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About the Alliance

The objectives of the Alliance are:

  • To enable an effective voice for migrant and refugee women in domestic and international policy

  • To advance migrant and refugee women’s participation in economic, social, cultural, civil and political life and

  • To strengthen a strategic approach to the empowerment of migrant and refugee women across policy areas.

Alliance bodies comprise:

Structure map

Our Values

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Reconciliation

In the spirit of reconciliation, Harmony Alliance acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their continuing connections to land, sea, community and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

We recognise that we live and work on the land that always was—and always will be—Aboriginal land.

As an organisation focused primarily on the rights and issues of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, we recognise the ongoing impacts of colonisation and seek to ensure that our work is grounded in respect for the right to self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

We acknowledge that we are among the beneficiaries of settler colonial systems and structures that were built on the legacy of dispossession and institutional racism.

We are committed to actively reflecting on our place and responsibility as Australian women from migrant and refugee backgrounds in the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ rights and self-determination, and have developed a Reconciliation Action Plan to embed this commitment across all aspects of our work.

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Feminist Framework

Harmony Alliance adopts a feminist approach in recognition of the significant impact of deeply embedded gender inequality at all levels of our society. We advocate against all forms of gender-based discrimination and violence experienced by migrant and refugee women in Australia.

The efforts to promote the rights of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds must support the empowerment of all who self-identify as women, as well as non-binary and non-conforming persons who are affected by gender-based norms, discrimination, and violence.

We acknowledge that women are not a homogenous group and are affected by gender inequality in a multitude of ways depending on numerous other factors, including their socio-economic status, physical appearance, ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.

We uphold that gender equity cannot be achieved until the most disadvantaged of women—including Indigenous, LGBTQI, women with disability, and women of colour—are equally and substantively represented in all areas of life. We believe that feminism aims to achieve emancipation and equity for everyone in the society, including men affected by harmful gender norms.

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Intersectionality

Harmony Alliance acknowledges that Australian women from migrant and refugee backgrounds are impacted by multiple forms of systemic and structural disadvantage and inequality based on unique intersections of our identities and social positions.

It is not our identities that make us vulnerable but systemic exclusion and histories of oppression based on these identities that create entrenched forms of disadvantage for us. Intersectional disadvantage affects our participation in civil, economic, social, cultural and political life, and manifests in the form of harmful societal stereotypes and racism.

In highlighting the intersectional disadvantages faced by women from migrant and refugee backgrounds and in the spirit of reconciliation, we recognise our relative position of privilege in the context of the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, as well the legacy of institutional and systemic racism.

We support and encourage the embedding of the principles of intersectionality—including ongoing reflection, substantive representation, and commitment to equity—in policy and practice.

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Human Rights

Harmony Alliance adopts a human rights-based approach to the full and effective participation of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds in Australian society. We advocate for migrant and refugee women’s rights under the following international treaties that Australia is a signatory to:

  • The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

We support an intersectional approach to Australia’s anti-discrimination framework that currently comprises Racial Discrimination Act (1975), Sex Discrimination Act (1984), Disability Discrimination Act (1992), and Age Discrimination Act (2004).

Our History

Harmony Alliance was established in 2017 and the inaugural chair was Maria Dimopoulos AM. Maria shares her foundational vision for the Alliance in this video:

Alliance Council

The council is made up of:

  • Four (4) elected positions for national, state-wide, and local organisations representing migrant and refugee women in Australia;

  • Four (4) elected positions for national, state-wide, and local organisations working for the advancement and inclusion of migrant and refugee women in Australia;

  • One (1) elected individual identifying as a woman from a migrant or refugee background who, in a personal capacity, is making a substantive contribution for the advancement and inclusion of migrant and refugee women in Australia, and who is not a representative of any member organisation;

  • Four (4) ex-officio, appointed positions for national peak organisations representing migrant and refugee women and/or organisations working for the advancement and inclusion of migrant and refugee women in Australia. Migration Council Australia, as an auspicing organisation for the Alliance, will be one of the three ex-officio members; and

  • One (1) appointed independent Chair.

Elections to the Alliance Council are held every two years, with the next elections due in 2021.

The Alliance Council oversees the implementation of the work plan, considers reports from the Alliance Secretariat and the Young Migrant and Refugee Women’s Advisory Group, and develops recommendations for consideration by the Alliance Members in regard to future directions and projects.

To view the Alliance Council’s Terms of Reference, click here.

Headshot Nyadol

Nyadol Nyuon (Chair)

Chair of the Harmony Alliance

Maha Krayem Abdo OAM

United Muslim Women Association

Dr Manjula O’Connor

MBBS FRANZCP MMed DPM
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Pefi Kingi

Pacificwin

Maria Osman

Violet Roumeliotis

Settlement Services International
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Sandra Wright

Settlement Council of Australia

Michal Morris

inTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
Photo of Carla Wilshire

Carla Wilshire OAM

Migration Council Australia

Carmel Guerra OAM

Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network
Photo of Shukufa Tahiri

Shukufa Tahiri

Refugee Council of Australia
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Jill Morgan

Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia
Minh Nguyen

Minh Nguyen

Wellsprings for Women
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Jeanette Hourani

Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition

Governance Advisory Committee

The Governance Advisory Committee supports the Alliance Council and the Chair of the Alliance Council in carrying out their functions. The Governance Advisory Committee provides high-level advice on strategic growth, sustainability, good governance and effectiveness of the Alliance.

To view the Governance Advisory Committee’s Terms of Reference, click here.

Headshot Dimopoulos

Maria Dimopoulos

Click to read biography >

Eugenia Tsoulis OAM

Click to read biography >

Libby Lloyd AM

Click to read biography >

Ambassadors

Bianca Elmir

Click to read biography >

Hana Assafiri OAM

Click to read biography >

Young Women's Advisory Group

The Young Migrant and Refugee Women’s Advisory Group provides advice to the Alliance Council and, as appropriate, to Alliance Members on issues relevant to young migrant and refugee women. The Alliance Advisory Group will be responsible for:

The Alliance Advisory Group will comprise up to ten individuals identifying as women from migrant or refugee backgrounds aged 18-28 years representing the three constituency groups of the Alliance.

To view the Alliance Young Women’s Advisory Group Terms of Reference, click here.

Lisa Lewis (Chair)

Click to read biography >

Anyier Yuol

Click to read biography >

Deena Yousif

Click to read biography >
Photo of Hannah Dube

Hannah Dube

Click to read biography >
Photo of Achol Madong

Achol Madong

Click to read biography >
Photo of Angelica Carvajal

Angelica Carvajal

CLICK TO READ BIOGRAPHY>
Photo of Annie Gao

Annie Gao

CLICK TO READ BIOGRAPHY>
Photo of Noor Azizah

Noor Azizah

CLICK TO READ BIOGRAPHY>
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Amara Khan

Click to read biography >
Photo of Freshta Qasimi

Freshta Qasimi

CLICK TO READ BIOGRAPHY>

Alliance Secretariat

Migration Council Australia provides substantive and logistical support to the Harmony Alliance and associated bodies through the Alliance Secretariat.

Migration Council Australia
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Photo of Freshta Qasimi

Freshta Qasimi

Freshta moved to Australia when she was 15 years old and currently residing in Melbourne Victoria. Freshta obtained her bachelor’s degree in health science from Swinburne University of technology in Melbourne. During completing her bachelor’s degree, she was always passionate about Refugee and migrant women’s health and wellbeing hence she did extensive research/projects in this area. Freshta is currently employed as a Settlement case worker at Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre (SMRC) and undertaking settlement programs which aims to create opportunities, develop skills and knowledge of humanitarian entrants by providing culturally competent case management services.

Freshta has extensive volunteer experience in multiple organisations such as Red cross, Salvation Army and Monash health (Refugee Health and Wellbeing).

Freshta believes that Women are often the first responders in a crisis, and whether in refugee camps, in home countries or destination countries, they play a crucial role in caring for, sustaining, and rebuilding their communities. Freshta is passionate about supporting and empowering women.

Migrating and spending time in multiple countries firsthand Freshta is fluent in Dari, Korean and Russian languages who enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures.

 

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Amara Khan

Amara completed her undergraduate degree in Laws and Social/Political Sciences from the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a second-generation Pakistani Australian passionate about advocating for the equal rights, privileges, and treatment of people who come from migrant, refugee, or asylum seeker backgrounds. Amara wishes to pursue a career in international human rights law, whilst also engaging in the realm of policy research and reform catered towards ensuring just and equitable outcomes for all human beings. Through her involvement as a Youth Ambassador at the Multicultural Youth Ambassador Network (MYAN), Amara has been introduced to programs and initiatives that aim to empower the youth and also break barriers of social, cultural, and economic inequality.

In her spare time, Amara loves to read and write in her spare time. She is currently a volunteer contributor for a newly established online human rights law publication called Human Rights Pulse.

 

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Annie Gao

Annie is a student of Bachelor of Health Science student at UTS and is passionate about advocating for women’s health rights. She hopes to encourage and support more young refugee and migrant women to participate in public health programs. Her involvement with Multicultural Youth Ambassador Network (MYAN) and Kaldor drives her passion to advocate for inclusive communities.

Annie is determined to connect CALD young women and pave the future of Australia’s public health landscape.

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Angelica Carvajal

Angelica holds a bachelor's degree in health sciences and is studying her graduate certificate in Public Health. Having a Peruvian background, she is passionate about rectifying migrant and refugee health and social inequities in Australia. She is also a proud Adelaidean, and loves to write in her spare time.

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Noor Azizah

Noor Azizah is a 25 year old Rohingya woman living in Sydney. She was born in Maungdaw in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and was brought up in an Islamic household. She and her family ended up in Malaysia leaving Arakan in Myanmar as a young child. They were stateless in Malaysia. They left Malaysia when she was 8 years old and was resettled in Australia in 2003.  Noor Azizah is now a primary school teacher working for the public school system in Sydney, Australia. She is also an English as a Second language teacher.

Her experience in advocacy started at The University of Sydney, she was interested in helping women and children from refugee backgrounds as she had experienced feeling removed, isolated, homeless and unworthy as a woman and as a child. She decided to combine her university degree along with teaching English as a second language in order to assist newly arrived refugee children English.

Noor Azizah had the opportunity to be a part of the Gender Audit Team (Global Compact on Refugees) and representing the Burmese Rohingyan Community in Sydney. She attended the First Global Refugee Forum at the United Nations in Geneva and spoke as a pannelist about gender based violence that impacts refugee girls and women. She was invited to be a panellist speaker at the NSW annual women’s teachers’ conference and was able to share about her own experiences and the importance of understanding refugee students. She is a member of the ATCR (Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement) refugee steering group for UNHCR and is a refugee ambassador for Refugee Council of Australia. She is also a FECCA’s Youth Advisory Committee Member,

Noor Azizah is extremely passionate in refugee women issues such as gender- based violence that leads to more women not being able to participate in schooling and receiving basic needs and rights. She is also passionate in assisting refugee women to go to school and to receive an education. 

Minh Nguyen

Minh Nguyen

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Jill Morgan AM

Jill Morgan AM has worked extensively in multicultural and indigenous arts in Australia for over the past 25 years. She is a current Board member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. She was recently the acting Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria and is the former Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural Arts Victoria and Executive Director of Kulcha, Multicultural Arts of Western Australia. She is an active cultural and community development worker and leader in multiculturalism and the arts.  Jill has contributed significantly to cultural policy development and strategies locally and nationally to promote diversity, human rights and inclusion. She is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all Australians, including newly emerged individuals and communities and the right of all Australians to express and share their cultural heritage through the arts.

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Pefi Kingi

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Shukufa Tahiri

Shukufa Tahiri is currently a Policy Officer with the Refugee Council of Australia. Her work involves policy analysis, research and advocacy on issues affecting people seeking asylum and refugees. She brings co-design and community-led mindset to all her work. She is currently the vice chair of the National Refugee Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG),  an Advisory Committee member of UNSW Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, an advisory board member to the Western Sydney University Network for Law and Human Rights, and an executive board member of Akademos Society that helps with the education of girls, youth and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was selected as an Australian civil society representative for the Human Rights Council session 40 by DFAT in Geneva.  The Australian Financial Review has also named her as one of 2018’s 100 women of influence in Australia.

 

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Nyadol Nyuon

Nyadol Nyuon is the Chair of Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change. She is a lawyer, community advocate, writer, and accomplished public speaker.

Nyadol was born in a refugee camp in Itang, Ethiopia, and raised in Kakuma Refugee camp, Kenya. In 2005, at the age of eighteen, she moved to Australia as a refugee. Since then, Nyadol has completed a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne. She now works as a commercial litigator with Arnold Bloch Leibler.

Nyadol Nyuon is a vocal advocate for human rights, migrant and refugee women, and the settlement of people with refugee experiences and those seeking asylum. She has worked and volunteered extensively in these areas with a range of organisations. Nyadol is also a regular media commentator on these issues, having appeared on ABC’s The Drum, as a panellist on Q&A and contributing to The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and the Saturday Paper, to name just a few.

In both 2011 and 2014, Nyadol was nominated as one of the one hundred most influential African Australians. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Future Justice Prize. In 2018, her efforts to combat racism were widely recognised, with achievements including the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Racism. It Stops With Me Award for her advocacy and activism on behalf of the Australian-African and Melbourne’s South Sudanese communities, and the Harmony Alliance Award for significant contribution to empowering migrant and refugee women. Nyadol was a co-winner of the Tim McCoy Prize for her advocacy on behalf of the South Sudanese community and received the Afro-Australian Student Organisation Unsung Hero Award.

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Jeanette Hourani

A refugee in her own country Lebanon, then a refugee in Germany until she migrated to Australia in 1988. Jeanette has passion to gender equity and advocacy. Established Voice of Arabic Women on Radio 3CR to address the issues of gender, power, domestic violence, women’s empowerment in the capacity of a volunteer. Worked at SBS radio as a paid journalist/broadcaster. Held various positions and coordinated various programs and projects including women’s health, family and children’s services and early childhood, training and education including Dianella Community Health, Royal Women’s Hospital and VICSEG New Futures. Worked with grassroots women as an advocate, support and mentor. Joined the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition (VIRWC) and held Chairperson positions and a Board member. Winner of Hume City Council’s 2007 Teacher’s Award.

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Achol Madong

Achol is involved with community issues in WA and has extensive professional and voluntary experience that has provided her with a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues facing multiculturalism in the community. It is well documented that there are significant social and health issues that affect migrants and refugees who are trying to resettle within the Australian community and Achol has held many discussions directly with community members concerning myriad major and minor issues that are seen as barriers to proper integration. Additionally, she has extensive experience in dealing with Australia’s Indigenous community, and although the issues are different, there is a similarity to the issues affecting CALD community youth. It is because of the intimate nature of my previous work as a Youth Worker, where Achol engaged with at-risk communities. She has developed a strong appreciation of their physical, mental, social, educational and employment issues. This spans drugs, alcohol, crime, poverty, mental health, cultural shock, communication issues, religion, lack of work opportunities and getting to know Australia’s laws or government systems.

In a previous role as a Program  Coordinator for Edmund Rice Centre WA, Achol was responsible for organising and providing after-school sporting activities for humanitarian entrants, culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD), indigenous and ‘at risk’ youth with the assistance of trained Youth Workers, volunteers, and contracted sporting personnel.  Achol currently work at Royal Life Saving Society WA as an Inclusion Coordinator.

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Hannah Dube

Hannah migrated from Zimbabwe to Perth, Western Australia in 2009 with her mother, father and a younger sister. She has an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences majoring in Health Promotion and a Masters Degree in Public Health from Edith Cowan University. Hannah has lived in regional Western Australia for the last 5 years where she has volunteered in various organisations through the community.

She currently lives in the Great Southern in Western Australia and is an active participant in the immigrant community where she supports young immigrants into leadership roles and connecting them to relevant supports in their community. Hannah works as Suicide Prevention Officer  for the Great Southern region with Palmerston Association were she works on initiatives, program and project towards a mentally safe community, through her work at Palmerston Hannah serves as a chairperson for Katanning Action on Drugs and Alcohol (KADA) a professional stakeholder network reducing the impact of alcohol and drug use in the Upper Great Southern as well as a secretary for the Great Southern Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (GSSPAG), and is a member of the Albany Youth Advisory Council, Depression Support Network among many other networks and groups in her community. Hannah brings with her skills and experience in leadership, decision-making, project planning and implementation, as demonstrated with her professional work and work within the community.
In her free time Hannah likes to read and explore Western Australia’s beautiful coastline and country side.

Hana Assafiri

Hana Assafiri OAM is a tireless advocate for women in the community, a spokesperson for Islamic feminism in Australia and as a long-time Melbourne icon, she is celebrated for both her generosity and success as a businesswoman. Hana has dedicated her professional and private life to removing barriers that prevent women from living prosperous lives. By opening
her first restaurant in 1998, the popular Moroccan Soup Bar in North Fitzroy–now an institution for many Victorians, Hana has provided employment opportunities for marginalised members of the community. In 2015, Hana was awarded TimeOut’s Legend Award for her flair for innovation and entrepreneurship. In March 2017 Hana was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, celebrating her contribution made to local communities and human rights. In 2019, Hana was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to women and the broader community.

Bianca Elmir

Bianca Elmir is a woman of Lebanese and Islamic heritage raised in Canberra. With a degree in international relations and community development, her experience spans various roles: from working on an HIV/AIDS prevention program in rural South Africa, to advising a Greens member of the ACT Assembly, to acting as a film stunt woman and being on reality TV. Defying gender stereotypes, she has won national and international titles in both boxing and kickboxing. By utilising boxing as an instrument to inspire and elevate self-esteem, Bianca facilitates women’s boxing clinics across Australia and the Pacific providing peer-mentoring program for marginalised young women. A feature length documentary about Bianca titled Bam Bam the Movie was released in 2018 and has been selected for various film festivals and awards nationally and internationally.

Dr Manjula O’Connor

Manjula is a Psychiatrist with 4 decades of experience, an applied researcher and a published author. Her primary area of interest for past 10 years has been family violence and mental health in immigrant communities. She chairs the Royal Australian NZ College of Psychiatrists’ Family Violence Psychiatry Network and is Honorary Senior Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.

Manjula co-founded the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health in 2012 and advocates against family violence in immigrant communities. Manjula led the public dowry abuse campaign in Australia that led to the inclusion of laws against dowry abuse in the Victorian Family Violence Protection Act and triggered the Federal Senate Enquiry into dowry abuse. She is a member of South Asian Community Ministerial Advisory Council.

Manjula is also a White Ribbon Advocate.

Manjula’s work has been cited in the Victorian Parliament and the Federal Australian Parliament several times.

Deena Yousif

Born in Baghdad Iraq, Deena draws on her own life experiences to provide an informed voice on what it means to be a CALD woman and thrive in our 21st century.

Through evolving her own beliefs and traditions she has learnt acceptance, resilience, leadership and compassion.

Deena holds a Bachelor of Laws and recently undertook her Masters in International Business on scholarship in Paris, France. She now devotes her time as an eager and passionate humanitarian, cultivating opportunities and managing relationships with philanthropists, to support children in poverty through the transformative power of education.

Deena has spent time volunteering with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Services in Queensland, constructing affidavits for recently arrived refugees in Australia. In Victoria, she has volunteered with Sisterworks a not-for-profit that exists to help women migrants, asylum seekers and refugees become financially independent and happily settled in Australia. Deena continues to connect with her community through Jesuit Social Services' Just Voices Speakers Program.

Lisa Lewis

Lisa is a Master of Social Science (Development, Security and Sustainability) student who advocates for peace, equality and justice within her local community. She currently works at her regional peak body, the Western Sydney Community Forum, in the Policy and Projects team, and has experience volunteering with The Australian Red Cross, Amnesty International, UNICEF and Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network.

Lisa's activism has involved initiatives directed towards supporting people from youth, LGBTIQ+, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, older, lower socio-economic and CALD backgrounds. She has been recognised with a 2018 Outstanding Youth Leader of Greater Western Sydney ZEST Award, 2017 Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Engagement and Sustainability and 2016 Dean's Merit List Award. Lisa dedicates her time and effort towards ensuring intersectional and inclusive community development approaches are utilised within the services she contributes to.

Anyier Yuol

Anyier Yuol is the chair of the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW).
Anyier was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moved to Australia when she was ten years old. In 2015 she completed a Bachelor of Arts Major in Development Studies, Sociology and Anthropology at UNSW and is currently studying her Masters in International Development (Refugees and Displacement).

She is currently employed at Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) as a Youth Transition Support Worker, where she works particularly with newly arrived refugee youth to connect them with education, sporting and employment opportunities, as well as to the local community.

Anyier Yuol currently divides her time between refugee community activism, youth leadership, mentoring, playing soccer and being a sports advocate, and modelling. She is determined to encourage, inspire and support her fellow women to find and exceed their potential within the modelling world and all other facets of their lives and those around them.

Anyier has extensive experience speaking and performing to large and diverse audiences. She is acknowledged and credited for leadership and motivational skills, as well as her drive, perseverance and capacity to engage a wide variety of groups and individuals.

Michal Morris

Ms Michal Morris is the CEO of inTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence, based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Michal has a deep commitment to social justice evidenced by a senior executive career across the government and third sector, driving access and equity in client centred care and evidence based service and program delivery.

Michal has 20 years’ experience working in the multicultural sector, as well as leading a range of health programs including mental health, suicide prevention and drug and alcohol.

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Carla Wilshire OAM

Ms Carla Wilshire represents Migration Council Australia – an ex-officio member of the Council.

Carla is the CEO of Migration Council Australia, the national research and policy institution on migration, settlement and social cohesion.

Carla has a background in policy development, corporate governance and tertiary research. She has worked as a public servant and as an advisor to Government, principally in the area of migration and resettlement, including as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

Carla is a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity, which provides policy advice 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 Partnership and co-founded the Friendly Nation Initiative, which aims to link corporate Australia with the settlement community to improve employment outcomes for refugees.

Eugenia Tsoulis OAM

Ms Eugenia Tsoulis has 40 years of work experience across a number of sectors focusing on multicultural policy research and review, leadership management, mental health, education, the arts, and employment and training.

Eugenia is the CEO of the Australian Migrant Resource Centre, and over the past 20 years, she has overseen its expanding work, ensuring a critical leadership position in South Australia’s social, cultural and economic development.

Previously, as the Director of the Migrant Workers’ Centre, her work furthered migrant women’s employment, training and participation. Eugenia has established programs that serve to empower migrant and refugee women and young people through the Stronger Families initiative that counters domestic violence and through women’s training and employment.

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1994, ZONTA Woman of the Year Award in 2007, and the Governor’s Multicultural Award—Individual Achiever of the Year in 2012. Eugenia was a founding member of the Settlement Council of Australia, and has served on a considerable number of State and Commonwealth boards and advisory committees.

Eugenia received the inaugural Harmony Alliance Award in 2017, for lifetime contribution to empowering migrant and refugee women.

Tamara Stewart-Jones

Ms Tamara Stewart-Jones represents Multicultural Youth South Australia.

Tamara has 14 years of leadership and service delivery experience in the human services in both mainstream and multicultural contexts. She has extensive knowledge and experience in responding to a range of social issues and problems, having worked across service areas as diverse as settlement, health, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, crisis intervention and domestic violence.

Tamara has dual qualifications in primary health care and transpersonal counseling, as well as post‑graduate qualifications in Social Work.

She has worked in a teaching and research capacity at the University of South Australia for the past three years with her work focusing on new and emerging issues in both refugee and Indigenous communities.

Violet Roumeliotis

Ms Violet Roumeliotis represents Settlement Services International, a NSW community‑based, not-for-profit organisation that provides support services for refugees, asylum seekers, people with disability, job seekers, and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who require foster care.

Violet has steered SSI through a major growth period, from a staff of less than 70 just four years ago, to over 500 in 2016. She was named in Pro Bono Australia’s 2014 and 2015 lists of the 25 most influential people working in the not-for-profit sector.

Violet has an extensive background in the leadership of large not‑for‑profit organisations and providing services to at‑risk communities. She has developed specialised knowledge and skills in working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, refugees, women and families in crisis, and prisoners.

Violet has a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Sociology and History from UNSW, and a Masters in Management from UTS. She is also an accredited mediator.

Maria Osman

Maria Osman is a leader with over 30 years’ experience in gender equity, diversity and human rights as a senior government policy adviser, consultant, speaker, trainer and community activist.

As the former Executive Director of WA’s Office of Multicultural Interests and Office for Women’s Policy, she has led the development and implementation of cutting-edge policies and programs.

Maria has always combined her senior roles with grass roots advocacy with migrant and refugee women. She was appointed as Australia’s official delegate to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York and has served on numerous national, state and community boards.

She is currently the Chair of the Humanitarian Group, member of the Multicultural Advisory Group advising the WA Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, the WA Premiers Supporting Community Forum and the Ministerial Expert Panel and Voluntary and Assisted Dying and the Somali Womens Association.

Maria was awarded the WA Government Multicultural Community Service Award in 2007 and a National Living Legends Award, awarded to the 100 most influential African-Australians in 2012. Maria is of Somali heritage, is a mother and grandmother.

Sahar Okhovat

Ms Sahar Okhovat represents Refugee Council of Australia – an ex-officio member of the Council.

Sahar is a Senior Policy Officer with the Refugee Council of Australia, the national umbrella body for refugees, people seeking asylum and the organisations and individuals who support them. Her work involves research, policy and advocacy on issues impacting refugees and people seeking asylum.

Sahar previously worked with Australian Red Cross as a caseworker and a team leader in Migration Support Program and later on as a Humanitarian Observer, monitoring conditions of immigration detention centres. She holds a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney.

Juliana Nkrumah AM

Ms Juliana Nkrumah AM represents African Women Australia. Juliana is an advocate for women—specifically refugee women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and African women.

She founded African Women Australia as part of her quest to have African women gain a voice in Australian sociopolitical systems.

Juliana has served on several Boards to improve the status of women, including the Board of YWCA NSW, Australian National Committee on Refugee Women, Act For Peace, African Ministerial Committee, and the Eminent Australians Committee to review the Australian Citizenship Test.

Juliana’s past contributions included being the first women's representative of the African Communities’ Council NSW, initiating African Workers Network in Sydney, working as the first Community Education and Development Worker on FGM in Australia and advising in the development of the National Education Toolkit for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Awareness.

She managed the African Liaison Unit set up in Centrelink's Multicultural Services Unit in 2005-2006, and led two nationwide consultations into issues affecting refugees and migrants from African countries.

Juliana Nkrumah was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for her work in the community, and was the winner of Woman of the West from University of Western Sydney in 2007.

Libby Lloyd AM

During her career Ms Libby Lloyd has been: President of UNIFEM/UN Women in Australia (2002-05); co-founder and board member of White Ribbon Foundation (2003-2013); Chair of Australia’s National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (2008-09). Libby has worked internationally with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); in the Commonwealth Public Service and in the private and community sectors.

Libby is or has been CEO, chair or member of a range of government advisory boards, private and not-for-profit organisations and continues to hold a number of senior roles in the community sector. She is Patron of the indigo foundation and of the Gold Coast Centre against Sexual Violence.

In 1992 Libby’s work with the United Nations and for Australian communities overseas was recognised when she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to refugees and to the international community in Iraq and Kuwait.

Maha Krayem Abdo

Ms Maha Krayem Abdo represents the United Muslim Women Association.

Maha has spent over three decades 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 2016 Maha was the NSW Seniors Week Ambassador as well as the BreastScreen NSW Ambassador. In 2015 Maha was a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal, and in 2014 she was the NSW Human Rights Ambassador for 2014-15.

Gail Ker OAM

Ms Gail Ker represents Access Community Services. Over the past 20 years,

Gail’s vast industry experience and arguably unrivalled expertise in the Australian multicultural, humanitarian and community sectors have seen her change countless lives for the better. A nationally lauded and award winning visionary, Gail leads nearly 300 staff at Access in pursuit of their organisational vision—to create social, cultural and economic experiences and opportunities that transform the lives of individuals and communities globally.

Renowned for her expertise in innovative service solutions for newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants, Gail is a recognised thought leader in needs-based community planning, innovative business models, and strategic partnerships. Gail’s knowledge is actively sought by policy makers, politicians, and industry leaders, both nationally and internationally.

She serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Settlement Services Advisory Council advising the Federal Minister for Social Services.

Gail’s standing has been recognised with a number of honours, including the 2010 Order of Australia Medal, and 2017 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards –Empowering Women Award.

Uieta Kaufusi

Ms Uieta Kaufusi represents Tongan Association of Canberra and Queanbeyan.

Ms 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 Counseling service.

Prior to joining the 1800RESPECT team in 2016, she led a breadth of initiatives on addressing domestic and family violence both in Australia and overseas. In her previous role as Learning and Development Manager at Lifeline Australia, Uieta managed the development and implementation of the DV‑Alert training suite—a nationally accredited and delivered domestic violence response training program for frontline workers. During her work with DV‑Alert, Uieta oversaw the development, implementation and evaluation of the General, Indigenous and Multicultural streams of DV-Alert, including the DV Awareness session and the Brothers Standing Tall: Aboriginal Men’s Program.

Uieta is married with 3 children and is a member of the ACT Government Multicultural Advisory Council, the White Ribbon Australia Indigenous Reference Group, and the Lifeline Aotearoa Pasifika Reference Group.

Carmel Guerra OAM

Ms Carmel Guerra represents Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network – an ex-officio member of the Council.

For over 30 years, Carmel has been a strong advocate for young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds in Victoria. Carmel has used her extensive experience to improve advocacy and support networks for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. As the CEO of the Centre for Multicultural Youth, she is at the forefront of innovative service delivery and policy development.

Carmel’s contribution and service to multicultural youth in Victoria has been recognised with a Victorian Premier’s Award for Community Harmony in 2015 and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016. Carmel is the Chairperson of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN), the national peak body representing multicultural youth issues in Australia.

She also serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Youth Parole Board of Victoria, the Victorian Children’s Council, the Migration Council of Australia, and the Settlement Services Advisory Council advising the Federal Minister for Social Services.

Khadija Gbla

Ms Khadija Gbla is an individual member of the Harmony Alliance Council.

Khadija is a very passionate and inspired young African Australian woman. She is the Director of Khadija Gbla Cultural consultancy, which offers cultural awareness, intelligence training and facilitation to government agencies, not‑for‑profit organisations and individuals; advocacy and mentoring to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Khadija is also the Executive Director of No FGM Australia—a not‑for‑profit organisation, which works to protect Australian girls from FGM and to support survivors of FGM. She is an Ambassador for Our Watch and Director of Reacher’s Philanthropy - Committed to Women's and Girl's Self Empowerment.

Khadija is an award winning inspirational speaker, facilitator and consultant and has been recognised on a number of occasions, including most recently as 2017 Cosmopolitan Women of the Year finalist, 2016 Women's Weekly and Qantas Women of the Future finalist, and 2016 AusMumpreneur Rising Star and Making a Difference Award recipient.

Photo of Sandra Wright

Sandra Wright

Sandra is the CEO of the Settlement Council of Australia, the peak body representing Australia's vibrant settlement services. SCoA's members include organisations, large and small, who are committed to the successful settlement of refugees and migrants across the country. Prior to joining SCoA, Sandra led law reform in the areas of sexual assault and family violence. She has also held leadership positions in settlement services, and a number of board and advisory council positions in the multicultural and women's sectors. Sandra is a qualified lawyer, and is currently pursuing a PhD on domestic and family violence in Australian Muslim communities.

 

Maria Dimopoulos (Chair)

Ms Maria Dimopoulos is the independent Chair of the Alliance Council and the Harmony Alliance.

Maria is a nationally and internationally recognised expert specialising in the intersections of cultural diversity, gender equality and the law. As Managing Director at Myriad International Consulting Services she has had extensive experience in policy formulation for Government, research for social planning and in community legal education.

Much of Maria’s work has been aimed at promoting and enhancing cultural diversity and gender informed approaches in the ongoing complex legal and political reform processes and in ensuring the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives in those reform processes.

Maria continues to deliver judicial education programs across Australia and currently sits on a number of boards including the Coronial Council of Victoria, the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity and the Castan Centre for Human Rights.