment. She then lived with her mother and three brothers, until her eldest brother was selected and made to leave to fight in the war at the age of 15. When Mary was around 9 years old, the rebels came to her hometown, going through homes and shooting civilians, which led the family to flee and at this point Mary and her younger brother, who was 6, became separated from their mother as they fled. Mary and her brother spent approximately 13 years in the camp where they lived on rations and they still feared for their lives as people would regularly be killed during the night or have things stolen. Mary was eventually given a protection visa to come to Australia when she was 18 and she came over here in 2004.

    Since arriving and settling in Australia, Mary has married and has three children aged 8, 7 and 5, who are now all attending primary school. She has completed a Certificate III in Childcare, a Certificate III in Aged Care and a Diploma in Community Development. Mary is a member of a women’s Sudanese Community Group who help connect and support other African women to connect and engage in the community. Recently, Mary has reconnected with her mother who still lives in Africa. Mary has been volunteering with Access Community Services for several years and became involved in The Spice Exchange Program through her volunteering with the organisation. She has been contributing to The Spice Exchange Program now for over a year and is now employed casually in The Spice Exchange social enterprise.

  • Prudence Melom


    Prudence Melom is originally from Chad, but has been living in Australia since 2007. At the age of four war began in her country and made Chad an unsafe place for her family to live in. Prudence’s family fled from the war in Chad and became refugees in Benin for seven years before arriving in Australia. Since arriving in Australia, she has completed primary and secondary education and is studying to become a lawyer. She was listed under triple J’s 25 under 25 nailing it list in 2015 and shorted listed for the 2015 Young Human rights award. After winning the ABC Heywire competition in 2013, Prudence co-created a project called E-Raced. E-raced is all about erasing racism through the power of storytelling. It is a project aimed at educating young people on issues of refugees and migrants and bringing awareness to the fact that Australia is a multicultural country. With the ten thousand dollars grant money she received from FRRR (Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal) and the help of Trams and other volunteers, she travels to schools in rural areas around QLD and NSW and erases racism one story at a time.

  • Pino Migliorino


    Pino has over 30 years involvement with and expertise in immigration and multicultural community affairs, including welfare, the arts and the Italian community. Professionally, Pino is the Managing Director of the Cultural Perspectives Group which includes Cultural Perspectives, CIRCA Research and DiverseWerks.



  • Mira Mitrovic

    Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC)

    Mira Mitrovic is passionate about children’s safety and their early life opportunities. She has 30 years of experience working with CALD families and children, particularly on ways of strengthening their parenting capacities. Currently, Mira coordinates a state-wide Multicultural Support Workers Project that is managed by the Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC). Mira is trained in Community Management, numerous accredited parenting programs, conflict resolution, art therapy, drumbeating, youth mental health first aid, kids development, Children’s Sexualized behaviours. The direction Mira is currently taking is investigating and analysing aspects of CALD parenting strategies and capacities vs. western society evidence based parenting styles.

  • Dr Tangikina (Tangi) Moimoi Steen

    National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC)

    Tangi is a migrant Polynesian from Tonga. She is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Education and Aboriginal Studies, with a particular interest in the evaluation of students’ perception and usage of web-based tools in higher education teaching and learning. She is currently the BA Honours program director and supervisor of masters and doctoral degree students at the University of South Australia’s School of Communication, International Studies and Languages. Tangi is the first female President of the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters' Council (NEMBC) since it was established 31 years ago. She is a broadcaster and producer of the weekly Tongan program through Adelaide's only full-time ethnic radio, 5EBI 103.1FM. She is the Public Relations Officer for the Tongan Community Radio of SA Inc. and recently appointed to the same position for the Pacific Islands Association of SA Inc. Tangi is an academic, editor and author, broadcaster and a community volunteer.

  • Michal Morris

    North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network

    Michal Morris is the Director of Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Services Redesign at the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network, a role she commenced in April 2016. Prior to that Michal was the General Manager at North Richmond Community Health for 9 years, and her role included responsibility for Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH). In this role Michal led the strategic direction of the Centre, particularly in Cultural Competency, Health Literacy and Language Services. Michal has nearly 20 years’ experience working on multicultural issues, and in particular multicultural health issues in State government, peak advocacy bodies as well as not for profit organisations. Michal is also Deputy Chair of InTouch, Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence.

  • Magdalena Moreno Mujica

    International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA)

    Magdalena Moreno joined the IFACCA team in July 2014 as Deputy Director. Prior to IFACCA, she was Head of International Affairs at the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CNCA), Minister's Cabinet, Government of Chile, and international advisor to Ministers of Culture Luciano Cruz-Coke, Roberto Ampuero and Claudia Barattini. Most notably, she served as the Programme Director of IFACCA's 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture, staged in Santiago in January 2014. Ms Moreno served on the board of Fundación Imagen de Chile, and from March 2012 to January 2014 she represented the CNCA on the board of IFACCA. Prior to her appointment by the CNCA and move to Chile, Ms Moreno worked in Australia as CEO for Kultour, Australia's national peak body supporting cultural diversity in the arts and was a member of the National Cultural Policy Taskforce for Creative Australia. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Melbourne, is an alumnus of the Asialink Leaders Program (2008) as well as the Inaugural Emerging Leaders Program 2010, Australia Council for the Arts. In 2000, after being awarded the Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Fellowship, she undertook an internship in UNESCO (ICOM) in Paris.

  • Juliana Nkrumah AM

    African Women Australia Inc

    Juliana Nkrumah is a passionate advocate for human rights and refugee issues, who is actively involved in a range of activities that support African communities and refugees in Australia, including as the founder of the African Women Australia Inc. She has worked as the Coordinator of the NSW Police Force’s Multicultural Community Liaison Officer Program since 2008, prior to which she was the Assistant Manager of the Refugee and Network Support Team in the Multicultural Services Branch of Centrelink. Mrs Nkrumah has also participated in several Commonwealth, state and local community based committees, including reviewing the Australian Citizenship Test in 2008. She is known as a first in several endeavours and has won several awards including Membership of the Order of Australia.

  • Dr Olayide Ogunsiji

    University of Western Sydney

    Dr Olayide Ogunsiji is a registered nurse and a lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Originally from Nigeria, she migrated to Australia in 1999 with a Masters’ degree in Sociology. She continued her academic pursuit and obtained her PhD in Nursing in 2009. Her research interest is in migrant and refugee women’s health, she worked on community based project aimed at increasing breast cancer awareness and screening among African and Chinese women in Australia, a project funded by the Cancer Institute NSW. She is the founder of African Women’s Health and Support Organisation (AWHASO), a not-for-profit support group for women’s health issues. Olayide has publications in referred and peer-reviewed journals and has presented in local, national and international conferences.

  • Dr Sev Ozdowski AM

    Australian Multicultural Council

    Dr Sev Ozdowski AM is Director, Equity and Diversity at the University of Western Sydney and Hon. Professor in the Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University. Sev is also Chair of Australian Multicultural Council and President of the Australian Council for Human Rights Education. Dr Ozdowski worked for the Australian government (1980-96) where he played a major role in the advancement of multicultural and human rights policies and institutions. He also headed the Office of Multicultural and International Affairs in South Australia (1996-2000). As the Human Rights Commissioner (2000-05) he conducted the ground-breaking "National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention "A last resort?" and the National Inquiry into Mental Health Services "Not for Service". Dr Ozdowski has an LLM and MA in Sociology degrees from Poland and a PhD from the University of New England. As a Harkness Fellow, Sev spent 1984-86 on research at Harvard, Georgetown and the University of California. Dr Ozdowski published many articles, addressed twice National Press Club and represented Australia worldwide. Sev's life-long commitment to multiculturalism and human rights was recognised by an Order of Australia Medal, an honorary doctorate from RMIT and FECCA 25th Anniversary Medal.

  • Esta Paschalidis-Chilas (Facilitator)

    Settlement Services International

    Esta Paschalidis-Chilas is the Government & Member Relations Manager at Settlement Services International. She is s a Social Worker with over 25 years experience working in social services, the private sector and in government. She has a particular passion and commitment for multicultural and settlement services having been the Executive Officer of a Migrant Resource Centre in South Western Sydney for 12 years. She has served on the Board of the Refugee Council of Australia and a range of other local, regional and national organisations.

  • Christina Pascoe

    ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS)

    Christina Pascoe is the Disability Manager and External Merits Review Support Manager at the ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS). She has worked in the Disability Sector in NSW for the past 20 years across all areas including pre-schools, schools, respite, group homes, day programs and aged care facilities. Christina is an advocate for people with disabilities and mental health illnesses, she supports those who seek to enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme and clients from a culturally and linguistically diverse background (CALD). Christina has lived and worked in many countries, which has contributed to her knowledge of working with CALD clients.

  • Mary Patetsos (Facilitator)

    FECCA Healthy Ageing Chair

    Mary Patetsos is a professional Board Director, serving on both National and South Australian Boards with a rare blend of academic qualifications and expertise. Her skills and experience combined with an extensive national network enable her to add significant value to organisations at many levels. In particular, her commitment to achieve positive experiences for people drives her ambition. She contends that a strong belief in the worthiness of learning and work have become her key motivators. Mary is FECCA's Healthy Ageing Chair.

  • Nova Peris OAM

    Former Senator and first Indigenous woman elected to federal parliament

    Nova Maree Peris OAM is an Indigenous Australian of the Muran people from Kakadu and Arnhem Land as well as a champion athlete and politician. As part of the Australian women's hockey (Hockeyroos) team at the 1996 Olympic Games, she was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal and later became a dual gold medallist in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in the sport of Track and Field. Nova was elected to the Australian Senate at the 2013 federal election, after then Prime Minister Julia Gillard handpicked her as the preselected Labor candidate. Nova is the first Aboriginal female in federal politics as well as the Labour Party’s first Aboriginal member in Federal Parliament. Nova was sworn in to parliament on 12 November, and noted the apology to the stolen generation in her maiden speech. Currently working as a Principal Adviser at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Nova will lead the development of an action plan to increase participation in sport and recreation for Aboriginal children, young people and communities.

  • Tanya Plibersek MP

    Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Minister for Women, Federal Member for Sydney

    Tanya Plibersek is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Minister for Women, and the Federal Member for Sydney. Tanya was previously the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development in the 44th Parliament. In government, Tanya was Minister for Health. Her other ministerial appointments have included Minister for Medical Research, Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister for Human Services, Minister for the Status of Women, and Minister for Housing. Tanya grew up in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney and is the daughter of migrants from Slovenia. Like many newly arrived migrants, Tanya’s parents helped build the country in which they made their new home. Her father worked on the Snowy River hydroelectric scheme in the 1950s. Tanya holds a BA Communications (Hons) from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Master of Politics and Public Policy from Macquarie University. Before entering parliament, Tanya worked in the Domestic Violence Unit at the NSW Ministry for the Status and Advancement of Women. Elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Sydney in 1998, she spoke of her conviction that ordinary people working together can achieve positive change. Tanya lives in Sydney with her husband Michael and her three children, Anna, Joseph and Louis.

  • Tina Posunkina

    Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS)

    Tina is currently a member of the Doctoral Program at the Institute for Social Justice. Her research is focused upon the lived experiences of queer refugee women, viewed through the lens of trauma theory and concepts of agency. Tina comes from a diverse human rights background, previously working in the areas of HIV prevention, LGBTIQ rights and currently with people seeking asylum. In 2011, she drafted and presented the Shadow Report at the UN in Geneva for human rights violations of homosexual, bisexual and transgender women on behalf of local NGO’s under CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). This resulted in two recommendations that her home country observe and report on human rights violations of LBT women. She currently works at the Refugee Advice & Casework Service. She is also a Communications Manager and a participant of the social art project Stories about Hope - a multimedia exhibition that celebrates dignity and strength of people from refugee backgrounds.

  • Aurelia Rahman

    Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC)

    Aurelia Rahman has a Masters in English from the University of Bucharest, Romania and a Diploma in Community Services and Welfare from Granville TAFE. She also has extensive experience in community engagement and working in the not-for-profit sector at Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) in various capacities for close to 20 years. Aurelia manages CMRC’s Settlement Services team which provides a range of services for newly arrived migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants with a focus on English, Education and Employment. Aurelia’s passion is about community engagement and capacity building, inclusion and participation in life in Australia. Some of her more significant projects have been: Women Creating a Better Tomorrow, Community Learning Circle, Guide to Employment for Migrants and Community Services Expo.

  • Anjali Roberts

    Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS)

    Anjali is a Project Coordinator at BYDS (Bankstown Youth Development Service) working with Bankstown locals to gather and intimate their own Stories of Strength, with a view towards a more understanding and cohesive society. She is interested in people, places and the poetic interplay between the two, veering between the worlds of Community Development, Cultural Development and Engineering. In 2015 she co-authored Handmade: Stories of Strength and Resilience Shared through Food by the Women of Sri Lanka, published by Palmera. She is currently working with the City of Parramatta on a Community Development Plan for the CBD.

    Anjali and Zeina Menhem (Sir Joseph Banks High) will present Mashrabiya, which explored the design of inclusive sacred spaces in Sydney. The project was a partnership between the NSW Architect’s Registration Board, Canterbury-Bankstown and Penrith City Councils, the University of Sydney, the Institute of Architects, BYDS and the CAAR (Council for Australian-Arab Relations).

  • Judith Roberts

    New South Wales Settlement Partnership Worker Northern Settlement Services Armidale

    Judith Roberts completed a Social Science Degree at the University of New England in 2006. Judith has worked for Northern Settlement Services as a Settlement Worker in the Armidale office since 2007, providing settlement support to eligible Migrants and Refugees. The Armidale Project delivers outreach services to Glen Innes, Inverell, and Tenterfield. As part of her settlement work Judith has facilitated, or worked collaboratively to establish or maintain the Armidale Refugee Student Homework Support, Armidale Multicultural Women’s Group and the New England Multicultural Interagency Meetings. In her settlement work Judith provides information, referral and case work services. She works closely with mainstream and CALD specific organisations. Judith is a community member of the Multicultural NSW New England/North West Regional Advisory Council. In earlier life she was a nurse at Lewisham Hospital, a volunteer teaching English to Migrants in the Northern Territory and a home visitor with the St Vincent de Paul Society.

  • Catherine Robinson

    Australian Red Cross

    Catherine Robinson has been practicing social work for over 13 years. Specialising in narrative practice and working with people who are living with the consequences of multiple traumas this work has introduced her to diverse groups of women and children supporting them to navigate across multiple systems such as gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, abilities and aging. Work in Melbourne, London and Sydney, includes outreach to women in sex work; supporting children living with violence through direct frontline work and developing regional services that provide specialist domestic violence services to children. Catherine is now with Red Cross as team leader of the Support for Trafficked People Program, delivering comprehensive services to people who’ve experienced a wide range of exploitation in Australia with a current focus on developing specialist services for people experiencing forced marriage. Committed to the learner-teacher role of social work Catherine teaches Social Work at University of Sydney and is acting Assistant Manager, Client Services with Migration Support Services at Red Cross.

  • Violet Roumeliotis

    Settlement Services International (SSI)

    Violet applies an astute strategic vision and active leadership at SSI, and indeed in the settlement sector broadly, given the critical role the organisation and its member MRCs play. She provides professional executive management of SSI’s complex operations and, with the active participation of the SSI Board, Violet ensures the organisation remains true to its vision and mission. Violet holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with majors in Sociology and History from UNSW, a Masters in Management from UTS and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and so brings learned expertise to the position of CEO. Violet has an extensive background in the leadership of large not-for-profit organisations providing services to at-risk communities, while applying a strengths-based approach. She sits on numerous boards and committees and has over 30 years’ experience in governance, human resources and financial management. Violet has steered SSI through a dramatic growth period, from a staff of less than 70 just three years ago, to over 500 in 2014 and was named in Pro Bono Australia’s 2014 and 2015 lists of the 25 most influential people working in the not-for-profit sector. Outside of her work with SSI, Violet sits on the NSW Government’s Justice Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Federal Government’s Settlement Services Advisory Council, and Co-Chairs the NSW Joint Partnership Working Group coordinating the NSW component of the additional intake of 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq.

  • Captain Mona Shindy, CSC, RAN

    Royal Australian Navy

    Captain Mona Shindy was born in Egypt in 1968 and migrated to Australia with her family at the age of three. During her 27 year Naval career she gained qualifications as an Electrical Engineer and Masters of Commerce, She holds a Diploma in Export Management, is a chartered professional engineer and Engineering Executive as a Fellow with the Institute of Engineers Australia. She is also recognised as a Certified Practicing Project Director and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She saw active service at the commencement of the IRAQ conflict in 2003. Utilising her extensive array of leadership, technical, change management and business competencies she has led many organisations through significant business and cultural reforms. Currently completing strategic studies at the Australian Defence College she is progressing a Masters in politics and policy in preparation for future senior appointments within Defence. She is also the most senior Muslim currently serving in the Navy and is Chief of Navy’s Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs. She was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2015 for her work in this capacity. Her career achievements as well as her considerable community service activities were recognised when she was named the 2015 National Telstra Business Woman of the Year. She is married with three children.

  • Maha Sukkar

    Victoria Police

    Maha Sukkar grew up in Beirut and spent most of her childhood surviving in that war torn country, where she volunteered as an ambulance officer. In 2000 she applied for and was granted a skilled migrant visa to Australia. She joined the Police in July 2004 after 2 long years of waiting, and managed to persuade Police management to accept her application, and that wearing a scarf with her uniform would not be an obstacle when you want to make a difference. In 2005 she represented Victoria Police in The Australia Indonesia Muslim Exchange Program and in 2006 in the Australia Malaysia Exchange Program, 2015 Turkey Exchange program and 2016 JCMA Joint Journey to Jerusalem. She currently works as a Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO) in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, as a conduit between the migrant communities and Victoria police. She conducts cross-cultural training and work to foster understanding of migrant communities. She is also a regular public speaker to school groups, community organisations and the police force, and has access to large public and private audiences.

  • Julia Symons

    Netball Australia

    Julia Symons is the General Manager of Community Engagement at Netball Australia, managing the national diversity and inclusion program, One Netball. With experience in communications, corporate social responsibility, community engagement, corporate and not-for-profit sectors, she brings cross cultural understanding to sporting contexts to develop inclusive initiatives that celebrate diversity and create safe spaces for learning. Having worked across Australia, Hong Kong and Fiji, Julia has seen the power of cross sector collaborations and partnerships to develop programs that create meaningful change in the lives of marginalised communities. She believes that inclusion in sport requires both the engagement and empowerment of diverse communities, as well as the development of the capacity of sporting organisations, to build more inclusive environments that welcome all Australians, regardless of their background or ability.

  • Professor Lucy Taksa

    Macquarie University

    Professor Lucy Taksa, PhD is currently Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University. She was a non-judicial member of the Equal Opportunity Division of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal (1996-2007) and Chair of the Board of State Records NSW (2007-2012). She has been a member of the NSW Ministerial Roundtable on Cultural Diversity in the Workplace (2012-13) and the Western Sydney Community Forum Advisory Reference Group for its Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Worker Mentoring Project-Share Knowledge, Build Skills. She is an Independent Board Member of Settlement Services International (SSI). She has published on: gendered workplace cultures in transport and finance; migrant employment, EEO and Diversity Management and identity. Current research projects include: ‘Affinities in Multicultural Australia’ (Australian Research Council funded with Ellie Vasta and Fei Guo) and ‘Historical Patterns of Schooling, Religion, and Socio-demographics of Australia’s Population’ (with Nick Parr and Nikki Balnave).

  • Dr Judy Tang

    Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council

    Dr Judy Tang is the Vice-President of the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC Inc). Her passions lay in promoting cultural competency and advocacy, as well as brain and mental health. Dr Tang is Director and a Clinical Neuropsychologist with Jurmaine Health, which provides neuropsychological assessments and neuro-musculoskeletal treatment. Here, she is aligned with government services, community organisations, various law firms and insurance companies. She previously held a position at the Victorian Police and Multicultural Advisory Committee, is a committee member of the APS Psychology and Culture Interest Group, and founder and organiser of the Psychology & Culture Conference.

  • Amanda Tattersall

    Founder, Sydney Alliance. Co-founder, GetUp . Author, Power in Coalition.

    Amanda Tattersall has been a union and community organiser for over 20 years, having been President of the National Union of Students, co-founder of Labor for Refugees, co-founder of GetUp.org.au and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Unions NSW. She is the founder of the Sydney Alliance, a diverse coalition of community organisations, unions, religious organisations and schools that uses community organising to bring people together and make Sydney a greater place to live. She is the author of the book "Power in Coalition" based on her PhD that compared coalitions across Australia, the United States and Canada. She currently teaches at the University of Sydney, Notre Dame and UTS in Urban citizenship and Australian Politics while also supporting NGOs through her consultancy Creative Social Change. She is currently developing a new podcast series called the ChangeMakers that shares stories about successful social change campaigns.

  • Tracy Tierney

    Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)

    Tracy has been a Torture and Trauma Counsellor with STARTTS (Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors) for over 7 years and is based at the Coffs Harbour office. She has also worked within the Health Service as a Sexual Assault Counsellor and Learning and Development Consultant. Prior to this she worked for over 20 years in the community sector as a Manager, Trainer and Youth and Community Worker. Most of her work has been conducted in rural settings and she has participated in many collaborative community development projects. Tracy is passionate about the importance of creating opportunities for connection and physical and creative activities for people who have experienced trauma.

  • Maria Tsopanis

    AMES Australia

    Maria’s current position includes the management of the Melbourne Multicultural Hub, the social enterprise programme, community consultations and AMES Australia’s involvement in the Community Proposal Pilot. Maria Tsopanis brings to the role over 25 years experience working in a variety of Employment, Education and Community programs at the Federal, State and local levels. Throughout this time Maria has developed, implemented and managed a range of programmes which address the needs of local communities, build capacity and foster self-reliance. These have included the volunteer programs, social enterprises (Sorghum Sisters & Magic Green Clean Kensington), employment programs and Community Youth Centres.

    Maria’s management skills in cross cultural communications, community based project management, enterprise operation, and stakeholder management have been key factors in the successful development of the Sorghum Sisters. Maria was a recipient of the SACS consulting award for Leadership in the State Government Sector.

  • Carolina Triana (Facilitator)

    Settlement Services International

    Colombian-born, Carolina Triana is the Arts and Culture Coordinator at Settlement Services International (SSI). Since 2004, Carolina has worked in various countries on developing and delivering creative initiatives across circus, theatre, music, visual arts, community arts and cultural development. As part of her role managing the SSI Arts & Culture Program, Carolina is creative producer of the annual New Beginnings Refugee Arts & Culture Festival, quarterly SSI Speakers Series’ events and a number of exhibitions and workshops with artists from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. She has been the instigator of the inaugural Arts and Refugees Forum to be held in August 2016 and co-hosted by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. Carolina holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Salamanca University (Spain) and a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management from the University of South Australia. She is a current member of the Management Committee of the Sydney Latin American Film Festival Inc.

  • Helen Vatsikopoulos

    University of Technology Sydney

    Helen Vatsikopoulos is a Walkley Award winning journalist with three decades of experience at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Special Broadcasting Service and the Australia Network. She has worked on flagship programs like ABC News, 7.30, Lateline, Dateline and Asia Pacific Focus and has produced three documentaries for SBS, ABC and the BBC. Helen is currently lecturing in Journalism at the University of Technology Sydney specialising in digital reporting and video and documentary supervisions. She is also working on a Doctorate in Creative Arts.

  • Laura Vidal

    The Salvation Army’s Freedom Partnership- to End Modern Slavery

    Laura Vidal is a Social Worker with a Masters Degree in Human Rights Law & Policy, graduating from the University of New South Wales. For 4 years, Laura was a Social Worker at Australia’s only Safe House for Trafficking & Slavery, supporting men, women, children and families who have experienced trafficking & slavery in Australia. During 2013, Laura developed case management programs for asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island and now holds the position of National Projects Coordinator for The Freedom Partnership, The Salvation Army’s national initiative to End Modern Slavery; specialising in survivor empowerment and best practice responses to early and forced marriage. In 2014, Laura travelled to Jordan on assignment with the International Labor Organisation to provide technical assistance and training for Embassies and organisations working with exploited migrant domestic workers. Laura is a member of the Australian Association of Social work and an Executive Committee member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand. Formerly, Laura was a member of the board for the United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals.

  • Zione Walker-Nthenda

    Incubate Foundation Inc.

    Zione is a global citizen having attended schools in England, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Russia, Japan and Australia. She started her career in intellectual property law and after a brief stint in documentary filmmaking, she reconfigured her experience in law and storytelling to work as a social justice lawyer; working for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Victoria Legal Aid and Women’s Legal Service Victoria. A lawyer for about fifteen years, she has worked mainly in the areas of family law, child protection and family violence law. Zione has extensive experience as a law reform and policy lawyer having sat on the key state government reference and advisory committees during periods of significant family violence reforms in Victoria. Zione moved to work for Victoria Police as their human rights manager developing their first human rights, equity and diversity policy and other policies and resources to enhance police and community interactions. She also developed the first ever train the trainer human rights package by police for police. Zione recently left the public service to run her own program design and facilitation firm designing and delivering culture change programs based on empathy and inclusion for communities and organisations.

  • Najeeba Wazefadost (Facilitator)

    Settlement Services International

    Since arriving in Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan, Najeeba Wazefadost has graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science from the University of Western Sydney and is now studying a second degree at the University of Technology Sydney. Najeeba has been involved in a number of organisations such as Amnesty International, and is also the president of Hazara Women of Australia, advocating for the rights of women, refugees and the release of children from detention centres. In 2010, Najeeba was a finalist of the Young Human Rights Medal Award, in 2011 for the 'Young Woman of the West Award' for her work in not-for-profit organisations, in 2012 for the UTS human right medal award, in 2013 she was a Finalist for the NSW Premier woman award, and in 2014 for The Local Young Citizen Award. Najeeba is currently working as a Case Manager with new arrivals and refugees for SSI (Settlement Services International), and has also established her own business.

  • Carla Wilshire

    Migration Council Australia (MCA)

    Carla Wilshire is the CEO of the Migration Council Australia (MCA) – Australia’s national research and policy institution on migration, settlement and social cohesion. Carla has a background in policy development, corporate governance and tertiary research. Throughout her career in public policy, she has worked as a public servant and advisor to Government, principally in the area of migration and resettlement. Prior to establishing the MCA, she was Chief of Staff to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Carla is a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity, which provides policy advice and recommendations to the Council of Chief Justices of Australia on improving access to justice for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians. Carla is also a member of the National Anti-racism Strategy and co-founded the Friendly Nation Initiative, which aims to link corporate Australia with the settlement community to improve employment outcomes for refugees.

  • Jennifer Wong


    Jennifer Wong is a writer and comedian. She presents Bookish on iView, a weekly complement to The Book Club, and is a regular guest on 702 ABC Sydney’s Thank God It’s Friday. Her first job in TV was writing for Good News Week in 2008. As a stand-up, she’s performed at arts and comedy festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Edinburgh. She was a writer/performer in The Serpent’s Table, a Performance 4a and Griffin Theatre co-production for Sydney Festival 2014, and appeared in the TV comedy Plonk in 2015. Jennifer is an ambassador for the anti-racism organisation All Together Now.

  • Nareen Young (Facilitator)

    PriceWaterhouse Coopers

    Nareen Young is one of Australia's leading and most respected workplace Diversity practitioners and thinkers who has managed two Diversity peak bodies, with enormous success, for over 15 years. Nareen has received numerous awards and acknowledgements for this work, including the inaugural 100 Women of Influence honour for Diversity. Nareen is currently an Executive Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting working with Australia’s leading diversity employers on innovative, exciting approaches to cultivating and nurturing what Indigenous Australians bring to our workplaces in Australia. Prior to her current role, Nareen was the CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia leading cutting edge research, thought and practice in the field of workplace diversity.

  • Manal Younus

    ActNow Theatre

    Manal Younus is a South Australian based freelance writer, performer and creative producer. As a Muslim with Eritrean origins living in Australia, the young spoken word artist uses her poetry to discover and strengthen her identity as well as to ignite thought and discussion among those around her. Manal facilitates writing and performance workshops with young people to help develop their own voices. She also works with ActNow Theatre to raise awareness about racism among high school students and community leaders in South Australia.

  • Heidi Zajac

    Cooking Circles

    Heidi Zajac is the Founder and Director of Cooking Circles, a not-for-profit program operating in Timor Leste and Canberra with women and girls. Heidi has extensive work experience in the ACT community sector including small, specialist organisations and medium sized generalist organisations, where she has worked in project design, program management, policy development, budget management, client information and support services, community development, and education and awareness. She is on the Board of YWCA Canberra and she has been a member of the YWCA Australia Timor Leste Working Group. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in International and Community Development.

  • Georgia Zogalis

    Settlement Services International

    Georgia Zogalis has 30 years of experience at senior management levels in government and non-government organisations including the health, disability, aged care, mental health, youth and cancer sectors. For the last 2.5 years Georgia has been the manager of the FutureAbility project: Getting CALD communities NDIS Ready and the Implementation Coordinator of the Ability Links program at Settlement Services International. Prior to this, Georgia was the Diversity Manager for Cancer Council NSW, National Program Manager of Multicultural Mental Health Australia, Team Leader - Planning of Transcultural Mental Health Centre, Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural Aged and Disability Services, Senior Planning Officer for the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) and Policy Officer, NESB Aged South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service. Georgia’s passion is in social justice and equal access issues and throughout her career has been instrumental in influencing changes to government policies and securing funding for special needs groups such as the aged, carers, people with mental illness and those with disability from diverse backgrounds.

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A Conversation in Gender Equality
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Key Dates

Abstract submission deadline5 August 2016
Notification of acceptance of abstractFrom 17 August 2016
Early bird /Presenter registration closes12 September 2016
Accommodation and registration cancellation deadline15 September 2016
Conference dates3-4 November 2016