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Webinar series

The first webinar in the series, Connecting with the self: Identity, belonging, and leadership, was recorded on 15 November 2019. The webinar features Bianca Elmir, Hana Assafiri, and Wesa Chau.

Featuring

Bianca Elmir

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Wesa Chau

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Hana Assafiri OAM

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Maria Osman

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Wesa Chau

Wesa Chau is the CEO of Cultural Intelligence and co-founder of Belonging From The Inside Out, an initiative to promote belonging through leadership programs and workshops, especially for people from a different cultural background. She has been a strong advocate for cultural diversity and gender diversity for two decades. Her work is recognised through a number of prestigious awards, including being an inductee of the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and is a finalist for the Agenda Settle of the Year Award in 2016.  She is also a member of the Multicultural Business Ministerial Council and Ministerial Council for Women’s Equality.

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.

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.