Watch Awards 2012 - SBS TV News 

Join us to celebrate our HEROES ! Community Leaders, Past and Present Board Members of African-Australian Community Organizations, Distinguished Members of our Communities and Foremost organizations supporting the African Communities in Australia. This prestigious event is coming soon in your state or territory. Watch out for dates and venues. Thank you.

  Icons and 2012/13 Award finalists...


Dorinda is the African Australian Woman of the Year Award Winner. A  foremost African in media, television, advertising, celebrity chef, entertainer, public speaker, marriage celebrant, author of 7 books and most celebrated African in South Australia and in Australia.

Dorinda is among the 40 local champions appointed by the Australian Prime Minister as People of Australia Ambassadors in 2012.

In pic: Dorinda and the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Mr Hieu Van Le

Anton Enus is an award winning broadcast journalist with more than 20 years of experience. His career spans television, radio and print coverage of international news and current affairs in both South Africa and Australia. Anton is currently the nightly news anchor for SBS World News Australia.

Anton began his broadcasting career at the South African national broadcaster, SABC. He was part of the team that covered South Africa’s historic return to democracy in 1994 and spent seven years as a correspondent for CNN World Report, where he won Best International Report and also won the prestigious Bokmakierie Award for radio current affairs. Before leaving South Africa, Anton presented the SABC’s major evening national news bulletin. Anton has been presenting SBS World News Australia bulletins since 1999 and special SBS news events such as the 2003 nightly Iraq War program, the live studio debate on the Cronulla race riots and recently hosted SBS TV’s Insight programme.

Janice Petersen is an Australian television presenter.

Janice is currently co-host of World News Australia alongside Anton Enus on Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

She was born to parents of South African lineage in Sydney. Click here to view her Australian story.

Gail Kelly (née: Currer) (born 25 April 1956) is an Australian businesswoman of South African origin. She is the current chief executive officer (CEO) of Westpac, one of Australia's big four banks. In 2002, she became the first female CEO of a major Australian bank or top 15 company and, as of 2005, was the highest paid woman in an Australian corporation. She assumed the position of CEO at Westpac in 2008.

In 2011, Forbes ranked her the 32nd most powerful woman in the world, she was ranked 8th in 2010 she was ranked 18th in 2009; and ranked 11th in 2008.

According to Forbes, Banker Gail Kelly oversees $675 billion in assets and $37.8 billion in revenue, and is considered the country's most influential businesswoman. The Westpac Group serves around 12 million customers, employs around 40,000 people and has over 1,500 branches. And it's rapidly expanding: in the past year, it merged with Australia's fifth largest lender and a subsidiary, upping the number of branches and ATMs. The native South African and mother of four (including triplets) has an outsized public profile. Kelly's every statement and opinion is reported minutely, occasionally provoking controversy. Most recently, she told her fellow Aussies to buck up: "There's a lot of caution and uncertainty," she said. "Given the underlying fundamentals in Australia, there should be."

In Pic: L/R Honorable Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia and Joseph

Dr Joseph Masika OAM has given 27 years of voluntary service to the community in Australia and overseas. Dr Masika’s passion has been particularly in migrants, older people, refugees, Disability, Mental Health and multiculturalism. His outstanding contribution to the community has resulted in a considerable community development and his volunteering and advocacy roles have been instrumental in the strengthening of communities, and individuals to ensure that all enjoy a good quality of life in Australia.
Currently Dr Masika is a manager of Multicultural Health, Advocacy, Counselling and Education at the Migrant Resource Centre of SA. His impressive credentials include a Medical Degree, Masters in Public Health, Certificate in Management and Leadership, Certificate in Environmental Health from South Australian Centre for Public Health and Post Graduate Certificate in Migration Law.


Dr Masika is the Chairperson of the African Communities Council of SA since 2007. During his leadership he has transformed the association to a better position of being the State peak body grouping 42 ethnic African organisations in South Australia from 20 African Countries. ACCSA represents the interest of these cultural groups and functions as a link between them and the government. The Council provides advocacy, advice and services to the African communities.  In addition, Dr Masika is one of the founder members of The African Communities Council of SA in 2000
First Volunteer African Festival Director, African Communities in South Australia from 2002 to 2007

Dr Masika has made outstanding contributions to promote Cultural Diversity, and multiculturalism in South Australia. He was the first African to suggest the establishment of the African Festival in South Australia. He became the first African Festival Director from 2002 to 2007. Dr Masika accepted to be the African Festival Director in 2002. However, the African community in South Australia kept asking Dr Masika to continue with the position of Directorship because of his excellent work of bringing the African Communities in South Australia together in a spirit of unity and support for each other.

Dr Masika is currently a board member of
the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission.

Some of the voluntary work he has done in Tanzania is listed below:
  • Chairperson Tanzanet (Overseas Tanzanian Forum world wide -Tanzanet) 1997-1998
  • Executive Secretary: Uru Development Association- Moshi district, Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania, East Africa - Feb 1993- Feb 1996.
  • Secretary General: Tanzania Junior Doctors Association in Tanzania, East Africa 1992-1995
  • Board Member: Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences in Tanzania, East Africa 1986-1988
  • University Governing Council member: Dar-Es-salaam University Council- in Tanzania, East Africa -1986-89
  • Member of Board: Faculty of Medicine University of Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania, East Africa 1986 to 1988
  • Secretary: Dar-Es-salaam University Medical Student Association in Tanzania, East Africa -1984-86
  • Chairperson, Faculty of Medicine, University of Dar-es-salaam Students Organisation in Tanzania, East Africa -1985 to 1988

Dr SAMUEL M. MAKINDA is Professor of Politics and International Studies and the Chair of Security, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies at Murdoch University in Perth.

was a member of the Australian Foreign Minister’s National Consultative Committee on International Security Issues from 2001 to 2008. He is also a member of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.

Professor Makinda   previously worked with the Foreign Affairs Group in the Parliamentary Research Service at the Australian Federal Parliament in 1980s, where he briefed Members of House of Representatives, Senators, Ministers and Parliamentary Committees on various international security issues, including US-Soviet relations and arms control.

Professor Makinda has been awarded the medal of Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear by the President of Kenya.


Elleni Bereded-Samuel has focused her life's work on strengthening education, training and employment for Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Australia. Currently, Elleni is the Community Engagement Advisor & Coordinator at Victoria University. Her dynamic leadership has resulted in new solutions for community to access and participate in society.

For six years she served on the Board of Directors of The Women's Hospital and  chair of the Community Advisory Committee.  Elleni served for three years as the inaugural member of the Australian Social Inclusion Board. She is a Director of the SBS Board .

From 2005-2011 Elleni served as the first African Commissioner appointed to the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Recently, Elleni was appointed to the Western Health Board of Directors and is also appointed to chair the Western Health Cultural Diversity and Community Advisory Committee and member of Education Research and Development Committee.

Elleni was one of the recipients of the VU Vice-Chancellor's Citations and Awards for Outstanding Engagement with CALD communities in Australia.  She has also received the Victoria's Premier Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs - Education, and the Prime Minister International Year of Volunteers Award.

Her name has been included on the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. In 2006 Ellen's biography and achievements was included in the "Who is Who Australian Women", inaugural edition alongside 4000 remarkable women across a range of fields, all of whom have excelled in their endeavours and have helped shape the face of Australia.

In 2008 Elleni was selected as one of twelve significant women in Victoria as part of 100 years of women's suffrage reflection and celebration and also participated at the 20-20 Summit. In 2008 Elleni won the Diversity@Work Individual Champion Award for Diversity and Inclusion.  Elleni was presented with her award by Sir Bob Geldof.

In 2012,  the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard,  congratulated  and recognized Elleni as one of the 40 Australians champions independently selected as the new People of Australia Ambassadors following hundreds of nominations from the public. The new ambassadors, including Elleni, will be able to provide advice to government and the Australian Multicultural Council if they wish.


Dr Jonathan Makuwira is a Senior Lecturer in International Development at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in Melbourne, Australia. He currently teaches The Political Economy of Aid; Project Planning, Design, Monitoring and Evaluation; International NGOs and Civil Society; and Contemporary Africa.

Prior to his current position, he taught Peace Studies at University of New England; Comparative Indigenous Studies at Central Queensland University.

In 2007 Dr Makuwira was awarded The Carrick Australian Awards for University Teaching Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Similarly, in 2010 he was a recipient of RMIT University Teaching Excellence in Higher Education:- For fostering innovation in curriculum development, learning and teaching and linking international development studies theory into practice.

Furthermore, Dr Makuwira has just completed research project on urban poverty and non-governmental development organisations’ (NGDOs’) intervention mechanisms in Malawi, which was funded by RMIT Emerging Researchers Grant.



 Dr Johnson Ihyeh Agbinya a Nigerian by birth, is an Associate Professor of Remote Sensing Systems Engineering, in the department of Electronic Engineering at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Dr Agbinya is also Professor Extraordinaire in Computer Science at the University of Western Cape, Cape Town , South Africa and Professor Extraordinaire in telecommunications at Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa.

Dr Agbinya studied Electronic/Electrical engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Nigeria, University of Strathclyde Scotland and Electronic Communication Engineering at La Trobe University, Australia with expertise in radar sensing systems. Prior to joining La Trobe as Associate Professor he worked as Senior Research Scientist for CSIRO (developing communication systems including voice over IP, biometric and face recognition systems), Research Manager in mobile communications for Vodafone Australia (developing and implementing mobile communication networks and was one of five engineers vested with the responsibility for the design of Vodafone Australia’s 3G mobile communication network) and as senior lecturer at UTS, in Sydney.
His main areas of research interests include remote sensing, sensors, mobile and broadband communications, sensor devices, networks, wireless power transfer and transmission systems.

He has supervised numerous successful PhD and MSc research graduates and currently teaches MSc coursework students and supervises PhD students located at La Trobe, UTS and the University of Western Cape, South Africa.

Dr Agbinya is the author of 7 recent technical books in Electronic Communications four of which are used as University text books in three continents. The technical books include Planning and Optimisation of 3G and 4G Wireless Networks; IP Communications and Services for NGN; Wireless Power Transfer; Emerging Broadband Communications and Applications: Next Generation Broadband Communications; Principles of Inductive Near Field Communications for Internet of Things; Biomedical and Environmental Sensing; Internet Technology In a Nutshell. He has also authored and co-authored more than 180 reviewed Journal, book chapters and conference papers.

He is Consulting Editor in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering for River Publishers, Denmark; Editor of the African Journal of ICT and is on the Technical Program Committees of several international conferences in telecommunications.
Dr Agbinya is founder of the African Journal of ICT and the founder and Program Chair of the International Conference on Broadband Communications and Biomedical Applications now in its seventh yea . He is an active member of the IEEE, African Institute of Mathematics (AIMS) and reviews journal papers for IEEE/IET Journals, ACM Journals and Springer.

Dr Yeboah Gyasi-Agyei

is Associate Professor of Hydrology and Water Engineering, Deputy Director of the Centre for Railway Engineering (CRE) and Chief Investigator of the HEFRAIL Erosion Control Project at Central Queensland University (CQUniversity).

Yeboah obtained his PhD in Civil Engineering (Hydrology/Water Engineering) from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, and holds a BSc(Hons) in Civil Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

He started his career as an Assistant Lecturer at KNUST (1984-1987) before moving to Belgium to pursue postgraduate studies. Between February 1994 and May 1997 he was employed as a Research Associate at the University of Newcastle, Australia. In June 1997 he joined CQUniversity to develop new research directions and establish a team on erosion control of railway embankment/cutting batters (HEFRAIL Project). The HEFRAIL Project has delivered excellent practical outcomes, satisfying the industry partner in terms of solving their problems with a reduction in operational costs. He has prepared erosion control standards for the design and maintenance of QR National embankments and cuttings. HEFRAIL Project technologies have been developed for commercial applications for erosion control on civil engineered steep slopes under the trademark “RAPID GRASS”.

Yeboah’s other research interests include stochastic disaggregation of daily rainfall into fine timescale for hydrological and environmental modelling. His total research income to date is $2.64 million. He has published his research findings in highly respected international journals and has also presented at international conferences. As an academic, he also teaches Water Engineering courses and supervises postgraduate students at CQUniversity. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Engineers Australia (IEAUST) and a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland.

Dr John Asafu-Adjaye

Associate Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, Australia

Dr Asafu-Adjaye teaches a course in Environmental Economics as part of the Collaborative PhD Programme to students from a number of African universities. This collaborative PhD programme objectives are individual and institutional capacity building, enhancing the relevance curricula, theory, teaching and research to African development problems.

He has held a number of prestigious positions within the University including, Chair, Infrastructure Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee, School of Economics; Member, School of Economics Executive Committee; Member, Management Committee, Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences

Consultant Economist, Africa Vision 2050, African Development Bank

Researched and wrote a chapter on climate change for the Africa Vision 2050 project. Work involved modelling climate change impacts using a computable general equilibrium model.

Other positions held by Dr Asafu-Adjaye include:

  • Consultant, Westpac Banking Corp PNG Ltd, PNG
  • Consultant Economist, African Economic Research Consortium, Kenya
  • Consultant, ExxonMobil, PNG
  • Consultant, Lae City Water Supply Project, AusAID, Ghana
  • Consultant, Ok Tedi Copper Mine, Government of Papua New Guinea/KPMG Ltd, PNG


Prof. Fethi Mansouri

Chair in Migration and Intercultural Research;
Director, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation (a Deakin University Strategic Research Centre)

Professor Fethi Mansouri is a leading researcher in the Deakin University Australia and a prominent scholar nationally and internationally. He is the principal supervisor of many PhD A candidates in Middle Eastern studies, migration research and inter-cultural studies.

Professor Mansouri has published twelve books, nine major research monographs, more than fifty refereed research articles and book chapters, and many book reviews and media pieces. He has presented more than 100 invited conference and seminar papers and many other invited presentations at national and international symposia.

Over the last ten years, Professor Mansouri has been awarded more than 30 research grants from a number of funding bodies including the Australian Research Council in 2009-12 on 'Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Australia'; 2007-10 on 'Local governance and multicultural policies'; 2004-07 on 'Cultural diversity in education'; and in 2002-04 for a project on 'Australia's Asylum Policies'. Professor Mansouri received funding from the state government and a number of philanthropic foundations to conduct research into cultural diversity in education and within local governance.

Professor Mansouri is the author of many influential books.

Professor Mansouri is the Director of the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation. The CCG is at the forefront of empirical, normative and applied research in studies of citizenship and globalisation. It conducts inter-disciplinary research into how individuals and political groups interact with, and claim membership of, social, economic, political and cultural organisations within and beyond the nation.

  • 2010: Faculty Research Excellence Award– 2010 Distinguished Researcher
  • 2010: University Service Recognition Award
  • 2010: University Recognition Award for contribution as a mentor to the ‘Developing Research Leaders Program’
  • 2010: Faculty Researcher of the Month Award (August 2010)
  • 2006: Deakin International Studies Program (ISP) Award
  • 2005: Certificate of Appreciation: Police Academy, Victoria.
  • 2004: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity (HREOC) Medal Awards: Lives in Limbo (UNSW Press, 2004, with Michael Leach) short-listed for the Non-Fiction Awards.
  • 2003: Multiple Grants Winner Award, Faculty of arts
  • 2002: Certificate of Recognition for the Dean's Best Researcher
  • 2001: Certificate of Appreciation from the Victorian State Government, in recognition of voluntary service to the community, International Year of Volunteers 2001,
  • 2000: Certificate of Recognition for the Best New Researcher in the faculty of Arts,
  • 2000: Certificate of Recognition from the Islamic Council of Philanthropy in Australia (ICPA) Sydney, for contribution to teacher training and professional development courses in community schools.

Samia Baho


Justice for Refugees Program (JRP)

Department of Justice


Samia is currently a Manager of Justice for Refugee with the Department of Justice in Victoria. She came to Australia as a refugee 22 years ago. Her early settlement experience helped to shape her approach to work and life. On arrival, Samia could already speak several languages and soon developed expertise in English.

Samia has extensive experience and expertise in working with refugee communities. Over the last 18 years, she has worked in interpreting, children’s services, family & youth, domestic violence, teaching and research. Samia has constantly looked at ways to support and assist refugee communities especially young people and women, she initiated and developed several programs for refugee communities, she set up the first ethno-specific Playgroup for Horn of African families, the first Home Base Child Care training and the first Horn of African Home Work Support Club.  

Samia uses deferent methods to build refugee communities knowledge and capacity,  to assist refugee communities enjoys living in Australia. She conducted many information expose related to health and currently related to justice system, provide information sessions through sport and drama. Samia set up a number of organisations to support and minimize adverse experiences for humanitarian entrants, particularly young refugees and families with complex needs. She uses her knowledge and credibility with both world the system and the refugee communities and tied to open dialogue and create pathways for refugee communities and the hosting society to interact.

Samia has a Bachelor of Social Work, a Certificate in Cultural Practice Law and Health from Latrobe University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Health and a Masters Degree in Women’s Health from the University of Melbourne. Prior to managing the Justice for Refugee Program Samia spent 8 years as the state-wide Program Advisor for the Family and Reproductive Rights Education Program (FARREP)

A tireless, committed and passionate activist and thinker, Samia has often demonstrated extraordinary leadership on racism and sexism issues. She has made an outstanding contribution to addressing the various barriers to ensuring appropriate and equitable services are available to the African community. Through her work, particularly in the area of settlement and violence against women, various community groups have undertaken pioneering work in challenging mainstream perceptions and understanding of refugee communities. Samia is a steering committee member for the HREOC African Communities’ Project.

Samia’s contribution was recognized at a state and national level, in March 2008 being inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and appointed on the flowing committees

1. "Refugee Resettlement Advisory Committee. Department of Immigration & Citizenship, Canberra 2008 - 2010

2. FECCA newly and Emerging Advisory Committees 2008 - 2009

3. “African Australians: A report on human rights & social inclusion issues.” Australia Human Rights Commission (HREOC) 2008 - 2010

4. "Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria, Board member 2009- 2010

5. “Western Health Cultural Diversity Steering Committee, Western Health Services.2007 - 2008

  1. FGM Working Party, Office of the Child Safety Commissioner, Victoria. 2008
  2. “Multicultural Health & Support Services (HIV, HPC, STIs for Horn of African 2006
  3. Victorian Law Reform Commission, Cultural and Linguistically Diverse Communities 2005
  4. “Advocacy, Leadership and Community Participation. A training program for consumers and carers.” North Central Metro PCP (Primary Care Partnership) 2005

Due to work demand and commitment, Samia currently sits only on:  

  1. Refugee Minor Program quarterly Reference Group Meeting
  2. Australian Federal Government, Department of Human Services, Victorian Multicultural Advisory Committee ( MAC )


David Malinda was the President of the African Community Organisation of South Australia and worked as a Senior Research Scientist and Soils Research Scientist at the South Australian Research and Development Institute.

David also worked for the South Australian Department of Agriculture as Soils Research Scientist and Agricultural Research Engineer.

David has published 3 books, 4 book chapters, 6 Scientific papers, 10 reports, 11 international conference papers (in 7 countries), 20 national conference papers, 1 National Landcare Award (Group share), 21 media releases and interviews and has contributed to 38 Country and metropolitan Field Days, and Demonstrations.

From 1982-1984, David worked for the  Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture as a  Senior Agricultural Engineer, helping to plan, implement and monitor all technical and administrative matters related to the establishment and smooth running of Agricultural Engineering/Mechanisation Extension Services and among others.

In Australia, among the community projects accomplished by David include:

·   Coordinating Artists workshops at schools for 13 years in a row, covering about 35,000 students.

·   Planting the first trees in Australia at dawn on January 1st, 2000 at the Cities of West Torrens and Port Adelaide Enfield to mark lasting friendship between Africa and Australia, and marking our commitment to the environment.

·   Establishing the African computer centre at the Kilburn Community Centre in South Australia for students and family members.

·   Initiating and organising forums both for youth and for the general community, particularly for the community living in Port Adelaide Enfield Council, West Torrens and Charles Sturt councils’ areas of South Australia.

In recognition of David’s remarkable achievements, he has won the following Awards:

  • Australian of the Year Award - 2008
  • Governor’s Award -2008
  • Recommended for Order of Australia
  • Australia Day Ambassador – ongoing

As an Australia Day Ambassador, David has accomplished the following assignments and among others:

·     officiating the Tour Down Under at Tilden Bend;

·     officiating the Australia of the Year awarding ceremony at the Coorong County Council at Meningi in South Australia;and

·     officiating the Citizen of the Year Awards for 2012 at Cleve District Council in Eye Peninsular on Australia Day 26th January 2012.


Edward Solo is the founder and current President of the African Community Council of the Northern Territory (ACCONT) Incorporated. The African Community Council of the NT (ACCONT) Inc is a peak body of African nationality based communities, organisations/ interest groups and individuals in the NT, which has been in operation since 2006 and has been mainly assisting to identify gaps in the provision of settlement and integration services and assisting to address the true settlement and integration needs and appropriately situating the members of the Darwin based African Community to best fit within and benefit from the equity, access, social inclusion and participation agenda of the Australia government. 

Also Edward is:

* Founder and Program Manager of the African Settlement and Integration Services (ASIS); The Salvation Army NT very first Settlement Grant Program (SGP) is an ethno-specific program funded by the Australia Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) through the Settlement Grant Program (SGP); provided and supported through mission support by The Salvation Army to mainly help refugees and migrants of African background to smoothly and successfully settle and integrate in the wider Darwin community and main stream Australian society.

* A founder, former Secretary General of the then Association of Liberian Communities in Australia (ALCA) – a national peak body of state and territory Liberian communities, organisations, interest groups and individuals in Australia

* Principal Author of the National Constitution as Chairman of the Constitution Commission of the now Federation of Liberian Communities in Australia (FOLICA) which replaced ALCA

Founder, mentor and advisor of the African Community of Central Australia (ACCA) in Alice Springs, NT – a peak body of African nationality based communities, organisations/ interest groups and individuals in Central Australia

* Founder, mentor and elder-advisor of the then Liberian Community in the Northern Territory (LCNT) now United Liberian Community in the Northern Territory (ULCNT)

* Founder and current Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Global United Family Action Movement (GUFAM) – an NGO with a vision to create an all encompassing united global family and a global family environment where all peoples find, experience and share true happiness and life fulfillment by practically demonstrating the principles of genuine love, compassion, peace, unity, respect, equality, forgiveness, sharing, and tolerance in all aspects of their lives as a family; and all peoples are empowered and equip to drink and enjoy the benefits from the global fountain of wealth derived from their common global environment by ensuring their full and equal participation and active involvement in all aspects of the global social, economic and political fabric/network within their common global environment.

* A founder and current Public Officer of the Northern Territory Refugee Association (NTRA) – Darwin

* Member of the Northern Territory Settlement Planning Committee (NTSPC)

* Member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of African Communities Councils (FACC)

* Member of the Northern Territory Human Rights Committee (NTHRC)

Further, Edward is among the first African refugee settled in Darwin to attain a MBA (Masters of Business Administration) in International Management Degree and is now working towards a research PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) Degree at the Charles Darwin University.

Edward has continued to serve as a mentor and role model to all Africans, especially encouraging and supporting young Africans of refugee backgrounds to see the sky as the limit to what they can and must achieve in terms of their educational sojourn.  

Edward has over the past more than ten years been passionately committed and deeply involved in extensive work within the wider Australian community, especially providing professional best practice leadership, guidance and direction and harnessing the synergies of the new and emerging African communities to smoothly settle and integrate, live much more fulfilling lives and make meaningful contributions in their new home.

Edward has sacrificially devoted and played a leading role in giving African people in Australia a strong united voice through mobilising and organising African communities and organisations, mentoring, advocating for and representing the best interest, empowering, building capacities and confidence, creating opportunities and providing platforms to engage and connect African people in Australia so as to reduce attrition, break down barriers, promote and enhance equity, access, social inclusion, full participation and harmony amongst Australians of African, Indigenous and other backgrounds as well as non Australians.  


His Excellency Dr. James Lukabyo Ambassador Republic of Uganda to Australia and New Zealand

Dr. Christopher James Lukabyo was born and bred in Uganda. Ph.D Science and Ph.D Education M.Sc. Public Health University of Western Sydney, Uganda Director General of Ibulanku Community Health Centre. Established a Community Health Centre at Ibulanku village where he was born. The Hospital has 60 beds and aims at improving local peoples lives. The Hospital treats mostly tropical diseases e.g. Malaria and Tuberclosis etc. It carries out immunisation of children and adults against diseases such as: Measles, Polio, TB, Whooping coughs etc. It also treats HIV/AIDS and offers counseling for people living with AIDS.

Built a Primary School at Ibulanku Village to improve literacy skills in the villages. There are 350 children in the school ranging from Kindergarten to Primary Seven (VII). It follows the Uganda system of Education. He is actively looking for volunteers from Medical workers and Education workers (qualified teachers).

At the time of his death - 27 July 2011, James was the Ugandan Ambassador in Australia based at Canberra. It was through his initiative that Uganda got a consulate in Sydney to which he was the head. He is recognised as the first indigenous Ugandan to arrive in Australia in the 1970's. He played a crucial role in establishing the Ugandan community. He is an academician with two PHD's and masters. He is a great mentor to Many Ugandans both within Australia and outside Australia.

Dr Michael Chalwe

Born in Zambia

Left Zambia for United Kingdom 2001

Left United Kingdom August 2010 for Australia

Tertiary Educational attainment

  • 1993 BSc (Human Biology) University of Zambia                                
  • 1996 MBChB (Medicine and Surgery)   University of Zambia
  • 1998 MSc.Med.Sci (Clinical Medicine)   University of Glasgow (UK)
  • 2002 PLAB (Professional Linguistic and assessment Board-UK)
  • 2008 DFSRH (Diplomate faculty of sexual and reproductive healthcare-Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology-UK)
  • 2013 Australian Medical Council Certificate
  • 2014 FRACGP (Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practice)                                            


  • Practiced Medicine on 3 continents. (Africa, Europe and Australia)
  • Skilled in all areas of family Medicine (cradle to grave)
  • Extensive hospital experience in various department s of Medicine
  • Effective Communicator
  • ICT skills
  • Medical Research Skills

Passion and contribution to Australia

Contribute to social, mental and physical wellbeing of all Australians

Motivate younger people to embrace education and identify with good role models


Yasseen Musa came to Australia 24 years ago and since that time he has participated actively in lobbying  the Australian government to get African refugees here.

Yasseen is among the leaders of  Eritrean community and the African Community in Victoria. He successfully established an u/13 and u/16 African soccer team; He has  linked  the African youths  with the Essendon footy club, helping them participate in Auskick, providing free tickets  to young African-Australians to watch and be mentored at the  North Melbourne footy club'  games.

In year 2006, Yasseen participated in  establishing an official North Lions Soccer Club that enabled the u/12 to participate in a real competition with FFV. In year 2008 the u/12 finished at the top of the ladder and got the Premiership Cup.

Also in year 2008, Yasseen  volunteered with the  Australian Federal Police  and the Essendon footy club to host the Unity Cup, which is a footy tournament between Muslim, African ,indigenous and Jewish team.

In year 2009 Yasseen participated in lobbying the North Melbourne Footy Club to join the Unity Cup and they did.
From 2008 till now,  he has participated to get  4 AFL teams joining the Unity Cup which are Kangaroos, Essendon, Hawthorn and Bulldogs.

As ambassador of North Melbourne Footy Club, Yasseen has helped to organize programs for disadvantaged African community members, taking them to the beach and teaching them how to stay safe in the water.

Yasseen has voluntarily helped the north Melbourne Footy Club, Victorian Police, Melbourne City Council and Flemington Bicycle Shop to conduct a Bicycle Project which teaches the kids  road safety rules and give them a free bike.

In year 2012, Yasseen participated in  establishing the Team Africa footy team. The team played at Harmony Cup, a footy tournament played between 12 different ethnic groups. The team also played at Unity Cup.

Yasseen has helped the African community establish strong relationship with the Victorian Police, helping in foot patrol with the police from time to time around the stations, the flats and main roads at Kensington, Flemington and North Melbourne.

Yasseen helps the rotary club provide unique services to the African community

Yasseen has participated in the production of a movie called 'Falling for Sahara' which was shown at Melbourne Movie Festival in 2011.

Yasseen is the Treasurer of the Eritrean Community and has volunteered for Jesuit Social Services for over 5 years.


John Nze-Bertram

Principal Convenor and Chairperson, Celebration of African Australians Inc.

Member of the Roll of Lawyers, Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

  • Bachelor of Laws – University of South Australia
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Migration Law – Australian National University;
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice – Australian National University;
  • Master of Business Administration; and Master of Professional Accounting and Business (2015)
  • Master of Law (2015)


John Nze-Bertram, a Nigerian & Australian citizen, is the:


* Principal Convenor and Chairperson of Celebration of African Australians Inc:

Currently, networking with over 500 community organizations, supported by over 300 volunteers and community leaders, and have an audience of over 100,000 people across Australia (through collaborative information sharing with communities and local media).


* Australian National Coordinator, Organization for the Harmonization of Business Laws in Africa (OHADA)  in Australia Club

* President, World Youth Empowerment Association Inc (WYEA):

International Team Leader, Trade and Tourism Project -- a project of WYEA, coordinating and networking with over 4000 organizations worldwide

* Former President, African Chamber of Commerce South Australia Inc.

* CEO, Strategic Trades Services – Import and Export Network

* President, Sweet Mother International Inc:

Currently collaborating with Birthing Kits Foundation Australia to supply sterilised birthing kits to pregnant women in Africa so as to reduce avoidable pregnancy related deaths --(over 20000 community members in Africa are benefiting from this project including Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Liberia).

* Sponsoring Member, Society for Values and Ethics in Leadership (SOCVEL)

* President, African Wrestling and Sport Federation of Australia

John is a dedicated and versatile administrator, with several years of experience among international organizations and private enterprises. Possessing extensive skills, knowledge and experience in strategic project management - planning, networking, analysing, implementing, integrating, monitoring and reviewing. Strong blend of managerial, professional and interpersonal skills. Proven success working under pressure within stringent time frames and meeting demanding targets. Capacity to make difficult decisions and achieve results. Ability to achieve goals with limited resources and to facilitate and optimize difficult and complex negotiation situations with across linguistically and culturally diverse groups.

Jude Iheakanwa is the CEO of Vision Wise David Wines and Vision Wise David Realty.

He is a migrant from Nigeria who has spent 30 years in Australia. Jude started with humble beginnings as a social worker in New South Wales central - west rural areas by developing programs for the youth of the indigenous communities in the towns of Coonamble & Dubbo. With the establishment of these programs, an immediate impact was made on the indigenous youth of these areas, with lower un-employment levels, effective after school programs and a reduction in teen felonies. Jude's approach with the youth of these rural areas was so effective due to the fact his relationship was not just a professional one but a personal one. Jude often opened his family home to youths living on the streets and looking for their own accommodation.


Between the years of 1998 - 2005 Jude eventually moved back to Sydney where he saw the Establishment of the Nigerian Australian chamber of business and commerce. He also reopened his own social welfare practice, organizing the training of Sudanese migrants in the areas of security courses and forklift licensing to ensure their easy entry into the Australian work force. Along with these efforts, Jude has also utilized his knowledge in the areas of community welfare and training. This saw him holding a number of lecturing positions in higher institutions for a number of years, where he taught Community  Development practices and Frontline Management at Graduate Schools in both Sydney and Melbourne. His work did not stop there, as Jude began to invest and enter the real estate industry, he used his knowledge and networks to help east and west African Australians purchase their first homes who had never been able to work through all the red tape involved in buying a home. With all this in sight of the African community, Jude was asked to sponsor many events and afro organizations. One of which being the African soccer youth tournament in Sydney of where he and others invested to kick off the competition which still runs till this day.


In 2006 Jude was awarded with a Pride of Australia Finalist award presented by the daily telegraph for his recognized leadership skills and charitable work in the community.

 Jerry Biti CEO Gambit Group ~ Technology Transfer. Jerry is one of the world’s pioneers in the world of mobile telecommunications applications and technology systems having founded Gambit in 2000. Gambit has now expanded its reach to about 40 countries working with the likes of Nokia, Vodafone, Telstra, Optus, MTN and Orange to name a few. During the boom of the dot.com era, Jerry was involved in the start up operation of one of Australia’s first ISP’s. He spent five years researching and analysing IT in the Telco Market, specialising in the Asia Pacific region. Originally from Harare, Jerry has been in Australia for over 15 years. He attended Harare’s - Prince Edward School where he held positions of School Captain and Captain of both the Rugby and Athletics Teams. He received Honours in Leadership and held the prestigious title of National Chess Champion. Jerry holds a degree in Communications & Organisations from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst in Australia. He will deliver a paper on Technology Transfer

Faustina Agolley is an Australian television presenter best known for her role as the host of long running Australian music program Video Hits on Channel 10. She was also the host of late night game and gadget review program Cybershack and is a graduate from the University of Melbourne and RMIT University.

Faustina's father is a Ghanian and her mother is a Chinese Malaysian. Faustina completed two degrees across three Universities – a joint degree in Media & Communication and Geography at the University of Melbourne and Sydney University as well as Media Studies with a major in television and social science at RMIT University.

While completing her University degrees, Faustina also worked as a model in Melbourne and Sydney. Faustina was the face of Bonds and appeared in the campaign alongside Miranda Kerr. She also worked as a researcher for The Great Outdoors and worked on set of kids’ program Hi-5

Faustina was the host of Australia’s most watched music program Video Hits for five years where she interviewed some of the world’s biggest artists including the Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Adele, Jack White, Muse, Green Day, Rihanna, Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones, Sinead O'Connor and Neil Finn.

Faustina also hosted live events for Video Hits from Australia’s major capital cities and the Make Poverty History Concert where U2 and Pearl Jam made a surprise performance.

Faustina traveled the world for Video Hits giving the first Australian TV interview with Adele and Florence and The Machine in London in 2009, The Black Eyed Peas upon the release of their LP, The End in Paris in as well as Muse upon the release of The Resistance, in Lake Como. Faustina also covered interviews in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Tokyo and Stockholm

Faustina is the ambassador for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, a foundation that aims to help close the indigenous literacy gap. Faustina is also patron of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has been the supporter of Girls’ Night In, World Environment Day, Coastcare, Together.com and Reconciliation Australia.

The African Warriors have performed in some of the biggest circuses and festivals in the world, as well as performing for some of the largest entertainment companies and theme parks.

The Afrikan Warriors have performed more than 2000 shows in different continents in the last 15 years, bringing the spirit of their ancestors to life.

Some of the circuses and festivals the Afrikan Warriors have performed at include;

• Zippos Circus (England)
• Circus Vegas (Northern Ireland)
• Planet Circus (England)
• Uncle Sam’s American Circus (England)
• The Bagamoyo festival (Tanzania)
• The Wireless festival (England)
• Glastonbury festival (England)
• Silvers Circus (Australia)
• Cirque Roger-Lanzac (World Tour)

The Afrikan Warriors main Base is now in Tasmania (Australia), the United Kingdom, and  Ireland.

 Brad and Alison Bonhomme are the Lead Pastors at Influencers Church Australia (formerly Paradise Church Adelaide). As a couple they've dedicated their lives to serving the local church and have more than 15 years full-time ministry experience.  They are passionate about living life to the full and seeing others do the same.

They have been part of the team at Paradise since January 2002 and for a period of three years moved back to their hometown of Perth to pioneer what is now our Perth campus.  Starting out with an initial team of just 15 people they established a thriving church and raised up an exceptional leadership team in the Perth CBD. They have since returned to Adelaide in their current role as our Lead Pastors.

Brad is an engaging preacher with an ability to deliver revelational teaching from God's word and apply it to every-day life, whilst maintaining a dynamic and prophetic ministry style.  He has a passion for leadership and enjoys equipping and releasing people into their God given potential.

Alison works closely alongside Brad and is committed to building God's House and seeing people's potential unlocked. Having come from a corporate management background, Alison has a love for developing and training leaders. She is a natural communicator with a warm, transparent and inspirational preaching style.

Brad and Alison reside in Adelaide with their two young and very active children, Tori and Wade.

Dr Lillian Mwanri
is Course coordinator, Master of Health and International Development, Flinders University of South Australia.

She is responsible with:
Teaching and administration
• Teaching
i. Health Promotion,
ii. Public Health Practice Development,
iii. Primary Health Care in Developing Countries
PhD Students: and DrPh students

Work History
2003 to 2009: Epidemiologist, OzFoodNet Program, a joint venture between the Australian Department of Health and Ageing and the Communicable Disease Control Branch, SA Health

2001-2003- Research Fellow: Spencer Gulf Rural Health School (Incorporating the South Australian Centre for Rural and Remote Health (SACRRH) and the Adelaide University Rural Clinical School (AURC)Adelaide, South Australia

1994-98: Manager and Medical Officer. Ministry of Health, Dar- Es- Salaam, Tanzania

Adviser to UNICEF, WHO, Save the Children Fund to implement Health and Health Promotion programs in Schools in Tanzania

Community Engagements:

The African Communities Council of South Australia , Public Health Medical Consultant

African Leaders Forum a collaboration between Relationship Australia and, Public Health medical Consultant

The South Australian CALD HIV Interagency Project (CHIP) Coordinating Committee.

CALD Women Advisory Forum, PEACE Multicultural Program, Relationships Australia, SA- Public Health Medical Consultant

African Community Leaders Social and Health Forum, PEACE Multicultural program, Relationship Australia, SA- Public Health Medical Consultant

Flinders University School of Medicine International Committee

Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia’s Women’s Committee

Australian Tanzanian Services Foundation Inc- Secretary

School Of Medicine International program Committee(SOMIP), Flinders

Current Research Projects:

•Suicide in African Communities: Chief Investigator

•African Youths of South Australia, Stop Binge Drinking, Chief investigator with the African Communities council of South Australia

•Physical activity and nutrition among African migrants in South Australia. A quantitative and qualitative study. In collaboration with the African Communities Council of South Australia

•Studies of Chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) and cholesteatoma in newly arrived refugees in South Australia. A collaborative initiative with the Migrant Health Services

•The health and wellbeing of populations ageing in a new culture: the case of African migrants in Adelaide, South Australia. In collaboration with the African Communities Council of South Australia)

•Measuring Community Resilience. A 2011-2012 National Emergency Management Project (Project NP 112-0015).A project to develop a community tool to assess resilience in the face of major disasters or emergency

•Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations (CALD) Climate Change Adaptation Project. A collaborative research to study how CALD population adapt to climate change in Australia.


•2010-Fellowship- the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FAFPHM) - Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)

•2001-Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)-The University of Adelaide, Australia

•1994-Master of Community Nutrition (MCN) -The University of Queensland, Australia

•991- Doctor of Medicine (MD

David Nyuol Vincent is among the 40 local champions appointed by the Australian Prime Minister as the 2012 People of Australia Ambassadors.

David fled South Sudan’s civil war with his father when he was a child. They made it to a refugee camp in Ethiopia but were separated and David was trained as a child soldier.

18 years after leaving South Sudan, David was given a humanitarian visa to come to Australia in 2004. He was awarded a scholarship and completed a Bachelor of Arts, with a double major in Political Science & Criminology at the University of Melbourne.

He has spent the years since gaining extensive experience working with young people through community development and family support programs.

In the last six years he has started a number of programs in Melbourne and South Sudan, and also co-founded the Sudanese Summit, an annual event held in Juba aimed at empowering South Sudanese youth to participate more in decision-making and become agents of change.

Recently he was appointed as Australia people Ambassador and one of Melbourne’s Top 100 most influencial, inspirational, provocative and creative people for 2011.

David is soon to become a published author with his book “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Die” being released in July 2012.

Joyce Adu
Project Manager, Capability Planning & Governance, Centrelink

Joyce Adu has project management experience across a number of industries including government, construction and education.  Joyce has served in a number of roles in the areas of strategic management, corporate governance and research.  She is currently a Business Manager in the Capability Planning and Governance Unit in Centrelink. Prior to this, she managed the development of Centrelink’s Portfolio/Program Management Framework. She has also worked for a number of years in the Construction Industry as a Quantity Surveyor (Building Estimator).

Joyce holds a Bachelor of Science (Building Technology), Graduate Certificate in Personal Management and Master of Project Management.  She has researched on  ‘communication in the delivery of projects in multicultural environments’ for her doctorate in the University of Technology under the supervision of Professor Lynn Crawford, Assistant Professor Jacob Oluwoye and Mr Gerard de Valence. This research has received both the NSW Chapter and National Student Medals from the Australian Institute for Project Management.  

Joyce Adu is a winner of the Australian Institute for Project Management (AIPM) Outstanding Student Medal.

Mr Sahardeed Roobleh is one of the most respected Somali-Australian leaders within both this large migrant community and the wider Australian community.

Sahardeed has a thoroughly deserved reputation as an advocate, leader, counsellor, representative and friend to thousands of African families who have made Australia home over the past 25 years.

Sahardeed’s record as dedicated champion of Somalis and other Africans is the record a selfless man who sees the great potential of all people.  He began his work for African and Somali Australians after settling in Melbourne in 1986:

·      His advocacy and community work in Melbourne was a key to improved support services for the growing Somali community in Australia.

·      In 1988 he led the establishment of the Somali Relief Association (SRA) - the first incorporated Somali organisation in Australia and the first Somali organisation to secure a settlement grant funding from the Australian Government;

·      As SRA President he highlighted the plight of Somali refugees in Ethiopia to the Australian Government and international community and provided invaluable settlement assistance for newly arrived Somali refugees to Australia;

·      He was one of the earliest public advocates for an increase to the quota of African refugees being allowed to settle in Australia;

·      Sahardeed was a member of the Horn of Africa committee of Community Aid Abroad (now Oxfam Australia) for seven years and following a mission to Somalia he prepared a peace and reconciliation report on Somalia that was distributed internationally;

·      His direct advocacy to the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister for Australian support of grass-roots peace-making efforts in Somalia rather than intervention led to CAA funding peace initiatives in northern Somalia.

·      He was a member of the African Association of Victoria and a member of the Refugee Council of Australia.

·      He was a sought-after media commentator and cultural navigator on Somali and African issues and provided advice to Government and NGOs on Somali issues both here and abroad.

Sahardeed continued his community work after relocating to Perth in the 1990s where he played a major role in the reconciliation of the different clans of the Somali community in Western Australia:

·      He was a founding member of the Somali Community of WA and a leading member in the African Community of WA (Inc);

·      He was an Executive Committee member of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA;

·      His public advocacy for Somali and other refugees living in distressed conditions in Perth caused a Government change to housing and other services – changing the lives of many families;

·      He was an African Community Settlement Service officer for six years and for the past 2 years has been the tenancy advocate with the Multicultural Services Centre of WA.

Sahardeed’s passionate advocacy, leadership and commitment has assisted many Somali and African families in the communities where he has lived – and beyond.  He is a champion of Somalis and a great African-Australian leader.

Since starting at the age of 14 Ashley Heuvel aka DJ Trey, a South African -Australian,  has always dug the roots of R&B and Hip-Hop, using his Uncle's vinyl records! Respecting where music has come from and how it got to where it is now.

Diversely playing in styles of R&B, Hip-Hop, Soul and Funk (while dabbling in Disco, Jazz, Reggae and House). With a style that gives the crowd some of what they love, some of what they used to love and some of what they should love. Entertaining and enlightening. Engaging in the better of the unknown, he likes to focus more on what he believes, people should be listening too- as opposed to what they 'think' they want to listen too.

Dj Trey is rapidly becoming a notable name on all soul/old school circuits and has gathered a large following of dedicated fans! He has DJ'd all around Sydney at various locations and played for various artists such as Jagged Edge, Boyz II Men, The Veronicas, Lil Jon, Vinnie from Naughty by Nature, Bobby Brown and Teddy Riley (From BLACKstreet & Guy) on his promo tour here.

DJ Trey has the passion, talent and love for the music that will see him in this scene for many years to come! A rare talent (one to be watched and admired) - definitely a rising star!


Majak Daw at North Melbourne training. Picture: Stephen Harman Herald Sun

  Majak Daw (born 11 March 1991, in Khartoum, Sudan) is a professional Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League (AFL). Daw and his family in Australia are refugees from the civil wars in Sudan. Daw became the first Sudanese Australian to be drafted to an AFL club when he was contracted to the North Melbourne Football Club in the 2009 AFL Draft. Daw's drafting gained international attention: it was reported by the BBC and the Voice of America. Daw made his first appearance for North Melbourne in an NAB Cup match on 20 February 2011. Daw signed a new contract at the end of the 2011 season that will keep him at the North Melbourne Football Club for 2 more years.


 Chelsea Sandys Silikivai became the youngest person in Australia to receive a Community Service Award for her brave actions in coming to her mother’s rescue. She was just 4 years and 10 months old.

After her mother unexpectedly collapsed, Chelsea quickly and calmly used her mother’s phone to call her father, who called triple-zero.She saved her mother’s life, and impressed emergency workers and her family with her mature and quick thinking manner.

At just four years old, Chelsea showed great courage and maturity. Chelsea calmly followed her father’s instructions, got a glass of water and put a wet cloth on her mum’s face while she waited for emergency services to arrive. After calling her father, Chelsea got ready for the ambulance ride while watching over her 15 month old sister Charlotte

On January 22nd 2009 Chelsea became Young Citizen of the Year and received an award for her bravery and initiative.

Chelsea attended the annual Hurstville Council Australia Day awards as a guest. She is also actively along with her family's efforts to raise funds for various projects in South Africa and Bali.

 Bruce José Djite is Australian footballer who plays for Adelaide United as a striker in the A-League. Djite was born in Washington DC, United States and moved to Sydney, Australia with his parents when he was three years old. His father, an associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney, is from Côte d'Ivoire and his mother is from Togo.

Djite chose to play for Australia although he would also have been eligible for the U.S., Côte d'Ivoire and Togo.

He was a star striker for the Young Socceroos during their 2006 tour of South America and was also chosen in the Australian Under-20 squad to compete at the 2006 AFC Youth Championships, in India.

Three days before his 21st birthday, on the 22nd of March, 2008, Djite received his first international cap for the Australian national team, the Socceroos, against Singapore, courtesy of national coach Pim Verbeek.

His first cap in a competitive match was when he came on as a substitute for Harry Kewell in Australia's World Cup Qualifier against Iraq on June 1, 2008. He then again appeared in the Socceroos next match on June 15, 2008 against Qatar, coming on as a late substitute.

Bruce is now considered among the rising young stars of Australian Football. He is an International Ambassador for Sport and Development at Rise Global.

Urban minister Rodney Ahenkan (Better known as “D.I.S.C.I.P.L.E”), Gospel artist continues to strive to new heights through music, poetry and community outreach to make sure the Gospel covers as much ground as possible. Since beginning his ministry, Rodney has toured in 4 states covering thousands of kilometres to rap, preach and counsel including touring with LA gospel rapper Sevin, The Commission, Your Dream Seminar, running his own tours, church appearances, school appearances, juvenile detention centres, charity events and festivals.

With over 140 ministry appearances alone in 2011, Rodney has been able to finish his diploma in Music Performance at Ultimo Tafe and take away most outstanding student, do an album and launch a campaign that strives for independence and empowerment – that being known as the “Sorry To Break Your Theology” movement.Rodney has the “never go slow” mentality.

2011 was the year where Rodney truly felt planted in his calling and he was able to grace the stage at 2 major events. First of which was Enmore theatre where he performed his rendition of the story of Job featuring the ASA Dance Group and Secondly, Sydney Townhall for Ultimo Tafe's 120 year celebration.
  • Other Notable achievements that are nationally recognised include:
  • “Religious Song Of the Week” - Triple J [2011]
  • Nominated for Male Gospel Artist of the year – Afro Australian Music & Movie Awards [2011]
  • Nominated for the 2011 Student Excellence Award – Sydney Institute of Tafe
  • 2011 Radio Category Winner for Sydney Institute's Multimedia Competition
  • 2011 Overall Winner for Sydney Institute's Multimedia Competition

 Robert Mukombozi
  • Community Development Officer-Access Community Services Limited
  • President-Queensland African Communities Council-Logan Branch Inc
  • Secretary-Global United Ethnics Inc.
  • Secretary-Rwandan association of Queensland Inc.

African-Australian investigative journalist, Robert Mukombozi, a Rwandan, has used his profound social skills to improve lives of African refugees across Australia.

As President of Queensland African Communities Council in Queensland Logan district, he has created many initiatives that have transformed lives of African migrants and refugees.

Among these initiatives include:

  • establishing famous drumming project, which has received wide media coverage. This project has helped to restore peace and harmony between Africans and islander.  
  • liaising with social service providers and job network providers to find relevant training and jobs for African refugees.
  • liaising with the police services, centrelink, courts, and emergency services among others to assist families that have had trouble with government services.
  • creating links for Africans who want to find places/enrolment into Universities across Queensland.
  • helping African international students with research, linking them to relevant communities, departments, NGOs and agencies.

Through The African Voice magazine, he is creating awareness about key settlement issues affecting African communities in Queensland as well as educating communities and individuals on policies and how they can contribute for their welfare. This has greatly empowered African communities/individuals in influencing policies in Australia.

He has used his influence in the media to promote positive values of Africans in Australia. Apart from organising African festivals to celebrate positive values of African cultures and traditions, Mr Mukombozi organises fundraising dinners to support humanitarian activities across Africa, Christchurch (NZ), Japan, Asia and the middle east disaster victims.  

As a result, he has been the commended nominee for the University of Queensland’s 2011 communication for social change Award.  He was also the 2010 UNESCO Press freedom Ambassador.       

Emanuel Wassef (Manny Boy)

Touted as one of the next big Rapper in Australian urban music, Manny Boy has shook Sydney’s underground in 2009 with his mixtape release which has gone as far as to the middle east. Manny Boy has sparked so much interest he has caught the eyes and ears of the industry waiting on his debut album.

To many music fans, Manny Boy first came on their radar with his remix of “Died in You Arms” released with his mixtape, Through the massive buzz Manny Boy received, he linked up with one of Australia’s hottest urban producer, Khaled who is now overseeing all production for Manny Boy’s debut album.

Emanuel Wassef (Manny Boy) is the product of Sudanese mother and a Egyptian father from Cairo, Egypt. He was born in 1986 in Cairo, Egypt. As a child, Manny moved to Sydney, Australia with his family to start a new life down under. He began rhyming as a teen in school growing up, taking his material to the school stage.

Today, the world is his stage performing in front of 10,000 people at one time and his positive energy and vibe has never failed to lift the spirits of his fans. He has performed all around Australia and internationally in Dubai, Africa and Egypt at music festivals and clubs, only forging his name for future success internationally.

He has formed the company and record label Smash Factory with partners Carey George and Khaled who’s producing for his debut album, Manny expanded his brand in 2009 with a mixtape release which became hot property for music lovers across Sydney.


Fezile Mpehle is a South African-Australian who came to Australia in 1990 as a spouse of an Australian. Born in Johannesburg in 1961, during the apartheid era, he was smuggled out of the country at the age of five, together with his elder brother and mother, after his father had fled the country and sought political asylum in Ghana. His father later joined the rest of the family in Zambia where they lived as political exiles, until he finished high school and went to study Computer Software Engineering at the Vladimir Polytechnic in Russia . He also has a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the former Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University). He has worked as an IT professional for seventeen years, in both private and public sectors, in Australia and overseas.

Despite a busy work schedule, Fezile finds time to render voluntary services to the community outside of working hours, through the Africa-Australia Friendship Association(AAFA). Amongst his achievements within AAFA are the formation of a Football Club that was registered with the Northern Territory Football Federation, organizing workshops for youth with the renowned Diafrix outfit(DJs Azmarino and Momo), organizing workshops for young children with the well-known Company Gongoma, raising funds for emergency humanitarian assistance programs in Africa. He has also organized receptions for African ambassadors visiting Darwin and  sports teams from African countries participating in the Arafura games held tri-annually.

As the longest serving member of the executive of AAFA, he has been president, secretary, acting treasurer, publicity secretary and is currently Assisting Public Officer. He has also been on the boards of community arts organizations in the Northern Territory like Brownsmart Community Arts and Darwin Community Arts.

Fezile Mpehle was awarded a medal as a finalist in the Fair-Go category in the Pride of Australia Awards 2006. It’s important to note that all these achievements were due to the team work and support of many colleagues in the AAFA executive, but most of all his wife Ailsa, daughter Mpumi and son Khaya.

Tamrat Achamyeleh  is among the first African refugees, who came to Australia. Since he came to Australia, Tamrat was engaged in different community activities. In addition, Tamrat pursued his further education and completed his BA (Theology) at the Luther Seminary SA, and BSW Honours, Victoria University Melbourne.

Tamrat has been working in the employment industry since 1999 and was able to assist over hundreds of migrants and disadvantaged refugees including main stream Australians  find employment. Tamrat strongly believes that employment is the key factor to change every one’s life.  Moreover Tamrat was engaged in community development activities in order to assist the new emerging communities in the process of settlement in their new home country Australia.  Tamrat worked both as Employment Consultant and Senior Employment Consultant for five years before he became a manager in 2004. While working in senior position, Tamrat was also able to employ over 100 staff members, consultants and senior consultants and site managers. Tamrat, due to his outstanding leadership, he won one of the largest employment service provider, BreakThru People Solution's Managing Director award for excellence for Victoria in 2011.


Olivia Wellesley-Cole is an Australian of Sierra Leonean background who is currently (mid 2012) working with the United Nations World Food Programme at its regional office for Asia in Bangkok, Thailand.

Olivia came to Sydney from UK in 1987 as a skilled migrant and temporary resident, and like so many others stayed and became an Australian citizen.  There were not many Sierra Leoneans / Sierra Leonean Australians in Sydney at that time.

Olivia believes in the importance of partnerships and networking, which include mentoring and supporting others to grow and in turn contribute their skills to the community.  As a result of this belief she has been a member of the following organisations in NSW:

African Communities Organisation (ACO), African Communities Council (ACC), West Indian Association, Baraka Community Singers, Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW), Friends of Sierra Leone (FOSL), Sierra Leone Association (SLA), Sierra Leone Refugee Support Group (SLRSG) and Sierra Leone Women Wan Word (SLWWW).

Olivia graduated from University of Sydney in 2006 with her second master’s degree. This was in International Law (in particular Refugee, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law) paved the way for her to undertake international contracts with United Nations and Australian government from 2007 on.

Some of her key achievements are:

·         Being selected by the Australian government to work in partnership with the US State Department in the newly-independent state of South Sudan in September-December 2011

·         Delivering a speech on behalf of international non-government organisations (NGOs) to world government representatives at the UN Refugee Agency’s executive committee meeting in Geneva in 2005 (as a representative of ANCORW)

·         Being appointed as attaché to the Sierra Leone Olympic team at the world Games in Sydney in 2000

·         Being present at Sydney airport to welcome the first 30 resettled Sierra Leoneans arriving from Guinea under the Australian government refugee program in May 2000

·         Running the African-Australian Young Achievers’ Awards (a program based on Young Australian of the Year) in Sydney for 9 years from 1998 with support of FOSL

·         Working with FOSL and SLA in late 1990s to successfully advocate for the Australian government to resettle Africans from various conflicts on that continent to Australia

·         As part of SLRSG, forming a critical partnership with Northern Beaches Refugee Sanctuary, an organisation run out of Manly, which has provided financial assistance through revolving loans to many entrants under the Australian Government Special Humanitarian Scheme since early 2000s

·         Being a co-founder Transform De People (Australia) an organisation which is working with NSW area health and FGM educational branch in partnership to provide training for women in Sierra Leone

·         Being a co-founder of the African Women's Advocacy Unit a former project of ANCORW which has now developed into African Women of Australia (AWAU)


Adol Takpiny

Emerging  Communities Liaison Officer
Diversity Services
Department  of Attorney General and Justice

In 2008, Ms Takpiny was engaged by the Department of Attorney General and Justice to provide Sudanese community expertise and cultural advice, and facilitate the Department’s commencement of an engagement process with Sudanese community leaders and elders. The initial consultation was a resounding success. Significant outcomes of the consultation included the creation of a Sudanese Community Liaison Officer role within the Department and the development of a Sudanese community legal education program. Ms Takpiny was appointed to fill that position.

In her role as the Community Liaison Officer over the past four years, Ms Takpiny echoed the views of members of African Communities to the Department and made submissions on their behalf to expand her role to work with the African communities.  Her submission was approved and she set about consulting and developing resources and programs for the broader African communities in both regional and metropolitan areas especially for the refugee arrivals from Sudan, Congo, and Somalia etc. Some of the resources, programs and projects she initiated include:

       The DVD 'Law and You, Legal information for African Communities in NSW'. Ms Takpiny was vital in the production of this resource which includes short stories illustrating legal topics of concern that were raised by newly arrived community members throughout legal radio programs and ongoing consultation processes. Ms Takpiny ensured that this resource was dubbed into seven emerging African Community languages (Dinka, Juba Arabic, Kiswahili, Amharic, Arabic (Classic), Somali and Krio) and employed over 60 African actors, crewmembers, businesses, translators and voice over artists. Over 6000 copies of this resource have been distributed free of charge to members of African Communities and service providers across NSW.

       Developing African Conflict Resolution Training Program. The training program was conducted for 33 African leaders, elders, church and youth leaders including regional (Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour, and Newcastle). The program provided practical skills and resources on culturally acceptable methods for African leaders, elders and youth to resolve disputes in culturally and legally appropriate ways.

        Establishing the Justice African Learning Circle (JALC). These workshops are held regularly to inform and up-skill leaders within the African communities about legal processes and resources that community members seek.

       Partnering with University of Western Sydney to implement a court support program at Blacktown local court. Post Second year Sudanese law students provide free legal assistance for community members. This program is currently being reviewed with hopes of expansion to include other communities, universities and locations.

       Legal information sessions in Sydney and in regional areas such as Wagga Wagga, Lismore and Coffs Harbour.

       Court Open Day for the Sudanese Community in Blacktown in 2008.  This all day program incorporated legal information sessions about Legal Aid, the Police, Victim's Services and Local Court procedures offered in Dinka, Juba Arabic and English. The day included child minding, local justice related information table and a community lunch with live African entertainment provided by local artists.

       Sudanese Radio presentations. She assisted representatives areas of the Department like the Anti Discrimination Board, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, Victim’s Services, Local Courts and Law Access by using her multilingual skills to interpret during radio shows.

Ms Takpiny’s invaluable contributions to the Department had been acknowledged internally through the Annual Achievement Award for her Commitment to the Community in 2008 and through the extension and expansion of her role to work with Emerging African communities.

She also received the 2012 NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) Humanitarian Award launched in June.

In 2011 Ms Takpiny was appointed as a part time Commissioner with the Community Relations Commission. In this capacity she chairs the Albury Regional Advisory Council (RAC). The RAC provides multicultural rural and regional NSW with an avenue to advise, inform and raise their concerns for the Commission’s consideration.

She is also a student at the University of Western Sydney where is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Communication /Bachelor of Laws degrees.

Ms Takpiny is well regarded in the African Communities and in the broader NGO and Government Sector. Commonwealth and State government researchers, policy makers and planners seek her perspective on the African Communities’ experiences of settling in Australia.


Fadzai Matambanadzo was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. With a passion for education and its ability to address poverty, she founded The African Dream Benefit in 2009, which is currently the Executive Director, soon after winning Miss Africa Perth in 2008. She believes that higher education plays a unique role in permanently removing individuals from poverty, increasing Africa’s human resources, fostering future economic growth throughout Africa, and curing ‘generational poverty’. Since launching in 2009, The African Dream Benefit has received tremendous support and has been recognised for its impact. In 2009, The African Dream Benefit was a finalist in the Belmont Small Business Awards. In 2012 Fadzai was awarded the ‘African professional Mission’ award by African Professionals of Australia. She currently sits on the committee of the Australia African Business Council WA chapter, a national organisation that unites business communities on both continents by promoting increased trade and investment. She also sits on the committee of Save the African Rhino Foundation, an Australian organisation that has been saving Africa’s Rhino’s since 1987.

Dr Njau Gitu holds a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from Southern Cross University (SCU) in Australia. His thesis focused on the Australian tertiary education sector. The study  was s entitled “The potential for collaboration as a policy strategy to attract external funding for business research”. A case study of a regional University.

For post graduate and undergraduate studies Dr Gitu attended university in a developing country. This gave him a fair understanding of the issues faced by international students.
Roles in Academia / Research

Dr Gitu is the Executive Director Australia Education Global Advisers, He counsels and mentors African students who relocate for further studies in Australia. In addition Dr Gitu is a business management Tutor at the University of Queensland (UQ). 

In his other roles as researcher his areas of interest include policy analysis, strategic management, financial inclusion (microfinance), capital markets, and supply chain management.  He is involved in ongoing research and consultancies focusing on cross cultural policies in Australia.

Community responsibility:

In the community, Dr Gitu is a Founder Member, and Chairman Board of Directors of the Africans Community Foundation Australia (ASCOF) based in Brisbane. The Foundation is a Financial literacy advocacy organisation. During his tenure the membership has grown to over 250 members comprising of Africans and other Australians with special links to Africa. Based on this grassroots, networking and mobilisation success, in October 2012 ASCOF was accredited to deliver the No Interest Loans (NILS) to members, families and relatives. Over fifteen families from diverse cultural backgrounds have benefited from these funds. This has had a profound positive impact on their lives in Australia as they have been able to acquire basic household goods. Other key needs identified include education, health and vehicle repairs. These members now have confidence managing their financial affairs giving them a sense of dignity within the wider community.

Dr Gitu also holds the following other leadership roles;                         
  • Chair, Queensland Police and African Communities Consultative Committee (QPaACC),
  • Treasurer, African Seniors Club Australia (Queensland),
  • Treasurer, Annerley & Districts Community Centre (ADCC),
  • Member, Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ),
  • Former Chair, Queensland African Communities Council (QACC) Advisory Board,
  • Former Executive, Queensland African Communities Council (QACC) Management Committee        


Sosina Wogayehu 

Sosina was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. She started doing gymnastics at the age of 7, and was Ethiopian Gymnastics Champion at ages 9 and 11. She joined Circus Ethiopia in 1993, and toured the world for five years as an acrobat, contortionist and dancer, including performances at the Adelaide Festival, the Womad Festival in England, and a performance for the Queen of the Netherlands.

Sosina moved to Australia in 1998. In 1999 she completed a Diploma in Small Companies and Community Theatre at Swinburne University, including spending a month doing work experience with Australia’s flagship contemporary circus, Circus Oz, and participating in a Melbourne Women’s Circus community performance. She supported her studies and training with a job at Africako, where she was employed for her specialist Ethiopian hair braiding skills. Sometimes Sosina performed as a “hair busker”, braiding hair, adding colorful extensions and bright found objects and offering a free smile to the shoppers in Auckland St, St Kilda.

Sosina was fortunate to complete her diploma just as the Swinburne University National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) sought applications for their inaugural two-year diploma in circus arts. She was a successful applicant, and was one of its very first graduating students in 2001. While studying at NICA, she developed her world-class, solo, bouncing ball juggling act, and a ladder-balancing act. These acts, along with her stage presence, her contortion, her creativity, and her ability to work effectively in a collaborative creative environment led Circus Oz to offer her a position in their permanent performance ensemble in 2002.


She accepted, and premiered her professional bouncing ball juggling and contortion acts to great acclaim in the 2001 Sydney Season. Her first review, in The Australian, describes her contortion as “perfect, controlled and hypnotic” then continues “.... her juggling act, first with three balls and ending with nine or more.  Who’d know?  They cascade in a flash and blur like a broken string of pearls before she re-knots her body to make juggling just that much harder.  She’s a gem”, while The New York Times described her juggling skills as “impossible undulations”.  Sosina is now a Full Company Member of Circus Oz after five years in the ensemble and has served on the Board of Directors.


In addition to rave reviews, Sosina has received a number of awards since joining Circus Oz. In 2003 she was the first Australian ever to be invited to the annual Circus Princess Competition in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2004 she was a finalist for the Young Australian of the Year awards; and she was selected to feature on a poster for the Australia Day Council Australia Day Poster. In 2004/5 Sosina was awarded her Bachelor of Arts in Circus from NICA. In 2007 Sosina was nominated for Australian of the Year.


Now permanently based in Australia, Sosina maintains strong links with the local Ethiopian community, and when she’s not touring the world with Circus Oz, participates in community-based circus projects. Whilst at NICA she conducted a residency at Normanton in far North Queensland, and later in south Australia developing circus skills with a group of indigenous children and conducted performance workshops for the Footscray-based East African Women’s Project, and theatre workshops for newly arrived migrants and refugees.

Her dream is to to keep growing in her profession, be watched by millions of people on film and television, as well as making a positive difference for disadvantaged kids thoughout the world. From impoverished beginnings, Sosina believes that life is what you make of it. She is truly inspiring.



Eve is a Ghanaian Australian, arrived in Australia 9 years ago.  Eve and her family lived and served in the Country Town of Ceduna for 5years.

 As a registered teacher, she worked with children with special needs - Ceduna Area School. She solely ran the Ceduna Early Learning program, travelling several kilometres, connecting with families and children with special needs. Eve also worked as a lecturer and an hourly paid instructor in the department of Children’s Services at TAFE – Ceduna and Wudinna Campuses

Whilst in Ceduna Eve was an active member of the Women’s Health Advisory Group, A Quilting group and Meals on wheels.

Four years ago Eve and her family relocated to Adelaide. She immediately linked up with the Ghanaian Community, and the West African Women’s Association - a pioneer executive member in establishing the West African Women’s Association. Eve later joined the National Council of Women SA, also African Women’s Federation as a member and volunteer, later becoming the project officer until September 2012.

Eve currently works as a business manager in the medical practice field, whilst studying Masters in Business Administration (UniSA)

Eve enjoys travelling, working with different cultures, being a part of seniors and women’s groups, serving others, reading, listening to the radio, collecting recipes and running.

Lisa Lonero

Modern Zebra Safari

Lisa is an Adelaide based independent contemporary Dancer, Performer and Choreographer. Lisa creates her own works, performs for other independents, and has a close relationship with South African artists as she travels to Cape Town annually to work with the Free Flight Dance Company and Cape (Youth) Dance Company.

Lisa has most recently worked with Larissa McGowan, covering her role in her new full-length work, Skeleton. Lisa has also worked with Adelaide independents on developments including Cubed by Alison Currie, Degredation by Daniel Jaber, and Involuntary by Katrina Lazaroff. Lisa has also collaborated on dance on film projects with Gemma Saloman and Jay Mullan.

Lisa directed and performed her outdoor installation work, Modern Zebra Safari, for the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2012. With sold out houses, this work was sponsored by various businesses and funded by the SA Premiers Arts Partnership Fund.

Lisa was a successful applicant of the UpStart program and was supported by Helpmann Academy to travel in 2010. Lisa is an enthusiastic independent artists who enjoys collaborating with other artists to deliver dream projects, and is enjoying working on developing the dance industry in South Australia.

Adau Khot a 23 years old south Sudanese who arrived in Australia in 2000 with her mother, a sister and two cousins for the Celebrating Africans National Awards 2013 in Canberra. Adau Khot exceptional contributions to the South Sudanese and broader African Communities in general are more than I can count. Adau is a founder of Miss Africa South Australia which has helped raise her profile to be well known and appreciated in her local community, African communities and wider SA society for bringing young African girls to develop their self-esteems and show case their skills via beauty pageant contest. Her visionary leadership skills and extraordinary networking abilities has transformed Miss African South Australia Beauty Pageant contest in to a most productive and attractive African community project in South Australia between 2011 to date through the development, initiation, management, coordination and implementation of Miss Africa SA structure, profile, strategic plan, programs projects in partnership with ACCSA and MRCSA underpinned by the memorandum of understanding (MOU). 

More broadly, Adau has served her African community in many different roles. Being multilingual, Adau became volunteer and interpreter for MRCSA and ACCSA to assist her fellow Africans newly arriving to Australia to support them in their settlement journey in all capacities. Adau visited Africa (South Sudan) with a project to help the most disadvantaged Sudanese children always has the passion of giving back to her community in whatever way possible to put a smile on the African young people who are disadvantaged and require support to reach their full potentials. 

Adou is indeed a positive role model for the African young females and Sudanese in particular.

Nibret Kassa was born in Ethiopia. He has been working in The Ethiopian Ministry of Health in various positions. He had the opportunity to receive training from World Health Organisation (WHO) in Entomology and Operations Management and has worked as a group leader in Malaria Eradication Program with Field Research Teams. He has rendered many hours of training on Malaria prevention methods and has translated many documents from English to Amharic for training and development purposes.

He has studied Diploma of Education and Literature, and was awarded 2nd prize for the tenth anniversary of Literacy Campaign Short Story competition on a national level in 1989. Following his farsightedness of how the new government then (EPRDF) was heading to, and he rejected many offers for the sake of his dignity as well as for the future status of his children and decided to flee to Djibouti. During his stay in Djibouti, he became a teacher and taught many Francophone’s how to speak, read, and write Amharic. Nibret migrated to Australia in 1996 through the UNHCR resettlement program as a refugee, and shortly after joined by his family.

In Australia, Nibret has worked for Warner Brothers, and Fairfax Printers; with The Sydney Morning Herald in Sydney and The Age in Melbourne. He understood the limitations of information in his community and started publishing an Amharic news paper as a supplement source of information to the Ethiopian community in Australia. Besides, Nibret is well aware of the minor differences among the Ethiopian Ethnic groups in Melbourne, and launched “Agere Radio” in June 2011. He is the producer and director of the program, and his radio shows are transmitted twice a week on Tuesdays from 6:00am to 8:00am on 97.9FM, and on Sundays from 9:00am to 12:00pm on 97.4FM. He has been on air for more than five hundred hours since then. He works tirelessly at his own expenses to bring the politically divided Ethiopian community together. His shows cover: current affairs, different views and opinions, history, interviews, social affairs, health, and entertainment.

In addition, he has published a bilingual newspaper monthly, to fill the gap of information and to create a communicating medium for adults, youth and new generations to enlighten them about their cultural heritage and history. He distributes his news papers all over Australia and helped small business to advertise on his paper at a low cost. He also helps local organisations such as Regional Rail Link Victoria by advertising on his paper regarding the Major reforms around the Footscray station.  Nibret is also unreserved writer sharing his ideas and timely observations. Even though he uses a pseudonym his numerous articles have been read globally with encouraging feedbacks. If it hadn’t been for the limited resources; he has a great desire to serve the community at a larger scale.

Furthermore, he has studied Diploma of Interpreting from RMIT University and gives professional document translation services, especially for immigration purposes. He has also served as an active participant in the Taxi Industry Advisory Board for two years, which is conducted by VTD and received a certificate for his constructive contribution.

Nibret is a very dedicated father of five children and two grand children and an extraordinary Ethiopian Australian.

Davies Chibale lives in Perth, married & a proud father of three, two boys & a girl. Came to Australia as an international student in 2002. Holds BCom & MBA (Exec), from University Notre Dame, Australia. Founding member of African Professionals of Australia; past vice president of African Community in Western Australia (ACWA) Inc, past president of Organisation of Zambians in WA, past president of Australia Zambia Business Council; passionate supporter of the African Australian Inclusion Program (AAIP) and presents at AAIP seminars as guest speaker and delivers workshops regularly to migrants from Culturally & Linguistic Diverse Communities (CaLD). Davies is a published author of the book: Engineered For Success - How to achieve your dreams by harnessing the power of your mind. He is due to launch his second book entitled: Who Cares? I will do it anyway - How to achieve your dreams by harnessing the power of your heart.

UK born African Australian of Zimbabwean & Kenyan background, Nick Mbogua is the owner of a consultancy company called Confident Solutions & also founder of Afro Networking platform United as One.  United As One is networking group created with a mission to promote success and unity amongst Africans whilst breaking down the cultural silo's which exist between our communities. This platform has attracted more than 1000 members across the Asia Pacific region ad is growing on a daily bais.. Nick also has a strong background in the Corporate Real estate industry and is currently a Commercial Property Manager for Jones Lang LaSalle Asia Pacific.

Chimezie Kingsley is one of the most active and populous African Australian political voice presently in NSW and throughout Australia.
 A Nigerian Born Australian; He contested the NSW State Parliamentary Election 2011 as an Independent Candidate for Campbelltown.

Chimezie Kingsley is also a founding member and National Coordinator of Multicultural Australia Party {MAP} which promotes a voice for all Australians.

Chimezie Kingsley is well involved in Community Affairs in Campbelltown and wider western Sydney.  He has worked extensively in Community Welfare and the Disability Services under NSW Government FACS (Family & Community Services) as well as being involved with Migrant Settlement Project and Youth Development Programs.
Mr. Kingsley has been sitting on the Board of Australia Africa Initiative Inc {AAI} since 2006 and currently he is the Executive Director of AAI.

Chimezie Kingsley is the Advisory Board Chairman AussieCare Pty Ltd.

Chimezie Kingsley is currently the president of African Students Association {ASA} - University of Western Sydney {UWS}; also the delegation Leader lobbying UWS officials and stakeholders to introduce African Studies program in UWS.

Mr. Kingsley is a Member of Council of African Students Association for Psychological Studies & Research {CASAPSR} Australia.

Mr. Kingsley is also the CEO and the Owner of Gfani Links Network Pty Ltd, a renowned and fast growing international domain name registrar, Web Hosting and online marketing company.

Ronnie Kintu

Ronnie was born in Kampala Uganda to Hon Moses R K Kintu (Lawyer and government minister) and Mrs Jane Kintu.

He came to Australia in 2007 and undertook a double degree masters program in International Communication and International Relations at Macquarie University (Sydney) graduating in 2011.

As a qualified journalist and teacher with a Bachelors of Education and diploma in Journalism obtained at Makerere University – Kampala, Ronnie has always engaged with the community playing various leadership and social roles.

He is the outgoing President of the Uganda Association of NSW Australia (2010 – 2013), a role he served with diligence lifting the profile of his community to a recognisable level in NSW. During his tenure as president, he put in place measures to connect Ugandans spread across NSW through community activities and effective networking. He was also instrumental in helping new Ugandan arrivals to settle in NSW and also connecting them to various services.

Ronnie was also the chairman of the organising committee that staged a historical ceremony in Sydney to mark 50 years of Uganda’s independence. Ronnie has travelled wide in Australia meeting various Ugandans in Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth. He has also been instrumental in helping establish some state-based Ugandan associations. He has also established a wide network with various cultural groups across Australia.

In 2010, he was a co-founder of Uganda Forum Australia and in 2011 he was also instrumental in establishing the CALD Mens social club of NSW.

Ronnie has also established him self in crisis support services and currently works with Lifeline Australia – Sydney in the training sector having obtained a certificate IV in Training and Assessment in 2011.

He has previously worked as a journalist for The New vision – Uganda’s leading Newspaper and has been a correspondent sports journalist for the International Cricket Council (ICC). He has served as the Organising secretary and administration assistant with the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) and Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA).

His love for the community has seen him take on various voluntary activities. Ronnie currently volunteers for YMCA Community Visitor’s Scheme, Australia Red Cross, United Nations Human Rights Commission and various church-based charities. He is also a link and provides support to numerous charity organisations based in Australia with projects in Uganda.

He is a member of Migration Institute Australia (MIA), Uganda Chess Federation (UCF), Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA), Africa Professionals Australia and East and Central African Communities Canberra (ECACC).

Ronnie has played cricket in Uganda and also loves playing chess, tennis, basketball, volleyball, soccer and scrabble among others.

He has also travelled to various countries of the world including Ireland, London, Namibia, Zimbabwe, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, USA, Singapore, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, New Zealand, UAE, Sudan, Ethiopia and South Africa among others.

David Kinyua is currently President of the East African Association in Canberra, a healthy and vibrant organisation that brings together like-minded Africans and advances their interests and social belonging. Although an economist by training, Kinyua is currently working as a management consultant for Ernst & Young in Canberra.

Kinyua has been involved with the local theatrical and performance arts scene in Canberra with his main highlight being a main actor feature in a recent Free-Rain Theatre’s staging of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. For this role, Kinyua was awarded the theatre company’s best emerging artist of 2013. Kinyua recently won a local government grant to stage a play that will promote a multicultural Canberra and showcase diverse talent. Kinyua also enjoys public speaking, dance and is an avid Japanese car fanatic.

Kinyua seeks to promote diversity and inclusiveness through keeping people engaged in the performed arts and civically engaged and aware through community social organisation participation.


Aaron ND Sawmadal 

Born in Liberia, Aaron resettled in Australia in 2006. Employed as a computer network engineer, Aaron is a spirited philanthropist and volunteer. He is one of the key founders of the African Australian Union, which provides services to African communities in Western Australia. Aaron is the Western Australian Volunteer of the Year 2014 – for ethnic communities. He was also awarded the Celebrate African Australians National award for Philanthropic and Community Engagement in 2013.




Abdul-Karim Hamzie Kamara

Occupation: Teacher and a Pastor by calling.

Nationality: Australian (born in Sierra Leone) Education: 

  • Currently completing a Master of Education degree in UTAS
  • Bachelor of Teaching UTAS
  • BA Honours in French Fourah Bay College (FBC) University of Sierra Leone
  • Higher Diploma in French (DSEF) University of Cocody (Côte d’Ivoire)
  • Diploma in Business Management and Human Resources (TAFE Tasmania)
  • Diploma in Ministry Freetown Bible Training Centre
  • Certificate in Ministry Canaan Bible Institute Côte d’Ivoire
  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Second language in Mainstream Classrooms (TESMC) 

Prior to Abdul-Karim’s arrival in Australia as a refugee in the mid-2000s’, he worked as a teacher and Translator in Ivory Coast and also served as an Assistant Pastor for a number of years. After his initial studies in Australia, he taught in a number of high schools in Launceston Tasmania where he has been living all the while. He is currently a teacher of French at Launceston College. Abdul-Karim is also married with two children: a boy and a girl. 

Abdul-Karim is fondly called Pastor Karim as he is also a Pastor by calling. He is the President and Founder of a bible-believing, multicultural church called House of Prayer Bible Fellowship International, stationed in Launceston. He is currently the Senior Pastor of this ministry. He has a passion for reaching out with the gospel to all races and not just his Sierra-Leonean countrymen and other Africans. Pastor Karim believes that sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ has the ability to transform humanity. He has seen people’s lives including the young, turn around from a life without hope to one with a sense of direction and marked progress.

Pastor Karim is an active member of the Sierra Leonean Migrants Community of Launceston and Hobart and he is currently serving as Public Officer. He has been and continues to be, an inspiration and a role model to many Africans and even young people in various communities especially in Tasmania, some of whom he has taught in school.



Julie Oyato

Julie is a Health and Safety Advisor and Sustainability and Environmental Science degree holder. She moved to Australia 11 years ago to pursue further education where she attended Murdoch University, Western Australia and graduated in 2006. In recent years, and in addition to a successful career in her chosen field, Julie has rightly earned her spot as the Health and Safety coordinator of the Health and Safety African Professionals (Western Australia). She is currently advancing her career and is undertaking her Masters in Human Resource Management at the Edith Cowan University.

In addition to her professional work, Julie is a regular contributor to various community events and is an active member of both the Kenyan community of Western Australia and the African Professionals of Australia (Most recently – Succeeding Beyond Borders).

Julie believes that work with no play kills the momentum. She loves her morning jogs and enjoys travelling, where she meets and embraces people from all different cultures and walks of life.


 More profiles to be added

Sheela is an internationally renowned and multi-award winning artist. Sheela Langeberg is one of the most influential and written about Africans in Australia today, as well as one of its most prized artistic and cultural treasures.


 Nadia Taylor , Egyptian-Australian is Co-founder and Director of tna

tna is a global leader in the food packaging and processing industry. It spans 24 countries, employs 165 staff, and turnover was forecast to reach $80 million in 2010.

Nadia is the founder who encouraged and persisted with establishing the company, having started from her kitchen at home with a dream.  With no tertiary education, but a determination to work hard and never give up, she was instrumental in developing the business globally.  In 1992 she was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. See video
Nadia is active in the strategy and running of the business.  Her role encompasses Public Relations, Business Development, building tna’s Global Customer Relationship, as well as the management of tna’s extensive philanthropic program.
Nadia’s working life commenced working in an engineering based company followed by 10 years in the snack food industry prior to establishing tna.

Nadia and her husband Alf Taylor appeared in series 2 of channel 9’s hit television show The Secret Millionaire.

Dr Chika Anyanwu  is a senior academic at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. He was the Founding Head of the University’s Department of Media from 2002 to 2006.

His professional career cuts across many fields from Stage to Screen and from Policy to Business Leadership and Management. Chika is a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Institute of South Australia.

He has been teaching and researching in media with specialisations in Media Law and Policy, Creative Industries, Broadcast Radio and Television, and New Media Management since 1988

He has set up and headed three Media and Mass Communication Departments across two continents, first at the University of Papua New Guinea, from 1991, then at Curtin University of Technology from 1997 and now at the University of Adelaide. He has also lectured at Flinders University of South Australia.

He sits on the board of many community and government bodies in Australia including the Mobile Entertainment Alliance, South Australian Certificate of Education subject advisory board, and was on the board of Community Access Television Channel 44 from 2002 -2008.

He is a very active researcher and consultant, and is currently Director of two large research programs: Creative Industries and Virtual African Diaspora.

He belongs to many international professional bodies as:

·         Associate Editor, Legal Issues, Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization www.rpcg.org;

·         Member of European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA);

·         Vice president of Australian and New Zealand Communication Association of which he was president from 2005-2007;

·         Executive Member, African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific;

·         Member of Convergent Communication Research Group;

·         Member of OurMedia (An International Community Media Advocacy and Research Organisation);

·         Member of IAMCR (International Association of Media and Communication Research)

Chika has more than 65 publications in Books, Journals, Government reports, Conferences and Electronic works plus over 15 invited keynote and Public lectures across many continents

  Dr Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe AFAIM, MAHRI, FAFBE, JP.   One of the African-Australians who has made great and significant contributions in community work, academia, research, and teaching; he currently involved in different projects linking Africa and Australia.

He has been involved with a wide range of community based and professional membership activities principally for contributing to the development and smooth management on the issues of the emerging communities especially those relating to African-Australians in Victoria and Australia in general.  He has been (now for three terms) an Executive Member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) (State peak body), a member of the Victoria Multicultural Commission, Hume Regional Advisory Committee (a Victoria Government Advisory body- appointed for two years initially), Chair of the D.H.S Victoria Multicultural Advisory Committee, Board member and Vice President of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton & Districts (Regional).  He has been a charter member of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Executive Board member of the African Think Tank Inc., and the Public Relations Officer of the Eastern and Central Africa Communities of Victoria (EACACOV, now African Communities Foundation Inc. (AFCFI)   (-State-wide Organisation) as well President of GV African Communities Association and Public Officer/Treasurer of the GV Ethnic Professionals Association (GVEPA). 

He has been Vice President of the African Studies Association of the Australasia and the Pacific Inc. (AFSAAP) for four terms until 2011. Among key AFSAAP’s objectives include: promoting research and teaching of African Studies mainly in Australia and the Pacific and to facilitate contact among scholars and students in the field of African Studies and other related knowledge advancements of various types.  As AFSAAP Vice President he has worked closely with the Presidents, Associate Professor David Lucas 2008 - 2009 and Dr Fernanda Claudio 2010 - 2011 to achieve a number of things for Africans, which include ensuring further advances in African Studies in Australia and the Pacific and creating more links and engagements with Africans, their issues, scholars, and key institutions there.  Refer to the submissions to and outcomes the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade: Inquiry into Australia’s Relationship with the countries of Africa. 

Apollo currently lectures in International Management the School of Business, Department of Management at La Trobe University and he has taught various courses in Management.  He has researched and published in various journals and books mainly for effective and efficient delivery of settlement services to ‘emerging communities’ and African-Australians in particular.  He is leading teams undertaking major projects in the Goulburn Valley Victoria aimed at minimising wastage in the utilisation of the migrants’ Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs).  This research project also aims to suggest how such KSAs could be used as a spring board for new economic and social contribution to the region and how the migrant communities would subsequently benefit through personal growth, integration and inclusion.  Since 1999/2000 Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe has lead teams one of them mapped, evaluated, and benchmarked for betterment of the settlement services delivery to the Africans Communities in Victoria. A report was written for DIAC used as a blue print to deliver settlement services.  Apollo’s work has been recognised both internationally and nationally resulting into being listed under “Maquis of Who’s who in the World”, and on similar grounds the Victoria State Government has twice awarded him. 

In 2006 for an Outstanding Contribution to the Community and in 2008 the Victorian Refugee Recognition Record (VRRR) Award and he is also “Justice of the Peace” in Victoria after training as Independent Person called on by police as when needs be.   On the Australian Day 2009, the City of Greater Shepparton (COGS) awarded Apollo with “An Academic Contribution Award to the Community” a recognition of his use of the academic position, research, and community engage to make a significant contribution the GV emerging communities.

He is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Member of the Asia Pacific Human Resource Institute, Fellow and Executive Member of the Asian Forum for Business Education (AFBE), Editorial Board of AFBE Journal and Vice President of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) and Editorial Board member of the Australasian Review of African Studies, an academic Journal published by the African Studies Association of Australasia and The Pacific.

Dr Casta Tungaraza, a Tanzanian,   joined the Murdoch University’s Politics Department as a Research Fellow and later was appointed as the University’s Equal Opportunity and Social Justice Manager. She is also the Director of the Australian Academy of Race Relations at Murdoch University.

In 2011 she was nominated as one of the Western Australian Patrons for the Centenary of the International Women’s Day Celebrations.

 In addition, Casta is the founding member of the African Women’s Council of Australia. Also,  she is the former Chairperson of the African Community in WA, the President of the Tanzanian Community in WA, and she is currently an Executive Member of the Federation of the African Communities Council of Australia (FACC).

Casta has served and continues to serve on a number of Government Advisory Boards for more than ten years – such as the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council (Federal), the Western Australian Citizenship and Multicultural Advisory Council (WACMAC), the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia’s New and Emerging Communities Policy Advisory Committee (National), and the WA Government’s Anti-racism Strategy Steering Group.

She is a member of the WA’s Multicultural Advisory Group to the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests.

Casta is currently the Director of the Australian Institute of Kiswahili Language and African Culture. She speaks five languages and takes interest in cultural diversity matters.

Casta has been inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame by the UN Women Australia (formerly United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)).

In addition, Casta was presented with an Individual Excellence Award at the Western Australian Multicultural Community Service Awards 2012 by the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, John Castrilli. This State honour was to recognise Casta's exceptional work towards empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities, combating racism and promoting human rights.

Dr Andre Kabamba is the leader of an intellectual movement on humanitarian issues on the Democratic Republic of Congo called Australian Conference Rally on Kongo (ACRoK Inc.)

He also heads the Community & Business Audit Society Inc. (CBASI), a community based audit on disadvantaged African Australians, in Australia.

Andre was a professor of sociology at the University of Lubumbashi (DR Congo) for 17 years and head of department of sociology and anthropology at the same university.

He immigrated to Australia in 1980s as a political refugee with his family and worked as a Researcher at Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Here he contributed as co-author to a number of publications on urban and housing areas.

In addition, Andre worked for 12 years as analyst, economist and statistician with the Queensland Government.

In respect to his intellectual movement leadership, Andre has published two main books, Humanitarian Crisis in the Congo, 2010 (in English and French) catalogued at the National Library of Australia and The Congo, fifty years later, 2012 (in French).

Andre is the:

Co-author, Ageing and Housing, Ageing and Retirement Housing in Australia, 1997 (AHURI, QUT)

Co-author, Sun-Belt Migration Decisions, a Study of the Gold Coast, 1996 (BIMPR, Commonwealth of Australia)

Author, Queensland Population, 2003 (QLD Govt, OESR)

 Associate Professor Inakwu Odeh is a Sesquicentennial Senior Lecturer in Rural Spatial Information Systems at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, The University of Sydney.

Odeh is the current Sub-program leader of the Australian Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre and the Vice President of Australian Soil Science Society (Inc.) New South Wales Branch.

Odeh was one of the first to introduce the techniques of regression-kriging and the concept of fuzzy set theory to soil science and apply the fuzzy sets theory to mapping the soil continuum as a continuous land surface body.

The total number of his career publications is 103, including 29 in refereed journals, 13  in refereed conference proceedings, 10 book chapters and 16 articles in popular media. In addition he has brought in external grants of over $2.1m since his appointment at the University of Sydney. 

Previously Odeh was a Senior Research Fellow and Research Fellow with the Australian Cotton Cooperative Research Centre and currently an active member of the following bodies:  International Society of Environmental Information Sciences, British Photogrammetric and Remote Sensing Society, British Soil Science Society, Australian Soil Science Society, and International Union of Soil Science.

  Associate Professor, Faculty of The Professions, School of Business Economics and Public Policy, University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia.


B.Sc Admin (Ghana), MEc, (NE), PhD (NE)

Areas of Teaching

Small Business Management, Small Business Policy

Research interests

Issues in Small Business Management, Women in Business, Psychology of the business owner, planning and performance in small firms, debt and equity finance in small firms, small business policy in developing economies, management and performance issues in small and family business, financial issues in small business and small business policy.


Leticia Omankoy is a young African Entre- preneur who has estab-lished her  own Product Empire. Originally from Congo (Kinshasa), she has been living in Australia for 21 years and and performed in the Sydney 2000 Olympic games opening ceremony.

Leticia has designed a new baby product called Babyam which is the World's first ever 3 in 1 automatic bottle preparation system. She has secured a multi-million dollar contract with Toys R Us Nation wide in Australia and Internationally - her product will be sold in all the Australian Toys R Us  and international stores. She has developed specialty, unique and high-quality products that are unique and make the role of parenting easier.  Her product range will be prams, high-tech baby products, nappies, soaps and hygiene products etc. 

 Leticia is currently undertaking a degree in Law & Criminology and works as a case manager at the Department of Corrective services NSW.

Leticia is an Advocate for Women's rights while in custody and post custody (especially for women with children). She works alongside various government and non-government officials to make this possible.

She hopes to support the Aboriginal communities and establish orphanages and schools around Africa and help the poor.

She is a busy mother of 3 beautiful kids which 2 are twins.


Dr Francois Tsafack, a Public Health Professional, is the Senior Research and Evaluation Advisor  and Senior Program Quality Advisor at World Vision Australia. In addition, Francois was a Design Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at VicHealth (Victoria Health Promotion Foundation) Melbourne, Australia.

Abeselom Nega has been a community advocate for many years. His work included being a founding Deputy Chair of Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT ), member of Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) Management Committee, founding Deputy Chair of the Annerley Community Centre and many others.

He is a member of a number of community based organisations. He is an Executive Member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’

Councils of Australia as the Chair of the New and Emerging Communities policy advisory committee, NAATI Board Member, Past Immediate Chair and Spokesperson for the Federation of African Communities’ Councils, a past Board member of the Cabramatta Community Centre and member of Australian Human Rights Commission Project Steering Committee. He has presented papers at various national and international conferences. (See for example: appendix 1, 2, 3)

Abeselom has 25 years of leadership experience in public, private and community services sectors. He has served for many years as the State and General Manager in AMES, which is the largest specialist services provider to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australia. Abeselom is currently working as the CEO of iEmpower – a Melbourne basedservices provider to young people from refugee and humanitarian entrant backgrounds.

Kassahun Seboqa is the Executive Producer of SBS Radio's Amharic language section. He joined SBS as a University intern in 2005 working on SBS’s Amharic language program.

Kassa studied journalism in Ethiopia and at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Since then he has worked as a journalist in the print media in Ethiopia, as a Freelance Writer, Reporter, and Editor-In-Chief.

He migrated from Ethiopia to Brisbane, Australia in 1998 and set up the first Amharic language radio program in Australia with 4EB AM. Kassa served as the main broadcaster, panel operator, and as the group’s Convener from 1998 to 1999. Since then he has been working with a financial company as a senior consultant and has continued to follow international affairs. Kassa completed a BA in International Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne in 2007 with a particular focus on Ethiopian diaspora affairs.


Kassa delivered Australian, homeland and international new and current affairs to the community with fair and balance high standard professional journalism manner. He hosted many gusts such as; Community Leaders, Ambassadors, Opposition party leaders, Academics in variety of professional field, Religious leaders, Entertainers, Journalists, Head of States. Kassa is personally committed to serving his community and giving them a reasoned voice in Australia.

Terefe Aborete is an Ethiopian Australian arrived in Australia in 1995. Terefe works for CatholicCare Melbourne as  Manager of Refugee and Settlement Program . Terefe’s association with CatholicCare began way back in 1999 where he joined as a community development worker. He is the pioneer of the Horn of Africa Family Service unit at CatholicCare . He became the manager in 2005 and started an innovative approach to help the newly arrived refugees find their feet in Australia. This program focuses on ‘village like’ social support network and social skill development that would facilitate their settlement in their new home, Australia.

Terefe’s significant contribution to the refugee community is  bringing all the Horn of Africans community leaders together once has been seen as  traditional enemies and  instilling in them a sense of unity. Terefe’s tireless effort , has given a boost to cross-cultural communication and relationship building thereby forging trust, awareness, confidence and respect between the refugee communities and the wider  community. Realising the need of being in touch with native languages of the refugees, he played a vital role starting the first multi-lingual Horn of African newspaper  The Ambassador”. Terefe’s  help has spanned all borders of not only African where he has worked with Sudanese, Ethiopians, Eritrean , Somalis, Congolese, Liberians, and other African refugees but also Afghanis, Sri Lankans, Indians, Chin and  Karen refugees.

Terefe was one of the  21 proud Victorians from a refugee background who was  recognized for his outstanding work in assisting the refugee community.  He is also the recipients of the Victorian Premier’s Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs  in recognition of his extraordinary contributions for the newly arrived communities and wider Australian community.

Terefe is a founder and General Secretary of Horn of African Communities Network,  member of Board of Directors of Western Region Health Centre, Member of the External Advisory Group of Wyndham City Council, Member of the reference group for Asylum Seekers Support Program of CatholicCare, Member of  School Council of Western Region English Language School , Member of South East Settlement Planning Committee, former Deputy Chair of Western Region Ethnic Communities Council and former President of Ethiopia Community Association in Victoria.  


Makka Krubally is the current Chairman of the African Community Council ACC (NSW) and has participated in supporting the African Communities since 1992.  Through Makka’s effort, a settlement officer was employed by ACC to assist Refugees and new migrants settle in NSW with funds provided by the Department of Immigrations and Citizenship.

Makka is also involved with the Department of Attorney General NSW and the Juvenile Justice Department in identifying issues that affect our youths. With the help of the Department of Justice,  Makka and his team were able to establish Justice African Learning Circle (JALC).

Currently, Makka is the Vice President of the Senegambia Community NSW and works for Colonial First State. After sixteen and half years,  he has held several positions including and among others:  Loans Officer, Settlements Officer, Discharge Officer, Credit Officer, Superannuation Fund Administration, Insurance Administration, and Paraplanning under Commonwealth Financial Planning.

Prior to working for the Colonial First State,  Makka was a Clerk  at the Reserve Bank of Australia, working in Facilities Management areas for two years before moving to the State Bank of NSW.

Makka’s biggest achievements' include assisting new arrivals settle in NSW and taking part in lobbying the Australian Government to consider taking refugees from Africa, this was the time Phillip Ruddock was then Minister of Immigration.

Makka’s vision for Africans in Australian is to fully participate in all aspects of life and to ensure that we are recognised for our hard work; doing all within our powers to add value to this great nation, Australia. And yes we can.


Ogolotse Ntwaagae
is a Multimedia Designer with a career spanning over six years. He is an all rounder and has experience in a vast majority of roles including animation, motion graphics, camera work, lighting, editing, graphic design and online applications.  He possesses versatile skills and is able to undertake various challenges from a majority of media/ communication related matters.

Og has lived, worked and studied in all five continents (Asia) Malaysia, (Africa) Botswana, (Europe) Switzerland, (America) New York and now resides in (Australia) Melbourne. 

He is the CEO of Africa Amara TV


1. RMIT overall winner
2. Victorian State overall Winner
3. Australian National Final 2nd runner up.

(All the awards were for the U film festival 2005 under the Australian Association of Campus Activities)

  Tim Omaji, better known by his stage name Timomatic, is an Australian pop/R&B singer, songwriter and dancer. Timomatic rose to fame as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance (Australia) in 2009 and placed seventh in the competition. In 2011, he appeared as a contestant on the fifth season of Australia's Got Talent and was placed third. Later that year, Timomatic signed to Sony Music Australia, and released his debut single "Set It Off" in November 2011. The single reached number two on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

2011–present: Record deal and commercial success

In October 2011, Timomatic served as a supporting act for American rapper Flo Rida's Australian tour. On 17 November, it was announced that Timomatic had signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia. On 24 November, he was a support act for American hip hop group Salt-n-Pepa's Australian concert at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. Timomatic's debut single "Set It Off" was released on 25 November. Timomatic co-wrote "Set It Off" with production team DNA Songs, who also produced the song. The single peaked at number two on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), for selling 70,000 digital copies."Set It Off" has also appeared on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 14.

On 12 January 2012, it was announced that Timomatic has signed a global publishing deal with EMI.

Audius Mtawarira, is a multi-ARIA Award winning Australian record producer, composer, artist and songwriter more commonly known as "Audius".

Audius Mtawarira was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and  resides in Sydney, Australia. After finishing his university degree in Perth, Australia he turned his attention writing and producing music. He started producing in 2002, producing the majority of Selwyn's album, Meant To Be which peaked at number nine on the ARIA Album charts and was certified Gold. In 2003 he collaborated with Delta Goodrem on Innocent Eyes co-writing and producing the number one single "Born to Try". The song debuted at number three before reaching number one on the Australian Singles chart, becoming Goodrem's first number one single. It spent three months in the top five and went on to sell over 210,000 copies, making it the third highest selling single of 2002. In the UK, it debuted and peaked the charts at number three, spending eleven weeks in the top forty and reached number one on the New Zealand singles charts. "Born to Try" won 'Single of the Year' at the ARIA Music Awards of 2003.

In 2004, Audius produced Australian Idol contestant Paulini's debut album One Determined Heart which produced number 1 hit "Angel Eyes" and went certified Platinum. In 2005 he co-wrote fellow-Idol Contestant Ricki-Lee Coulter's "Hell No!", which reached number five on the ARIA singles charts, and produced majority of her album.

After having some great success, Audius turned his attention to building his own studios and record label. He is a part owner of The Sound Academy studios in Sydney as well as record label Blindfaith Entertainment.

In 2008 Audius produced Jessica Mauboy's new album, Been Waiting, co-writing her single, "Running Back", which peaked at number three on the Australian singles charts 2008 also saw Audius launch his own fashion label Shona Clothing which is heavily influenced by his Zimbabwean heritage. "Running Back" won 'Highest Selling Single' at the ARIA Music Awards of 2009.

Solo career

Audius' solo recordings have garnered him popularity in his native Zimbabwe and South Africa. He has released 4 albums in Africa - 'Audius' (2002), 'Ever After' (2003), 'Music and Me' (2005) and 'Day Like This' (2008). His current release 'Day Like This' was also released in Australia through Blindfaith/Inertia. In 2003, Audius won the Best Urban Grooves (Male) at the Zimbabwe Music Awards.


 Mike Champion singer, songwriter, performer and recording artist, was born in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia on the 2nd December 1983.

Of South African descent this young star was born only a year after his parents immigrated to Australia. At an early age it became apparent to his parents that Mike had a natural ability to sing, dance and captivate just about any audience with his raw talent. At the age of eight Mike joined a band with his sisters and began rapping as “Micky C” as at various nightclubs around Sydney.

Upon coming of age, Mike began performing (legally!) his original music household name in the local urban music scene, Mike Champion has shared stages with the likes of Akon, TPain, Bobby Valentino,Boyz II Men, Flo‐Rida, KCi and JoJo, Horace Brown, Kid Cudi, Rashaan Patterson, Teddy Riley and Blackstreet as well as local icons Scarlett Belle, Short Stack, K1, Gary Pinto, Don Dolla, Selwyn and the Killa Queenz. Mike also works with under-privileged youth on various programs and is one of the few artists who, to this day, has remained true to his art and, more importantly, to himself.

 Founded in Australia in 2008, Asanti Dance Theatre is an internationally recognised African drum and dance performance company that have worked with professionals, students and travelers from around the world. They play, teach, perform and entertain leaving a long lasting impression on those who cross their paths.

Directed by Appiah Annan, Australia’s leading African drum and dance practitioner, this highly energetic drum and dance ensemble present an unforgettable experience of African music, dance and culture fused with the contemporary influences of Australia.

Collectively the group have performed throughout Africa, Europe and Australia with notable performances including headlining the New Years Eve celebrations at Federation Square (2009/10), Woodford Folk Festival (2008/09), Australian Dance Awards (2009), choreographing and performing with Sir Richard Branson (2010), and Moomba (2011) to name a few.

 Solomon Egberime, Nigerian-Australian is:
  • No1 World Boxing organization contender.
  • WBO Oriental Light Welterweight title holder
  • Australian Welterweight champion
  • WBO Africa Light Welterweight , Australian Light Welterweight

Click here to see Video


Beryl Segers,  left South Africa 24 years ago to start a new life in Australia and she is determined to keep her South African roots alive.

Beryl has a background in event management. She has worked on a number of the State’s high profile events including Medal Ceremonies for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Athlete’s Welcoming Ceremonies for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, Program Coordinator for the 2002 Sydney Gay Games Cultural Festival and Program Administrator for the Melbourne 2005 Deaf Olympics Cultural Festival.

In 2002 she set up her company to produce South African comedy and music events. Some of the high profile events include producing the first South Africa Freedom Festival in 2004, producing the first South African Film Festival in 2005 and several other successful productions for South African touring entertainers.

In 2009 she set up Beryl Segers Presents and produced her first piece of musical theatre, A Chorus Line. Other productions include William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Bare: A Pop Opera in conjunction with the Sydney Fringe Festival. This year also saw her produce the first South Africa Comedy tour.

Beryl also has extensive experience in public administration including working as Parliamentary Coordinator for a former NSW Minister.

Beryl is passionate about supporting charities in South Africa for disadvantaged children and those infected and affected by the HIV AIDS pandemic

Dr AnnetteOsei-Kumah completed her undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Newcastle, NSW. She started her career at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research institute, Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto Canada.  In 2008, Dr Osei-Kumah returned to Australia and joined the University of Adelaide. She is currently based at the Robinson Institute, Lyell McEwin Hospital. She was recently awarded the prestigious Inaugural Florey Early Career Research Fellow named in honour of Nobel Prize winner and University of Adelaide’s most famous graduate Lord Howard Florey.

Dr Osei-Kumah is recognised nationally and internationally for her work which has won her numerous awards. She is expected to be one of Australia’s future leaders in respiratory and reproductive research. Her work is focussed on improving the care of pregnant asthmatic women by understanding what causes the disease to worsen during pregnancy.

Annette is poised to identify why asthma worsens with pregnancy and what is needed to improve or prevent the poor outcomes observed in this population of pregnant women. The findings of her work will also have wider implications for obstetric care both nationally and internationally.

Dr Osei-Kumah has distinguished herself for her warm friendly disposition, her commitment to her work and her academic productivity. She has contributed significantly to the wider scientific community through her work as reviewer of peer review journals and being part of organising committee for scientific meetings.

 She has membership of a number of professional bodies including (Endocrine Society of Australia, International Federation of Placenta Association, Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand just to name a few).

When she is not at her circular work, Dr Osei-Kumah continues to serve society by being involved as volunteer in a number of community events and church activities. She enjoys spending time with her family and always delights those around her with her excellent hospitality and culinary skills.

Awards & Achievements

  • International Award New Investigator Award, Awarded by the International Federation of Placental Associations (IFPA) at annual scientific meeting, USA, 2004
  • National Award Asthma Foundation of NSW Biomedical and Medical Postgraduate Scholarship, 2002 -2005
  • Institutional Prizes Finalist, Best of the Best Research Showcase, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, 2007
  • Best Oral Presentation, Awarded by the University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health at graduate students day 2004
  • International Travel Award
    Y.W Loke and International Federation of Placenta Association, Adelaide, 2009
  • Lincoplex Research Inc, USA, 2006
  • Y.W Loke and International Federation of Placenta Association, USA, 2004
  • National Travel Award
    Endocrine Society of Australia, 2009
  • Endocrine Society of Australia, 2005
  • Kimberly Clark Pty Australia, 2004


Dr Kefyalew Mekonnen, who studied at the University of Queensland and graduated in resources economics, won the 2004 National Prize for PhD research from the Australian Agricultural and Resources Economics. Click to see interview with Dr Kefyalew Mekonnen by the Africanoz.com

His research is titled "The economics of developing water resource projects in the Ethiopian Nile River basin : their environmental, and transboundary implications".

Read also "The economics of developing water resource projects in the Ethiopian Nile River basin : their environmental, and transboundary implications"

Dr Kefyalew holds Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 1988 from Addis Ababa University; Masters in Environmental Management from the
Australian National University and PhD in Resources Economics from the University of Queensland. He is casual lecturer at the University of Western Australia; registered as Chartered Professional Engineer and worked as Engineering Manager, Project Manager; Project Controls Manager, Business Improvement Auditor, Project Director and Program Manager on Public and private projects and has contributed to business improvements and successful completion of several major infrastructure, resources and mining projects in Ethiopia and Australia in the past 25 years.

He also plays significant roles with various societies especially in the areas where the Australian government needs better understanding to closely engage with the needs and requirements of multicultural communities in Australia.

 Heritier “Harry” O’Brien

is a professional Australian rules footballer (COLLING- WOOD defender) in the Australian Football League.

He was born to a Brazilian mother and a Congolese father in Rio de Janeiro, and moved to Western Australia when he was 3 years old.

He played most of his football as a medium defender in the Australian Football League.

He was picked up with pick 21 in the 2004 AFL Rookie Draft by Collingwood, and made his debut in Round 18 of 2005 against Fremantle at the MCG. He kicked a great goal against the Kangaroos shortly after his debut, and did enough to be retained on the rookie list. In 2006 Harry showed more improvement and was elevated to the senior list again during the year,  playing a total of 9 games.

He was elevated to the senior list for season 2007. In 2008, he came 5th in the Copeland Trophy count, Collingwood's Best and Fairest.In 2009, he came 4th in the Copeland Trophy.

He has played in numbers 43, 30 and his current number 8. In 2010 he has won his first All-Australian honour in the half-back flank. He was instrumental in Collingwoods's 2010 grand final replay win over St Kilda and kicked a long goal from the boundary line late in the game.

Harry has been recruited by the Centre for International Health at Melbourne's Burnet Institute as a youth ambassador, the idea being that the exotic, articulate young footballer might provide a voice to engage other young people on issues  such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal and infant mortality and the many other afflictions of need.

Nyadol Nyuon, 23,  arrived in Australia in 2005 after being in a refugee camp for some time Currently she is a law

student at the University of Melbourne and has completed an Arts degree (Victoria University).


Since arriving in Australia, she has worked to increase awareness of issues affecting the lives of African

Australian youth. Some of the organizations she has worked with include, Victoria Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Oxfam Australian , The African Think Tank , The Centre for African- Australian Women Issues and others. She has also presented at

conferences and forums on issues impacting the settlement of African- Youth in Victoria and Australia in

general. She is a published author of several papers and


Theophile Elongo is the current  President of the Congolese Council of Australia the peak national body of all Congolese organisations in Australia. He is also the General Director of the Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development International (GLAPD -Int). He has  made remarkable contributions to the Australian society by uniting Congolese-Australian to act and be represented nationally in one voice.

Theophile is undertaking a  Master degree in Community Welfare at the University of Western Sydney and has made  the following contributions :

  • Organising two major National conferences;
  • volunteering with the Australian Red Cross, Department of Community Services and STARRTS;
  • conducting several researches and advocacy for the needs of the Congolese and central African migrants in Australian;
  • publishing a book called "Profile of Congolese Community of Australia."

 Etienne T Dinanga is a Congolese-Australian musician and youth worker with a passion for service. An accomplished musician in his own country, Etienne performed as part of an elite musical group employed to perform at government events however was forced to flee after the onslaught of war. 

Since arriving in Australia in 2001, he has performed extensively at festivals, community events, schools, and churches with his band Vex Congo, inspiring and uplifting Australian audiences with their sweet harmonies and irresistible rhythms and their powerful message of faith in God even in the darkest of times.  Vox Congo were awarded Best African Gospel Band Award in Australia and have been described as ‘some of the best soukous sounds Australia has ever heard.’

Etienne has also collaborated with numerous other artists. He has performed as part of the duo ‘Etienne and Rene’ as well as helping to establish the a cappella group ‘Kundalila.’ 

While for Etienne music has always been a tool for expressing his faith, promoting social justice, and revealing the universalism of human experience across diverse cultures, he has always had a particular passion for using his music to empower and inspire young people to achieve their full potential.  It is a passion that drew him to conducting presentations and workshops in schools, working with church youth groups, and finally leading him in 2007 to complete his studies in youth work at RMIT in Melbourne.  Since then, Etienne has worked in a number of different community organizations and currently works with young people exiting custody at Brosnan Youth Services. 


Dynamic duo THE FLYBZ hit the airwaves at leading Melbourne community radio station 3RRR recently to talk about their involvement with Jesuit Social Services (JSS)' just cycle yarra valley bike ride and concert.

Unrivalled by their dedication to hip hop, FLYBZ's Fablice and G-storm made Australia their home in 2007 and have been building their reputation for delivering energetic and passionate hip hop ever since.

See video 1 , 2 , 3

As a young refugee, from the African country of Burundi, Fablice was forced to move to the bordering Tanzania to live with his sister.

It was here in Tanzania, that Fablice met G-Storm and what started as a friendship turned into something more as the boys began to use music as a means to tell their story; a story of universal importance, of struggle, turmoil and loss but more powerfully of embracing life and love while taking a stance on discrimination and promoting their political messages.

With the ravages of war and deteriorating living conditions in Tanzania, Fablice and G-Stome came to Australia to start a new life and to share their experiences through music.

Since 2007 the boys have played with Diafrix, Killer Queens and Black Roots, while also taking to the stage at Moomba, Our Backyard and the Emerge Festival.

FLYBZ has had 15 musical performances in places as various as Xavier College in Kew, at the Brosnan Youth Centre in Brunswick, at African homework clubs  run by JSS  in Flemington and St Albans, at the Artful Dodgers studio in Collingwood, at fundraising cocktail parties in South Yarra, at a concert in Red Hill staged by one of our supporters, at a rock concert at North Melbourne Town Hall and many other shows

Fablice has also worked as boundary umpire at the RRR Community Cup Football game and made a big impression on famed singer Paul Kelly who invited him to a personal footy training session.

As part of promoting JSS's JUST CYCLE event he also met former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks with whom he appeared in a photo in the Herald Sun

Fablice is also on the new compilation CD JUST MUSIC  released to mark 35th years of Jesuit Social Services.

Hassan Omar arrived in Australia in August 1983 on a scholarship from his motherland Somalia. As soon as he arrived up until his untimely death on 11th March 2009, he worked tirelessly to help others, building bridges between Australians and his fellow Africans from the Horn. As President of HARDA, and in every action and deed, Hassan lived the life of a true humanitarian.

His commitment to his ‘brothers and sisters’ in Africa and Australia was legendary. He was never daunted by ‘people in high places’ and would always pursue his agenda at every opportunity.
Together with this commitment to ‘the cause’ was a dedication to lifelong learning and growth, not just for himself but for countless others that he pushed to achieve. In 1985 Hassan received his Postgraduate Diploma in Ecosystem Management from the University of New England. He continued his studies and gained a Certificate of Interpreting Preparatory Paraprofessional level, a Certificate in Community Welfare Work and a Diploma in Community Welfare Work in rapid succession. These qualifications were in addition to the Diploma in Animal Science and Range Management and the Certificate in Wildlife Management earned by Hassan back in Africa.

In 1993 he established the Horn of Africa Settlement Group which helped to settle more than twenty families from the Horn of Africa. Hassan also started the Somali Community Association and the Ogaden Relief Association to help the troubled people from the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. He was the founder of the Voiceless Children’s Network and an active executive member of the African Communities Council. In 2003 he founded HARDA and was president for five years to 2008, then Director of Overseas Aid in 2008-2009.

Hassan took it upon himself to assist anyone in need and did this with sincerity and compassion. He always said that he belonged to the ‘greater global family’ and would not refuse anyone in need of help. He will be greatrly missed by his loved ones and the greater global family.

He is survived by his wife Kathy and four children - Deeqo, Aden, Jamaal and Salah


Brenda Tsiaousis is a contributing author, speaker, transformational business strategist and potentialist with a simple philosophy:

Start before you’re ready and stand for something: Brenda stands for authenticity. She wants individuals to feel connected and courageous with absolute clarity of purpose.  She wants them to own their value and communicate it with confidence.

Her insights on business, personal development, mindset, and spirituality have been featured in Female Entrepreneurs Association, The Ambitious Entrepreneurs Network Podcast, Secret mum’s Business Podcast and others.

She is a contributing author to the “Inspiration Bible” a compilation of 365 inspirational stories from individuals from all over the world.

When she’s not coaching, mentoring, speaking or training and assessing her amazing student and clients, she can be found reading, catching up with colleagues or friends over a cup of green tea or searching for new ways to improve business results for her clients.

Brenda’s experience includes Financial Services (banking), Engineering, Property Development. She is passionate about Personal and Professional Development and currently specialises in online business strategies and entrepreneurial mindset in her capacity as a business strategist, coach and mentor.

Brenda and her family of 6 emigrated from South Africa to Australia 5 years ago. Brenda made the decision to start her own business from home while caring for her 4 children. This is in itself has had it’s challenges and Brenda uses her life’s lessons to inspire others to boldly follow their dreams and live their passion.

Client centeredness has been one of Brenda’s driving forces and the resulting in a nomination for Business Woman of the year - 2008 (Corporate category - Service Excellence.) in South Africa.

Brenda is passionate about enriching the lives of individuals and assisting them to achieve what they most desire in life and business. With a vast range of educational accolades behind her name Brenda is able to draw from corporate experience, combined with her formal coach training to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners to successfully hone their business strategy, gain clarity, and confidence to create their purpose filled business and life.

Brenda is also a recognized member of; Rotary International Hobart Branch, Committee member of RYLA (Rotary Youth Leaders Awards), holds the position of Branch President of the International Coaching Federation- Tasmania, is a Volunteer for Brave Foundation a registered charity supporting women facing unexpected and teenage pregnancy and has recently become a Ambassador for EBW2020 (Empowering a billion women globally by 2020) and is a committed member of her local church C3 Hobart.


John Dor Akech Achiek is a South Sudanese young man who came to Australia in 2003 and went on to complete his HSC from St Ignatius College, Riverview in Lane cove as one of the first South Sudanese students to graduate from that High School. He then went on to complete a bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and International Relations and HRM at UNSW.

Throughout the years, Dor has been involved in community services sector, starting as a mentor, youth worker and a community services work. Dor started in 2006 with a theatre development project of which he co-wrote a play named 'Shine'. This play was later developed into a big theatre production piece named Walking in My Shoes, a show about the experiences of African young people before and after they arrived to Australia. It was performed at Riverside Theatre in Parramatta.

Dor also went on to take a leading role in the Sudanese premier play, My Name is Sud. A production produced by Blacktown Arts Centre, written by African young people. It was based on a Sudanese family caught up in the intergenerational conflict and the issues of resettlement faced by African communities. The play went on to be nominated for the NSW premier Award and was also developed as part of the NSW Education curriculum to be taught in selected High School. A resource kit was developed and rolled out to some schools in the Western Sydney area.

Further to this, Dor took a leading role in the production of the Legal DVD for African Community produced in many African Languages and sponsored by NSW Attorney General Department. It was aimed at providing legal information to newly arrived refugees from African communities and also as a platform for community education.

The big part of Dor's work was with the Sudanese Youth and he dedicated his time helping to run Sudanese Youth Soccer Tournament on a yearly basis. This helped to engaged over 200 young people and over hundred families every year. Dor's effort were recognised last year and was awarded the Australian Nationality Volunteer Award 2011.

Part of this involvement was also boosted by the work Dor's does with Julie Owens, Federal MP for Parramatta. Dor is part of the Multicultural Youth group that organise dinner outings to hold discussions on ways to foster multiculturalism in the Australian society. Apart from this community involvement, Dor was also working as a youth worker with different organisations, starting with Auburn Community Development Network, Mount Druitt Ethnic Community Agency and with The Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resources Centre.

Currently, Dor is working, as Senior Case Manager, with the Humanitarian Settlement Services Program at Settlement Services International (SSI), a peak body contracted by DIAC to deliver services to newly arrived refugees and Humanitarian entrants. He has also currently involved himself with forming an organisation called United Tribes Of South Sudan for Peace (UTOSS4PEACE). The work of this organisation is to provide for community education, peace building strategies, unity among the South Sudanese and help them become better citizens in the Australian society. It also aims to discourage tribal conflicts from the home country of South Sudan, the newest nation of the world.


Mr. Prosper Sebafundi

Qualifica- tion: B.Bus (Acc), Grad DipACG

Prosper is currently Deputy Company Secretary at Spotless Group Limited and Company Secretary for Spotless Facility Services Pty Ltd.

He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and a governance professional specialized in:

·           leading and advising on best practice in governance , risk management and compliance

·           championing the compliance framework to safeguard organizational integrity

·           promoting and acting as a “sounding board” on standards of ethical and corporate behavior

·           balancing the interests of the board, management, shareholders and other stakeholders.

for listed and non listed companies in Australia and abroad.

Prior to his current role, he was at AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited (“AXA Australia”) where he held a number of  governance and accounting roles, including Manager – Head Office Secretariat Operations, Company Secretary for  various subsidiaries of AXA Australia and Internal Audit Consultant. 

Prosper has also previously held various roles in private & public sectors, and International Humanitarian Organizations in Africa.

Prosper has recently rejoined the Board of Eastern and Central Africa Communities of Victoria Inc. as Treasurer and is also involved in kids mentoring program in his local community. Formerly Finance Officer of the African Leadership and Learning Advocacy Group Inc.

Melanie Cham-
pion has extensive experi- ence in Sales, Mark- eting, Prom- otions and Event Manage- ment.
Since 2006 Melanie Champion has assisted with running the Entertainment stage at the Annual Africa Festival. Melanie has hosted the event since 2006.
Her organisation Champion Marketing Solutions (CMS) has also assisted with marketing the event through its various online networks. Melanie has worked hard preparing sponsorship proposals and investment applications, to obtain commercial funding so that the event can continue. The Africa Festival has raised a lot of money for the various nominated African Charities over the years.

Further, Melanie has hosted a number of nightclub events all around Sydney venues and has supported a host of local bands and DJ’s.

She now also publishes a blog call the Secret Life of Angel where she publishes article on fashion, music entertainment, events, interviews with people of interest, product reviews, album reviews, and which supports local designers, local artists, local DJ’s, local events. The blog has generated over 11,000 hits.

Huguette Nkashama was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, moved to Perth in 2003 as an international student.
While at university, she worked with the African Community in WA inc (ACWA), a non-profit organization based in Perth. Her role involved organizing parenting workshops for African parents to facilitate their transition into Perth.
During her time with ACWA she was also instrumental in starting a tutoring project for African students. The aim of the project was to improve interaction between African and Australian students. The program was successfully run for 12 months catering for over 50 students.
Since 2006 she has been the event manager for the annual Miss Africa Perth (MAP). The event has been successful in portraying Africans in Perth in a positive light. The event promotes the beauty, intelligence and creativity of young African women; it is the celebration of everything positive about Africa.
MAP is not all about fashion and beauty, the main aim of the project is to mentor and empower young women thus enabling them to become young ambassadors for their communities and role models for other young women.
Huguette is a qualified chartered accountant, currently working for a mining company as a Group Financial controller and recently married.

Anes Mohamed arrived in Melbourne, Australia as an Eritrean refugee in 1995. In 1999 Anes completed VCE year 12 and was accepted in to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Electronics Engineering, Anes graduated in 2003. Since, Anes has worked on many significant engineering projects, however he always had the passion for helping people and making a difference in the world. Anes started working with youth and in particular with African youth at the grass root level. Anes’s leadership in making a difference extended across the sea’s into Africa where he raised awareness and raised much needed funds for projects in Africa.

Anes started working for Government, community and employment organisations in African populated areas where he educated the community and employers large and small in tolerance, discrimination, building bridges and encouraging social cohesion, which resulted in many social achievements, some people nick named him “Bridger” from his building bridges work in the community. Anes went on to being an advisor to community, local councils and government organisations. Anes also featured as a motivational speaker at various events.  

In 2008 Anes founded and established “Social Cohesion Inc.” an official community based organisation to benefit the African and the wider community as a whole, with the vision to empower, guide and achieve dreams. Anes named the specialised branch of social cohesion Inc.’s African Australian service “A2” which he calls the formula of progress as Africans in Australia. A2 was quickly becoming the first choice and the one stop shop for many youth and parents looking for assistance with direction for their kids. A2 was one of the first African Australian organisation to connect with social media and today with thousands of followers A2 updates the community on current local African & general affairs as well as opportunities and awareness. A2’s employment department was recognised in the Australian Human Rights Commission 2010 African Australian researched report. Anes encourages members of the community to get involved and volunteer their time to make a difference in their community.

Also in 2008 Anes officially co-founded and established “Pen & Paper Inc. with a concept to empower refugees in Africa with education as a means out of poverty. Pen & Paper Inc. raised awareness and engaged the wider community to participate in making a difference. As a result schools were built, stationary, and school uniforms and much more was made accessible to vulnerable refugees. Pen & Paper Inc. connects with hundreds of supporters of the cause from all over the world via social media. Anes encourages members of the community to get involved in making a difference in the world by volunteering their time with Pen & Paper Inc.

Anes’s entrepreneurial mindset and ability to multi task to extraordinary proportions has lead him to establishing multiple successful businesses in various industries in which they employ dozens of people, and give back to the community by funding projects and events, those companies include; “Proactive Cleaning’ a Melbourne based cleaning company with contracts nationally. “Provider Brokered” a recruitment and training provider, as well as a specialist career and business development consultancy. “Public Web” a website builder, domain registrar, and internet marketing company.

In his late 20’s Anes is a humble man that is always endeavouring to achieve more and he promises that much more is on the pipeline and time is of the essence.

Sheron Sultan,  a South African / Mozambican as well as Australian, is among the  2011 Miss World Australia finalists and NSW state finalist for Miss Universe Australia.

Sheron is also HR student, part time model and a full time worker for a law firm.

Sheron moved to Australia at the age of 14 with her family settled and became Australian citizen.

Sheron says that:

"Coming to Australia opened up a lot of hidden opportunities for me such as; modeling, exploring different cultures, flexible education and working allowance at a young age (independence) the greatest challenge was trying to fit in as an individual and maintaining my true identity. I have been living in Australia for 9 years yet still im proud to say, I still have my traditional culture within me and also adopted the multicultural culture in Australia, I am compassionate, trustworthy, self motivated and persistent."

Sheron is an experienced model in runway, TV commercials and a motivational speaker.

Her  goals include: to work with professional people, to gain more skills, to become a positive icon in Australia and internationally encouraging young woman especially woman of colour to pursue their dreams.

"I would like to be Etiquette and Deportment mentor, motivational speaker/ public speaker" says Sheron.

Beauty Pageant history:

2011- Sheron was given an opportunity to be one of the Miss World Australia finalists which was held in Melbourne in August

When asked why she  entered?, Sheron says "Apart from winning the title and representing Australia in the internationals, I wanted to gain more knowledge about everything involved in the Pageant world, meeting new people and educating myself about other cultures and personalities. Being a role model for all woman especially woman of colour."

"Did I gain anything? I gained so much, I discovered different options for a career, I learned about Etiquette and Deportment which I adopted to be a part of me—advising others how carry themselves in an elegant, respectful manner. This opportunity opened up so many doors for me like encouraging young Indigenous woman to pursue their dreams, teaching them about etiquette and deportment."

In 2012, Sheron was a NSW state finalist for Miss Universe Australia.

 When asked why she entered the Miss Universe contest, Sheron says: "I entered for the same reason as Miss World Australia but this time I wanted to evaluate what I had learned from the last pageant lesson. My aim is to coach, encourage young woman who are passionate about Pageantry that it’s not really about winning, it’s about discovering yourself and allowing yourself to show people who are. Taking it as lesson/challenge learning from others and teaching them what you know."

Also in 2012,  Sheron was appointed to be a mentor for Indigenous teenagers in Le Perouse by imodel supported by NASCA. Duties include:    conducting a three day workshop for 10 young girls: covering etiquette and deportment including: self acceptance and how to work as team and taught them how to walk on the runway. On the last day, Sheron organized a fashion show inviting all their parents and presented them a certificate.

 Achievements in 2012:
  • Guest Judge- Miss Africa Perth 2012,
  •  Interview with the founder of Ribbon of Africa. Ribbon of Africa is an organization that   encourages and empower the African spirit of community in all forms on an ever-growing, diverse, worldwide scale.
  • Participated in Vibe Wire Fast Break , an innovative non-profit youth organization providing media, arts ect to motivational speakers. On a topic about RAGE, Sheron spoke about sticking to your true IDENTITY sharing her life experiences, challenges she faced in Australia and how she dealt with them.
  • Appointed to be a mentor for Indigenous teenagers in Le Perouse by imodel supported by NASCA.

Achievements in 2011:

  • Wrote a poem about Australia.
  • Miss World Australia finalist 2011- Melbourne Cq functions.
  • Published in Afriqan Times Magazine and featured on the  front cover of the Magazine including 2 spread sheet interview.
  • Participated in Fashion Garden party by NIVEA and ROAR Charity fashion show featuring Swarovski diamond bikini.  
  • Featured in: KEA commercial,  MX paper promoting ROAR Charity event, Variety Charity event- Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway - vintage car (1968 Fiat Sport featuring Australian movie Dealing with Destiny – promoting and selling raffle tickets.
  • Participated in Variety Charity function CQ Melbourne- Hosting and ushering guests.
  • Participated in Fashion Palette ( PETA) body painted as a Zebra.
  • Attended a runway class at the  Fashion Palette Circus ft Sydney fashion designer Anaessi
  • Participated in the  Sydney Hair Expo – New Zealand stylist Mana Dave – Blaze; Black and White Party  Charity Event Violence against Woman  featuring  fashion designer Nicola Finetti; Tiaki - Fun Fashion Philanthropy charity event featuring t Show Pony designer; 
  • Sheron as featured in a photographic work for the Australian Leather website for Ugg boots by Carlos Velasco; Photographic work for Myra Tavan & Co fashion designer – Raffles College Sydney NSW.

Achievements in 2010:
  • Served as a posing manikin, Amazon theme for the Fashion Palette  Ft Sydney fashion  designer Valerie Jaquat     
Other achievements include:
  • 2007- Worked with Momentum make-up and fragrance.
  • 2008- Amy Taylor Collections Runway.
  • 2007- Prints for Cloud Nine Hair & Beauty Salon.
  • 2005- Runway show for Ubuntu AIDS Fundraiser.
  • 2004- First TV appearance – Superman – American credit card – Fuji Xerox Japan- Outback steak house- and many more.

Sheron says that  "To become successful is not based on how much you have in the bank or how many fans like your face book page. To me its self improvement, growth, manifesting, affirmation, fearless and taking risks, using any information you have experienced it could be negative it could be positive they all useful, it’s how you interpret the message in your mind and put it into action."  

Mabor Tut is a young South Sudanese living in South Australia.
mabor was the first African to be elected into the liberal state council in Australia. He was also elected into the State executive council and is also a Member of the Multi-cultural committee. Mabor is a great advocate for Migrant affairs in the Liberal Party both at state and at the national level. He has organised policy discussion between African Leaders and Liberal leaders.
Mabor is also involved with the Conservative Leadership Foundation which develops the conservative leaders of tommorrow.
He appeared on the SBS program Insight representing the Young Liberals and the Conservative Leadership Foundation.

Feiruz Ghebrat, is a Team Leader at the Department of Immigration & Citizenship. Feiruz was the founder of one of the first African youth groups the “Eritrean Australian Youth Association”, the group represented and advocated for the Eritrean, African and the wider Australian youth community, it’s activities, concept and role model was so influential that Feiruz represented the association and the country in international multicultural conferences in London 2006 and Amsterdam 2007. Recently Feiruz held other positions at the Department of Immigration & Citizenship such as the “Citizenship portfolio holder”, “Staff Development Officer” and started as an “Information Officer”.   In her 20’s Feiruz is now a Team Leader at the Department of Immigration & Citizenship.


Odette Tewfik has been a social welfare champion for 25 years in Queens- land.  She is a migrant and working with different Multicultural organisations in different areas such as migration, settlement, health, welfare, and organizational management.   She is a passionate to advocate for CALD people who experience discrimination and disadvantage.  She is committed to volunteering in the community. Odette speaks Arabic and English.

Odette currently serves as the Multicultural Women’s Health Project Coordinator with Family Planning Queensland (FPQ). Through this project, she supports Multicultural Health Community Educators, who work within their communities to prevent the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). She coordinates the production of many FPQ resources in different languages to increase the reach of FGM prevention messages to key industry and community leaders.

She conducts a lot of information sessions to the community members and their leaders explaining the negative consequences of FGM and the illegality of this practice in Australia, using the FPQ and other resources in the target group languages. 

A recent highlight for Odette was organizing the 2005 National Conference on Multicultural Health and FGM practice in Brisbane, for more than 150 attendees. In 2009 Odette represented Australia at the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (international conference in Cairo)

Odette utilizes local and national media to educate communities about the negative consequences of FGM and to ensure the safety of children. She regularly conducts training for health professionals to improve services for women from CALD communities.  Odette delivers workshops for a range of health and settlement sector workers about FGM.

Odette is a member of Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), where she ensures the CALD consumer’s voice especially CALD women is heard within the health system. Her passion is helping migrant women, as she went through all the difficulties the CALD woman faces in different country.

She is also a Committee member of Federation Ethnic Communities Council in Australia (FECCA)   and a, committee member in National African Women's Council (NAWC)
Odette believes in the importance of good networks and the support of colleagues.  She believes that the trust she gets from the community members she is targeting is a vital to her success.
Odette has university degrees in different areas, such as, Psychology and Philosophy, Economics and Administration Diplomas, a Business Management Degree from Griffith University with double majors (Industrial Relations and Information System).

As well as a Community Leadership Program Certificate, Trans-cultural mental health program Certificate (Train the Trainer) and Certificate IV in workplace assessment.

Her passion is helping people; especially migrants; as she personally is a migrant. Therefore her aim is to try to help women to integrate within the wider community and encourage women to access the health system.  Odette believes in woman’s capacity to protect her children and standing against the harming culture.  

 Awards and appreciation:

In 2011 Odette has received a certificate of recognition for her extraordinary contribution to Queensland, at the International Women Day Celebrating 100 years of women’s achievements.  At the same year, she won the Qld Multicultural Award for Family Planning Queensland, as a recognition of outstanding contribution in Multiculturalism in QLD
In 2012, she won the QLD Child Protection Award  
And in 2013, she won the Women’s Federation for World Peace (IWD) Award for Long Term Achievement, at the International Women Day for 2013

Ezekiel Uba Nwosefamously called Uba, is a Nigeria born and made professional medical scientist. He obtained MSc Biochemistry after his BSc Medical Technology in Nigeria. He worked with the Kuwait ministry of health for 3.5 years before migrating to Australia with his family on independent skilled migration visa.

At the academic level: Uba obtained PhD in Biomedical Science from the Charles Sturt University. Remarkably:

  • He was remarked as the first person to complete a doctorate degree from the Albury-Wodonga campus whose history dates back to 1972
  • He completed his PhD ahead of time, but still produced nine journal papers excluding several national and international conference presentations
  • His principal PhD supervisor has continued to collaborate with him in academic research till date

Uba is currently the program coordinator of the bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSC) at Charles Darwin University. He doubles as the Chairperson of the BMLSC Program Advisory Committee to the University. The first African trained professional Medical Scientist to attain the feat and serve as light to Africans in that field. Uba official URL is http://www.cdu.edu.au/pcs/staff-profiles/uba-nwose

At the professional level: Uba has been a Chartered Scientist and Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of England (IBMS, London). Here in Australian, he is a corporate ‘Member’ of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS). He has served as invited book reviewer for the institute, as well as peer reviewer, and Guest Editor for many African and non-African journals in medical sciences. He continues to serve as member of Editorial Board for the North American Journal of Medical Sciences.

At the community level: In research, he is currently looking at improving the screening of future risk of cardiovascular disease in people who has undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes. It is remarkable that Uba is now coordinating a team of research collaborators here in Australia to continue this work. Uba started his Australian life at Albury-Wodonga. The remarkable support he provided the African refugee migrants in the community led to him being a recipient of department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) Certificate of Appreciation during the Refugee Week 2010. There he was instrumental to the establishment of the African Union Albury-Wodonga, especially serving as the first president. In that period, he also saw to the training of three African women in food handling and establishment of ‘A taste of Africa’ food stalls at council events. Until job displacement Sydney early 2011, Uba also served as member of Albury’s Regional Advisory Council to the NSW Community Relations Commission at Albury. He continually welcomes invitations to counsel African families and enlighten Australian volunteer groups on the similarities between African and Australian cultures. He also volunteers academic support to University students for their assignments



Franklyn is the first lady to be elected President of the Ghanaian community in NSW.

Prior to this, she participated in supporting the Ghana Association of NSW in various roles for many years.

She is also the Chairperson of The African Women’s Group Inc. Her main goal is to help and support African Women and children in Australia in every area of their lives especially those from Refugee backgrounds. She is against Domestic and Racial violence and believes that women who find themselves in such situations should speak out.

Franklyn was the Chairperson for the African Christian Women’s Group. Connecting and sharing the word of God with other African women.

She champions the cause of Women’s Rights and is a firm believer that all are created equal and should not face discrimination due to race, religion or gender.

Currently, Franklyn is involved with the Department of Attorney General, now the Juvenile Justice Department in identifying issues affecting the African communities especially the Youth.

She has worked for Shine of Kids- an organisation that helps children whose parent/s is incarcerated.

She is also involved with The NSW African HIV Network – discussing issues and educating the African communities about HIV/ AIDS

Franklyn is actively involved in the resurrection of the African Communities Council (ACC)



Sisay Dinku

  • Winner, Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence. Presented by His Excellency the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria.
  • Executive Committee and Co - Organiser of Celebration of African Australians Inc.
  • Co-founder and Management Committee of Team Africa
  • AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador
  • Member of the United Nation Association of Australia
  • Member of the Migration Institute Australia
  • Ex - Board Member Horn of African Communities Network
  • Member of Australian Institute of International Affairs

Sisay graduated in Bachelor of Law, Master of International Law and Post Graduate in Australian Immigration Law and Practice including Employment Service. He has insight into domestic and international law, community development, human rights, social inclusion, particularly in the area of international treaties, migration, employment, education and social welfare. Sisay has lived and worked in the UK and Australia involved in solving the challenges and settlement of new emerging communities.

Sisay actively participated in the establishment and delivery of a specialised intensive service for job seekers and employers through the Victorian Government Workforce Participation Program (WPP). WPP catered for newly arrived migrants and highly disadvantaged jobseeker focused on equipping them to compete in the local labour market, especially in industries experiencing skills shortages, prepared job search Plan and provided Australian work culture orientation and employability skills training in order to secure ongoing employment.

Sisay also managed Just Start project a Vocational Preparation and Employment Service for significantly disadvantaged young people which caters primarily for young people involved in the Justice system but also assists those who face other barriers. Sisay also engaged in development and provision of comprehensive job search support services through Job service Australia Program, with particular emphasis on very long term unemployed and those facing significant challenges to active participation in the work-force.

Further, Sisay coordinated Australian Multicultural Foundation peer education program for African communities which trained African professionals to deliver health promotion messages to the communities.  He also participated with Rotary Club to assist with community engagement and support. Sisay has undertaken multiple roles in communities and assisted clients from different background through his work in community development program, advocacy, legal research, marketing, and Education and employment sector. Sisay was awarded the following awards for his significant contribution in the community and his achievement.

2012 - African Australians Champion Awards.

2011 - National Outstanding Community Service Awards.

2010 - Employee of the month Awards.

2009 -Highest achieving Stream 4 Employment Consultant Melbourne Region.


Dr Olumide Adisa

PhD. Applied Mathematics. University of Adelaide. Adelaide, Australia (2009 -2012)

B.Sc. (Hons) Computational and Applied Mathematics. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (2008)

B.Sc. (First class). Applied Mathematics and Electronics. North West University, North West, South Africa (2004 – 2007)

Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). The International School of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria (1996 - 2002)

  • Member of the Australian Mathematical Society (AUSTMS)
  • Member of the Australian Nanotechnology Network (ANN)


School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia 2012 - Present Postdoctoral Researcher – Mathematical Modelling in Nanotechnology

  • Modelling natural gas storage using advanced computational techniques
  • Analytical modelling techinques to investigate gas storage in nanostructures
  • Experimental data analysis for comparison to developed mathematical models
  • Research data to fit molecular simulations
  • Weekly progress reports with Head of the Nanomechanics Group
  • School of Chemical Engineering, University of Adelaide, Australia 2012 Visiting Researcher - Protein Computational Scientist

  • Modelling protein/cell dynamics using advanced computational techniques
  • Computer simulation techinques to study protein adsorption on graphene
  • Large data analysis employing scripting algorithms
  • Research data to fit the simulation models
  • Weekly progress reports with Head of School

Tutor, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia July 2011 – November 2011

  • Held tutorial sessions for Maths 1B
  • Going over weekly tutorial questions with the students
  • Identifying students who seem to be struggling and giving then extra attention
  • Marking weekly assignments and helping the students through the solutions

Industrial Research Limited, Wellington, New Zeland 2011 Visiting Researcher – Gas Computational Scientist

  • Modelling molecular systems using advanced computational techniques
  • Computer simulation techinques to study gas adsorption
  • Research data to fit the simulation models
  • Testing of these models for several adsorption scenarios
  • Presented the findings to my peers

New frontier solutions, Sydney 2009 Consultant

  • Developed optimization programs for oil and logistics client companies
  • Modelled big tasks into smaller mathematical models easier for client companies to deal with
  • Developed software algorithms using LPSOLVE, MAPLE and MATLAB for client companies requiring an optimisation solution
  • For unfamiliar problems, research is first conducted in order to determine the best approach
  • Reported to the Managing Director every week

AC Bamigboye Investments, Nelspruit, South Africa 2007-2008 Lead Consultant/Project Manager
  • Property valuation and assessment, property software development
  • Collected data necessary to accurately predict or determine property value
  • Developed mathematical models to evaluate several property types
  • Developed algorithms to calculate property value using an input system
  • Wrote monthly reports on progress to the Managing Director

Goldman Sachs International, London, United Kingdom 2007 Market risk Intern
• Evaluation of market risk using developed softwares for VaR and stress tests
• Project risk development within the market risk division MAJOR

• Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. University of Adelaide. 2012

• Adelaide scholarship International (2010 - 2012). University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

• Best Student Presentation. Mini-Australia and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics conference (Mini-ANZIAM) 2010, Halls Gap, Victoria, Australia

• Postgraduate merit award bursary(PMA) .University of the Witwatersrand. (2008), Johannesburg, South Africa

• Rector’s academic merit awards. North west University. South Africa(2005 -2007)

• Most outstanding student in Physics, science foundation University of North-West
(2004), North West Province. South Africa

• Most outstanding student in Mathematics, science foundation University of North West (2004), North West Province. South Africa

 Dr Vincent Ogu

A Nigerian -born, Cambridge trained scholar and expert in housing and urban development.

Dr Ogu, a former Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), accepted a prestigious Vice-Chancellor Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 1998. Vincent introduced Planning in Developing Countries with substantial focus on Africa in the Faculty of the Built Environment at UNSW. He has also taught at the University of Western Sydney.

Dr Ogu’s research works have focused on urban infrastructure and services, housing and planning and the urban environment in parts of Africa. A Fellow of Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, Vincent’s work has been recognised internationally and cited in United Nations agency papers on housing and infrastructure services.

At UNSW, he worked on Sustainable City Program and the partnership and participatory approaches to urban environmental management in Africa. He also explored market and structural reforms and the role of the private sector in urban services delivery in Africa. Vincent is the author of many published refereed journal papers, edited books, monographs, refereed conference papers, most of which focused on Africa.

A corporate member of the Planning Institute of Australia and research manager with the NSW Government, Vincent has drawn from research and professional experience to put forward planning approaches that reach beyond conventional ‘wisdom’ to accord recognition to ethnic and cultural diversity and the implications for housing, recreational and services. Vincent recently developed a model, designed to enable an effective engagement of African communities for services delivery, policy and strategy development.

Apart from intellectual works, Vincent has devoted his skills and expertise in services to non-governmental organisation that work on settlement services for new migrants and refugees. He has served for eight years in the Management Committee of the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre (Liverpool MRC), including as Chair for three years and currently as Deputy Chair.

As Chair Liverpool MRC and in professional roles, Vincent encouraged and supported series of programs and projects that promote social and cultural inclusion of African and other new migrants and refugees. He initiated or enabled projects on breakdown of social isolation for women refugees and migrants from conflict spots, funding and strategies to reduce school drop out children from low socio-economic background and improve literacy skills.

Vincent who been recognised by NSW Premier for volunteer work contributions. He is currently the President of IGBO Community Australia (ICA) and has played a key role, along with talented community leaders in initiating the African Cultural & Dinner Nite, an iconic African event led by ICA in partnership with the Liverpool MRC and in collaboration with community groups. The event promotes sense of community and networking and contributes to break down of social and cultural isolation of African’s new and emerging communities. It also provides creative opportunity for African emerging artistic talents and provides platform to highlight issues affecting African families in settling in the Australian society.

The contributions of Dr Ogu have has not gone unnoticed by various tiers of government in Australia. The contributions of ICA that he currently leads has been recognised by the Liverpool City Council for contributions to the community. The NSW Government appointed him to the NSW Ministerial Roundtable on Workplace Diversity in 2012 and the Australian Government appointed him to the African Ministerial Consultative Committee the same year. His name has also been cited at the Australian Federal Parliament in recognition of his contributions to the settlement of new migrants, including humanitarian entrants.

Arsène J. BOUNDA is an African-Australian born in Brazzaville (Congo) in 1971. Upon been relocated in Australia by the UN refugees’ agency (UNHCR) back in 2004, he undertook various casual positions –encompassing seasonal fruit picking in rural Victoria and catering and cleaning during the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Arsène is passionate about criminal law related-matters and he successfully completed the first year of the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) at the University of Lyon II in Lyon (France) prior to joining the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UN ICTR) as a Legal Intern. He started his internship at the Registry of the Tribunal and was subsequently promoted to the Trial Chambers where he worked alongside UN Judges and lawyers from various cultural, academic and professional backgrounds. He was the only member assisting the UN Judges who had not previously graduated in Law. However, he was dedicated to the mission of the UN ICTR, would often work beyond the set hours of the Tribunal and stood out for his research and editorial skills. As a result, his internship which was initially due to last 6 months was extended twice at the request of the judges who greatly appreciated his assistance. Arsène’s contribution to the legacy of the Tribunal includes his involvement in the secretive investigation regarding the financial situation of persons accused of war crimes and genocide in order to ascertain their eligibility to the UN Legal aid program, as well as his participation in the editing and translation from English into French of an official UN publication entitled the ‘Practical Guide for Defence Counsel’.

In 2009, Arsène facilitated the visit in Australia of the late Hon. Professor Wangari Maathai the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate with whom he travelled from Melbourne to Canberra to meet senior government officials. He also humbly contributed to Australia’s successful candidacy on a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2013-14 term by providing strategic advice to the then Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia and current Prime Minster, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP.

Arsène occasionally liaises with the Australian Government in order to make valued suggestions aimed at fostering Australia’s legacy onto the UNSC. He holds several postgraduate qualifications in Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism from Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia), in Information Security and Intelligence from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia) and in Criminal Intelligence from the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University (Sydney, Australia) where he is completing a second Master’s degree (Master of Arts in Intelligence Analysis).

He recently passed the Victoria Police Education Entrance Examination and he is looking forward to joining the police force.  

BupeAmon Kyelu is a Registered Nurse with twenty two years work experience. In 1991, she completed General Nursing in Tanzania and worked for 15 years. In 2006, she came to Australia as an international student at Charles Darwin University (CDU). In 2008, Bupe completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree, including a Graduate programme at  Darwin Private Hospital in in 2009.

Through her Masters of Public Health course and work experience, Bupe has learned how to think about and approach problem analytically. She has developed and demonstrated strong interpersonal skills from working closely with communities, delivering numerous presentations and including, heavy involvement in extracurricular activities.

Bupe is a renowned leader that has promoted African cultural awareness to African and non-African people in the Northern TerritoryShe is the Founder & President  of the African-Australian Women & Girls Association NT Inc. Through this organisation, Bupe has empowered, mentored and assisted women and girls in the Northern Territory. She fights againt injustices and is very passionate about protecting human rights.  According to Bupe, “I like to provide leadership and take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensure equal participation of women and men in community and working places.”


  • Menzies School of Health Research, Northern Territory, Australia
  • Joint Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health and
  • Master’s in Public Health (current)
  • Charles Darwin University – Northern Territory, Australia - Bachelor of Nursing 2008
  • Sengerema School of Nursing, Mwanza – Tanzania - Certificate of General nursing, 1991


  • Miss Africa-Darwin pageant 2014  as a Judge African-Australian Women & Girls Association NT Inc (Founder & President) from 2012  to current                                  
  • African Dinner Dance - Coordinator (Women Business) -  2011 -2013
  • East Africa Darwin NT, Founder Leader 2012 and now, an active member
  • African–Australia Conference (presenter - Women Business) - 2011                                             
  • Volunteer on national campaign to promote awareness on heart diseases control -  2008               
  • Swahili English interpreter mostly for hospitals and schools activities  - 2007-2009                        
  • Volunteered to teach Swahili to Australians who intend to visit East Africa -  2006 –2007    


  • International Nurses Association Recognized as a Worldwide Leader In Healthcare 2013 - 2014
  • Registered Nurse,  Australian Nursing Council 2008 current Registered Nurse

 More profiles to be added

 Professor Jonas Addai-Mensah

Professor Jonas Addai-Mensah is an Associate Director and a Professor at the Ian Wark Research Institute which is an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre of the University of South Australia (UniSA).

 A Chemical Engineer by training, Professor Addai-Mensah has been senior academic of UniSA for the past 18 years educating Engineering and Science professionals. Over that period, he has also held various university management and leadership positions, including Dean of Research Education and served on various national / international professional body committees & university academic boards.

Furthermore, as a Chief Investigator he has attracted over $20 million in research funding from the Australian government and the minerals industry to solve difficult problems for the sector. Prof. Addai-Mensah also is an active consultant to several multinational companies in Australia, Africa, Europe and USA in the area of minerals and mineral waste processing.

As a part of his service and engagement to the community, Prof. Addai-Mensah has secured over $3 million dollars in scholarships to support 12 African students who are currently undertaking their doctorate degrees in Engineering Science at UniSA. Overall, he has educated thousands of Australian and international students and supervised over 30 Ph.D students in Engineering and Science disciplines


Eve Howell, a Sudanese-British-Australian, is ONE of the true pioneers of oil and gas exploration in Australia, was the highest ranking woman in the petroleum industry in her position as chief executive of Apache Energy Australia. (Her Father  is Sudanese and mother is British). She was also one of Woodside's top executives, responsible for the North West Shelf, Australia's biggest resource development. She serves as a Non-Executive Director at Mermaid Marine AustraliaLimited (MMA) .

Eve has over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry in a number of technical and managerial roles. Eve was most recently Executive Vice President for Health, Safety & Security at Woodside Energy Ltd and served as Executive Vice President of North West Shelf at Woodside.


Eve is currently a director of Downer EDI Limited, the West Australian Ballet and the Ngarluma & Yindjibarndi Foundation. She has previously served on a number of boards, including the Fremantle Port Authority, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (where she chaired the Environmental Affairs Committee) and as a board member and President of the Australian Mines and Metals Association. Eve is also a past President of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, a life member of the Petroleum Club of WA and a distinguished member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia.

Eve holds a Bachelor of Science (with Honours in Geology and Mathematics) from the University of London and an MBA from Edinburgh Business School. Eve has also attended an Advanced Management Program at Thunderbird Campus in the United States.

The Chairman of (Mermaid Marine Australia Limited) MMA, Mr Tony Howarth said: “We are delighted to welcome Eve to the Board of Mermaid Marine. Eve’s unique skills and extensive experience within the oil and gas industry will both complement and enhance the effectiveness of the Mermaid Marine Board”.


Professor Abd Malak, AM


Director, Diversity Health Institute
Professor Abd Malak has been working in the field of health, mental health and social welfare for the last 30 years. His career has encompassed the areas of service provision, policy, planning and management.

Abd has written and published in the areas of mental health, suicide, cross-cultural work, management and social justice. Throughout his career Abd has been a passionate social justice and human rights advocate.

He has also spear-headed the development of leading state and national initiatives, for example, Multicultural Mental Health Australia, Diversity Health Institute and Global Health Institute as well as, the implementation of the Integrated Health Care Cluster in Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS), which includes Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol, Community Health, NGO Grants, Primary Health Care and other statewide services.

Between 2005-2011 Abd held the position of Executive Director, Workforce and Organisational Development in Sydney West Area Health Service (servicing 1.5 million, $2 million budget and approximately 20 000 staff). In this role he was responsible for workforce: planning, development, recruitment and retention, in addition to organisational redesign, innovation and reform.

Abd is also the Convenor of the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO).

In 2002 Abd was honoured to be included in the Australian Honours List as a Member in the Order Of Australia for his service to migrant communities.

Prof Malak holds appointments in the School of Medicine at the University of Western Sydney and University of Notre Dame Australia.

  is the owner of Harambe Cafe, Bar & Restaurant, one of the leading African restaurants in Victoria and Australia . Dershaye is a celebrated Chef who has won several awards for excellent culinary and has also appeared in the Master Chef Australia television series.

Abdirashid Mohamud

Abdirashid is the CEO of AfrOZ Superstore, one of the leading African variety  stores in Australia. Through hard work and dedication, Abdirashid,  a Somalian migrant, built up this million dollar shop from scratch. Now, Afroz superstore supplies African groceries, home wares, hair and skin care products across Australia. The business also specializes in Money Transfer to various African countries

 Assefa Bekele, an Ethiopian,  was an Olympic torch bearer during the 2000 Sydney Olympics and worked as a volunteer and language expert for both Amharic and Greek during the Olympics.

He is the founder of  the Ethiopian Community Association of New South Wales, and worked as a  Mining and Metallurgical engineering in Australia.

Assefa currently serves  the  New South Wales Police as its Multicultural Community Liaison Officer (MCLO).

Assefa has been showcased in various main stream media including the SBS TV's Behind the Front Door Broadcast Programs.

Further, Assefa was nominated by colleagues and community members to run for the Senate office in the 1996 Australian Federal election. He is currently a member of the Men's Advisory Committee against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that affects many girls in some parts of Africa and has presented talks on this issue. Assefa is also a volunteer with NSW St John’s Ambulance Service as a Senior First Aider for 10 years.

In 2008, he wrote a play titled "Please Explain", with this he participated in the Sydney Writers Festival, representing African Writers in Western Sydney. This was organised by the Blacktown Arts Centre. The play was about the experiences of 2 Ethiopian migrants in Australia. In 2008, he was involved with the initiative of Change International and invited 2 Nigerian religious leaders ( Imam and Pastor) who are pioneers on the forgiveness, reconciliation and tolerance.

Most importantly, Assefa believes in voluntarism. According to Assefa, “it is the one thing that gave me the opportunity to be where I am, more than my academic qualifications. I love helping people and find it very fulfilling, both on the community and personal level.”

A /Professor André M.N. Renzaho, PhD, MPH

Originally from the Democ- ratic Republic of Congo, his current positions include:

Director:  Migration, Social Disadvantage, and Health Programs at Monash University;

Executive Director: AfricanLeadership, Learning and Advocacy Group Inc , and

Senior Fellow:  Burnet Institute.

He has previously worked with: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Concern World Wide, Care Australia, Médecins Sans Frontières, and World Vision International; covering sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

Awards and Recognition:

  • ARC Future Fellowship award (2012)
  • Heart Foundation CDA award (2011)
  • Ministerial appointment: Dental Practice Board of Victoria (2008-2010);
  • International recognition: Who's Who in the World, 2008 Edition for demonstrating outstanding achievement in  refugee health and for contributing significantly to the betterment of contemporary society;
  • Appointment: Deakin University Human Ethics Advisory Group as well as the Faculty of Health Equity and Diversity Committee (2008-2011);
  • Growing Research Together award, Deakin University (2008);
  • Approved contractor: New Zealand’s International Aid and Development Agency (2004-2011);
  • Ian Potter Foundation award (2002),
  • Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society award (2002)

Advisory committee memberships (or convener) and Expert Panel

* National Health and Medical Research Council’s Postdoctoral Reference Group (2012-);

* World Vision Australia’s AusAID NGO Cooperation Programs Review Committee (2004-2007);

* World Vision International and Canadian International Development Agency Micronutrient and Health Taskforce (2004-2007);

* Nutrition in Culturally Diverse Communities by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing and Eat Well Victoria Partnership (2003);

* Refugee Health Service Model review committee by the Department of Human Services and Western Region Health Centre (2001-2001)

* Refugees and Humanitarian Entrants Research Strategy by the Department of Human Services and the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health (2001-2002)

* Partners in Culturally Appropriate Aged Care steering committee by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services (2002)

* Healthy Eating Communication Strategy-Filling the Gap by Department of Human Services and Royal Children Hospital (2001-2002)

* Maternal and Child Health and Preschool Services Linkage by Department of Human Services (2001-2002)

Editorial board membership

  • The Journal of Internal Displacement;
  • The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
  • The Health Services Insights Journal
  • The Open Tropical Medicine Journal
Research outputs
  • Three authoritative books (published in New York)
  • More than 100 papers in high impact journals (IF>2.0)
  • Attracted more than $4 million in national competitive grants
  • Regularly writes opinion pieces for the Age, Herald Sydney Morning, and Tasmania Times on African affairs
  • Supervised to completion five postgraduate students

Advocacy success

Embarked on a case against channel 7, 9 and 10 under the “respect for African Australians” slogan with success. ACMA ruled that each of the licensees breached clause 4.3.1 (present factual material accurately) and that ATV Melbourne (Channel 10) and GTV Melbourne (channel 9) also breached clause 4.4.1 (present news fairly and impartially) of the Commercial Industry Code of Practice 2004.

Successful media forum “Spotlight on Stereotypes: Multicultural Communities and the Media’ on 13 May 2010 in collaboration with the Ethnic Community Council of Victoria

Success with the Migrant Women Leadership and Mentoring programs, with 10 women graduating from the program ( funded by the then Brumby Victorian government)

MR. AMON OKEYO OKOKO, who holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from the University of Texas (USA), is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Engineers of Australia.

He is a Senior Safety Assessor (Major Hazards Facilties) in  the Department of Mines and Petroleum of the Government of Western Australia since 2004. His current responsibilities include regulating safety within Major Hazard Facilities in WA, assessing the adequacy of the Major Hazard Facilities Safety Reports to satisfy regulation requirements, and providing timely feedback and recommendations to MHF Operators on the adequacy of Risk Assessments and Safety Management Systems.

Prior to coming to WA, he worked in NZ between 2001 and 2004. He was the project Engineer for Shell (NZ) in Auckland from 2001 to 2003. Then in 2003 and 2004, he became the Senior Project Engineer at Connell Wagner Engineering Consultants. One of his major achievements at this firm was the revamping of bulk fuel storage tanks at Napier and Nelson BP Terminals. The works involved tank decommissioning, inspection, repair, internal/external coating, calibration and re-commissioning.

Amon’s career started in Kenya shortly after his graduation when he became the Project Engineer at Shell Oil (Kenya) in Nairobi in 1980. By the time he left Kenya in December 2000, he had risen to the position of Engineering Services Manager at Shell Oil (Kenya).


Professor Moses Tade is well respected nationally and worldwide for his research achievements in chemical engineering and specifically in process systems engineering. Professor Tade has been appointed Chairman of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in Australia for 2012 and 2013. He is also a Vice President of IChemE worldwide as a member of The IChemE Council.

As the Dean of Engineering, in the past three years he has championed many initiatives, including the Engineering Pavilion Complex and outreach programs to encourage more high school students to study engineering at Curtin University.

In particular, he has secured funding to run the Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School, a mentoring program that encourages Indigenous students to pursue careers in engineering.

In June 2008 he was the only Western Australian academic recognised in the list of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers by Engineering Australia.

Professor Tade has provided the leadership to make Curtin Chemical Engineering to be among top 5 of such Departments in Australia. He has also provided significant support for the successful Chemical Engineering program in Curtin Sarawak, Miri Campus. His extensive mentoring of staff at Miri helped the Miri students to win the McNab Medal for Process Design in 2007.

He was among the four leading academics honoured at CurtinUniversity.

 Professor Pascale Allotey has professional training in public health, epidemio- logy and medical anthropology.  Her research has focused on marginalized populations and the effects of marginalizing factors on health.  Prof. Allotey has published widely including books, book chapters, commissioned reviews and peer reviewed publications in areas mentioned earlier. Currently, Prof. Allotey is the Associate Director of MIGHI Malaysia and Professor of Public Health at Monash University Sunway campus. She is also a co-principal investigator on the Wellcome Trust Grant for capacity building into diseases of poverty in West Africa.

Dr Felix Mavondo is Professor of Marketing at Monash University. He is
well-known to the marketing community as a leader through has contributions to the academic discpline  at local, regional and international conferences as a conference organiser, track chair,
guest speaker, discussant or presenter. Professor Mavondo has  successfully supervised nearly 50 doctoral students making him outstanding among Australian and international academic with such an enviable record. He has had international students most of south-east Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand) and, China and Russia, and naturally a significant number from Africa who have taken up
important positions. professor Mavondo has published extensively in top Marketing, Management and Tourism journals and on the editorial board of five internal journals. He currently is a visiting professor at six international universities.He has extensive consulting
experiences having worked with agribusiness industry, banks, government and many other key sectors of the economy.  Professor Mavondo is a Board Member of the  ATT in Melbourne.

Professor Mavondo travels to Africa often and encourages students to take advantage of the academic experiences provided by Australia. In the last few years he has visited Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa where he has spent time at a number of universities contributing his expertise and sharing his experiences.

Ohene Karikari-Yeboah

Managing Director, Maiden Geotechnics

Principal geotechnical engineer for a number of Australian multi-million projects

Ohene Karikari-Yeboah was educated at University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (Ghana) in Civil Engineering. After a brief consulting experience with M. Folmer Anderson Consulting Engineers in Denmark and Ghana Highway Authority, Ohene moved to Australia to pursue postgraduate studies in Geotechnical Engineering and a computer degree at Melbourne and Monash Universities, respectively.

Following graduation, Ohene worked with a number of consulting firms in Melbourne, including Douglas and Partners and Statewide Geotechnical Services. He was involved in the design and construction of a number of landmark projects, including the Shell Refinery Cracker Plant in Geelong and the refurbishment of the Princes Theatre in Melbourne.

In 1996, Ohene was appointed the manager of Geoff Maiden Partners Pty Ltd on the Gold Coast, which became Maiden Geotechnics. Between 1998 and 2002, Maiden Geotechnics, under Ohene, was the main consultant for the Gold Coast Roads rehabilitation program. In 2004, Ohene acquired the business and became its Managing Director. He has been responsible as the principal geotechnical engineer for a number of multi million projects, including dams, bridges, subdivisions, multi-storey constructions, roads, and major earthworks He has employed several people from Australia and Africa, some directly from Ghana.

Dr Melika Yassin Sheik-Eldin is a Manager – Settlement Delivery Support Services  responsible for strategic community relations involving ongoing dialogue and capacity building partnerships with refugee communities and sector organizations for AMES in Victoria.

More importantly, Melika oversees and mentors the successful and internationally recognized Community Guides Network; a bespoke, best practice program using members of a CALD community as integration guides for newly arrived refugees from the same cultural and linguistic background. Melika held various positions including:

  • Manager Settlement Partnerships and Community Engagement  – AMES (2007 -2010)
  • Consultant on Refugee Resettlement (2008)
  • Senior Coordinator for Settlement and Community Partnerships - AMES (2006 – 2007)
  • Community Guides Coordinator – IHSS Program (2005 – 2006)
  •  AMES Social enterprises Coordinator, AMES (2003-2005)
  • Project Coordinator for the VCAL program for Youth from Newly Arrived Communities, AMES (2002–03)
  • Project Coordinator and Counsellor, Managed Individual Pathways Program for New Arrivals from The Horn Of Africa, AMES (2002)
  • Muslim Women's Help-Line Coordinator, Victorian Multicultural Commission (2001)
  • Project Coordinator, Victorian Immigrant & Refugee Women's Coalition Melbourne (2000–01)

This experience allows Melika to deliver new policy frameworks via formal consultation with community members and incorporate these learnings into the AMES Settlement Services model, while working with Managers through AMES to understand and incorporate the resulting implications for AMES wider education and employment programs.

  • Management member of the Eritrean community Association of Australia
  • Management member of the Horn of Africa Communities Network(HACN)- Women & youth Issues
  • Executive member of the Federation of African Australian Women’s Association
  • Coordinator of the first Horn of African Newspaper in Australia – The AMBASSADOR
  • Secretary of the African Australian Professional Association
  • HACN Representative in the Foundation for Young Australians Youth Leadership program
  • HACN Representative –African Youth Arts Project with Victoria College of Arts, Melbourne University
  • Joint organiser of  the Horn of Africa Live Night celebrations ( 10 years)
  • Executive member of the Federation of African Communities Council of Australia
  • Board member of the Refugee Council of Australia
  • Member of the Australian delegation to the UNHCR in Geneva (Ex-com, NGOs and Tripartite consultations (2007 – 2011)
  • Member of the UNHCR Multi-disciplinary Mission to Eastern Sudan
  • Member of the UNHCR / Centre for Refugee Research delegation for the Refugee Women’s Dialogue Mission to Jordan
  • A member  in a number of Advisory Committees

Dr Melika Yassin Sheikh Eldin has represented AMES and presented at UNHCR Conferences in Geneva from 2007 to 2009 and was part of the 2008 UNHCR Mission to Sudan.

Watch Video:

2011 Refugee Conference - Dr Melika Yassin Sheikh-Eldin

 Writer and academic Dr Sekai Shand was World Vision Australia's Policy and Communications Director. As a senior member of CEO Tim Costello's office, she was responsible for advocacy, research and education across the organization as well as liaison with World Vision's international offices.
Sekai was born and raised in a village in Zimbabwe where with the support of sponsorship she completed her secondary education. She then moved to the UK to train as a nurse and gained further child health qualifications.

She has gone on to become a respected doctorate and international commentator on world affairs and humanitarian issues. In 1985, Sekai came to Australia to study political science at Melbourne University. After completing her degree in political science at the University of Melbourne, she obtained a doctorate in International Relations at the same university.

Sekai's passion for development issues is reflected in her academic work and fiction. Her first volume Zimbabwean Woman: My Own Story was published in London in 1987. Lonely Planet published her novel, Songs to an African Sunset, in 1997. Her short stories have been published in various anthologies including Daughters of Africa, published by Jonathan Cape, London, 1992, and Always Elsewhere Travels of the Black Atlantic, published by Cassel, London, 1998.

Feature articles about her work, notably relating to HIV/AIDS, have been published in newspapers and international journals. She has appeared on other media, including ABC Radio and Channel 9. She is currently researching and writing a volume about Reconciliation in Rwanda.

Prior to taking the Director position, in mid-2000, Sekai worked for World Vision Australia in the Africa Team and in the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Program. She served in Zimbabwe in and Tanzania 1995-97 and her work in HIV/AIDS has taken her to the United Nations Special Assembly on HIV/AIDS in New York from June 25 - 27th 2002.

Sekai's personal story reflects extraordinary and rare transitions made in one lifetime - from humble village to the world of international affairs, where she now advocates on behalf of the poor in Africa and other parts of the developing world. She regularly returns to visit her family, many of whom are still in the village.

As spokesperson for World Vision Australia, Sekai's stories both inspired and challenged those who read her works or listen to her presentations. She speaks about poverty and injustice from the heart, and demonstrates how these have shaped her life and that of other Africans.

Martin Kwakwa
is the executive producer of the African Hour at SBS Radio's African Program. He has been on the program since its inception in January 1994.

Martin trained as a journalist in his former homeland Ghana before he migrated to Australia in 1985. He has a Masters degree in journalism and communication from Sydney’s Macquarie University.

He is also a senior sub-editor at Australian Associated Press, as well as editor of the monthly “The African” newspaper. He was instrumental in founding the umbrella African Communities Council of New South Wales, serving as its inaugural secretary in 1993.

The National Awards 2011 Outstanding Community Leaders Award winner, Mr Haileluel Gebre-se lassie's leadership skills, emanating from extensive study, a career working with government, nongovernment organisations, higher education and grass roots communities.

In 2010 he was awarded and successfully completed the year long Williamson Community Leadership Program (WCLP). Prior to that in 2008 Haileluel was awarded the prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship and successfully completed a significant investigative project which included documenting integration strategies of refugees and migrants in several countries around the world, including USA, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. As well as received Victoria’s award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs for Meritorious Service in the Community in 2004, from the then Victorian Premier.

Haileluel initiated a number of successful programs and he has been serving as a board member of several organisations including the Footscray Community Arts Centre, the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, and the African Think Tank. He has been instrumental in developing and implementing life changing programs including the fully funded African Communities Leadership Development Program in Victoria.

Dr Eric "Akin" Adetutu
is a highly skilled scientist with over 10 years research experience spanning environmental health, environmental conservation, waste treatment and remediation of contaminated environments. He has extensive project management experience having worked in Africa, Europe and Australia. He has substantial experience in the application of cutting edge molecular tools to resolving environmental issues. He has extensive experience in classical (culture based methods) and molecular (PCR, commubity fingerprinting, functional genomics and metagenomics) microbiology.

PhD (Microbiology), University of Essex, UK, 2005
M.Sc (Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 1997.
B.Sc Hons (Microbiology), University of Ilorin, Nigeria, 1994

Honours, awards and grants
Overseas Research Studentship (ORS), University of Essex, UK (2002-2005).
Best graduating M.Sc student in Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1997).

Key responsibilities
  • Coordinating and developing new research projects locally and internationally
  • Training and co-supervision of undergraduate and higher degree students
  • Providing support in molecular microbiology for research across a variety of fields (Biology, Archaeology and Chemistry)
  • Writing environmental reports for commercial partners and manuscripts for publication in high quality peer reviewed journals
In the School of Biological Science, Flinders University, South Australia, Dr Eric M Adetutu is part of the environmental biotechnology research group headed by Professor Andy Ball. He has been involved in different studies spanning a variety of fields in science ranging from Microbiology to Chemistry.  He is a trained molecular microbiologist and his expertise is in applying molecular tools to the study of microbial communities in the environment and how these communities respond to natural and human related changes in environmental conditions (function and diversity).
His research interests include;
(1) Microbial treatment of wastes
(ii) Bioremediation of contaminated environments
(iii) Microbial interactions with metals
(iv) Application of metagenomics in the study of microbial communities
(v) Assessment of the impact of human visitation on the cave environment
(vi) Molecular mycology


Stephen graduated in Oct 1990 with MBBS from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and has been practicing as a GP since that time.

Stephen moved to South Africa in 1995, where he enrolled in Masters degree program in Family Medicine at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Subsequently Stephen obtained his GP fellowship, the MCFP(SA) from the college of Medicine, South Africa in 1999.

Stephen and his family moved to Australia in 2000, 1st practicing in Queensland, undertook further studies and obtained his Australian GP fellowship (FRACGP), in 2003.

Stephen joined the Breed street clinic in 2002 and has remained with this practice since then.

Stephen's medical interest covers the whole spectrum of general practice, in particular, the  psychological problems,  musculo-skeletal, cardiovascular, endocrine, care of the elderly and occupational health care in General Practice.

Stephen provides GP occupational health care for the staff of several large employers in the Latrobe Valley.

Stephen also regularly visits the local aged care and residential facilities to care for residents..

Stephen lives with his wife Bukky and three children: Jennifer, Victor and Maryanne in Traralgon and his hobies are soccer, table tennis and bicycle riding.

Mabok Marial is the President of the Sudanese Community, one of the largest African communities in South Australia.

Mabok has implemented numerous programs to empower his community. Mabok is one of the founding member and vice chair person of the African Community council of South Australia.


THE Border Watch journalist Anelia Blackie, [a South African - Austra- lian] has won the prestigious 2011 Governor's Multicultural Media Award ...

The Governor of South Australia Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce presented the media award for an individual to Ms Blackie during a function at Government House in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Judges commented that Ms Blackie's reports were "well-informed and showed a good balance between hard news and human interest. Her analysis of positive aspects of cultural diversity in the state's South East was an excellent reflection on the local community."


She was nominated for the award by the South Australian Multicultural and Ethic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC), a statutory body that advises the minister on cultural affairs.


Tenneh Kpaka was born in Sierra Leone and served the Sierra Leone Police Force for seven years. She was resettled to Australia in 2001 trained as an advocacy represented refugee communities of NSW in United Nations in Geneva 2006- 2007 and accredited by Australian Council of International Development. She advocates for refugees and asylum seekers across Australia and has done several media interviews with SBS TV on refugee’s issues and matters concerning peoples of African Descent in Australia.

Tenneh has worked as Community Development Project Officer- Immigrant Women’s Speakout; Domestic Violence Project Officer,  for African’s and South Asia communities -  SydWest Multicultural Service Inc; Advocate in transforming FGM in Eastern Sierra Leone Kenema; Board member of Australia National committee on Refugee Women;  Member of Refugee Council; Member of SLPP of Australia; Founder Transform De People organisation in Australia and Sierra Leone – working with NSW area health and FGM educational branch in partnership to provide training for women in Sierra Leone.

Further, Tenneh is a Member of Africa Sisters on the Move and Board member of Australia National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW). Through Tenneh's advocacy contributions, ANCORW will provide Human Right training for women in Sierra Leone in partnership with New South Wales Area Health  Education Program FGM .

Tenneh is completing a bachelor degree in International Social Development at the University of Western Sydney in 2012. 


Bitsat was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She attended Felege Yordanos Elementary School (starting at age 4) and Shemeles Habte Secondary School in Addis Ababa. After finishing school, a friend heard Bitsat’s voice and encouraged her to perform. One thing led to another and Bitsat found herself beginning her singing career in azmari bets 20 years ago. An azmari bet is a traditional venue where musicians (azmaris), including singers, instrumentalists and dancers, perform traditional and popular music in Ethiopia. Not long after Bitsat’s talent was ‘discovered’, she began touring the world, performing in the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and throughout Africa. 

See video 1 and 2

Before long, Bitsat had begun recording her songs, working with all the big names of that musical era. Mulatu Astatke, who visited Australia twice in 2010, and is often referred to as the father of Ethio-jazz, arranged the music for Bitsat’s first cassette recording. Bitsat performed and recorded alongside other big names: Tilahun Gessesse (singer), Gultu Tefera (arranger), Tederos Afro A.K.A. Teddy Afro (composer), Moges Teka (composer), Mulugeta Tesfaye (lyricist) and Yelema Gebreabe (lyricist), among others. Her lyricists were masters of the Amharic poetic form “wax and gold” – a type of traditional poetry characterised by double meanings. For 20 years, Bitsat ran her own successful business in Melbourne, named BITSAT (“gift for God”), and became famous for her witty and skillful improvisations of “wax and gold” poetry. In her spare time, Bitsat has always loved reading books and cooking traditional Ethiopian food.

Solomon Kebede
is the North /Western Metropolitan Region  Multicultural Liaison Officer for the Justice for Refugees Program (JRP) with the Department of Justice.

Having arrived in Australia as one of the first African resettled refugees, he has had first hand experience surrounding issues of resettlement for positive integration within the mainstream Australian communities.

Leaving behind his pride, education and professional work experience gained back home, he started everything from scratch in Australia.  He worked on various labour and mundane jobs to support his family and himself.  He went back to the university to continue improving his knowledge to better his life style and to become a role model to the African community in Australia.

Some of his achievements with African community engagements include:

  • Founder of the Ethiopian community association in Victoria
  • Founding member of the Federation of the Australian and African Community Council  
  • Founding member of the Ethiopian Orthodox church in Victoria
  • Reference group Committee member of  the African Australians on Human Rights and Social Inclusion
  • Member of the Refugee Brokerage Program partnership
  • Treasurer and  project manager for the Ethiopian community association in Victoria over two election periods

His current position with the Department of Justice in Victoria entails engagement in research and development initiatives of policy frameworks employing his knowledge and interest in social justice, and project management as defined by the State priorities while responding to regional and global trends.

Solomon is also highly involved in addressing justice access issues for people from Refugee backgrounds (Sudanese, Somali, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Democratic Rep of Congo, Burundian, Iraqi, Afghanistan and Burma)

He has been working with great results on the initiative to minimise the negative contact between the African refugee communities and the justice system.

Some of Solomon’s achievements in his position with the Department of Justice in Victoria include:

  • Minimised the negative contact of the refugee communities with the justice system
  • Significantly increased cultural awareness knowledge and skills of the department’s staff
  • Increased refugee communities knowledge of Victorian justice and legal system through Expos, Forums and consultations 
  • Increased refugee communities Country Profiles with internal and external stakeholders

He is a strong advocate, passionate, rational, and strong leader in human rights and equal opportunities issues affecting the African communities in Australia.

 Daniel Okoduwa is a Nigerian born actor, writer, singer, producer cum movie director.

Born and having grown up in the ancient city of Benin where art is tied to tradition and customs, he has lived most of his life in Australia.

Although, his name may not ring a bell in the Nigerian movie industry having spent more than 10 years abroad, Daniel has suddenly become a budding talent to seek out for, courtesy of Gossip Nation, the latest movie that is currently enjoy rave review in the media.

His knack for high profile job was what led him in 2004 to team up with director Matthew Scott to produce the first African Australian film titled Death is a Diamond, a film that tells of the pain Africans were going through from conflict or blood diamonds.

In 2009 Daniel Okoduwa was invited by the prestigious Australian Centre for Photography (Nollywood Babylon) to lecture and contribute his unique perspective on Nigerian films and the context in which they are produced.

Love Lost and Temptation, a movie written and produced by Daniel Okoduwa was voted the m o s t watched afro Australian movie of all time. In May 2010 the movie was screened to a predominantly white Australian audience at the North Sydney community centre.

In 2010 Daniel who had worked with such international acts as Chaka Demus and Pliers, while on the set of young talented director Mike, music video shoots, asked Kang to direct a new African Australian movie, Gossip Nation, for him.

And today the Gossip Nation, which he claimed to be his most challenging film yet, has launched him into the league of Nigeria’s most gifted filmmaker in Diaspora. The movie featured Nigerian movie stars, Monalisa Chinda and Ejike Asiegbu.



Suzan Mutesi Mufumbiro , the fashion icon behind the label, Achea-Mpong.

Her love for fashion began as a little girl playing with African fibre dolls and dressing her friends’ dolls using only the scraps from are old clothing. She endeavoured to make extraordinary yet inexpensive clothes for dolls, played with a lot of colours, mixed and matched outfits, and styled up my friends’ and sisters for occasion. After making the move to Australia to complete High school, her passion only grew stronger. She taught herself only the basics of design, such as alterations and mending torn clothes on a sewing machine. She knew that to be recognised as a designer. she needed to further develop her skills from garment construction to sewing and pattern making. She was soon accepted into one of Australia’s top-ranked design institutions, Raffles KvB Institute of Technology, graduating with a Bachelor of Design majoring in Fashion.

With dreams to own a recognised, international label, Achea-Mpong by Mutesi was born in 2009. Influenced by her African roots and by rich fabrics, by the subtle, soft beauty of women and by sensuality, she began producing and designing clothes that depict traditional African culture with a medley of Westernised technology. She aims to make designs appending a cultural twirl in style thus making them unique in Australian market as featured  her collection. The key to her continuous success is her keen understanding of making a woman look and feel a million dollars. She has designed dresses on X-Factor Australia 2011, Charlotte Dawson a judge on Australia‘s Top model wore her dress for a commercial on Foxtel.

Suzan Mutesi is also fond
of supporting Charities for a good cause. She has helped raise money for schools in Rwanda and the 'Wear your heart Charity' to raise money for schools in Ghana. On the 2nd of July, her French African lace silver dress featured in the OK magazine Australia. Mutesi was nominated for an award by Celebrate African Australian Talent as a Fashion Icon and will be showcasing her new collection on the 25th of August at the Opera house.She recently also has featured in Change Magazine and African Times Magazine. It's clear that Mutesi is growing closer to her dream everyday.

Aisha Kamara is an actress and filmmaker. She was born in Sierra Leone and has lived in Australia for almost 10 years. She has stared in  showreel,  IEastWest 101 (SBS) and Crownies (ABC)  and at the moment hosting a show on Aurora called Chatterbox. Currently, Aisha is in  the process of creating another show  for Africans living in Australia.

Sharon Orapeleng

Sharon’s passion and commitment for excellence is evident in many of her achievements since arriving in Australia 14 years ago as an international student. She completed her university degrees in Psychology and Neuro Science from Latrobe University in Melbourne, Postgraduate Diploma and Master in Behaviour Management from Bond University, GoldCoast and was honoured for her academic excellence during her time at Bond University.

She has built an impressive career in disability sector, in community development and now in mental health working in both non gorvenment and gorvenment roles. She is currently working as a Principal Project Officer in Mental Health in Multicultural Australia project, a project that provides a national focus for advice and support to providers and governments on issues of mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She is also an Accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor and provides training to communities and organisations on first aid for mental issues.

Sharon’s significant contributions in supporting social inclusion and promoting the richness of Queensland’s diversity has been through her role as the President of the Queensland African Communities Council, a peak organisation representing the interest of African community organisations, and individuals in Queensland (a role which ended in December 2013) which won the 2013 Queensland Multicultural Award- under the not-for-profit community organisation (greater Brisbane) category.  Sharon has also been recognised for her work with the award as a Community Leader of the Year 2013 by Celebrate African Australian Inc.

Sharon was also recognised in 2013 as one of YWCA Queensland's honored assembly of 125 Leading Women.  She sits in a number of reference groups and board positions including in the past as member of the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Committee, she currently sits on the board of Queensland Program  of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT), Board Member with White Ribbon Australia- Qld Chapter and also in the Ministerial Cultural Diversity Roundtable. Sharon was also appointed as the Multicultural Community Ambassador for the Australian Football League (AFL) in 2013 and also in 2014. She received an award for her work in the AFL Queensland as the 2013 Multicultural Community Ambassador of the Year.

Other recognitions for her work, has been a feature in the tribute gallery “Everyday women, extraordinary lives” during the Queensland Government Office of Women’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. In 2012, she was among 100 other African Australians recognised in Sydney during the celebrations of the “100 Most Influential African Australians”.

Sharon is also a motivational speaker and is passionate about building leadership capacity in young people and a true advocate for social inclusion and justice. She also enjoys celebrating and sharing the diverse African culture with the wider community.  In 2012 she collaborated with Brisbane City Council libraries to give talks on African literature. She is also International Director of Semphete Orphan Care Centre, an organisation which her family started in 2007. The centre provides support to 63 orphaned and vulnerable children and youth in Botswana.


Patricia Attard Daniels

  • Excellence Award
  • Champions Award
  • Nominee, Most Outstanding Initiative Award

  • CEO& Founder, The House of Africa (Australasia & Pacific Region)
  • National Executive & Co Convenor, Celebration of African Australians Inc
  • Co-Chair, Public Relations Officer, Africa Day Council NSW Inc
  • Executive Producer / Broadcaster, Sheba Caravan of World Beats
  • CEO, Director, International Education Leadership and Development Academy

Egyptian born Patricia has been an active member of the African Australian community in various aspects.

 Patricia founded The House of Africa in 2009 with the express purpose of delivering a physical address in Australia that represents the African diaspora and develops an economic marketing strategy for Africa via the Asia pacific region. The project has received great community support in Australia. She has promoted the project in Africa gaining support from all levels of society. The House of Africa Australasia Pacific Region is currently actively seeking expressions of interest.

As part of the “Celebrate” National Executive, working on the national awards events has enabled her skills in community engagements and community events, coordinating, planning, time management, public relations, communications and public speaking to be fully realised.

Patricia is a self-starter and has hosted a radio program for more than 16 years on Koori Radio 93.7fm, the premier aboriginal radio station in Australia.

She is qualified as a technical music producer, radio broadcaster, journalist, public relations, communications, marketing and community spokesperson.


George Musarurwa Gregan AM (born 19 April 1973 in Lusaka, Zambia) is an Australian rugby union halfback who has made more appearances for his national team than any other player in the sport's history.

Gregan played Super 12 (now Super Rugby) for the Brumbies from the inception of that competition in 1996 through 2007, helping to lead them to overall victories in 2001 and 2004. He is a foundation Brumbies player and one of the few players whose career spans both the amateur and professional eras. His appearances as Australian captain include a Bledisloe Cup win in 2002 and an extra-time loss to England in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final. As a member of the Wallabies team, Gregan has attained the zenith of the rugby world, winning the Rugby World Cup in 1999. Gregan and his longtime Wallabies teammate, fly-half Stephen Larkham, also hold the all-time record for Test appearances by a halfback partnership with 79.

Visit Gregan's website for more information.


Employm- ent Services Highest award
presented to Yasir by Mark Arbib Federal minister of Employ- ment

Yasir Abdurahim Mahmud is a Telecommunication/Electrical Engineer  & currently works as a Senior Employment advocate in Job Services Australia.

Mr Mahmud came to Australia from Eritrea in 1994. After arriving in Melbourne he completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic Eng.) and then worked as a technician with Australian Defence for two years before returning to university to complete his Masters of Engineers (Telecommunication Engineering) at  Victoria University.

He is an accredited member of the Institute of Engineers Australia and
also holds the following qualifications: 
  • Diploma,  Interpreting Arabic-English, RMIT;
  • Certificate IV, Training & Assessment;
  • Certificate IV, Front Line Management, Victoria University;
  • Certificate, Community Services;
  • Certificate III, Web Site Design and Media.
  • Masters, Management & Leadership (Ongoing)

Yasir inspires lots of young people mainly from African background through actively engaging them in sport and
one-on-one or group mentoring sessions. Some projects developed for young Africans by Yasir include:  'Step By Step' program and 'Youth In Progress' (YIP).

Further, Yasir empowers the  African refugees living in Australia through fundraising or by helping  community organisations who assists refugees.
He also disseminates useful information and assists individuals and organizations through his community web site.

As an employment service personnel, Yasir supports long term unemployed people, youth who are disengaged from school at early age, to find job. As a result, he has received several awards including:  North-West Victoria Golden Frog Award, Campbell Page Business Excellence Award, and  in 2010 he was presented  The Australian National Employment Consultant of the Year Award by the Federal Minster of Employment. Similarly, in 2009, 
the Mission of Hope presented  The Australian Muslim Role Model of the Year  Award  to Yasir for being a role model to many young people in the local community.

In an article by a
local newspaper,  Star Hume,  Yasir was described as King of Jobs. This article reflects  on Yasir's achievements in empowering disadvantaged people by helping them secure  employment.

 Pic by: AFL Victoria

Ahmed Saad
  is a professional Australian rules football player at the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was prelisted by Greater Western Sydney before being ontraded in the 2011 Trade Week to St Kilda along with Terry Milera and draft pick 50 in exchange for pick 20.

He is the  first Egyptian to be on the AFL playing List. In 2012 he was nominated as one of the AFL’s Multicultural Ambassadors.

Click here to view SBS news flash and video interview with Ahmed.


Sydney Australia has a new group... and their taking the world by storm

'SAEA' stands for South Africa, Ethiopia and Angola the beautiful countries that our girls represent. 'BANYANA' from Nguni meaning the girls.

SAEA BANYANA boasts women that are creatives, professionals, proprietors and mothers. Through their performances they encourage women to be strong, independent and unafraid of their inner power.

The group have had the pleasure of not only performing for eager audiences around Sydney but have also been asked to participate in community enriching events and programs such as Refugee week, Women Empower Women International Conference and Olive Tree Womens Network It is extremely important to the group that they continue to support such organisations that strengthen our community. SAEA BANYANA are proud to say that their group not only entertains but also promotes cultural awareness, women empowerment, youth empowerment and physical motivation.

Wanyika Mshila is the CEO of FroQ AfriQ.

FroQ AfriQ is all about African Inspired Bags! And Accessories and its unique point of difference is the combination of African trimmings/fabrics with Western style.

FroQ AfriQ was born from a marriage of African culture with western style. Its signature items are sophisticated, elegant and classic hand crafted leather bags and accessories, designed and made in Australia. The label evolved from countless ideas on how to showcase what African Fashion is and can be and the niche found was bags. However, FroQ AfriQ do understand that styling is everything so from time to time apparel and other accessories that compliment the bags are featured.

"I have a dream that one day Africa will become a renowned Fashion destination: the likes of Paris and Milan and I want to take part in the wave that takes it there…." says Wanyika Mshila, CEO of FroQ AfriQ.

loves being creative and throwing herself into projects that promote the African culture in Australia, showcasing African talents and looking at ways to change people perception about what being an African is.

Tshibanda Gracia Ngoy, 20 years old, is a Congolese-born Australian who arrived under the Humanitarian Visas Program in July 2005 who strives to better the lives of people around her and in particular youth from refugee backgrounds.

She’s currently studying a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies, and Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Wollongong, majoring in International Media and Communications, and Human Resources Management.

Gracia completed a freelance journalism course at the age of 16 and has since had several articles published on social justice and youth related issues, and her first book on success aiming to empower young people.

She’s an active member of her community and has received numerous awards and recognitions including the 2008 and 2009 Australian Defence Force Long Tan leadership and Teamwork Award, 2010 NSW CRC Young Volunteer of the Year, 2010 Wollongong Young Citizen of the Year, 2011 Australia’s Young People’s Human Rights Award, and was named Woman of the Week by Hoopla in December 2011.

Gracia has worked a caseworker for refugee families, a radio co-host for a community station in Wollongong, a youth motivational speaker, and a member of the Illawarra Regional Advisory Council (IRAC), NSW Multicultural Youth Network (MYN), Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families (SCARF), and a Co-Administrative Director for the Voice of Hope International Ministries based in Uganda advocating for those who have been silenced by poverty and injustices.


Bosco Opi is a human rights and refugee advocate and worked in this sector for over 8 years, both in Australia and overseas. He has a legal background and contributed to refugee and settlement policy in South Australia. He is currently the convener of the Multicultural Youth Link SA, a peak youth body which advises the Minister for Youth on the needs of refuge youth. Bosco has undertaken extensive research and consultations on juvenile issues and in 2009, published a research finding entitled ‘When do I stop being a refugee.’

Bosco gave presentations in a number of forums and consultation across Australia on issues relating to refugee and migrants. In 2009 and 2010, he was keynote speaker at the United Nations Youth Conference in South Australia. In 2009, he participated in the African Australian human rights consultation auspice by the Australian Human Rights Commission and contributed to the implementation of its recommendation. In 2011, Bosco gave a presentation to magistrates at the National Judicial College of Australia, to create an understanding and awareness of the legal issues facing refugees and migrants in Australia.
Bosco currently works for the Migrant Resource Centre SA (MRCSA) and contributed to strategic policy and program development and managed a number of projects aimed at building the capacity of the refugee communities.

He participated in a number of boards and committees including the Multicultural Police Advisory Committee, Youth Advisory Council of South Australia, Refugee and Humanitarian Advisory Group, Adelaide City Council Reference Group and the Nationwide Reconnect Forum.

In academia, Bosco attended Flinders University and has a BA (2006), Masters degree in Public Policy/Management (2008) and another Masters’ degree in International Law (2009) majoring in International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law.

In 2009, Bosco worked in the office of the UNHCR, Legal/Protection Unit in Canberra. He was engaged in legal analysis, policy and research work which encompassed many aspects of the legal protection of refugees, asylum seekers and others of concern to the UN with human rights, protection, humanitarian and integration needs.

He made a significant contribution to UNHCR's submission paper to the Migration Parliamentary Committee on the 2009 Draft Complementary Protection Bill.
Bosco is a member of the International Law Association – Australia Branch and a member of the Amnesty International - Australia.

Dr Kinfe Abera Kahssay is of Ethiopian background and is currently employed as a Community Liaison Officer at Sunshine Family Relationship Centre. He has a Ph.D. degree in Pedagogics, MSc degree in Education, and Diploma in teaching secondary college. Dr Kinfe has worked as a lecturer at Victoria University in the school of Education. He has worked in different research projects related to new emerging refugee communities in regards to health and settlement.
Dr Kinfe was a project coordinator of the YOUTH 2 YOUTH program in building positive settlement pathways for the Young African new settlers from Refugee backgrounds. He works to inspire and motivate African community members to utilise the vast opportunities available through employment, education, research, leadership, social and community engagements


Victor Victor is 19 year old who migrated to Australia in 2003 with his family from Sudan. With no previous Education upon arrival in Australia, and attending school he found it very difficult but managed to make the best of it. Victor has a strong passion for working with and improving the lives of newly arrived and culturally and linguistically diverse young people.

Having volunteered at various community based organizations; Youth Affaire Council Of Victoria (Youth Reference Group), Multifaith Multicultural Youth Network, New Hope Foundation, Centre For Multicultural Youth CMY, Foot Prints Enterprise, R.I.S.E, City Of Greater Dandenong Youth Service (Young Leaders Program) and St Martin’s Youth Art Centre just to mention few.

While completing his VCE, Victor has been involved not just within the community but in extra school curriculums. Being a school VICE-CAPTAIN, member of Student Representative Council, Peer Support Leader, Junior and Senior House Captain. Representing his school at the United Nations conference, various Public Speaking Competitions and receiving awards for his community involvements.
Also receiving scholarship from the Western Chance Scholarship for education and continuing being an active member of the community. The Wyndham Scholarship Fund; in recognition of commitment to education, academic achievement contribution to the school community and future potential achiever.

Victor isn’t just an active member of the community is also a hip hop and Spoken word artist, as he believes that music is another form of reaching out to young people.

Victor has been awarded the City of Greater Dandenong Young Achiever of theYear.

Victor said: “Being from a multicultural background and having an experience in adapting to a new environment I believe that cultural, linguistic and religious diversity in Australia is really important and been given the opportunity to have a voice not just for young people but also to my community is what keeps me motivated in helping others.

Chitura has been an influential member of the Central Queensland African Association. Well before the association was formed, Lawrence worked hard to make sure Africans in Central Queensland came together and integrate in the community.

On a number of occasion Lawrence held BBQ at his house, using his own resources, for people to just come and meet and get to know each other. For people traveling to the town he was staying then, if they fail to get hotel accommodation, Lawrence always invited them to put up at his place.

Lawrence was also the brains behind the formation of CQAfrican Association. He keeps the community up to date with whats happening, through regular communication. A day hardly passes by without getting a mail from him updating the community. On a number of occasion, Lawrence had to rally the community behind bereaving families, raising funds to facilitate repatriation of the deceased member back to Africa.

Lawrence also helps members keep abreast with what's happening back in Africa and at the same time encouraging members of the community to embrace the Australian way of life.

Obviously behind every successful man there is a strong wife. Lawrence's wife, Martha Chitura is always by his side, hosting numerous parties at their place, allowing Lawrence to travel throughout CQ visiting African families in need and also allowing him to spend so much time working as a committee member of the CQAfrican association. Together they have organised a number of Christmas parties for the community, funding some of them and hosting some at their place.


Tamirat Gebremariam

Tamirat is an Ethiopian born migrant living in Melbourne as an artist. He completed his diploma from school of Fine Art at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia in 1993; where he then went on to have several solo and group exhibitions extensively in and around Egypt, and Australia. In 2001 Tamirat moved to Sydney where he studied Digital Art and Media at Metro Screen before moving to Melbourne. In 2010 Tamrat completed his Master of Visual Art at the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). He perused his career further and currently Tamirat undertaking Master of Fine art by research at U.M faculty of the VCA. In 2009 Tamirat was awarded the Martin Foley MP award and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Women's Association Postgraduate Encouragement Award. At the VCA Margaret Lawrence gallery he was awarded 2011-12 APA (Australian post graduate Award) Scholarship, from university of Melbourne.

Tamirat’s work has collected around the world, including Ethiopia, Egypt, USA, Canada and Australia include recently Jaycar electronics, with his friends and families and also the most important a portrait of Dr. Catherine Hamlin, founder of the Fistula hospital in Ethiopia. Among Tamirat works

ASA (meaning "dance" in the Akan language of Ghana) is a group of talented young women dedicated to bringing traditional dance forms from all regions of Ghana to the stage, they combine these dances with contemporary and modern dance forms and music to make each performance a unique journey through time, through Ghana, Africa and through the imagination!

They are regulars across Sydney's various African and multicultural events and festivals including Auburn's "celebration of African Cultures" "the Africa Festival" in Hyde Park, Bankstown's 'Reclaim the Night' and more. They also featured in the UN International Year for People of African Descent events in July and October of 2011 and run workshops for schools to raise awareness and educate young Australians about the differences and diversity in each African culture, using dance as a tool.

These ladies bust every stereotype about African dance with their beautiful energetic performances and are sure to blow audiences away!

Effie Nkrumah is a graduate of the Performance course at UWS (Theatre Nepean), being the first and only student of Ghanaian descent to go through that course. She has a simple cause – to encourage young creative African Australians, especially women, to push through and pursue careers in the arts. Her own creative career is aimed at being an example for others to follow grow on and use as a launching pad for their own careers.

Effie was third runner up in the first Miss Africa Australia Beauty Pageant and during her time in competition and in its subsequent years she took on the role of Performance Coordinator and Choreographer after which she went on to become a founding member of popular contemporary African dance group “ASA” (meaning Dance in the Akan language), the group graced conferences, private events and festivals all over Sydney through their energetic mixes of traditional and contemporary Ghanaian/West African dance and music.

Effie’s commitment to and passion for seeing young talented actors, dancers and singers of African descent on the stage as well as her interest in the ideas of Pan Africanism and the diaspora, drove her to choreograph and create works which evoke emotion, laughter and gave way to a new generation of aspiring performers.

She was asked to take the position of director of The African Theatre Initiative for Bankstown Youth Development Services (BYDS) in 2010 and 2011 and got her first directing credit with the original play No Time For Tears written by Sala Ibrahim, she then went on to direct Ghanaian writer Mohammed ben Abdallah’s play The Slaves to sold out audiences in 2010. This play was re-staged by popular request for the 2011 UN International Year for People of African Descent Forum and National Conference.

She was the project coordinator for the educational kit for Blacktown Arts Centre’s award winning play “My Name is Sud” in which she enabled young talented writers and artists a platform and chance to help educate others about the issues surrounding young people of all kinds of African Descent in diaspora.

Her film credits include Dangerous Women, aired on The Discovery Channel, Broken Pieces (short film about FGM directed by Ehran Edwards) AMEP/AMES Films, Love, Lost and Temptation (SCRIM Entertainment), and Fiona (Down Under Productions).

Theatre credits include Ama and Chan an original comedy in which she introduced Australia’s first Ghanaian Australian comedy character to the commercial stage, she was also cast in Urban Theatre Project’s collaboration with Belvoir St Theatre in Buried City a production staged for the Sydney Festival in 2012.

Effie also has film and theatre credits in Ghana, West Africa, including television drama Home Sweet Home and theatre production Mom is Dad; Dad is Mom, Sins of the Fathers and Trials of the Ghanaian by James Ebo Whyte of Roverman Productions. She is currently working in theatre in Ghana and plans to come back to Australia to create new vibrant works around the subject of the African diaspora.

Genevieve Adzanku has held different positions in the the government of South Australia and African community. She has acted as Team Leader Community Development Team Intercountry Services from January 2012 – March 2012. She was leading the Community Development Team to maintain an effective level of service delivery to individual clients, community groups and organisations in South.

Community Liaison Worker Refugee SA (State Government) 2010 to date. In this role,
Genevieve has provided assistance to African groups from the Congo, Burundi and Somalia in accessing and applying for grants. She has assisted these groups in developing and clearly communicating proposed projects as part of their application for grants. In carrying out all of these tasks, she had diligently stuck to Community Development Principles ensuring that the groups are able to continue to exist long after service provision has been terminated.

Office for Women, Attorney General’s Department – February 2009 to July 2010 Women’s Information Service
This role involved the provision of information and referral services to women in South Australia. Ms Adzanku played a strong role in extending the services access to women from CALD backgrounds particularly African backgrounds by linking in with services such as English Language Services. Ms Adzanku used her position and Data gathered with the Women’s Information Service to influence policy directions around service delivery to Women from CALD backgrounds.

Israel Ben Hobson is the CEO of Radio AFRO (one of Australasia's Favourite African Radio Show).

Radio AFRO is a radio show established in October 2010, its a weekly live broadcast on 107.9FM servicing both local Afro Aussie community and the world via podcast.

It was established to celebrate the best of Afro-Aussie music and culture.
It showcases what is going on in Australia Afro-Aussie music community and to the broader Afro community.

With correspondence in Perth, Melbourne and New York. They regularly interview music stars, sports stars, ambassadors and other dignitaries especially on their respective Independence Days.

Radio AFRO has been a supporter of many community events, such as the organisation and execution of the International Women's Day morning tea, being involved with the SASA Youth mentorship Program (in Mirrabooka, where the highest African population reside in Perth) and Zimfest raising funds for various charity's worldwide for Southern Africa.

They keep the community informed of news as it happens via the Facebook and Twitter page.


David Pocock is Zimbabwe and emigrated to Australia in 2002. He is a top Australian rugby union player and current Brumbies and Wallabies openside flanker.

In 2005,  he was selected to play in the Australian Schoolboys national rugby union team, the highest level of schoolboy rugby in Australia. In 2012, Pocock was the West Australian Young Australian of the Year, and a finalist for Young Australian of the Year.

Pocock played for the Force, where he made his debut against the Sharks in 2006. The Super 14 regulations kept him from playing any earlier in the season, as he was not yet 18. At the start of 2010, his younger brother Steve joined him at the Western Force. David Pocock made appearances for Australian Schoolboys and Australia A in the 2007 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, earning man of the match honours on multiple occasions in the tournament. He then made his Australian debut as a substitute against The Barbarians on 3 December 2008.

Pocock made his Wallabies debut in Hong Kong in late 2008, and then played against Italy and The Barbarians on the Wallabies spring tour. He captained the Australian Under-20s at the Junior World Championships in England in 2008, and was awarded the Emirates Western Force captaincy for the development tour of England later that year.

Pocock replaced longstanding Wallaby openside flanker George Smith, late in the 2009 Tri-Nations. In the Wales test in the 2009 Autumn Internationals, he put his thumb back into its socket after it had been dislocated and continued to play.He was, however, substituted at half-time and replaced by George Smith.

In 2010, Pocock became the first choice openside flanker for the Wallabies. Adam Freier, former Wallabies hooker, commented that his performances that year had been "simply outstanding", and said that his talents had more than justified his selection in the Wallabies' starting fifteen. According to rugby writer Greg Growden, Pocock's skill at the breakdown has become a key focus of opposition teams trying to stop the Wallabies' game plan.

In both 2010 and 2011, Pocock was a finalist for the IRB International Player of the Year.

Pocock took over the Wallabies captaincy during the 2012 midseason test series while regular captain James Horwill was injured.

At the conclusion of the 2012 Super Rugby season, he left the Western Force to join the Brumbies


Martin M. MAYA

Martin is the Manager of the African Communities Council of South Australia Settlement Services since 2008. Before, he worked for the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia in various portfolios and finally as a Case Manager of the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategies (IHSS) for 3 years.

Prior to this, he worked for various Non-government Agencies overseas including the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHRC) in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. In UNHCR Peace Education Program. Lutheran World Federation Disaster Management Program as a Community Development Coordinator and Catholic Diocese of Rumbek Sudan as a Youth Program Coordinator.

A Social Worker by training from University of South Australia, he has initiated many projects included “African Men’s Talk” an initiative to address issues affecting African Men with domestic violence related issues. The program has now being adopted by other service provider such as the MRCSA to assist those families.

As part of his engagement with the community, Martin is the Director and the Founder of South Sudan Humanitarian Hope Foundation Australia Branch.  Established in 2010 with the aim of holistically address issues created by the protracted civic wars in the South Sudan so as to improve lives of the local communities through various capacity building initiatives targeting at-risk youth, children, women and other community members. This organization undertaking various capacity building projects to alleviate suffering and create access to economic activities, eradication of hunger through agricultural initiatives, improvement education opportunities,   Human Rights Development and adherence to Principle of Rule of Law and access to health facilities.

Martin was among the first people who initiated and established the African Communities Council of SA in 2000 and became the first official volunteer to deliver settlement services prior to gaining funding.

Martin was the Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sudanese Community Association of Australia INC. (SA Branch) in 2000

Chairperson, Small Christian Community, Spiritual Centre Catholic Church Diocese of Rumbek, South Sudan 1995-1998      

Member, Reference Group, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Action Plan 2007-2010.

Secretary General, Sudanese Community Association South Australia Branch from 2008-2011

Co-founder and first Chairperson, South Sudanese Equatorian Communities Association in South Australia 2008-2011.

Participated in many conferences and workshops which included:


 “Child soldiers and Light Weapons” in The Hague- Netherlands. Presented a personal account and experiences of stories that the “Un Accompanied Minors” in Kakuma refugee Camp encountered 1998

International Youth Conference “Now is the Time”, Brisbane-Queensland 2001.

The Refugee Convention “Where to from here?” International Conference UNSW Sydney NSW, Australia 2001

“Sharing the Future” National Youth Conference Adelaide South Australia. I presented a paper “Refugee Youth Participation, a means of integration into the broader community” 2003.


Martha Tsegaw Menda was Born and raised in Addis Ababa –Ethiopia

She is a Radio Journalist with nearly 13 years of experience. Martha served as senior program producer and news caster for Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency .

As part of her successful journey through Journalism career she managed to work with one of highly influential international media called BBC world trust as a Health promotion writer producer and announcer.

She is also one the founder of the first FM radio station in the history of Ethiopian Electronic media.

She had participated in several International trainings with BBC world trust, DW (Dutch) German radio; MASHAV in Israel . Those trainings provided her the necessary knowledge about Media strategy for social change.

Martha Joined SBS Amharic Radio program in 2004.

She is a pioneer Melbourne correspondent for the program. Her program covers Community, Religion Culture, women, food, Youth and entertainment. SBS Amharic program is now considered as one of the most credible and independent source of information for Amharic speaking listeners. Martha plays significant role for the program success.

Apart from her media personality Martha works for Australian Government Department of Human services after she won the position as one of the first successful Indigenous Australian and East African Recruitment program. She is one of the Multicultural Service Officers for Zone Northern Victoria. Her role with the department gave her an opportunity to work with different communities and main stakeholder.

Academically Martha had achieved BA Degree In International Community Development from Victoria University, Diploma in Ethiopian Language and literature from Addis Ababa University, and Diploma in Interpreting from RMIT University.

She is one of the active members of Ethiopian Community Association in Victoria also Public relation for Ethiopian Women Association in Victoria.



Selamawit Alemu is a high achiever young Ethiopian Australian who has arrived to Australia with her family directly from Addis Abeba. Selamawit has attended high school in Australia and after completing high school; she has gone to Victoria University and completed her Bachelor Degree in Business, Majoring in Management. She has been closely working with the Ethiopian Community in Victoria and has served as Chair Person for the Ethiopian Women Association in Victoria in 2009.

Her interest in the community work has developed and in 2010 she has gone back to university to do her Masters Degree in International Community Development and Graduated with flying colours 2012. Part of her Masters study, She has travelled to Ethiopia in 2011/12 and has worked with CARE Ethiopia as Intern Project Manager. While working with CARE Ethiopia, She has conducted a research on the Main Causes of Women Rural to Urban Migration in Bahir Dar City and the Challenges they face in their host city. She has also worked on monitoring and evaluation of The Springboard Project which works on vulnerable women, and with people affected by HIV/AIDS.  She is working with her former course coordinator to publish her research as an academic journal article.

Currently, Selamawit is working on a project for Ethiopian Community Association in Victoria on the Puagme Festival, with Young Professional Ethiopians to Celebrate the Ethiopian New Year in September 2013. In addition to her Community work, She has gained Diploma of Interpreting with RMIT University and gives free interpreting service for her fellow community members.

Selamawit has been with various national and international organisations including on management level. She has been working with the Australian Government, Taxation Office since 2010 and is currently employed by Recoveries Corporation in the Government and Commercial Department.

Selamawit is currently in preparation of PhD classes to further investigate on internal migration.


Celebrate Inc. Former Co-Convenor, Emeka Chikwuba, is an image and branding strategist, designer, writer and creator. Emeka uses his creative skill as Change magazine creative / style Director to support businesses, communities, marketers, non-profits and self-branded personalities tell their stories in words and visuals.

Emeka Chikwuba has enormous creative abilities to transform quantity into quality. Emeka says “I am absorbed in certain sectors through my professional practice and vast background in Arts and Industrial Relation. Am always looking to find links between the worlds of arts, people, fashion, product branding, entertainment, music,  business networking , branding and publishing.”

Former Committee Member/ Treasurer of African Chamber of Commerce and member of African Reference Group (Aids Council Of South Australia).

Founder of Change Magazine. Recipient of BUSINESS CHAMPION AWARDS in 2011.

 Change magazine now reaches out to broader audiences all over Australia and beyond.

Avid, creative, dedicated, self-motivated and more, describes Emeka. His main passion and occupation is in creative packaging, imaging, designs and Publishing. Since his childhood, he used to draw and imagine designs all time long. Later,  a fact that taught and inspired him a lot in his creative hankering. At the age of 20, he started a unique gift item production, and branding company, influenced by vibrant colours, people, artworks and music, he started creating his first label called Cjanet, a year later. Almost instantly, it spun into a tangible desire.

Emeka is a dynamic and ideas driven professional and works with optimum efficiency.  A man of high creative record and has great potential in generating inspiring innovations.

His vision is simply making sure that he marks a profound bearing in his community and in life, which has to be reckoned with. More significantly, when Emeka sets a goal, he works towards achieving it



Lucky Lartey

Lucky is one of Australia’s most dynamic West African performers and is well known for his versatile and high energy dance style. Lucky hit Australia dancing in March 2011 and has been wowing audiences and inspiring dance students ever since with his traditional West African Dance, Afro-Contemporary and fusion choreography.

Lucky is an accomplished and experienced African dancer in Ghana and Australia and has more than 15 years of training in Traditional African dance, Afro Contemporary and Salsa. Lucky has performed with countless African dance and music groups from Ghana and other African countries. He is also an experienced choreographer having created a number of contemporary African dance routines for Ghanaian dance ensembles including the Salaka Ensemble, Susuma and Riclils Entertainment.


Lucky Lartey is from the Greater Accra Region in Ghana and grew up in a vibrant fishing community called Jamestown which boasts of some of Ghana’s best dancers, musicians, boxers, and footballers.  This creative surrounding gave him the chance to study with the masters of dance from his mother land.  Lucky’s knowledge of dance includes dance routines from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, South Africa and other parts of Africa.


Lucky teaches and performs around Sydney and Australia and has taught people of all ages and abilities to dance with feeling and connect to the beauty and spirit of African dance. Lucky’s ambition is to perform, teach and choreograph African traditional and contemporary African dance in Australia and to bring people together to create understanding across all cultures by sharing the beauty and natural power of African music and dance.


Lucky’s key accomplishments and works since arriving in Australia in March 2011 include performances at: The Afro Australian Music and Movie Awards 2011, the United Nations year of People from African Descent Celebration 2011, Colombian Independence Day Celebration 2011, World Refugee Day Celebration 2011, Sydney Fringe Festival 2011 and 2012, West African Festival 2011 and 2012, Africultures Festival 2012 and 2013, the African Professional Association Annual Gala Night 2012 and the African’s Women Dinner Dance 2012. Lucky was also one of the principle choreographers and performers in Dance Africa Dance 2012.


Lucky has continues to teach and work on projects such as Dancing in Harmony - a community development initiative of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), the project brings together young Africans from refugee backgrounds to train in traditional African and Afro-contemporary dance. Lucky has also worked with Annalouise Paul in the development of Mother Tongue a vibrant kaleidoscope of dance and live music that explores war, cultural tolerance and healing, revealing shifting paradigms and new futures.


Lucky’s latest accomplishment is the production and release of Baa Jo! Ghana Dance Instructional Video. Baa Jo is the Ga word meaning “come and dance”. Baa Jo the instructional video is the product of Lucky’s commitment and passion for the dances of Ghana and his desire to share them with the world.

Etienne Mukum has extensive experience within youth work and employment services. He currently works as an employment consultant for PVS Workfind while undertaking a Master’s degree in international relations.

He has previously worked as a peer mentor and international humanitarian worker for the Australian Red Cross and has had the opportunity of empowering and helping vulnerable young people achieve positive life outcomes.

Before migrating to Australia over two years ago, he worked as a youth coordinator for a United States Embassy program in Cameroon.

Etienne aspires to work in a capacity that enables him to influence policy making that affects migrants especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. He is also passionate about assisting young African Australians to uncover and pursue their full potential.


Michael Sims

African heritage

B.Sc., MBA, TLP4, Cert IV Training & Assessment

Practical experience mentoring in communication, leadership, organisational and business development, stakeholder engagement and continuous quality improvement positions Michael as a provider of high-level consultation.  Michael has applied his skills in small business, retail and hospitality but has a keen interest in the health and human services sector.  Michael has been actively mentoring most of his adult life in diverse areas such as basketball, church and via his consultancy Arbour Health started in 2010.

For the past four years Michael has taught various subjects within the School of Business and Economics but has chosen to focus his attention on Communication for Business Professionals.  Supporting student in both face-to-face and online environments has been extremely rewarding for him.  Michael’s research interest involves exploring the key factors surrounding the attraction and retention of medical staff in rural and regional Australia.

Having a strong sense of social responsibility, Michael has chosen to give back to the community by participating in the Tasmania Leaders Program and as the Wellspring Anglican Church Secretary. When not busy with work, Michael enjoys time with his young family, cycling and basketball.

Click here find out more about Michael


Hussen Zamzame won the gold award in the social justice category in the 2002 premier’s public sector awards in a youth partnership with Arabic-speaking
communities. This partnership is a join project that includes the NSW premiers department, the community relations commission for a multicultural NSW, The NSW police service, The NSW department of education and training, The NSW department of community services and the NSW department of sport & recreation.

He was also a member of the horn of African relief & development agency of Australia. He took it upon himself to give assistance to anyone in need always with sincerely and compassion. He has always said that we have to drive our team in this great land that is part of the ‘greater global family’ and would not refuse to help anyone in time of need. Those from the African community would always receive help in matter of searching for a job or gaining education.

Hussen has studied conflict management and was the mediator for the youth liaison team at the Australian College of Applied Psychology in 2002. He was also involved in the community services in South Western Sydney Institute in 2005.

Hussen was the first Eritrean to work on a broadcast for SBS radio for Eritrean listeners in 1994. He also completed the course in teacher training in the LOTE professional development program 1994 director of school education ethnic school association of Victoria.

He is a writer of articles of Arabic newspaper read in Australia-al nahar and al mesagble. He received an award from the Australian Arabic council for his great job as a stage manager for a theater production in 1998 at the tables turn theater at Darebin arts and entertainment canter. Also he was at work on film for new Australians titled ‘welcome to Australia’. He was the first Eritrean to write and direct a theatre at the RMIT studios in Victoria in 1996 working with young men and women.

Hussen was president for the Eritrean community in 2004. He has a Facebook page on which he shares with young Eritreans all-over Australia. The issue of improving the position of the Eritrean community.

Hussen is presently planning to create a news magazine for the horn of African community. His dream is to have a strong African community all working together under one umbrella and drive for a change and improvement in this free democratic country.


Ferid Abdi Yonis
Managing Director

B.Eng. (Civil), M.Eng. (Const. Manag.),
MIE. (Aust), R.B.P-CE,


Ferid A.Yonis is an Ethiopian born and immigrated to Australia in 1992.  Ferid is a founder of FAYCONSULT PTY.LTD, and a professional engineer with a combination of 18 years of progressive and responsible experience, generally participated as a senior level of structural engineer and managing director of a company in Australia.  Ferid specialized with classifying materials for advance sustainable economic infrastructure and specifically intricate with cost benefits analyses and life cycle benefits for existing infrastructures and stipulating modern construction materials for proposed sustainable infrastructure projects. He is a Registered Professional Engineer & Certified Building Practitioner.

Ferid and his firm had carried out more than 1780 projects ranging from 10 million to 88 million dollars’ worth of budgets throughout national and international in the past.  The vast majority of his works has been in Australia and predominately involved in commercial and industrial sustainable infrastructures. His professional consulting services had have achieved a significant contributions for the country such as; City of Dubai, City of Tauranga (New Zealand), Singapore, Vietnam and City of Dockland in Melbourne, etc…

During his previous practical management experience at local government infrastructures, Ferid was involved with building project management, traffic management devices, and specific experience in costing, planning, estimating, contract administration and budgeting, as well as monitoring and reporting of the project milestone was undertaken at Whitehorse City Council and Managing Infrastructure Asset Managements at Banyule City Council.

Following his professional career, Ferid actively engaged on various local and international companies owned projects.  Further to academic studies, Ferid obtained his First degree in Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) followed by Master of Engineering and Construction Management at Swinburne University of Technology. His involvement in research study obtained world first mix design for his research founding in concrete technology, his research was titled as “Recycled Rubber as an Additive to Concrete to Improve Impact Resistance“

Ferid was also voluntarily engaged in Hararian Community Association Inc. and Australian Saay Harari Association Inc. During his involvements, he had taken on board of management leadership roles and contributes a guide to the community, through managing their day to day activities and designing a new management structure as well as community project design and managed for Saay Harari Community Centre that reflects the current diversity of their organisation, thus ensuring their success.

 More profiles to be added

Juliana is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)  and the coordinator of the NSW Police Force Multicultural Community Liaison Officer Program. Prior to this, she was the assistant manager of the Refugee and Network Support Team at Centrelink.

Juliana has been an active advocate in the women’s movement since 1989, especially through the Commission on the Status of Women. She was also one of the Eminent Australians to review the Australian Citizenship Test; served as a board member of the Institute for Cultural Diversity; was four times the Chair of the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women; and is a sitting member of the Nepean/Blacktown Regional Advisory Council of the Community Relations Commission of NSW.

Juliana’s many other memberships have included the NSW Police Commissioner’s Committee on Responsive Policing; the FECCA Women’s Steering Committee; and the National Steering Committee of the Living in Harmony Partnership Project. She was the first women’s representative of the African Communities Council of NSW and the initiator of the African Workers Network in Sydney. As the first ever community education officer on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Australia, she played a key role in FGM education programs from 1996-2005.

Juliana is the founder advisor of African Women Australia Inc. and a co-founder of the African Women's Advocacy Unit, a former program of the  Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW),  which formed the basis of  African Women of Australia (AWAU). 

Michael Sutherland, a Member of the Australian Parliament, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1954, and lived there until he immigrated to Australia in 1987.

In 1995 Michael was elected as a councillor to the City of Perth council, Western Australia  and became the longest serving councillor in the City’s history. He was also elected Deputy Lord Mayor and served five years in this capacity.

In South Africa, Michael was active in the United Party, the then main parliamentary opposition to the ruling National Party, from the early 1970s. In 1982 he was elected to the Johannesburg City Council as a member of the Progressive Federal Party, which by then had become the main parliamentary opposition party. Michael served on the Johannesburg City Council until he came to Australia.

Rosemary is an African Woman of the Year Award Winner. She hosts countless African events and services, including the African Women's Dinner Dance (SMH link) which attracts over 500 women across Australia to celebrate African cultures.  Rosemary received Edna Ryan Award from The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) in 2007 for working with African women in NSW. In 2008 she received the  Women of the West Award from UWS. She also received the community award from Universal Federation of Peace who made her the Peace Ambassador in 2009 and currently Rosemary is a NSW Census Ambassador.

In her own words, Rosemary says:

"I came from Kenya 13 years ago with nothing but my suitcase and a big heart, after leaving my children back in Kenya running from the tribal crashes. I host several achievements and activities that would exhaust most people. In addition to my role with the NSW Police as a Multicultural Community Liaison Officer, I’m involved in three projects The African Women Dinner Dance which started in 2006 and sees over 500 women come to dance, eat and meet other women and service providers.  Then The Cultural Exchange Program was born when Ulladulla women came to one of the dinner dance and stayed with us.  We have taken women to Ulludalla, Griffith, Blackheath to meet Papunya women, Bobbin Head for a picnic with the women from the area, Geerong/.Kiama and Bathurst. 

I went to school of Social Enterprise to study on how to start an Africa community centre which is now running under African Village Market with two shops in Parramatta and a school of hair dressing opening its doors in September 2012. This dream of the Centre is one day going to be true in Gods name.

I have given back to Australia community by being their point of contact, mentor advisor and an elder in the African Community.  I’m a founder member of the African women group which runs the three projects above.

I was the Women’s Representative on the NSW African Communities Council for four years, a Creators of Peace facilitator, a member of several steering committees. I campaign against domestic violence, coordinates small women’s peace circles a program of Initiative of Change which is international and it’s doing great work in Africa spreading peace and spearheaded by our youth and women.  I started the Kenyan Chapter of peace circles which are doing great work in Kenya with more than over 40 peace circles happening and in East Africa, the West African and South African is doing the same, in hope that one day African will be peaceful,  full of peaceful leaders and people. 

Awards Achieved.

·         2012 Parramatta Citizen of the year

·         African Australian Women of the year from the African Chamber of the Commerce 2011 - Adelaide

·         Women of the West Award from UWS

·         Edna Ryan Award from Electoral Women’s

·         Peace Ambassador from Universal Federal Peace

At over 50, I have finished my Diploma in Welfare Coordination in June 2012.

I always ask myself what I can give back to the community but not what I can get because I have been given so much."

Pro Vice Chancellor 
University of South Australia

Professor Ahluwalia has always had a deep interest in the complexities of identity formation, yet his own upbringing and professional career reflects a myriad of cultural influences. He was born in Kenya, schooled in Canada, received a Bachelors degree and a Master of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, and then completed his PhD at Flinders University here in Adelaide. He was subsequently at Adelaide University for 14 years, finishing as Professor of the Politics Department, then Visiting Professor with the University of California, and Professor with the Goldsmiths College at the University of London, where he was also Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies.

Prior to commencing as Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Ahluwalia was Research SA Chair and Professor of Post-Colonial Studies in the Hawke Research Institute and Director of the Centre for Post-Colonial Studies. At the same time he was a Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California. His main research interests lie in the areas of African studies, social and cultural theory, in particular, postcolonial theory and the processes of diaspora, exile, and migration.

On 14 October 2008, Professor Ahluwalia was appointed a UNESCO Chair in Transnational Diasporas and Reconciliation Studies.

The aim of the Chair is to promote and emphasise research in the areas of transnational diasporas and reconciliation studies. This will be accomplished by holding masterclasses, workshops and conferences, and inviting international scholars especially from the post-colonial world. These activities are aimed most specifically at capacity building and the facilitation of the exchange of knowledge. The UNESCO Chair in Transnational Diasporas and Reconciliation Studies will complement UNESCO's work in the field of social transformations and will provide a valuable contribution to international dialogue and policy development on international migration and social integration.

 Dr. Berhan Ahmed is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Forest & Ecosystem Science Melbourne School of Land & Environment, University of Melbourne, Richmond, Victoria.
He was awarded the Victorian Australian of the Year 2009 and also, received the Meritorious Service in Community Award in 2006 from the then Premier of Victoria, the Hon. Steve Bracks.
Dr Ahmed was a member of the Victorian Government's Refugee Community-Building and Strengthening brokerage initiative, managing $4.7 million in funding in 2006 - 2007.
Dr Ahmed currently serves as a board member of Adult Multicultural English Service, Victoria, and Chairperson of the African Think Tank Inc.
Maria Osman is first woman of Somali heritage to be the CEO of two Western Australian State Government departments, she is presently the Executive Director of the Office of Multicultural Interests and from 2003 to 2006 was the Executive Director of the Office for Women’s Policy, she has also held senior positions in universities and the NGO sector. For over three decades Maria has made a significant national and state contribution to the empowerment of ethnic and refugee women, anti-racism and human rights.
In 2007 she was awarded the Government of Western Australian Multicultural Community Service Award for excellence and innovation in advancing and promoting multiculturalism, inclusiveness and participation, and improving access to services and promoting equity for minority communities.
Maria was appointed by the Premier to the inaugural Western Australian Anti-Racism Steering Committee and in 2005 the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) appointed her to the National Steering Committee for the ‘Voices of Australia Project’ established to celebrate 30 years of the Racial Discrimination Legislation.
In recognition of her leadership in creating family friendly workplaces the Minister for Community Development appointed Maria as an inaugural WA Family Ambassador and in the Minister for Consumer and Employment Protection appointed her to the Independent Review of Gender Pay Equity Gap.
She has served on a number of boards such as Centre for Human Rights at Curtin University, was the Deputy Chair of the Women’s Law Centre and the UWA Centre for Muslim States and Societies.
Maria has been actively involved with the community sector and in a past Women’s Vice President of the WA Ethnic Communities Council and she is also a past executive member of the African Community Association of WA and helped establish the Somali Women’s NGO and is a past Patron of the West African Women’s Community Organisation.
Maria has contributed to the development of national and state public policy in gender equity, human rights, multiculturalism and workplace diversity and undertaken research and written and presented conferences extensively on these issues.
Maria is proud of her Aussie-Somali heritage and has recently returned from a visit to Somaliland.
Tommy Adebayo, a Nigerian,  is currently the Health Safety Environmental and Quality Advisor for Total Marine Technology (TMT) a Subsea Intervention equipment manufacturer and operator for the oil and gas industry.

In 2011, Tommy was honoured as the  Multicultural Community Service Awards winner by the Western Australian government.

As the founder of African Professionals of Australia (APA), Tommy brings together community-based associations to work in partnership to empower, educate and support people from the African community.

Furthermore, in 2010,  Tommy won his 4th Gold Safeway Award.  The Award was conferred by the Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention (IFAP)/CGU. Considered a best practice in occupational health and safety implementation.

Dr Uchechukwu Foster Onwuchekwa
is a lecturer at Spencer Gulf Rural Health School with the School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, University of Adelaide.

Dr Onwuchekwa is responsible for supporting and teaching students, including through use of structured tutorials and supervised attachments, for students who are in year 4-6 and are on rural placement.


In addition, every year, Dr Onwuchekwa is involved in supervision of students on rural medical attachment to Central Clinic under the James Cook University Medical School placement programs.

Dr Onwuchekwa is also the Practice Manager at Central Clinic, Port Pirie and an examiner for the Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) from 2005 to present date. As an Examiner for RACGP, Dr Onwuchekwa helps to inject rural input into the medical exam conduct. He is among specialist examiners overseeing would be Graduating GP specialist across Australia in medical exams conducted twice yearly.


Dr Onwuchekwa was appointed the lead Mentor  and representative for South Australian (one of  the 11 lead mentors, selected nationally), in the RACGP pilot program for mentoring International Medical Graduates, who arrive in, or are already working in Australia, towards achieving a smooth transition to practice medicine in Australia . 


In addition to the foregoing activities, he   provides clinical duties as General Practitioner, and   also supports the Port Pirie hospital where he has inpatient admission rights, as one of the doctors to deliver Emergency /Trauma   medicine cover in its on call arrangements.

Dr Ayman Shenouda

Ayman commenced his medical career in Australia as a surgical registrar in Tasmania in 1995.  With a masters degree in surgery from Cairo University, he moved to Wagga Wagga in 2000 working as a GP.  Ayman is a Fellow of RACGP (2003) and also completed a diploma of dermatology at the University of Wales, United Kingdom.

Ayman and his wife are the founders and the principle doctors of the Glenrock Country Practice which in 2007 was awarded General Practice of the year NSW/ACT by RACGP. It has also been awarded the AGPAL Quality and Safety practice of the year and the consumer participation award in 2010.

In 2009 Ayman was awarded RACGP GP of the year.  He is the former Director of Medical Education CCCT Riverina/Murrumbidgee and former Director on the board of the Riverina Division of general practice and primary health. Ayman is currently a board member of the NSW faculty board and the deputy chair of the National Rural Faculty board.

Dr. Khaled El-Sheikh has been named as an Executive of the Year by Stanford Who's Who as a result of his phenomenal professional career. In his position as Founder and CEO of the Tristar Medical Group, Dr. El-Sheikh has routinely performed at an extraordinary level while displaying the leadership and professionalism required to be considered among the elite.
Tristar Medical Group, owned by Khaled, was the Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award winner in 2011 and provides quality, affordable, and accessible health care to under-doctored communities. Since commencing business from a solo general practice in Warracknabeal, TMG now has 29 clinics throughout regional and rural Australia with a staff of 90 GPs, 20 full-time practice nurses and 140 support staff. They are active in the communities they operate in and provide financial and in-kind support to many local organisations. Each clinic bulk bills and is open seven days a week with an after-hours consultation service.
Sossy Msomi is the Tanzania Honorary Consul in charge of the Consulate of Tanzania in Adelaide. Sossy is one of the prominent Africans helping to build a positive image for the Community. He actively participates in various community events, helping to foster African community development and was conferred an Excellence Award in Diplomatic and Community Services in 2011.

Currently, he is the Cost Manager at Ceiling and Wall Contractors Pty Ltd  and Board Member and National Councilor of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

Sossy is an ex-President of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, South Australian Chapter.

MB ChB (Makerere)                             PhD (Univ of Sydney)
Family Medical Doctor and Pharmacologist
Kikuttobudde Sekkadde Kiyingi (Dr Seka Kiyingi), born and bred in Uganda, is currently a full-time Medical Practitioner at My Family Doctors at Urban Quarter, Townsville, Australia. He has a special interest in Asthma, a medical condition he has researched extensively here in Australia and Papua New Guinea. He sits on the Quality Use of Medicines committee of the Townsville and Mackay Division of Health Practitioners. He is a part-time clinical instructor for James Cook University School of Medicine.
Dr Seka Kiyingi is the author of “Kiyingi Roots” and its Luganda language version “Olulyo Lwa Kiyingi”, a book that is a genealogical account of the Kiyingi extended family, a typical average family in Uganda, but more specifically a biography of the family patriarch Paulo Kikwanguyira Kiyingi (PK), a man of humble origins who was educated and groomed in a British school system and employed in a colonial civil service in the early to mid-1900s, but who rose up to champion the cause and voice of his people during the British colonial occupation of his motherland country Uganda. That book exemplifies one of the ways we can recognise the role played by our parents in our lives, as well as recognise, trace and document our origins and history through family trees for our own benefit and the benefit of our children, grandchildren and future generations.
Dr Seka Kiyingi was the Foundation President of The African Association of Townsville – Hakuna Matata, in 2005. He has remained an active member and convenor of several African Programs in Townsville. He has a special interest in the health of new migrants into Australia, especially those coming from Africa under the Human Resettlement Program.  He has contributed greatly to promoting Africa and her cultures in Australia as well as the Oneness of Africans in the Townsville region.


Nico Smit is the Lead Pastor of RiverCity Christian Church and Director of RiverCity Community Counselling in Hobart, Australia. He is a clinically registered counsellor, lecturer and author. Originally from Durban, South Africa, he and his family relocated to Hobart in 2008.

Under his leadership RiverCity has grown to be a powerful, multi-cultural, multi-site, influential and dynamic church with a worship centre and campuses. RiverCity Missions aims to make a difference through active projects in Africa, India and Australia.

Nico’s preaching and teaching style is easy to understand and apply. He believes in empowering, discipling and releasing people into their full potential.

Along with his wife Joe-Ann, they have over 20 years of missions, leadership and church building experience. In their lifetime they have ministered on six continents and many countries which has equipped them with a good understanding of cross-cultural dynamics.

His involvement in community and non-profit settings is broad. He is personally passionate about and provides professional support to people and organisations working with addictions and offenders. He teaches Applied Counselling Theories, Addictions Counselling and Working with Offenders at Tabor College Tasmania. He oversees counselling with the Dept. of Justice’s Court Mandated Diversion program.

Pearl Proud  is a Zulu woman who was born in Durban, South Africa and migrated to Australia in 1987. Pearl is proud of her heritage and the honour of a regal lineage in her clan of the Madlala people. In 2005 Pearl was initiated as a Traditional Healer after a 5 years initiation process. She practices as a Healer and a keeper of traditional wisdom continues to return to South Africa for ceremonies and rituals.
Pearl also has training in Psychology and in Literature. She therefore has the gift and honour of working in both African and Western modalities.
Pearl attended a Business High School in South Africa and studied Psychology and Literature at a University in Perth. Her professional life has been a broad range of settings. She has been a Banking Officer, Library Officer, Medical Practice Manager as well as a Psychologist with the WA Police Service. Pearl has held a clinical and management position in an NGO agency specialising in torture and trauma working with a CaLD client base, a substantial number of whom were of African descent. Pearl is currently working as a Registered Psychologist in private practice specialising in Trauma. She delivers culturally sensitive and appropriate clinical services as a Consultant to a range of agencies including the Department of Child Protection and Professional Development of staff in clinical and medical settings such as King Edward Hospital.
Pearl also contributes broadly to the community including as current Chair of the Board of ConnectGroups which is the peak body for Self-Help and Support Groups in Western Australia and as Board Director for the Fremantle Multicultural Centre which provides counselling, housing, employment support for Migrant, Refugee and newly arrived members of the community. Pearl has facilitated well-being workshops and spiritual retreats; has been a guest speaker and panellist in a range of forums and has presented on radio and television.
Pearl is involved in the investment sector with an interest in a range of economic areas. As a Philanthropist she is involved in the arts in WA and has a long association with the Perth International Arts Festival which is Australia’s oldest arts festival. She was the Festival’s Patron for its 50th anniversary in 2000. She is also the inaugural Benefactor/Patron of the Perth Writer’s Festival. She continues to support the Festival as a Medici Donor. Pearl has also collaborated with ArtsSupport, a division of the Australia Arts Council, to promote philanthropy in WA through the Giving Circles initiative and was part of the 2010 University of Western Australia’s Extension programme’s programme to further this initiative. In 2011 Pearl was nominated to represent South Africa in the CHOGM’s cultural programme as part of the Nomad Two Worlds - a Cultural Diversity exhibition.
Pearl’s work and life is dedicated to healing and strengthening others. Her work is informed by both the African and Western wisdom; ancient and modern values. It also acknowledges the strengths and resilience we have as African Australians and the enrichment we gain from both cultures. Pearl lives in Perth, Western Australia with her 16yr old son.
Abraham Mamer, a South Sudanese is the Multicultural Affairs Manager at the Darebin City Council local government in Victoria State.  Darebin covers a very large area and has the highest proportion of overseas-born citizens of any council in Australia. Mr Mamer international reputation in Social Policy has earned him a managerial position to develop settlement plans and policies for African Australian Community in the Brotherhood of St Laurence – working for an Australia free of poverty    

Throughout his career, Abraham Mamer has been a leader and a pioneer in developing personal and organisational policies and programs to the humanitarian resettlement of refugees.  Because of his generosity and effort, tens of thousands of migrants to New Zealand and Australia have been assisted in making a positive adjustment to their new cultures. 


The innovative and progressive leadership that is characteristic of him is shown in the many organisations that he has been a founder or board member of, including:

  • Founding Member: AUT ESOL Advisory Board
  • Founding Member: African Centre for Education – UNITEC NZ
  • Founder and Advisor of National Refugee Communities Network
  • 1999 – 2001 President of the Sudanese Association Inc. NZ
  • 2001 –2002 Executive Member NZ Refugee Council
  • 2005 – 2006 Chairman Board of Directors Refugee As Survivors (RAS)
  • Board Member: Centre for Refugee and Migrant Health, Auckland University of Technology
  • Board Member and Trustee: African Think Tank, Victoria, Australia
  • Advisor: Sudanese Community Association of Australia
  • Member: Asian Network Inc

Abraham has been equally generous at lending his time and experience as a speaker, participant, and presenter at many seminars and conferences, among them:

  • Co-convenor, UNESCO conference on Diversity in Education, August 2004.  As a result of his work at this conference, Abraham was presented with a medal from the King of Thailand.
  • Co-organiser and Convenor, The Inaugural International Asian Health and Wellbeing Conference 2004
  • Co-presenter, AUT Conference in Education in Diverse Cultures
  • Keynote Speaker, Children & Young People As Citizens: Participation Provision and Protection Conference
  • Keynote Speaker, Conference on Community languages and English for Speakers of Other languages, Auckland, 2008

Abraham Mamer has also published and presented numerous papers devoted to raising awareness and understanding of refugee and migrant issues at national and international conferences, among which are:

  • Making Progress at Last: The Auckland Somali Community Education Programme (with Karen McDermott, published by Waikato University)
  • Barriers challenging education provision for new emigrant students in New Zealand schools
  • Six papers at CLESOL (Conference on Community Languages and ESOL in New Zealand) conferences over seven years:
    • Experience of Sudanese refugee Students in NZ schools
    • ESOL students’ English Language Acquisition and learning shift
    • Proficiency in English and impact on other subjects
    • Heart and Mind in teaching students from the refugee backgrounds
    • Does one-size-fits-all?
    • Refugee Family Reunification Policy Impact on Family Resettlement Outcomes (published by Childrenz Issues. Vol. 10, No. 1, 2006)
  • Key note speaker on: Minorities and Security  - 12th International Metropolis Conference Melbourne 2007

Dr Paul A. Iji, a Nigerian by birth, is an Associate Professor of Poultry Science and the Postgraduate Coordinator of the School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, Australia.

Dr Iji studied in Nigeria, Scotland and Australia.  He worked at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria for 12 years and also in South Africa before returning to Australia.  In the mid-1990s, while studying for his PhD, he was a Representative of the Association of Nigerians Abroad (ANA) in the Oceania region and an official of the Nigerian Association in South Australia. 

On obtaining his PhD, he took up appointment at the University of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and also worked at the University of Pretoria and Central University of Technology, South Africa over a period of about six years.  He was a founding member and first President of the Nigerian Association in KwaZulu-Natal.  He returned to Australia about 7 years ago to take up his present position at UNE and is currently leading the formation of the African Association in New England. 

Dr Iji heads one of the few groups in the world investigating gastrointestinal function in poultry and other farm animals.  He has supervised and graduated nine PhD students, and currently supervises several postgraduate students, in addition to his teaching and coordinating commitments. 
Dr Iji is the author of a research book, Writing and Publishing Your Research and a children’s book, A Guide for Young Africans Growing up Overseas, both available through Amazon.   He has also published 5 book chapters, and close to 200 journal and conference papers. 
Dr Iji has been an invited Speaker at 15 international conferences in Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia.  He is an excellent mentor of students and has presented seminars on study and writing skills to students in Australia, Nigeria and New Zealand.  He is an Associate Editor of six scientific journals, and also reviews articles for many other animal science journals. 
Until recently, Dr Iji was the New England regional Chairman of the World’s Poultry Science Association; is a Registered Animal Nutritionist, and Member of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science; Nutrition Society of Australia, and Australian Society of Animal Production, among other professional societies.  Dr Iji was recently offered a one-year fellowship by the Nigerian Universities Commission, to spend sabbatical leave in universities in Nigeria.  
 Ahmed Noor Yusuf
Ahmed has been a senior manager with over 25 years’ experience in business and project management in private, public and not-for-profit sectors with particular strengths in managing transitions. He has in the past worked as a CEO for a large public entity and in other senior management roles. His experience spans two continents. He hails from Kenya, East Africa – a country renowned for its abundant wildlife and superb long distance runners.
Today, Ahmed is the CEO of Parker Brent and manages his own enterprises in education, construction and community services. His transition to self-employment has been successful and he now plays his part as an employer.
Ahmed has been a passionate advocate for migrants and especially, African migrants in their process to settle in their new communities and fulfill their goals. His effort in supporting skilled migrants in finding work has assisted many and he continues to volunteer at the skilled migrants’ Job Club at the Multicultural Hub, based in Melbourne city. He has been a great supporter and resource for the National Bank’s African Workplace Development project that assists qualified Africans in Australia gain work experience. This program has had an enormous impact and has already shaped the lives of many.
Mekonnen Kebede

B.Sc., BSc. Hons. M.App. Sc., MASM

Ethiopian born African Australian; Mekonnen graduated from Addis Ababa University with B.Sc in 1981 and worked as a teacher. He lived in Zimbabwe for 3 years where he was employed as a teacher by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Education before coming to Australia in 1985.  

Mekonnen was employed by The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS-VIC) in 1990, as a medical scientist, where he has been serving the organisation for the last 22 years and reached to the level of senior scientist. He has published scientific journals both within Australia and internationally as an author and co-author for the promotion and advancement of his scientific field, microbiology.

Mekonnen was awarded the Red Cross medal for long service and Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence “Meritorious Service to the Community”.

Mekonnen always believed in community building and creating a healthy society. He has been instrumental in establishing the Ethiopian Community Association in Victoria (ECAV) in 1985 which was incorporated in 1986. He was elected to serve ECAV as a chair person between 1988 and 1991. In 1992 with the help of the Toorak Anglican and Uniting churches, Mekonnen and other colleagues founded the premier Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Australia.

Mekonnen shows a strong interest in the development of services for the disadvantage and marginalised communities, not only those from Africa, but from a diverse range of communities. He maintains keen interest in international development, social justice, humane rights and health.

Mekonnen is contributing to the community at large by sitting on different boards and advisory committees.

 Abdullah Safi is the CEO of   New Force Recruitment & Training in Docklands and Melbourne’s West. He is a prominent and successful African-Australian business man described by his peers and competitors as Footscray's African King Of SMB "Small and Medium Business".
Safi migrated to Australia as an Eritrean Refugee about 20 years ago. He is not only a business man but also an educator and an employment professional  who has made significant changes in the life of unskilled and jobless African refugees.
Over the last fifteen years, Safi is considered to be one of few Africans who have long standing and profound experience in Government's employment services, vocational education and training programs.
Mr Safi has assisted a large number of both local and international students with access to training, education and  employment during his previous  engagements with Education Access Australia, WISE Employment, AMES, IPA Personnel and Job Future.
Further , Mr Safi delivers  accredited  health professional training sessions in Asthma and Anaphylaxis ( Triggers & Preventions of Food Allergy and Airway diseases)  to several African and non African participants every three months. He is continuing to empower both the African and Australian communities in a positive way. 

Theresa Sengaaga Ssali

  • Bachelor of Social Work Degree, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Social Sciences- Librarianship: RMIT University.
  • Trained family  mediator gazetted and registered with the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV)

Theresa has spent over 25 years working in Australia both as a qualified Social worker and Librarian. Theresa migrated to Australia from Uganda.

Theresa is one of the African-Australian community members who has made significant contribution in community settlement work. Advocating on settlement  issues and developing innovative initiatives, organizing and managing various social and development projects, and evaluating programs with the aim to address immediate and long term community’s needs, create awareness, strengthen community capacity and influence policy formation with a focus on communities from culturally and linguistically diverse background (CALD).

Theresa is Chairperson of the African Women’s Network South East and Senior Social Worker, Settlement and Youth Services at New Hope Foundation.

In her Social Worker profession Theresa has a number of memorable achievements to date, Theresa, motivated by her own personal settlement experience “Established and Co-ordinated the African Holistic Social Services  Victoria (AHSSV)”  in Melbourne 2001- 2010. This service was managed by the former Eastern and Central African Communities of Victoria (EACACOV), now called the  African Communities Foundation (ACF)

In 2012 Theresa in partnership with the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) initiated the Africa Day Australia Annual Celebration In Melbourne.

Theresa has initiated and managed a number of community capacity building projects and programs proactively especially for African youth, women and families responding to emerging issues to ensure the advancement of new and emerging communities’ in Australia. See Africa Australia Media DVD 1 and African Women Forum 10 May 2014,  African Women Network South East and New Hope Foundation Event 28 -30 March 2014

She has extensive experience in delivering cross-cultural training and cross-cultural information provision to government department (Federal, state and local government), non- profit organization and number of mainstream services providers groups. 

Engagement in research, policy, advocacy and presentations at major forums that assists the resettlement of African communities and other newly emerging groups. 

Committees Membership and Volunteer Work

  1. African Women Network South East - Chairperson

  2.  Team co-ordinator Africa Day Australia – ‘Women and Families Forum’

  3. Ambassadors for Peace - Universal Peace Federation (UPF)

  4. UPF/ Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP)

  5. Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV) - New and Emerging Communities Policy Sub-Committee

  6. Theresa has also served and continues to serve on a number of Government Advisory Committees, Reference Groups and Community Associations.

    As a librarian Theresa worked as a Reference Librarian at the Mental Health Library Services, Royal Park Hospital (now closed), Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria, Commonwealth Scientific, and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) - Clayton Site and Monash University – Library System

Rashidi Sumaili and his family (wife and 4 children) fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and lived in a Tanzania refugee camp for nine years.
His qualifications included:
•A Diploma of General Education in the Democratic Republic of Congo
•A Certificate 4 in Business Administration in the Democratic Republic of Congo
•A Certificate 4 in Ministry: Pentecostal Evangelist Fellowship of Africa: Kibondo – Tanzania
He speaks 5 languages: Swahili, French, Lingala (spoken in the Republic Democratic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville), Kibembe (spoken in the territory of FIZI East of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and English.
In 1997-2005, Rashidi led the Pentecost Church as an evangelist providing bright, friendly and efficient church service in the refugee camp coordinating a team of 15 staff and 4 volunteers in delivering the church services and programs. He preached, organized and managed the church programs, supervised youth activities, and trained new staff.
In 2005, Rashidi and his family (wife and 5 children) were one of the first two African families to be settled in the Goulburn Valley under the Australia Regional Humanitarian Settlement Pilot.
In Australia, he is a member of Assembly of God in Shepparton. After completing Certificate 2 in Spoken and Written English at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, he worked with Saint Mel’s Primary School, Shepparton in 2007-2008 and Saint Brendan’s Primary School 2009-2010 as their teacher aide. He assisted the students in the classes with numeracy and literacy skills and facilitated liaison between the refugees’ families and schools.
In 2007-2008 he completed a Certificate 3 in Education, Wodonga TAFE, Victoria and then went on to complete a Diploma of Community Welfare in 2008 – 2009.
He then attended at Latrobe University in Bendigo and studied a double degree: Bachelor and Master of Social Work as a second year student. At the moment he is working and he is in the process of completing his Bachelor of Social Work at Victoria University.
Rashidi has also participated in a number of Leadership programs which have helped him to further develop knowledge and skills:
•African Community Leadership Development program, Victoria University, Melbourne
•Certificate Four in Frontline Management at Victoria University. Melbourne
•Fairly Leadership Program Graduate 2009
Rashidi has developed good communication skills and utilizes these in working with organizations, individuals, families, and various groups in solution – based planning.
Some of his community involvements have been:
•working with Uniting Care Cutting Edge and the Ethnic Council of Shepparton as a tafe student in 2008 and 2009, he developed and organized sessional information for newly arrived refugees
•He also organized different meetings that brought the African young people together
•Rashidi developed a relationship with the Rotary Club of Shepparton in order to run a mentoring program that will help newly arrivals African young people to build relationships and develop and identify their goals through linking them with local business mentors
•He has initiated a number of programs intended to empower and support newly arrived Africans in the Goulburn Valley including: “Building La Nouvelle Generation Program”. This was in partnership with Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network (GMLLEN). This aimed to develop leadership skills and provide real- life experiences for African young people (April 2010).
•Rashidi has spoken on WIN news and in other media
•In Africa, he preached in morning Sunday service and has also done so in Australia
•He participates annually in the organization committees of Harmony Day and Refugee Week
•Since 2009, he has been a board member of the Shepparton Australia Day Committee. He organises volunteers and participates in planning the program
•As the former member of United Nations Association of Victoria 2009-2010, Rashidi worked with other local members to organise and support the United Nations’ program in Shepparton and develop networking across sectors
•He is a former board member of Family Care and Word and Mouth, a Youth organisation
Special achievements have been:
•Rashidi established the Goulburn Valley Congolese Association in 2006
•He established a Congolese soccer team which developed into the Kialla United Football Club in Shepparton
•He was awarded the ‘Manager’s Choice Award’ in April 2008 by McDonald’s
•He had the opportunity to represent the Congolese community and to talk to the representative of the Commonwealth of Australia when she visited Shepparton in 2008
•In 2009 became an Australian citizen
•He was awarded the Shepparton Academic Award on 26th January 2010 by the City of Greater Shepparton
•He was awarded the Victorian Refugee Recognition Award by the State of Victoria on 17th July2010
•Rashidi is the secretary of the GV. African Communities’ Association
. Since 2011, Rashidi is supporting and assisting African young people to participate in an International showcase soccer trial in England and Italy.
Rashidi currently works as a Project Officer with the Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network. This year, with collaboration and support from different levels of government, Indigenous organisations, welfare organisations, schools, and other community organisations, Rashidi has developed a “Building a New Generation” program that aims to:
•develop collaboration and build partnerships between young people from diverse backgrounds
•develop knowledge of different cultures in order to build harmony and tolerance
•provide participants with leadership skills and increased knowledge of systems and cultures
•develop sustainable networks
•help the young people understand that their local community and to become valued members of it
Rashidi is one of a group of people who have initiated and supported the development of a College in DRC/Baraka named ‘institute superiur development rural de Fiz i in DRC”. (Rural Development institute of Fizi in DRC) He’s in a process of raising money for the College and in long term he’s looking for Australians professionals who will travel to DRC to teach the Congolese AFL, English and other subjects.
He is an active community member and leader winning both state and local recognition and awards for his contribution to numerous association boards and programs that support newly arrived families.
Report by Wyndham Leader Newspaper
Solomon Tesfaye has spent more than 700 hours in the garage of his family’s home, designing and building his single-person ultralight plane.

The 16-year-old has been working for 18 months on his aircraft and hopes in another two to three months he will finally be able to take to the skies.

Working on the plane up to 12 hours a day during school holidays, as well as weekends, the Year 10 Werribee Secondary College student said his passion for aircraft stemmed from a young age.

“I’d always been interested in planes and flying from a young age and I saw a few of the ultralight planes and I was inspired to build my own,” he said.

The fuel-efficient plane, made from scrap and recycled materials, has cost just $700 to build.

“I’ve built it all from scratch and it’s all recycled except for the engines and propellers,” he said.

The five-metre-wide plane has a metal frame, plastic skin and runs on regular unleaded car petrol.

And it seems this may not be the last plane that Solomon has a hand in designing and building.

“It’s my ambition to become a pilot but I’d also like to be involved with the design and building of aeroplanes,” he said.

See ABC News Video
 Jean-Marc Agbogba, originally from the Ivory Coast, is principal dancer and director of newly established Dance Company, "Sun of Africa" which has taken Adelaide by storm.
Jean is the 2011 African-Australian Performance Arts of the Year Award Winner.
He's one of the most outstanding African drummers, artists, dancers, choreographers and flute players in Australia and has been featured in various TV programs.
Fresh from his world tour with the "Mother Africa Circus", Jean-Marc has gathered together and trained a talented group of Dancers and Musicians who have performed in Australia at various functions --such as  the Adelaide Come Out Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival.
While currently developing his plans for a large Dance Spectacular inspired by his African roots, he has also begun classes in both African dance as well as his ‘Afrotonic’ fitness classes in conjunction with Latin Dance Nation of Unley, South Australia.
Dean Stanley Geyer is a South-African born Australian singer-songwriter and actor who came third in the 2006 season of the talent contest Australian Idol, and currently portrays Reynolds in Terra Nova.

Within weeks after the series finale of Australian Idol, Dean signed an exclusive recording contract with SonyBMG in 2006. Dean released his first single, "If You Don't Mean It" which premiered on radio stations on 5 April 2007. The single was released to iTunes on 5 May 2007. The single peaked on the ARIA Charts at number 10. The album, recorded in early February, was released on 26 May 2007.

Dean released his debut album, Rush on 26 May 2007. The album peaked at number 7 on the ARIA Charts. In late 2007, Dean toured as a supporting act across Australia for ARIA Award-Winning music duo The Veronicas on there "Hook Me Up" tour. He would later appear in the duo's music video for "This Love", playing the love interest of Lisa Origliasso his then fiancée.
In November 2007, Ten Network announced Dean has signed on to become a series regular on the long-time running Australian Soap Opera, Neighbours.  Dean Geyer made his acting and Neighbours debut on 27 March 2008. He portrays the role of Ty Harper, a law-school dropout and aspiring musician. On the 19 May 2008 episode, Geyer performed a duet with Neighbours Co-Star, Caitlin Stasey which their characters Rachel and Ty performed at the Erinsborough High School Formal. The song became a cult success and reached the ARIA download charts at number 40. Despite a series favorite, Geyer left the series during the first half of 2009 to concentrate his music career.
In June 2010, Dean was announced to make his film debut in the Action Drama film Never Back Down 2. He will star alongside MMA fighter, Scott Epstein with Actor Michael Jai White to make his directional debut. Filming took place in September 2010 and wrapped in November. The film is set for a 13 September 2011 release.
Dean Geyer can currently be seen in "Terra Nova" and the film "Never Back Down 2".


2004 Won TREV Awards (Tertiary Recreation Entertainment Victoria) Best Acoustic Act James Dean (Dean Geyer's Band)

2007 Won Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards Fave Hottie
2009 Nominated Logie Awards of 2009 Most Popular New Male Talent Neighbours
2006 TV Guide Australia's "Hottest Guys on Television"
2006 POPrepublic.tvm "Male Hottie of 2006"
Ahmed Dini

VIC Australia's Local Hero 2012

Despite enduring the challenges of living in a refugee camp as a young boy, Ahmed Dini, still only 24, has become a leader in Australia’s Somali community.
He has galvanised Somali migrants through events and initiatives that provide significant support to Somali families and has become a strong voice and influential advocate for his community.
Ahmed was ten years old when he arrived in Australia and since finishing school has spearheaded the creation of the Australian Somali Football Association (ASFA) to promote sport, mentor under-privileged young people and to create a more cohesive Somali community.
Through his vision, the Australian Somali football championships have become the largest sporting event ever undertaken by the Somali/Horn of Africa community in Australia, with more than 4,500 people attending.
As event manager, Ahmed is inspirational, leading the 10-person committee, 21 sponsor partners, 80 volunteers, 16 coaches and managers and 180 players.
The success of the event prompted the Football Federation Victoria to incorporate the championships into its ‘United through Football’ program. Ahmed is also a Project Ambassador for the Sustainable Employment and Economic Development (SEED) program that assists young people with job placements in the City of Moonee Valley.
 Khadija Gbla  is a volunteer at Multicultural Youth South Australia Inc (MYSA) and has been recruited as a multicultural youth researcher to participate in MYSA’s action research project on newly arrived young people and public space.
In 2010, Khadija represented Australia at the Harvard National Model United Nations. This role saw Khadija travelling the United States and participating in international negotiations and debates with other delegates from around the world to an audience of distinguished speakers and members of the United Nations.
Khadija has been recognised with numerous awards in community services, one of which includes the 2009 Premier’s Channel Nine Young Achiever of the Year award.Khadija is currently the Premiers/Channel Nine Young Achiever of the year (2009),
Channel Nine Young Achiever’s RAA Driving Force Leadership Award (2009) a recipient of the Pride of Australia Young Leader Medal and 2009 South Australia’s Women’s Honour Roll outstanding nominee and award recipient, Youth Award for the city of Charles Sturt and Multicultural Youth SA, Australian Electoral Commission Ambassador and finally Khadija is the Australian nominee for the Mary Robinson Young Activist Award. Khadija is the 2011 Young African Australian of the Year Award winner.
Afro Moses is a multi -award winning, international artist from Ghana, West Africa. He is a singer, composer, multi- instrumentalist and teacher with a magnetic personality who has enchanted people with his high energy music, powerful messages, showmanship and colourful stage shows around the world. A tasty blend of Afro beats, reggae, funk, jazz, raga, salsa, percussion, traditional vocals and much more.

He has graced the stage with verse artist which includes," The wailers, Michael Franti, Australian Chamber Orchestra, various choirs, music for Aussie, International films and much more".    

 Mr Daniel Zingifuaboro
is among the 40 local champions appointed by the Australian Prime Minister as the 2012 People of Australia Ambassadors.

Daniel was born in Sudan and migrated to Australia in 2001. He has qualifications in International Business, Social Science and Law. He is currently Executive Director of ACCES Services Inc., an organisation providing settlement and employment services to migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants. He is directly responsible for settlement services, human resources, finance and administration and customer services.

Daniel sits on the  Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council, Multicultural Community Ministerial Advisory Committee, National Multicultural Reference Group, Human Right Reference Group, Police Ethnic Advisory Group, Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, among others.

He received the 2008 Queensland Multicultural Award for refugee services. He has also been awarded two volunteer awards including the 2009 Rankin Australian Day Award and the 2009 Queensland Day Volunteer Award.

Daniel is the President of Queensland African Communities Council, an African peak body that represent the common interest of African residing in Queensland.      

Daniel also was awarded Disaster Hero Medal in recognition of his community initiative, bravery and strength during the 2010-2011 Queensland floods.

Daniel values a society .which recognises, celebrates and maintains different cultures. In a multicultural society, all citizens enjoy civic equality, based on the recognition of group difference within the public sphere of laws, policies, democratic discourses, shared citizenship and national identity. A multicultural nation is a peaceful nation because members feel valued, welcomed, connected regardless of natural difference.


Rev Dr Peter Ringwell Joe-Andah is a trained minister of religion, qualified civil marriage celebrant, church planter and a missionary. He was a Geochemist who worked in his native country Ghana before he moved to Zambia as a Tent Missionary. In Zambia he was active in the community working feverishly especially with the Youth, organizing Youth forums, Camps, Retreats, Seminars etc.

Some of the activities carried out in Zambia include: Hospital visitations, Prison ministry, Youth Camps, seminars on moral awareness amongst the youth as well as teaching biblical morals.

From day one when he arrived in Melbourne, Australia with his family, Peter and his wife have dedicated their lives to serving the local church and the community. They are passionate about living the abundant life that Jesus promised and practically demonstrating this life to the community in which they live. Peter has been actively engaged in voluntary work among the African community. With many years of experience in Christian ministry he helped to establish an African-based Church where he pastored. As an influential member of the Ghanaian Association, he worked hard to bring sanctity and moral excellence in the community. He helped settled new migrants (Ghanaians, Togolese, Congolese, Cameroonians, Senegalese, Nigerians, just to mention a few), picking up some of them from the airport and organising foodstuffs, clothes etc with some charitable organizations within the community for them. He worked with the community in Melbourne from 1996 to 2001 when he was transferred to Canberra to foresee a multicultural Church. He worked with the various communities within the church.  For three solid years he served both the members of the church and the community in every way possible: visits to hospitals, remand centres, homes, helping those in need especially the new migrants to integrate into the community.

Dr Joe-Andah (as an ordained minister of the Church of Pentecost) has a passion to help others irrespective of race, culture or religion. Most often he uses his own resources to make people comfortable. Rev Joe-Andah was transferred to Sydney in 2005 where he worked tirelessly again with both the African Community within the Church and those outside the Church. He voluntarily actively initiated and organised forums, leadership seminars, Skill development Training, School of Ministry and leadership development, Youth Camps, for both Youth and the general community: assisting with facilitation of workshops that aim to raise awareness of both Adults and Youth with issues such as identity, health, handling cultural difference, mediations, conflict resolution, health and ageing, running a successful small business, couples night, marriage seminars, pre-marital counselling, post-marital counselling, single parent seminars, Grief and suicide victims etc.

Rev Dr Peter Joe-Andah is now living with his family in Perth, WA since December 2011. His passion and ambition is to serve the wider community every way possible by encouraging the discouraged, bringing hope to the hopeless, comforting and helping the bereaved and bringing the Christian message of good news to a dying community. His motto is “if all fails try Jesus, for He makes all the difference.” Currently he is pastoring a local church with more than nine different nationalities. He is the peoples’ pastor.

Fayia Isaiah Lahai

  • People of Australia Ambassadors. Awarded by the  Australian Prime Minister
  • Citizen of the Year award, Tasmania
  • Human Rights Award
  • Chair of the Multicultural Policy Reference Group for the Tasmanian Government (Former)
  •  Member, Tasmanian Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs advising the former Premier of Tasmania
  • President, Sierra Leone Liberia Union of Hobart (former)
  • Founding member, African Communities Council of Tasmania
  • Member, Glenorchy Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee
  • Member, Hobart City Council Harmony Group

Isaiah Lahai is a former refugee from the Republic of Sierra Leone. He arrived Tasmania in November 2006 after fleeing Sierra Leone in 1991 due to civil war and spending 14 years in many refugee camps in Guinea. He is a father of 5 children, studying at the University of Tasmania in Hobart.

Isaiah is involved in many aspects of the Tasmanian-Australian community. He is among 56 local champions appointed by the Australian Prime Minister as People of Australia Ambassadors from 2012 to 2013, representing Tasmania on grass-root multicultural issues at the federal level.

Isaiah is committed towards ensuring the wellbeing and diversity of the Tasmanian community especially the African community. He demonstrates this commitment by devoting time and effort to several voluntary activities including: volunteering with the Trans-cultural Mental Health program at the Phoenix Centre; volunteer and member of the Migrant Resource Centre Southern Tasmania; a volunteer with Amnesty International Hobart; the Australian Red Cross of Hobart and other Non-Governmental Organisations.

 Isaiah has served as a member of several working groups in Southern Tasmania aimed at addressing issues for newly emerging communities, focusing on engaging positively with the media, police and the wider community in realising social inclusion and cohesion in Tasmania.

He is an active contributor to initiatives in assisting migrant students in their transition to university at the Sandy Bay Campus. Also, he is a regular speaker at schools around Southern Tasmania.

In December 2011, Isaiah won a Human Rights award for his role in advocating for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Tasmania. His commitment to helping create harmony and understanding of refugees in the Tasmanian community was recognised again on Australia Day 2014, when he was awarded Citizen of the Year award, a title he shared with Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Support network founder Emily Conolan.

Finally, Isaiah loves doing what he does as a volunteer to positively contribute towards the diversity and multiculturalism of the Australian society.


Mr Sameh Antoine Gowegati is widely known and respected for his transformational leadership in the community services sector of Australia.

In 1970 four year old Sameh and his family came to Australia as political refugees from Egypt and Sameh's early experiences of his new country were not always happy ones. Like many Africans arriving soon after the formal end of the White Australia Policy, he experienced physical and verbal racism and prejudice. In spite of this, or possibly in part because of it, Sameh’s life and work in Australia has focused on education, training and personal opportunity as the key to eliminating inequality between Australians.

In the late 1980s he was appointed Australia’s UN Youth Representative, giving Sameh a global platform for his social justice – but Sameh never forgot his local community and at the same time became Chairperson of the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia. By 1990 Mr Gowegati was the Youth Action Scheme Coordinator based in Fremantle WA, and later Chief Executive Officer of South Metropolitan Youth Link – better known as SMYL Community Services. Under Sameh’s inspirational leadership SMYL’s focus has expanded from youth to include all age groups and backgrounds. Sameh's vision has projected SMYL to be the largest community services and training provider in Western Australia. As part of this expansion and diversification, Sameh negotiated a partnership with the State Government in 1999 to deliver WA’s first Aboriginal school-based traineeships – and today, with more than 500 trainees employed by SMYL, it has become one of the largest employers and trainers of Aboriginal people in Australia.

Under Sameh, SMYL now delivers annual services to more than 5000 people across a broad range of programs, including:
• Aboriginal Traineeships
• Landcare and environmental services
• Youth and adult counselling and placement services
• Community emergency relief(food bank)
• Language, Literacy and Numeracy programs,
• A Group Training Company employing apprentices and trainees
• A School providing education to at-risk year 10, 11 and 12 students in Rockingham WA
• A Registered Training Organisation with courses covering aged care and child care, hospitality, construction, retail, personal health services, and more.

In the past few years, SMYL has expanded to provide International programs – most recently delivering the National training plan for Timor-Leste in partnership with the Timorese Department of Training (SEFOPE), the UN agency – the ILO, and Australia’s development agency, AusAid.

Sameh’s work and leadership has seen life changing opportunities provided to young Aboriginal people and their communities, the development of training programs that link at-risk students with aged people’s homes through practical projects such as park bench construction, and the construction of new houses in remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley region of WA.

Sameh’s contribution to community development and empowerment of marginalised people is difficult to quantify in raw numbers - however one useful measure is the growth of SMYL from its original three staff members to now being a dynamic organisation employing more than 120 staff.

SMYL's Vision is 'making a positive difference to the lives of others' and it is true to say that Sameh Gowegati embodies this principle. As a result of his 30 years of work to alleviate disadvantage, increase compassion and respect, Sameh is an African-Australian who has had an enormously positive impact on the lives of thousands of people.

Neo Pitso was born in South Africa and moved to Australia in 2004. He has been involved in many community projects mainly dealing with music and has received numerous awards for his contributions:

Australian Defence Force Award for Leadership
Caltex Award for Leadership
Josiah Mitton Award for Outstanding Student Overall plus many more.

In the field of music he has supported many famous artists and is on demand. He has supported:

Jessica Mauboy, The Game, Nas, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Tila Tequila, Cassidy, DJ Drama, Montel Jordan, Chingy and many more across Australia.

He has also performed across Australia at various Miss Africa beauty pageants.

A song he wrote in 2005 was promoted in every school in South Australia to warn young people about the dangers of smoking. In 2006 he was sponsored by Channel 9 for a documentary which was about his journey with his music so far. Channel 9 also sponsored a music video for Neo.

In 2010 his old university Flinders University used him in a campaign to lure prospective students to the university. Neo helped the university make an advert which was uploaded online and can be seen on this link 

The advert has since been viewed on television across South Australia, Queensland and Victoria and this has helped Neo with his music career.

In 2011 the Governor of South Australia awarded him a 'highly commended' award for his excellence in the field of music.

Neo has performed more than 200 times since he arrived in Australia in front of a variety of venues, including schools, clubs, charities, stadiums, theatres, halls, libraries, night clubs, youth centres, festivals etc

Neo is an example of a self-driven and highly motivated individual who is dedicated to his music and aspires to leave a lasting legacy in the music industry.


The Songambele International Gospel band was originally formed in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Most of the performers have since resettled in Adelaide. Their exciting blend of gospel music and dance has entertained audiences at the grand final at AAMI stadium and other local events.They have also performed at Granville Community which located in Sydney (NSW). Click here to watch video

Malwal Mywin is a Sudanese male who arrived in Australia in from a refugee camp in Egypt in 2000. He is often called a “lost boy” because he grew up in Northern Sudan with no parents because of the war.

Malwal has been witness to many horrific crimes against humanity but has remained strong in his catholic faith because he believes that it has bought him serenity, friendship and a connection to his community and God. He says “It has taught me to forgive and not hate others and because of my experiences growing up in a war torn country, where I have been subjected to many who have experienced extreme torture and trauma I have learnt to use those experiences to the best use by helping others and using my faith in Christianity as a positive role model”

Malwal is a practising Catholic and an active member at the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Toowoomba. His passion is working with young people and their families in the Sudanese Community where the community often uses his professional skills as a youth and development worker to engage in the community to support and advocate those in need. He converses with a number of different tribes who can be in conflict and because of his ability to put aside his own beliefs and values, he is able to act in a way that is beneficial to those who need assistance. He is always dedicated to helping those in the community who are disadvantaged and disenfranchised by supporting them in a practical and real way. 

Malwal is currently employed with Mission Australia as the NAYSS (Newly arrived Youth Support Service) as the NAYSS Youth, Family and Community Development Worker. In this role he is required to work with young people and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and assists them to reconnect them with their families, community, employment and training. Malwal’s core duties in this role are to assess and provide intensive case management through a variety of practical and therapeutic interventions around a strength based framework.

He is an active participant and contributor in identifying key cultural and linguistic information and skills needed to provide effective education programs to culturally and linguistically diverse group of young people and their families. 

Malwal has also been employed as sectional interpreter with Centrelink. This role requires assisting customers with varying complexity and differing issues by interpreting and making the customer feel at ease. He is able to speak fluent Dinka, Sudanese Arabic, and English. 

Another innovative program Malwal has facilitated was called “African Lunches”. The purpose of this program was to find out from a young person’s perspective how services in Toowoomba would be able to help them. Some of the issues discussed for newly arrived young people and their families was around domestic violence, family issues and how this affected the young person, settlement issues, how to understand and immerse into a new culture, financial awareness and how collaborating with external agencies in the region to deliver a seamless and holistic service. 

Complimenting his role as a Youth and Community Development Worker with Mission Australia was to work as a bi – cultural worker with African, Middle Eastern and other migrant communities with the Men and Relationship program with Lifeline Community Care in Toowoomba. In this position Malwal conducted a needs analysis in the migrant men’s community and identified issues that needed to be addressed. He then worked with Migrant men to assist them to adapt to cultural related difficulties.

Malwal also co-ordinated a Cultural Arts Program in Toowoomba. This program was designed to develop cultural activities for the Sudanese community with an aim for the community to retain their culture through drum making, costume and dance workshops and performances.
He remains an active participant and contributor in a steering committee for Department of Communities to identify cultural and linguistic information and skills needed to provide effective education programs to culturally and linguistically diverse groups and young people and adults.
More recently he translated a work shop for Toowoomba African families to explore ways for them to maintain strong families and work roles in Australia. The purpose of the program was to inform the community on how Australian law related to family life and work and introducing families to Toowoomba services that are able to assist in this transition. 

Malwal was recently formally acknowledged for the work he undertakes in our community by receiving the Award for Cross Cultural Community Advice at the ACAG Participation Award 2008-2011. Kerry Shine (MP) wrote in a congratulation letter to Malwal that his “efforts have contributed to improving cultural competence within front line agencies in Toowoomba which have greatly assisted the growing refugee and migrant communities settle in Toowoomba”. Malwal’s positive contribution has enabled a wide range of organisations to design and deliver early intervention workshops for the region’s newest CALD settlers.


Youth worker Asha Saad Saleh has been described by the management of Jesuit Social Services as "one of our organization’s best assets

Asha was the  2011 African Australian Young Leaders Awards Winner and works to build a just society where all people can live to their full potential by partnering with the community.

Eritrean Asha Saleh has been a full time worker with JESUIT SOCIAL SERVICES for three years. Asha helps run the  Jesuit’s African Programs  based at the heart of the target group in Flemington, St Albans and Heidelberg. The project operates in active partnership with local Horn of Africa community organisations and builds capacity for many of the African organisations active in the area. She is central to the success of the project.

Among the projects successfully initiated and implemented by Asha alongside the Jesuit’s team includes: The Workplace Development Program (WDP), this  is a work placement program for skilled African migrants who have been unable to find work in Australia  organized by Jesuit Social Services  in collaboration with the National Australian Bank. In fact,  several African Australians who have completed the program have gone on to secure ongoing employment with the National Australian Bank .

Also, Asha
Saleh came up with the idea for a delightful new story book called A is for Aunty and Z is for Zigni: An alphabet book of African stories, now being used in some institutions  in Victoria.  Asha was among the best Australia Youth Workers specially selected to meet with Prince William at Government House when he visited Victoria. Asha is currently an official Ambassador for AFL team, The North Melbourne Kangaroos.

Fofo Folly, aka "MaxiBoy", a Togolese, is the 2011 Young African Australian Movie Producer of the Year Award.

He is an active singer / dancer, and self-employed music producer and filmmaker.

Fofo has established a small business providing audio-visual services to other African youth and has participated in many community based projects as a participant, team leader and mentor.

Fofo has produced two short films on issues facing African refugee youth and is an active member of the Togolese community.

Born in southern Sudan, Kot Monoah was forced to flee a civil war when he was four after his family’s home town was attacked. He arrived in Australia in 2004 as a 21-year-old refugee. He and his family had spent 12 years in refugee camps, surviving civil war, attacks by wild animals, malaria, cholera and more.
After graduating from Victoria University 2009 with a Bachelor of Laws, Kot took up the position of a community liaison officer with Victoria Police where he worked with new migrants to build understanding between the police and the community.
Since arriving in this country, Kot has worked to increase awareness of issues affecting the lives of African Australians through his affiliation with organisations such as the Spectrum, Victoria Police, VICSEG, Migrant Resource Centres, the Fitzroy Community Legal Service and various Sudanese community organisations.
In October 2010, Kot was admitted as a solicitor and commenced work as a lawyer with Slater & Gordon, a high-profile law firm. He currently works as a personal injury lawyer working in the suburb of Sunshine specialising in motor vehicle accident claims and WorkCover claims
Kot has presented at conferences, such as Refugee Week in 2011, as well as a number of forums speaking on issues relating to employment and education that impact the settlement of African Australians in Victoria and around the country.
Kot has published occasionally on the Melbourne University AuSud Media Blog to advocate for the negative misrepresentation of Sudanese in the media.


ISAIAH Omamogho was part of the Australian under-17 squad that competed in the FIBA Oceania Under-17 Basketball Championships in 2009 and   that year’s world championships.

Part Aboriginal and Nigerian, Omamogho has been inspired by his grandfather, Michael Ahmatt, who will be remembered as one of Australia’s greatest Aboriginal basketballers.

Currently, Isaiah is one of the top rated Australian U19 professional Basketball players in Europe.


Jaison Midzi is the Chairperson of the Zimbabwean Community Association of South Australia and coordinator of Afroworld Radio Program on Radio Adelaide.  Jaison is known by his community members as a symbol of African Unity in Australia as he speaks many African languages. He is one of the founders of an African-Australian Musical Band called AfroOz Musica in South Australia, a band that has trilled audiences in many great events in South Australia.  In addition to being a Musician, Jaison also teaches African Zumba in South Australia; he has also taught singing and dancing in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Congo Kinshasa, Congo Brazzaville, Botswana, and Swaziland. As a Music and Dance Teacher, Jaison leaves the crowd screaming for more where ever he performs. He is a Post Grad Student at the Flinders University and has been winner of several dance competitions.


Captain Nesan Kistan, born In Durban South Africa, migrated to Australia in 1981 and works as a Territorial Multicultural Coordinator, NSW Regional Police Chaplain, Auburn Corps Officer, The Salvation Army, Australia Eastern Territory.

Nesan provides welfare and legal service to disadvantage people, provides air fare cost for Family Unification, advocates for refugees and asylum seekers, provides spiritual uplift to Auburn community members, work in partnership with Government and other NGOs to provide training and education for local community, assist client with accommodation, and among others.

The  Auburn Review, a local newspaper in NSW,  published an article about Nesan as follows:

"FOR Salvation Army pastor Nesan Kistan, serving his community and people in need is a job that reaps boundless satisfaction.

Mr Kistan has been based at the Auburn ministry for the past seven years.

He and his wife Cheryl gave up their careers to devote themselves to a mission they strongly believe in.

“It’s so rewarding when you can make a difference in someone’s life,” Mr Kistan said.

“Making temporary change for eternal significance, to us, is greater than financial remuneration.”

Mr Kistan and other staff work with police, hospital and diversity services, helping to provide for Auburn’s largely migrant and refugee population.

“We assist people regardless of who they are. We support people financially, assist them with food, clothing, furniture and other necessities,” he said.

The Auburn Salvation Army church is a melting pot of cultures, reflecting the colourful diversity outside its walls. The inside is decorated with flags that represent the ethnicities of its 300 members.

“We need to understand people’s contexts,” Mr Kistan said.

“We want to reach out and let people know that we are a support network that is large enough and capable enough of helping them.”

Even a recent break-in and theft of thousands of dollars worth of assistance vouchers failed to dampen Mr Kistan’s commitment to helping people in need.

“This job is at a real optimal level. It’s the greatest feeling to see smiles and joy on people’s faces,” he said. “We’re a vital service and a major provider.”

Sainab Sheikh was born in Dec.1983, Mogadishu, Somalia. She arrived in Australia in 2001 as a refugee and completed a range of diplomas- IT, Legal Business and Children’s Services and currently is studying a double degree - Third Year Social Work and Psychology & International Community Development at Victoria University.

Sainab Sheikh has focused her life's work on strengthening education, training and employment and the empowerment of African communities in Australia. Currently, Ms. Sheikh is the CEO/President of Somali Women Development Association Inc. formed in 2003. It is a non-profit organization that creates positive change for Somali women and young people. In 2007, Ms Sheikh realized that all African communities in Australia needed to be brought together so she established the African Women Network Inc. Her dynamic leadership has resulted in new solutions for communities in accessing and participating in society.

Sainab Sheikh also had a vision for an Australian Somali football championship. She discussed her vision with Ahmed Dini who developed it further and her vision has now become the largest sporting event ever undertaken by the Somali/Horn of Africa community in Australia.

Ms Sheikh was one of the recipients of the VMC for recognition of refugee’s award in 2008. She was nominated by Melbourne state Labor MP Bronwyn Pike. At the award ceremony Acting Premier Rob Hulls said the 28 people listed on the register in 2008 worked tirelessly in many fields and Mr. Hulls also said “The people recognised by these awards have overcome adversity and shown inspiring dedication to help others.”

Sainab Sheikh won one of Victoria University’s Student Leadership Awards for Outstanding Engagement with African communities in Australia and Victoria University students. She has also received the Victoria Police Award in 2010 Community Awards for her Outstanding Engagement with communities and working closely with government.

Sainab Sheikh is a member of the Flemington Community Capacity Project Steering Committee, and she is also a member of the Kensington Horn of African Community Group. She is a member of the Community liaison Committee and Community Development Subcommittee. She is also a member of the Kensington Child and Youth Committee. Finally, but not least, Sainab is an active member of the Victoria University community, where she has helped organize many events and inspired other students to build bridges between their communities both here in Australia and in Africa.

Through Sainab's exemplary leadership over the past 10 years, the SWDA has initiated almost 30 projects across a variety of communities and networks and established SWDA branches in the Gedo Region Somalia, Kenya and Malaysia.

 Sam Oshodi is a Nigerian-Australian. He set up the company “African workshop” in 1985 and began conducting workshops in South Australian schools to share his African culture. Workshops include traditional African music consisting of drumming, percussion, dance, songs and chants. Also featured are storytelling, costumes, performance, cultural artefacts & drum making.
Sam has conducted workshops in numerous schools in city and country South Australia.

Community and Corporate Performances:

  • Performed at the S.A. Folk Festivals at Goolwa from 1989.
  • Womadelaide
  • Presentation of the music theatre piece “Majombe” for Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth ll at the opening of the Nexus Cabaret Space at the Living arts Centre in 1990.

Sam was a foundation member of the Adelaide based group “African Tribal Messengers”. He performs regularly with his current band “Sam Oshodi & Bandayo”. They have just released their first CD titled “Oterere”

Sam speaks three major Nigerian's language Igbo, Yoruba and Housa and other languages. In Australia, he supports Nigerian children  learn to speak their language, perform cultural activities such as drumming and singing. He has provided workshops at various Nigerian festivals such as Independence Day and children's Day celebrations held in South Australia.

Vangu Kitoko  is the founder and chairman of the African Diversity Council of Australia. Prior to this he was the president of the Congolese Community of NSW for four years.

He is among the community leaders assisting to build the capacities of the Congolese community in NSW and promoting harmony among Congolese living in NSW and Australia. As a community leader, Vangu has been an active advocate in issues affecting refugee and humanitarian settlement in Australia and hence, has published an article entitled “Congolese refugees and Humanitarian Crisis: Issues and durable solutions”.

Vangu is the founder of the African Diversity Council of Australia (ADCOA). ADCOA promotes diversity, harmony and social inclusion through advocacy. As the  chairman, Vangu has inspired the development of a project called “Scientist in Parramatta”.  Using his skills as a trained electro-mechanical engineer and Biomedical engineer researcher, Vangu mentors, inspires and stimulates young Africans and people from other ethnic communities to develop confidence in science education. 

Vangu is one of the contributors to a project called “Smart Wheel Chair” and has also pioneered the design and optimization of wearable headgear system for recording brain signals, which is used to control diseases (epilepsy, brain damage, etc) and some electronic devices  including mobile phone, wheel chair, car, and gaming.

Finally, Vangu is a member of  a USA-based conference called “Engineering in Medicine and Biological Science (EMBS). He is also an author of several published papers.

FLTLT Chukwuma Meka is a Command Systems Information Manager (CSIM) with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Born in Nigeria, he studied Electrical/Electronics Engineering at Auchi Polytechnic from 1983 – 1986, and Electronics Engineering at the University of Nigeria, graduating in 1994 with a B.Engr degree.

He was employed as a Project Engineer in 1995 by Spar Aerospace Nigeria Ltd to design and install private satellite networks for the offshore Oil companies in Nigeria and the Gold mines in Ghana using INTELSAT 601 bird.

He migrated to Australia in 1999, employed by IBM-GSA to build the 2000 Olympic Games Wide Area Network (WAN), maintained the Olympic Stadium and Darling Harbour venues during the games. He disengaged with IBM-GSA in October 2000 to join Asianetcom Pty Ltd as a Network Engineer till March 2007.

With a passion to contribute something remarkable to the Australian nation, Chukwuma joined the RAAF in 2007 and became “part of history” as one of the first graduates from the Officers’ Training School (OTS) at RAAF Base East Sale in what was tagged the New Era for OTS  

Served at the No.1 Combat Communications Squadron (1CCS) as an ELECTR Flying Officer (FLGOFF). Promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) in 2010 before being posted to Headquarters Air Command (HQAC) to maintain Command and Control (C2) systems.

At the African-Australian community level, Chukwuma has been a community leader in several capacities and for several years. He was the President of the Nigerian Association of NSW from 2001 – 2003. He is an executive member of the Igbo Community Australia (ICA), the organiser of the annual “African Cultural & Dinner Nite” in Sydney as well as remain instrumental to the progress of Nigerian and African communities in NSW.

Daniel Seifu is an Ethiopian music-director, pianist, keyboardist and composer.

He studied at Addis Ababa University Yared Music School as well as at the Ethiopian National Theatre.

He worked as a  musician and coordinator of pop and jazz music bands as well as composer and arranger of National Theater of Ethiopia at different major musical events.

Here in Melbourne, Daniel has been pivotal in many of the Ethiopian bands established in Australia including the sensational JAsmaris, Afrohabesha, Black Jesus and Dereb the Ambassador.

Daniel  has been teaching music at the Footscray Arts Center and also had actively involved with MAV music mentorship programs where he recorded several CD Albums with different bands including Dereb The Ambassador’s self-titled album of 2010.  

Daniel  is currently working with Multicultural Arts Victoria on different, high level, cultural projects such as Lion On The Move, a touring Australian band that went to Ethiopia recently and performed.

He also has been working for many years, with many different musical combinations including as a solo pianist at different well-known and reputable jazz clubs, bars and public venues.

Danny has worked and coordinated with several well establish Ethiopian musicians such as the mega pop star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Aster Awke and the BBC World Music Award winner, Mahmoud Ahmed.

His years of learning and working as a musician here in Australia and abroad have resulted in an exceptional technique and deep understanding of diverse musical styles.

Daniel’s open approach has led to an extension of his musical horizon to incorporate imaginative experiments in African and Western music styles. He has continued to amaze his devoted fans everywhere.

Daniel  is a highly skilled keyboardist and is keen to share his heritage and skills with Western musicians to create a style of world music respecting the rhythms of his cultural background.

This piano master is perhaps a major exponent and an ambassador of the prestigious St. Yared School of the classical Ethiopian music.

Kate Mliswa specializes in Family law, Victims of Crime Compensation,
Care and Protection matters and Domestic Violence/Intervention Orders and currently works for the North Australian Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service (NAAFVLS).

NAAFVLS  is an independent Family Violence Prevention Legal Service, funded by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, Indigenous Law and Justice Branch and the Indigenous Justice and Legal Assistance Division.

In addition to her Bachelor of Laws and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice qualifications, she has also completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics & Anthropology.

Kate has worked in Immigration Law with Libby Hogarth & Associates, specializing in Appeals for Humanitarian visa for asylum seekers. She is the CEO of KM Immigration Services.

Kate is from Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She currently resides in Katherine in the Northern Territory. 

In addition to being a lawyer, Kate is very passionate about justice. She is a strong advocate for the disadvantaged people in society. In 2012, she developed and runs a social program every Friday night after work in Katherine where she and a team of people from Katherine Christian Outreach Centre provide food, clothing, counselling, encouragement and other assistance to the disadvantaged people in Katherine. she liaises with different organizations to raise funds and goods to provide to the disadvantaged people. 

She is also a member of the Advocates International.  Advocates international is an organization that believes that no one should be denied Justice.

Advocates International is passionate about Justice and believes that the law should protect the most basic human agreement between a man and a woman, and provide for the best interaction between peoples. Consequently, Advocates International stands with the poor, and oppressed working to vindicate their human rights by ensuring equal access to a working judicial system.

Kate is also the Legal Analyst for Change Magazine. She writes a column to educate people on the law and their rights.


Natasha Chassagne has broad community development and community service experience volunteering with various community organisations, working towards social justice, rights and sustainability and has volunteered with the African Community Organisation of South Australia (ACOSA) over a number of years on different projects. She has also worked as a sustainability consultant, working with private and public organisations on their environmental and social impacts.

In 2011-12, she spent some time in South America, where she offered her time working with various rural and indigenous communities in Ecuador's highlands and Amazon on sustainable community development projects. This included among other things, building a roadmap for sustainability, and developing a sustainable tourism plan and volunteer tourism project for cultural exchange and natural and cultural heritage protection. Through this work, she founded The PachaMama Project, developing an avenue for rural communities to sell ethically produced handicrafts, promoting and conserving cultural heritage through fair trade.

Natasha is a currently PhD Candidate with the University of Tasmania's Institute for Regional Development looking at how we can use the Latin American concept of 'living well' (buen vivir) as a practical, and viable alternative to development, ensuring wellbeing and sustainability.



Dr Yohannes Yihdego Woldeyohannes

(BSc, MSc, PhD, R.P.Geo, CEnvP)

He is working in one of the leading international Engineering Corporation - Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation- (SMEC) as a senior Hydrogeologist /Modeller, at the main head office, Sydney, Australia. SMEC has got more than 70 offices across the world.

He has been actively engaged in multi-national and international engineering projects, at high level, in Australia, Africa (Kenya, Tanzania), Middle East (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan) and Asia (Mongolia) in the area of Water resources, Mining, Infrastructure, and energy. Prior to his current position, he worked with renowned Australian Environmental and Engineering consultancies - GHD and Cardno LanePiper.

He obtained his PhD from Australia, MSc with Distinction, from the Netherlands and BSc from Ethiopia.

He is a Registered Professional Geoscientist (R.P.Geo) and also Certified Environmental Practitioner (CEnvP), considered as a recognized scientist and demonstrated skill and experience in the field of Environment-Hydrogeology-Engineering, in Australia and New Zealand.

He has been actively involved with a wide range of professional membership activities, including International Association of Hydrogeologists, Australian Geological society, Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Besides to his magnificent and proven track of professional success as Engineering Geologist/hydrogeologist/Numerical modeller, in the Engineering and Environmental industries, he has made significant contributions in the academics. He published scientific papers in highly recognized/ high impact international journals (including national journals such as Engineers Australia and Geological society of Australia) and is also serving as a reviewer for international journals. He presented his research output/findings to a wider scientific community in international scientific conferences in Australia and overseas (Europe and USA).

Nkweto  Nkamba
  better known as ‘NK’ is a young vibrant African Australian of Zambian descent with keen interest in  social justice & Politics. His passion & involvement in Politics has led him being adopted by the Family First Party as a Parliamentary candidate for the March 2014 South Australia State elections.  He is also on the leadership team of the Young Family First as Treasurer. 

An Accountant by profession currently working as Business Manager for Baptist Care (SA) Inc. in Adelaide, Nkweto is & has been actively involved at the community level for several years now due to his personal belief that a connected relational community produces a better society. His belief in community led him to co-find the Zambian Association of South Australian and is the current chairperson. He is also an Executive Committee member of the African Communities Council of South Australian were he serves as Treasurer.  

Work life balance is equally important for Nkweto. He plays social basketball at the local sports complex, does media & production at his local church and has taken up motor bike riding in recent times.

Daniel Zewdu of Ethiopian origin, has been living in Australia for the past thirteen years.  Since his arrival in Australia, Daniel’s contribution to the Ethiopian community has been enormous.  Daniel has served his community as the vice president for the Ethiopian community association in Victoria.  During his tenure, he helped newly arrived Ethiopian and African refugees in Victoria by actively advocating for the better integration of these communities in Australia.

Daniel is the founder and director of ARADA Ethiopian Cultural Centre.  The centre is home for Ethiopian Australian living in Melbourne where they can actively practice and maintain their rich tradition and cultures; sustained and integrated Ethiopian culture with Australian culture.  Daniel is also a founder of ARADA Ethiopian Radio in Victoria and currently sacrificing his time, energy and resources by serving his community as the producer and presenter of the weekly ARADA Ethiopian radio.

Daniel is a graduate in accounting and in community development in Victoria University and he’s done a Leadership Program through Monash University. He’s an Art Envoy for Footscray Community Arts Centre since 2006, and he’s currently an active member of Victorian African Health Advocacy Network.

Daniel is a reference group committee member of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations.

Daniel is working as a training consultant where he still continues to provide support and advice the African communities in developing their skills and earning qualifications to better their lives and those around them in Victoria.

Daniel is currently nominated and selected for his significant contribution and outstanding work in the community, and for his dedicate time to voluntary work within local community and the community at large for the last 10 years, as the Best Victorian Refugee Record Award 2013 organised by the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

Kagorora Cyprien is an extremely gifted musician specialising  in traditional Rwandan music. With more than 30 years of experience as a singer, dancer, composer and a choreographer on the topic of harmony, adoration,respect, morality, relationship,  faithfulness, accuracy; lifestyle, ceremonies, festival.   Kagorora has performed his art across his native country  Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Europe and now Australia. He has carry out performances on a hot sport  with South Africa star; Mbongene Ngema;  Jonatha Gwagwa and Sehume; worked with SBC1,  South Africa Television which brought many  South African to dearest Rwanda 

IN 2005 he was nominated for the kora awards for best traditional musician.Helped organise and perfomed the pan african show Sing Africa dance, appered in medu nakeng, all african dance troupe and other main straem shows in africa,

  He goes to be lebelled the best african cultural singer by wikipidea and described as one of the best in his profession.

After the notorious war in rwanda 1994 Cyprien moved with his culture and music through the countries and has used it to heal children of the wars and has helped a community unite through Music, Dance, poetry and the preserevation of culture to a re-emerging Rwandan community.

He has established 4 traditional dance and music groups:  Hoza in Kenya 1996; Gihozo in South Africa 2002;  Imanzi 2010 In Australia which has perfomed four years of world refugee day festivals, perfomed at the Brisbane powerhouse, woodfordfolk festivals, Australia day and many other big venues. Together with Imanzi they have been fetured in Australian shows like up the tiber without a toga directed by Paul Coppens.  

The Rwandan association of Queensland has benefited a great deal from  Kagorora as he has managed to engage the youth, men and women of the community through his music and this has helped strengthen community members.  Kagorara is trustworthy; enthusiastic, showcase the  treasurable Rwandan Cultural Dance and Music.

Mr Juma Abuyi's
contribution to the African Australian society demonstrates
good leadership and intellectual development within the African community in Australia. Mr Abuyi commitment continues to contribution greatly to the African community particularly for the African youth which deserve to be recognise and honoured in Australia.

Mr Abuyi career involved a mixture of community development, human resource management and research especially with the new and emerging multicultural and diverse communities. He has a wealth of knowledge and skills in dealing with refugees and especially African issues and has been serving the multicultural community for over 10 years in different roles with the government and non-government organisations.

From a young age, Juma commenced his professional career as a teacher, director of the cultural dance troupes and supervisor for the counselling program at a refugee camp in Kenya. After he arrived in
Australia, Mr Abuyi has been developing projects that empower the new and
emerging African community in different Australian states. In particular he
uses sport to educate youth and to build network and relationship between the
youth and their parent, leaders, and wider Australian community.  Mr Abuyi was able to assist African communities’ source funds to target juvenile offenders, teenager’s misrepresentation, promoting talented youth and individual within the African community in Australia. He is a committed gentleman who always represents the right, need and interest of the vulnerable individuals. In South Australia, Mr Abuyi has headed the youth and sport activities for a number of years. 

With all these demonstration of Mr Abuyi skills, knowledge and commitment to the African community in Australia, it was not a surprise when he was awarded the South Australia’s Governor’s Multicultural
Awards 2011 and appointed the first Police African Liaison Officer, member of
the Australia Orientation Consultative Committee for the Department of
Immigration and Citizenship at the national office In Canberra. He is a Justice
of the Peace for South Australian community. Mr Abuyi excellent work continues to be feature within the African and Australian community.


Asfaw Sahlu is originally from Ethiopia who was a professional soccer player for the national team of Ethiopia.

Asfaw has been a sports enthusiast his entire life. His love for sports led him into a career in sports conditioning and fitness training.  Since settling in Australia in 1993, Asfaw has extensively committed himself to developing skills and involvement in personal training, soccer and other health benefits, supporting the African Australian community.

Asfaw majored in physical education and holds multiple certifications from:

  • Burnet Institute- July 2008; Employed by Burnet Institute at Austin Research centre (2006-2007) and worked as a soccer coach for Vietnamese youths recovering from drug addiction.
  • African Australian Sports Association-July 2008; for his outstanding involvement as a soccer coach and personal trainer for the African youth.
  • VICSEG for his positive support to young people who may be at risk of early school leaving.
  • Has a master personal trainer certificate from Australian Institute of Fitness,
  • Senior soccer coaching license from Victoria soccer federation
  • He currently coaches the AVA Seagulls –Juniors as a personal trainer and soccer coaching.
  • Has been a personal trainer for 20 women, most after birth, to address some of their weight and emotional concerns

 Asfaw is one of the unsung heroes with limitless effort to change the lives of African Australians in Victoria.

Marial Akech Achiek is currently practising as a solicitor at Starnet Legal Firm in Melbourne.

Marial Akech Achiek came to Australia almost 10 years ago from Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. He is a young talented and charming of South Sudanese-Australian personality. He finished his High School (year 11 and 12) at St Ignatius College, Riverview in Sydney Northern Suburb of Lane Cove. Together with his younger brother, John Dor Akech Achiek, were the first African-Australians to finish at this prestigious Jesuits school in Australia.

He studied Law at University of Notre Dame Australia after having received similar offer from University of Technology Sydney and Bond University. Marial completed the College of Law at Australia National University and was admitted as solicitor in NSW Supreme Court. Prior to his admission as a Lawyer, Marial did his practical legal experience at the Department of Deputy Crown Prosecutor under SC Margaret Cunneen as his mentor. His major areas of practice include criminal law, family law, property law civil and general litigations.

He is currently enrolled to undertake his post graduate Law Master Program at Australia National University. Marial is also working towards finishing his second degree in Commerce (Accounting) as a part-time study through University of South Australia with 3 subjects remaining.

Marial is a community minded person and had participated in numerous community events and will continue to give more of his legal capability for the community empowerment. Since 2004, Marial participated in youth leadership activities and sports as a mean of bringing young people together to know each other and also as a strategy to enable them to integrate well into their new home, Australia.

More profiles to be added