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About the Alliance

Harmony Alliance has the following objectives:

  • Provide a platform for a diversity of migrant and refugee women and relevant practitioners to coordinate engagement and strategic direction;

  • Enable an effective voice for migrant and refugee women in domestic and international policy;

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

Alliance bodies comprise:

  • Alliance Members

  • Alliance Council

  • Young Migrant and Refugee Women’s Advisory Group

  • Alliance Governance Committee

  • Alliance Secretariat

Our Values

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Reconciliation

The Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of Country and the continuation of traditional cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We are committed to the reconciliation of our nation, and are taking steps to promote this vision through the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan. As an organisation focused primarily on the rights of migrant women, it is critical for us to reflect on the ongoing impacts of colonisation and how we can work to support the rights and self-determination of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters.

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Human Rights

The Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change adopts a human-rights based approach in promoting the voice and participation of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds in Australian society. We recognise the inherent value of each person, of all backgrounds, genders, ages, abilities, social standings, sexual orientations or religions. We promote the principles of dignity, equality, autonomy, non-discrimination and mutual respect.

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Diversity, Inclusion and Intersectionality

The Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change acknowledges the diversity of experiences of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and the ways in which different aspects of a person’s identity can affect their experiences, including facing additional structural barriers and discrimination. These aspects can include gender, ethnicity and cultural background, language, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, geographic location or migration status.

The Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change seeks to boost representation and diversity within our work, while concurrently building the capacity of members to engage in the context of intersectionality. We encourage membership and participation by individuals and organisations of diverse and intersecting identities, including, but not limited to, diverse sexual identities, ages, geographic location, and people living with disability. We consider ‘women’ to include all who self-identify as a woman.

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Feminist Framework

The Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change adopts a feminist approach in recognition of the significant impact of deeply embedded gender inequality in all levels of our society. All efforts to promote the rights of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds must support the empowerment of all women, as well as broader social equality.

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:

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

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

  • One 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 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;

  • One appointed independent Chair.

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.

Maria Dimopoulos (Chair)

Chair of the Alliance Council and the Harmony Alliance

Maha Krayem Abdo OAM

United Muslim Women Association

Juliana Nkrumah AM

African Women Australia

Uieta Kaufusi

Tongan Association of Canberra and Queanbeyan

Khadija Gbla

Individual member

Violet Roumeliotis

Settlement Services International

Gail Ker OAM

Access Community Services

Michal Morris

inTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence

Tamara Stewart-Jones

Multicultural Youth South Australia

Carla Wilshire OAM

Migration Council Australia

Carmel Guerra OAM

Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network

Sahar Okhovat

Refugee Council of Australia

Dewani Bakkum

Settlement Council of Australia

Anyier Yuol

Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW)

Alliance Governance Committee

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

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

Maria Osman

Click to read biography >

Eugenia Tsoulis OAM

Click to read biography >

Libby Lloyd AM

Click to read biography >

Joumanah El Matrah

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:

  • Providing valuable insights on issues as they relate to young women;

  • Informing policy and advocacy work in consulta4on with the Alliance Council and the Alliance Secretariat; and

  • Driving specific projects.

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.

Carmel Guerra OAM (Co-chair)

Click to read biography >

Anyier Yuol (Co-chair)

Click to read biography >

Sonia Ghimire

Lavanya Kala

Click to read biography >

Lisa Lewis

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Sneha Mishra

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Meron Reda

Click to read biography >

Celia Tran BSocSc MA (IntDev)

Click to read biography >

Nunia Tuinukuafe

Click to read biography >

Andrea Arias Vela

Click to read biography >

Sarah Yahya

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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Nunia Tuinukuafe

Nunia is a proud and passionate young Tongan woman living in Canberra. She divides her time between youth development and leadership, migrant and refugee women advocacy, and community and cultural engagement programs. Nunia is the first woman to hold a position in her Church Council, which is traditionally only appointed to men. Her passion for leadership and equal opportunities for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds is what brought her to Harmony Alliance.

In 2012 Nunia was selected as ACT Young Women’s Delegate for the Young Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program. In 2013 she was nominated as the Secretary of the Multicultural Women’s Advocacy Inc board. Her migration story was featured in the Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Stories series as part of Canberra’s centenary celebration.

Nunia is a cultural dance tutor for Island Time and a founding member of Nesian Mana a group of young Pacific Leaders that facilitates cultural, leadership & mentoring programs for Young Pacific Island secondary school students in Canberra under the auspice of the ACT Pacific Island United Council.

Meron Reda

Meron is a Sudanese-born Ethiopian-Australian who enjoys working for, supporting, as well as empowering others. She holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Queensland (UQ) in Applied Linguistics and a Bachelor Degree in International Studies with an International Relations Major. She works to support disadvantaged individuals and communities including migrants and refugees. Meron has previously worked for the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT), Migrant and Refugees Settlement Services (MARSS) of the ACT Inc. in Canberra, and the Multicultural Development Association (MDA) in Brisbane.

Working in these spaces taught Meron about settlement and the particular issues facing women, families and people from CALD backgrounds. Meron believes these awareness and insights, both from her personal and work-related experiences, are what she can contribute to help bring about positive changes for migrant and refugee Australian women.

Celia Tran BSocSc MA (IntDev)

Celia Tran is an experienced policy and communications professional with a demonstrated history of working for State Government and non-profit organisations. Celia is skilled in community development and stakeholder engagement, multicultural affairs, education, youth engagement, strategic and project management. Celia is an executive member of the Vietnamese Community in Australia (Vic), and member of the advisory board of the Dual Identity Leadership Program and board member for Western Chances – a NFP organisation supporting disadvantaged youth in Melbourne’s West achieve their educational potential.

A strong human rights advocate, Celia’s awards include the 2015 Victorian Multicultural Commission Ambassador Award for Multicultural Excellence, the 2016 Australia Day Maribyrnong City Council Youth Leadership Award and the 2016 Premier’s Volunteer of the year, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award . Celia was also a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Commission – Human Rights Medal Award.

Andrea Arias Vela

Andrea is from Mexico and has settled in Melbourne for the last 2 years, currently she is part of the YWAG and also works at UNITED, Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre, a not-for-profit dedicated to providing different community services, especially for the Spanish Speaking Migrants and Refugees in Victoria.

Andrea has been actively participating within the Latin-American community and understands the needs and struggles that migrant and refugees from Latin-American face, especially women. At UNITED, Andrea worked to understand the needs of the community in order to support the development of new services and programs that enhance their wellbeing.

Andrea has qualifications in Business Administration and in Marketing and has more than 9 years’ experience in different roles in Marketing and Communications in services industries. In Australia, she has particular experience in the aged care industry and community services.

Sneha Mishra

Originally from Nepal, Sneha migrated to Australia with her family in 2010. Relocating to a new, foreign country whilst also transitioning into adolescence, equipped Sneha with a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges that come with immigration.

Sneha has experience at State and National levels in participating in conversations regarding issues of youth, having been a delegate in summits such as the Catalyst Summit for Multicultural Youth and the National Association of University Colleges’ Conference.

During her time on the Young Women’s Advisory Group, Sneha hopes to learn and work more on the intersecting issues of inequality for young women of migrant and refugee backgrounds, how it influences social, economic and personal issues and how we can work towards empowering young women in the migratory process.

Sneha is currently studying a degree in Medicine at the University of Western Australia.

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.

Lavanya Kala

Lavanya Kala is an experienced policy and communications professional. She has extensive knowledge of social policy, politics and not-for-profit management. Her particular areas of expertise extend to migration, multicultural affairs, human rights and gender equity.

She is currently employed as the Policy Manager at Volunteering Australia and is responsible for leading all policy and advocacy strategy, research, and government and stakeholder relations. In June 2018, Lavanya was selected as one of only two civil society representatives to attend the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. She has also contributed to the 70th Session of CEDAW.

Lavanya is a proud feminist, giving her time to a number of not-for-profits in the past decade aimed at supporting women and girls, including Mahboba’s Promise and the National Committee for UN Women. Lavanya currently serves as a Board Director at Beryl Women Inc. in Canberra.

She has a Bachelor’s in Communications (Social Inquiry) from the University of Technology Sydney, and is currently completing a Masters of International Law at the Australian National University.

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.

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

Ms 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 lead 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 an Independent Director on the PKKP Indigenous Trust, The Humanitarian Group, and the Multicultural Advisory Group advising the WA Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests.

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.

Joumanah El Matrah

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

Ms Joumanah El Matrah is the CEO of the Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights (AMWCHR) and a PhD student at Swinburne University - her Doctorate is on counter terrorism and its impact on Muslim communities.

Joumanah has published a number of works on Muslim women in Australia. Trained as a psychologist, Joumanah is a community development worker and has been active in the community welfare sector for 20 years.

She has been a member on many government and community boards, including the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Australian Multicultural Advisory Council, the Victorian Women’s Trust, and Family and Sexual Violence Case Management Centre (Lae, Papua New Guinea).

She is currently a member of the DFAT Council for Arab Australian Relations, and the Annual National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery of the Australian Government Attorney General’s Department.

Joumanah is also a Churchill Fellow and researched the impact of the human rights movement on Muslim women internationally.

Dewani Bakkum

Ms Dewani Bakkum represents Settlement Council of Australia – an ex-officio member of the Council.

She has been involved in the community and charitable sectors for the past 40 years in Australia and in Fiji, and has an extensive background in developing and delivering services for disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. Dewani is the CEO of the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of the ACT.

She has a strong understanding of the migrant experience and a passion for helping migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants to participate in their new communities and to become proud and engaged members of a diverse Australian society.

Dewani is passionate about her Fijian heritage, serving as past President, Vice President and Secretary of the Fiji Australia Association of the ACT.

Dewani has qualifications in Community Services and Development, and Business Management and Accounting. She is a member of the ACT Chief Minister’s Advisory Committee to the Office of Fair Trading, the Ministerial Multicultural Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Committee for Welcoming Cities.

Dewani was awarded the FECCA Multicultural Award and the ACT International Women’s Award for Multiculturalism in 2008.

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.