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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).

Alliance Council

The Alliance Council carries out the work of the Alliance, on behalf of Alliance Members, in line with set strategic directions. It is made up of:

Elections to the Alliance Council are held every two years, with the next elections due in 2019.

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

Anyier Yuol

Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW)

Maria Osman

Violet Roumeliotis

Settlement Services International

Dewani Bakkum

Settlement Council of Australia

Michal Morris

inTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence

Carla Wilshire OAM

Migration Council Australia

Carmel Guerra OAM

Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network

Sahar Okhovat

Refugee Council of Australia

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.

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Maria Dimopoulos

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Eugenia Tsoulis OAM

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Libby Lloyd AM

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Ambassadors

Bianca Elmir

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Hana Assafiri OAM

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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)

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Anyier Yuol

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Deena Yousif

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Hannah Dube

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Achol Madong

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Angelica Carvajal

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Annie Gao

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Noor Azizah

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Amara Khan

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Freshta Qasimi

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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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