Dwayne has an extensive history working in diverse roles across the community sector. Prior to his role as CEO at NEDA, Dwayne worked in a senior management role at the Richmond Fellowship, and also held the position of Executive Officer at the National Brain Injury Foundation. Previously, Dwayne has held the position of Chair at Advocacy for Inclusion (AFI), and has also been a member of the ACT Chief Minister's Disability Advisory Council.
Since 1983, Dwayne has worked with marginalised communities both domestically and internationally (Sweden, USA) in homelessness, child protection, refugee, criminal justice, disability and mental health sectors. Dwayne holds several qualifications in Disabilities & Community Sector Management and is passionate about social justice and allowing people to be heard over the white noise of the sector.
Dwayne has an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI/TBI), a disability he has lived with since being assaulted in 1999.
National Manager Systemic Advocacy
Jane has an extensive work history in disability and multicultural sectors both within not-for-profit organisations and government. Her interests, skills and expertise include systemic advocacy and social policy design, implementation and evaluation. Specifically, Jane focuses on public policy and human rights issues associated with the intersections of disability, migration, and culture.
Since joining our team in 2014, Jane continues to undertake a broad range of national and international advocacy activities for our constituency.
Jane's initial qualifications were in the area of Disability Studies (Certificate III & IV). She then completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (Anthropology & History) from the University of Southern Queensland and a Master of Arts (Research) in Anthropology from The Australian National University; she is a member of the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS).
Brian has an undergraduate degree in social science and postgraduate degrees in Urban Studies and Social Work. He has extensive expertise in human services ranging from homelessness to disability. He is one of Australia's leading human services social cartographers being responsible for the maps and data analysis for the publications by the late Associate Professor Tony Vison on social disadvantage. This work also produced the first interactive electronic map to be included in a print publication. One of his publications 'Shadow People' was the only Australian publication referenced by Habitat on homelessness.
Brian is a strong advocate for improved data collection/analysis and provides advice to Government to ensure various survey and administrative data collections have adequate measures of disability, ethnicity and gender.
His expertise in data visualisation has made NEDA Australia's leading agency in disability estimate for CALD communities. His work in disability estimates influenced the Commonwealth revising the NDIS estimates to a higher number. He is also one of the first recipients of the NEDA medal for his contribution to the development of CALD disability statistical approaches.
Hema Mangad joined NEDA in August 2018, at an exciting time of growth and change. In this newly created position, Hema will spearhead NEDA’s internal communications and media activities.
Hema held a number of strategic and operational communication roles before moving into the not-for-profit sector. She has worked for both big and small organisations across various industries, ranging from Tourism, Banking, Technology to Insurance in three different countries - France, Mauritius and Australia.
Her breadth of experience in Communications will help NEDA accelerate its activities and showcase its work across all key stakeholder groups. Hema's strength is in building high level relationships with the media and other key stakeholders and designing social media and online campaigns.
Hema moved to Australia in 2012. Being a migrant herself, she is fully committed to the promotion of multiculturalism and inclusion. Hema is passionate about languages - she is fully bilingual (English and French) and has a sound knowledge of Hindi and Spanish.
Hema holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Science from “Université d’Avignon et des Pays du Vaucluse”, France.
Policy and Project Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Dominic is a strong advocate of the disability and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community, with more than 17 years of experience in community work, cultural development and multicultural affairs.
Dominic is a person with lived experience of dual disability, being hearing impaired and living with cerebral palsy. He is from the CALD community, originally from Vietnam and migrating to Australia as a baby in the 1970s.
In the past 17 years, Dominic has had extensive work experience within the disability space, providing support and accommodation to refugees with disability.
Dominic has also worked with small NGOs, doing state election multicultural outreach and providing local council community support. He has worked in two separate DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) programs - adoption/wardship records and disability, subsequently developing a passion for social policy and service delivery to marginalised communities.
Dominic has two postgraduate degrees – one in social work and the other one by research on intercountry adoption and race. He has also completed a University of Melbourne fellowship (2018) report on refugees and asylum seekers with disabilities for refugee survivors and ex - detainees.
Neha graduated from the Australian National University with a master’s degree in International Relations, where her research focused on human rights and human security. Prior to this, she pursued law with an aim to identify existing vulnerabilities in society and alleviate them through policy, legal reforms, and welfare programs.
Her work experience included working as a settlement officer and project coordinator at a Settlement Agency in Australia. Through her legal internships, volunteering experience, and leadership roles, Neha has led literacy programs, legal aid camps and conducted research that addressed the question of social justice.
Her personal and professional trajectory has constantly pushed her toward choosing work opportunities that promote inclusivity, diversity and the securitisation of vulnerable groups.
Neha’s recent participation as a youth representative at the United Nations International Conference on Migration Youth Forum held in Marrakech has solidified her aspirations to build on this work and pursue a career in migration, multiculturalism and human rights.
At NEDA, Neha will be managing the community radio engagement project, working with people with a disability from humanitarian refugees backgrounds, with an emphasis on new and emerging communities, and using community radio as a format of co-design and engagement.
Project Manager - Embrace Mental Health Project
Stephen Lin is our new Project Officer, working on the Embrace Mental Health Project.
Stephen has worked in the community legal service sector in Queensland since 2001, in the capacity of solicitor, migration agent, disability advocate and multicultural project manager, with a focus on family law, refugee law, discrimination law, mental health, disability advocacy, and compliance and management of public-funded projects.
Stephen has developed skills in community legal services and education programs, public event promotions, and community project management and marketing, etc.
Throughout his career, Stephen has continuously kept his fingers on the pulse of social changes and law reforms.
Stephen has actively participated in broader multicultural discourses and maintained interests in the production and presenting of radio programs in Mandarin.
Blanca Rizo Ramirez
Blanca joined NEDA in April 2020, to support our growing team on multiple projects.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Azusa Pacific University in California USA, Blanca decided to serve her country by joining the United States Navy. She served for five years as a Surface Warfare Officer and during this time, Blanca was deployed on multiple tours to the Middle East.
Blanca began studying law in California while completing time as a reserve Naval Officer.
She moved to Australia in 2015 and completed her Juris Doctor and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of Newcastle. During her studies she volunteered at several legal clinics and centres servicing marginalised members of the community.
Blanca has a deep sense of commitment to service and access to justice for all. Being the child of undocumented Mexican immigrants and having lived experience with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), Blanca is acutely aware how various issues and policies intersect within the migrant community.
She was admitted into the ACT Court in February 2019 and began work as a Freedom of Information officer for the National Disability Insurance Agency.
Blanca will be representing NEDA on several projects, one of them being the Embrace Mental Health Project that we are currently a part of. The project is a partnership between NEDA, the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) and Mental Health Australia (MHA).