National Ethnic Disability Alliance
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Andrea is a writer and researcher with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a background in mental health policy. Their previous position was as a Data and Policy Officer at the National Mental Health Commission, where they worked to improve service access and outcomes for people with mental health conditions at a federal level. Prior to this, they co-authored the report It’s Tough Out There which examined suicide prevention programs for workers in high-risk industries, and has volunteered as an ESL coach for parents with young children.
Andrea identifies as a neurodivergent person with lived experience of a mental health condition, and is a child of immigrant parents from non-English speaking backgrounds. At NEDA Andrea is part of our policy team, and also our project officer for the Embrace Multicultural Mental Health project.
Dinesh was the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland. Dinesh is a doctor, lawyer, disability advocate, and researcher.
Halfway through medical school, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury. Dinesh has completed an Advanced Clerkship in Radiology at the Harvard University.
Dinesh works in the emergency department at the Gold Coast University Hospital. He is a senior lecturer at the Griffith University and adjunct research fellow at the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland. Dinesh is a researcher in spinal cord injury. He is a doctor for the Gold Coast Titans physical disability rugby team. Dinesh is a senior advisor to the Disability Royal Commission. He is an ambassador to the Human Rights Commission’s Includeability program. He was a 2021 International Day of People with Disability ambassador. He is a founding member of Doctors with Disabilities Australia. He is an advisory board member to HealthyLife.
Dinesh was the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2018. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019. He was the third Australian to be awarded a Henry Viscardi Achievement Award. He was the 2021 Griffith University Young Alumnus of the Year. Dinesh was the Queensland Australian of the Year for 2021. In 2022, Dinesh was listed as number 33 in the Courier Mail’s top 100 power list for Queensland’s most influential in health and wellbeing. His autobiography, Stronger, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2022.
I am a physically disabled man born in Poland. My family immigrated to Australia in 1965 and I was employed in the chemical, chemical manufacturing and Metallurgist / Chemical Engineer roles.
I am the Chairperson of the Disability Rights Advocacy Service in Adelaide SA and act as the SA representative on the National Ethnic Disability Alliance board. I also serve on the Julia Far Purple Orange Trust Fund Committee and act as the Treasurer for my Local Anglican Church.
I was retrenched from the Mining Industry in 2014 and I have been living on the Disability Support pension since 2016. I also drive an UBER vehicle on a part time basis.
I live in the suburbs of Adelaide SA and I am heavily involved I exercise to maintain and improve my mobility.
Katie is a labradoodle and trained by Lions Hearing Dogs in Adelaide.
As a service dog, Katie paws Dominic to get him to go to specific sounds around the house, like the oven timer, his mobile or home phone, the doorbell or when someone knocks, and the fire alarm. She also alerts him about and bikes, prams, joggers when out and about in the community. Hearing Dogs, like service dogs for the visually impaired have the same access rights and these are protected under the DDA (1992). To go into shops, restaurants, taxis, trains and planes, as Dominic’s service dog.
Pino is also the founder and Managing Director of the Cultural Perspectives Group: Cultural Perspectives, and CIRCA Research, sector leaders in consulting to, researching and communicating with culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia.
Pino is also distinguished in his pioneering work around multicultural policy and multilingual communications, applying communications theory and strategies to the fast growing and diversifying CALD segment in Australia.
Pino is a passionate advocate and ally for people with disability and has been providing leadership in facilitating cultural and institutional change in the generalist and multicultural disability sector.
Pino also brings superior organisational governance skills and will work to ensure that the NEDA Board has the capacity to govern well and meet strategic objectives.
Pino is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (FPRIA) and a Qualified Practicing Market Research (QPMR) and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAIDC).
Pino was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2017 and made a Commendatore (Knight Commander) all’Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta Italiana in 2009.
Phillip comes to NEDA with a background in public health, and workplace inclusion. He has been working for the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and will be holding part time roles at NEDA and DCA.
He has spent the last year working and expanding his knowledge of Diversity and Inclusion in Australia. He is a certified teacher with a background in policy development in Asia.
Phillip hopes to bring his expertise in mental health and workplace support to NEDA.
Once fully rolled out nationally, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will support hundreds of thousands of Australians with a disability. To ensure the scheme is effective for all NDIS participants, people with disability and their families need to be informed and empowered to make decisions regarding what types of supports they require to live their life. NEDA was instrumental in establishing the NDIA’s CALD Advisory Reference Group and will continue to play a lead role in this process to ensure the voices of CALD participants and their families are heard. NEDA works with Government and other key organisations across the disability sector to remove the barriers to access and equity, and to enable people with disability, particularly culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) participants, to experience the full benefits of the NDIS.
People with disability and their families face significant discrimination when attempting to migrate to Australia. Typically, migrants with disability are denied permanent residency because they are unable to meet the health requirements in order to obtain a visa. These assessments are discriminatory, view disability through a medical lens, and fail to take into account the economic and social contribution of applicants.
Additionally, migrants with disability are required to wait over a decade before meeting residency requirements associated with eligibility for the Disability Support Pension (DSP). This exposes newly arrived migrants with disability, and their families, to a heightened risk of financial vulnerability and hardship.
We need to bring about more consistency, transparency and administration fairness for migrants and asylum seekers with disability applying for an Australian visa, and abolish the extensive waiting period for migrants with disability accessing the DSP.
People with disability are disproportionately impacted by climate change. There is a critical need to develop comprehensive regional Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and other adaptation measures that focus on the experiences of people with disability, and their families, in preventing and responding to climate change effects. NEDA is working with international partners, such as the New Earth Disability (NED) Initiative, to raise awareness, build collective knowledge, and to ensure people with disability are no longer marginalised in climate change policies and frameworks.
The National Disability Strategy (NDS) is Australia’s key national policy framework for protecting, promoting and fulfilling the human rights of people with disability. All Australian governments have agreed that the NDS is the mechanism to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and to report to the United Nations against progress in achieving the CRPD. Much more work is needed to build a comprehensive framework that leverages reform across Commonwealth, state and territory Governments.
Stephen Lin has worked in disability advocacy and support for quite many years throughout Queensland and ACT.
He was a locum Embrace officer and Community Connector Project officer for NEDA in 2020.
Prior to moving to ACT in 2018, he has worked in community legal service sector throughout 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, and mental health, disability advocacy, and compliance and management of public funded projects.
He continuously kept his fingers on the pulse of social changes and law reforms in disability sector.
Stephen has actively participated in broader multicultural discourses and maintained interests in production and presenting Mandarin radio programs.
Rohit has extensive experience in the Not-for-Profit space, having worked corporate and finance roles in various sectors including education, early childhood, advocacy, disability and aged care.
Currently CFO and Company Secretary for TASC National Ltd, Rohit oversees financial , human resources and ICT functions with a strong focus on risk and corporate governance.
In addition to his professional experience and qualifications, Rohit has worked in voluntary roles with organisations which have an interest in education, youth and leadership.
A fair and harmonious Canberra community, which supports and celebrates cultural diversity.
represent and advocate on behalf of the multicultural community, especially groups which have experienced the refugee and migration processes
provide a forum for ongoing discussion and communication on multicultural issues, events and policy
provide support for, and develop the capacity of, multicultural community organisations, particularly CMCF members
foster and promote social cohesion, cooperation, community harmony and a culturally diverse society.
collaboration and consultation
facilitating and participating in public policy and debate
supporting new programs and innovation
celebrating and promoting multiculturalism
building community capacity
communication, education and support.
The Role of the Multicultural Council
The Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory (MCNT) is a community-based non-profit organisation that advocates and provides direct services for individuals, families and communities from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
The MCNT was established in 1977 as the Ethnic Communities Council of the Northern Territory (ECCNT). In 2000, the name was changed to Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory to reflect the inclusive and diverse nature of the organisation and to forge greater outreach with the wider community.
The MCNT has been based in the multicultural hub of Darwin’s northern suburbs since 2004. In recent years the MCNT has expanded its operations and developed a range of innovative and interactive activities funded by Federal and NT Government agencies specifically targeted to its multicultural constituency. The MCNT has over some years developed the reputation from its office at Malak as a ‘drop in centre’ and ‘one stop shop’ for its clients and members.
The MCNT receives recurrent operational funding from the Northern Territory Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) as a key stakeholder and independent consultative body for the NT Government. OMA views the MCNT as having three primary roles – providing information, advocacy, and community engagement – in meeting its responsibilities and objectives for operational funding.
The MCNT also receives project funding from the Federal Government: the Settlement Grants Program (SGP) of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) assisting recent arrivals with settlement and capacity building; and the Family Support Program of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) supporting disadvantaged CALD background families and increasing their participation in community life.
As a peak body and service provider the MCNT:
Our Vision is a society where everyone, regardless of background or disability feels welcome, included and supported. MDAA views culture and disability through the lens of diversity. We see diversity as a strength, and we promote this view in all our work. We want to make our vision a reality. Over the next five years, we will be focussing on three major goals set out in this Strategic Directions document. The details of how we achieve these goals and measure our success will be set out in the Strategic Plan. The major goals are Empowered People, Leading Change and Strengthening MDAA. MDAA works towards achieving these goals through Systemic and Individual Advocacy, Capacity Building and Networking, Industry Development and Training. International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.
The Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA) is the peak body for all people in NSW with disability and their families and carers, with a particular focus on those from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD )/ non-English Speaking (NES) background with disability.
They advocate for people with a disability, their families and carers in a wide range of areas including:
Accommodation • Educational • Government Services • Children’s Needs • Vocational • Transport Access • Consumer Affairs • Equipment Needs • Centrelink • Decision Making • Family & Relationships • Guardianship Board • Disputes • Financial Assistance • Public Trustee • Discrimination • Health
Disability Rights Advocacy Service is a community organisation and part of the national network of disability advocacy organisations funded by the Australian Government.
Their services are free.
Disability Rights Advocacy Service has three office locations in South Australia. The Mile End office represents people who reside within greater metropolitan Adelaide and the Mt. Barker and Adelaide Hills regions. Based in Mt. Gambier, the ‘South East Disability Advocacy Service’ assists people throughout the South East and Coorong regions. People living within the Riverland region can access the ‘Riverland Advocacy Service’, which is based in the township of Berri.
TASC was established in Toowoomba in 1982 and is a not for profit Community Legal and Service providing legal and advocacy services to Toowoomba, Ipswich and South West Queensland. TASC incorporates both the Toowoomba and Ipswich Community Legal Services. TASC also provides regional advocacy and disability advocacy services together with the services of social workers. TASC’s Vision – Social Justice for All – mirrors NEDA’s belief in an inclusive Australia where cultural diversity and disability rights are valued as essential aspects of an equitable society.
EDAC can advocate in areas such as the justice system, health-care, education, child-care, employment, housing, transport and others.More information on individual advocacy and systemic advocacy.
For inquiries or advocacy assistance, please phone 9388 7455 or 1800 659 921.
EDAC is funded by Department of Social Services and Western Australia Disability Services Commission for Advocacy activities.
EDAC can help by providing information regarding services, community support groups and government agencies/policies and also liaising with these agencies. Fill in the referral online.
EDAC can also assist in referrals to other services.
Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre vigorously seeks to promote, protect and safeguard the rights and interests of people with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CaLD) and/or mental health issues, their families/ carers and community in order for them to fulfil their full potential
Indo Fijian, born in Fiji.
Shri Om Foundation Ltd. 2021- current. – Case Manager.
Melissa has a varied and extensive work history having initially commenced working in legal profession as a paralegal, before moving to work as an advocate in the not-for-profit welfare sector to assist those most vulnerable and in need in our community, with a strong focus and commitment to assisting newly arrived migrants, refugees, and humanitarian entrants and more recently people with disabilities, carers and families from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.
She currently works in primary health care, having worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 30 years and been on a number of committees and management boards, including the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre Mirrabooka and Ethnic Communities Council WA – Women’s Subcommittee. She is also a former Director of the Catholic Migrant Centre in Perth.
In 1994, she was appointed as the WA representative to the Australian Council for Women and was given the opportunity to attend the UN Regional Conference for Women in Jakarta, with the Australian delegation and in 1995 attended the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
She has also worked for a number of government agencies at Commonwealth (National Native Title Tribunal), State (WA Legal Aid and Department of Corrective Services) and Local Government (City of Wanneroo).
She is currently a Board member and Treasurer of Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC) and EDAC’s representative on National Ethnic Disability Alliance’s board.
Gibbs is the Founder and CEO of Care Force, an NDIS registered provider that specializes in providing direct supports to NDIS participants. Gibbs has various qualifications in Mental Health and Disability and is currently studying for an MBA. Gibbs is a board member of Multicultural Council of Tasmania and has extensive experience and knowledge working with people living with a disability from CALD communities. Gibbs resides in Tasmania and is married with 3 children whom he loves spending time with during his spare time.
His vision is to keep advocating and championing for the rights of people living with a disability within the CALD communities.
Maryanne was born with cerebral palsy. Her journey till now has been filled with challenges, but she overcame them all thanks to her determination, self-belief and strong family support. She is working towards her goal in becoming a TAFE teacher for future disability workers. She has completed a Diploma in Community Services.
Maryanne is a committee member with DnD (Disability & Diversity) for the North West region of Victoria. She is trying to organise a group in Geelong for people with ethnic backgrounds and disability to teach self-advocacy.
She is also on the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) board. She is a committee member, and she represents Victoria. NEDA advocates federally for the human rights of people with disability, and their families, from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB).
Maryanne is trying to campaign her local council to make her community more wheelchair friendly because she was housebound for 4 months. When it rains, she cannot get out of her driveway – she lives on a dirt road and it turns into a mud pit.
She intends to use my extensive firsthand knowledge and experience to educate others about disability.
As part as of her hobbies, she does 5D diamond painting is into art: she used to paint with acrylic paints and now sells her art on her artist page.
Dr Edwin Joseph is passionate about serving the community and making it better by working for the disadvantaged. His experience is multifaceted, working for private and public sectors, including roles in education, HR, project management, community engagement, research, policy, consultancy, etc. Having migrated to Australia as an adult, Edwin understands the problems faced by CALD people in Australia and advocates for real inclusiveness. Throughout his life, Edwin has been volunteering for community groups, not-for-profit organisations and professional associations, often with leadership positions.
He currently serves as the President of Multicultural Council of the NT, Secretary of FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia), Board Member of Australia Day Council NT, Board Member of NEDA (National Ethnic Disability Alliance), Treasurer of DASSAN (Darwin Asylum Seeker and Advocacy Network), Public Officer of Darwin Lions Sports Club, NT Convener of Religions for Peace Australia, Multicultural Ambassador of Mental Health Foundation Australia, Ambassador of Saffron Day for Organ Donation, Committee Member of Institution of Public Administration Australia NT and NT Branch Executive Member of Australian Computer Society.
Grace (she/her) is a disabled, queer and neurodivergent cis woman who values partnership, agency, and connection through story. Her lived and living experience underpins project work and advocacy, with particular interest in rights and restorative justice of people with disability, victim-survivors of medical violence, and LGBTIQA+ people with disability.
Grace is currently the LGBTIQA+ Disability Social Inclusion Officer at NEDA. She works in partnership with LGBTIQ+ Health Australia on the Our Voices, Our Lives, Our Way capacity-building project. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Studies) from The University of Sydney, TAFE certification in Youth Work, and is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Public Health at The University of Technology Sydney.
Mary-Anne is the newly elected Chair of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA). She comes to the role after serving as the organisation’s Victorian representative to the Board. She also brings her personal and professional background as a person with lived experience of disability.
Mary-anne is an experienced advocate for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with disability. She is a committee member with DnD (Disability & Diversity) for the North West region of Victoria. She is currently undertaking community development for people with ethnic backgrounds and disability in Geelong to teach self-advocacy.
Mary-anne was born with cerebral palsy and has experienced its issues and challenges. She has faced these with determination, self-belief and strong family support. She is working towards her goal in becoming a TAFE teacher for future disability workers. She has completed a Diploma in Community Services.
Mary-Anne is well positioned to work with the CEO in advocating federally for the human rights of people with disability, and their families, from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
Mary-anne complements her time as an advocate with a range of interests and hobbies with a special talent for painting and the visual arts and sells her art on her artist page.
Her vision as NEDA Chair is in achieving a community and society that wraps around people with disability, in particular CALD people with disability experiencing a ‘double disadvantage’ to achieve their potential.
CMCF is established to act as the voice of a multicultural ACT, through:
collaboration and consultation
facilitating and participating in public policy and debate
supporting new programs and innovation
celebrating and promoting multiculturalism
building community capacity
communication, education and support.
The Forum is established to promote the common interests and articulate the purpose and direction of the multicultural community in the ACT through:
CMCF aims to represent, enhance, foster, embrace and promote issues of the multicultural community in the ACT.
Diversity & Disability (DnD) program is a disability self-advocacy program delivered at the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) St Albans office. We provide support to people with a disability from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background to speak for themselves and achieve their full potential as valued citizens of the community.
DnD aspires to enhance the freedom, independence, knowledge and opportunities for people with disability from a CALD background.
We do this through:
DnD is run by people with disability for people with disability to provide self-advocacy support and information to people interested in disability and ethnicity.
The program has eight different support groups:
Radio Stations in Melbourne
Radio Stations in Sydney
This is a pilot-project focused on promoting the campaign in Melbourne and Sydney.
However, the audio files below are available at no cost for other radio stations across Australia for broadcasting.
To listen to the ads and interviews (audio format) in your preferred language, please click on any of the links below.
First established in 1977, the Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory (MCNT) is an organisation representing and advocating the interests, concerns and aspirations of migrants and refugees.
The MCNT is a community-based non-profit organisation managed by a board of dedicated volunteers, and receives operational funding from the Northern Territory Government through the NT Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA).
The MCNT has a broad and diverse membership base, and maintains considerable outreach and interaction with its multicultural constituency. The MCNT works with a range of stakeholders and consults regularly with its members and ethnic community leaders to discuss issues of concern and ascertain evolving and emerging settlement needs and issues for migrants and refugees in our society.
The MCNT welcomes new applications for membership from interested individuals and associations, subject to approval by the MCNT Management Committee. The MCNT looks forward to an exciting future and values the contribution of its members.
The MCNT is a member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) and the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA). The MCNT sits on many advisory committees and boards for the government and non-government sectors in the Territory. The MCNT Council is also used as a referral point for ethnic community associations and by a number of community organisations, service providers and government agencies.
As a peak body, the MCNT responds and contributes to public policy development through regular submissions to FECCA, SCOA and Commonwealth Government agencies, and represents and advocates for CALD community clients and MCNT members at inter-agency meetings and national consultations.
The MCNT promotes multiculturalism as a policy that works for all Australians. The MCNT promotes empowerment for people from CALD backgrounds through culturally appropriate advocacy and direct service delivery to ensure full participation in the Territory’s social, cultural, economic, political and civic life.
The MCNT’s core business and organisational ethics are guided by the principles of access and equity, social inclusion, community harmony and celebration of diversity.
The MCNT develops and present programs and activities that foster cross-cultural awareness and cooperation, create opportunities for constructive dialogue and enhance shared values of mutual respect, compassion, inclusion and acceptance within and between the between the new and emerging migrant and refugee communities, Indigenous groups and established wider Australian community.
Robina is the NEDA council member representing NSW and treasurer of the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW.
Robina, a mother of six children, has dedicated her efforts in supporting vulnerable people particularly women with disabilities since her time working in Pakistan and up till now.
Since migrating with her family in 1996 from Pakistan, Robina found difficulties in navigating the system and accessing services for her son with cerebral palsy and was able to connect with MDAA in the late 90’s – that was the beginning of her new chapter to advocate for positive changes for all people with disabilities.
Robina’s educational background is in anthropology and public health, with over 30 years in experience and expertise in policies in many extensive projects, including US-AID to Pakistan, FACS Family Violence Policy, Disability Restrictive Practices for the NSW government and more recently the NSW Health’s Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) project.
Monica Leahy is a former teacher in the fields of English as a Second Language and Disability. She managed the Migration Museum’s Education Service for four years and was a member of the Commonwealth Association of Museums governing council and the International Council of Museum’s Cultural Action Committee. She has been widely published on disability access and received a Ministerial Award and Australia Day Public Service Medal for her work in making SA’s government services accessible to people with disabilities.
She was formerly Manager of Policy and Planning for Disability SA, has consulted for the NDIA and trains Disability Support Workers throughs her own business, Disability/Learning/Management Solutions. She is currently adding to her academic credentials and will soon graduate with a Bachelor of Disability and Community Inclusion. A former Board member of Disability Rights Advocacy Service, she is currently leading their Individual Capacity Building project.
Michael serves on the Executive Council of NEDA, as treasurer. He represents TASC National as the Queensland member of NEDA.
Michael’s work on the Board of TASC National has been long-term undertaking. He believes that the role of not-for-profit organisations like NEDA and TASC National is vital to the continued health of communities in Australia, and particularly for those in the community who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and with a disability.
At TASC Michael has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2010, a former Chair of the Board, Acting CEO, and a volunteer lawyer over a period of 27 years. During his time at TASC, the service has developed from a volunteer legal service to a large multi-faceted organisation delivering varied and vital advocacy and support services to the community.
Michael’s background is as a lawyer and Principal in private practice and in lecturing at several universities. He now practices as a mediator based in Brisbane and throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Victor Marillanca was born in Batuco, Chile on in 1954. While a student at the State Technical University of Santiago, he participated in politics under Salvador Allende’s Government. In 1973, after the coup from dictator Pinochet, he was arrested, tortured and placed in a concentration camp. He was released after 48 days. In 1975, two Australians in the Whitlam Government helped him escape to Easter Island, Tahiti, Auckland and eventually, Australia.
Victor settled in Canberra. In 1976 he joined the Commonwealth Public Service and retired in 2009. In 1976, he started the Spanish language radio program on Community Radio 2XX Canberra, which was launched by the then Australian Commissioner for Community Relations and former Immigration Minister in the Whitlam Government, the late Hon Al Grassby AM.
Victor is currently NEDA’s Vice President, Vice President of Ethnic Disability ACT, Canberra Multicultural Community Forum’s Multicultural representative to the Management Board of Community radio 2XXFM, President of the Board of Community Radio 2XX, Chair of the Ethnic Standing Committee for Community Radio 2XX and President of Community Ethnic Broadcasters Association of the ACT, producer and presenter of the Latin American Radio Program at 2XXfm and presenter of Audiodromo Latino Americano in 2XXfm.
Victor has served as a Justice of the Peace since 1980, Auditor for the Australia Cuba Friendship Society of ACT since 1995 and recently as Vice-President and President of 2XXfm, Vice-President and Secretary and President of the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC), Founding President of the Australia Chile Friendship Society, President of the Latin American Refugee Association of the ACT, President of the Alianza Cultural Latino Americana and Honorary Ambassador of the ACT since 2002.
A community activist, volunteer and public servant, Victor has sought to enhance harmonious relations among all people and improve social justice. He has particular interest in democratic structures and fair representation from all groups especially on gender and minority rights issues.
Margherita Coppolino is an Inclusion/Intersectionality consultant and photographer. With an outstanding network of contacts in government, business and social justice organisations, Margherita has a proven ability to inspire and influence a wide range of stakeholders on inclusion/intersectionality issues. She has strong commercial acumen and ability to frame inclusion issues in a commercial context. During her career, she also has honed & developed specialist skills in project management, facilitation, recruitment, case management.
Margherita has undertaken the Australia Institute of Company Directors training and has sat on several Boards in executive and non-executive positions. In 2020, she was appointed as ILGA Oceania Disability Sub-Committee Chair and Director on Drummond/&Queer-space Board.
In 2017, she was nominated as the National Ethnic Disability Alliance’s (NEDA’s) President.
Margherita was appointed to the Victorian Ministerial LGBTI Taskforce in 2020 and SBS Community Advisory Committee in 2019. Previously, she held the position of Chair on Arts Access Victoria and Australia Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Boards. She has also held non-executive positions on Spectrum Migrants Resources Centre and Action on Disability Within Ethnic Communities, Women With Disabilities Australia and Short Statured People of Australia.
In 2020, Margherita moderated the Queering the COSP Side Event at United Nations CRPD COSP 13 and was a panelist member on the 2018 LGBTIQA side event at the United Nationals CRPD COSP11 in New York. She was also on the Intersectionality Panel at the Outright Advocacy Summit 2020.
Margherita is a first generation Australian, born to a Sicilian mother who migrated to Australia in 1959. She was born with a Short Statured condition and is a proud feminist and lesbian.
In her spare time, you will find Margherita either taking photos, volunteering, working out in the gym, travelling, wine and whisky tasting and chilling with friends.
Al (they/them) is a queer asylum seeker with a disability living on Ngunnawal and Ngambri country, also known as Canberra. They have been living in Australia since 2015 and have been active in advocating for the rights of queer, refugee, working people’s and people with disability’s rights since. They are passionate about working to contribute to the aim justice being achieved by those who need it the most.
In 2019, Al worked on an ILC project called ‘Supportive Decision Making’. This was a community development project targeted towards women and non-binary people, to build self-confidence and increase their capacity for self-advocacy.
They have also work with Tranz Australia, a collective that provides services for training and education to businesses and organisations regarding their policy and treatment of LGBTQIA+ employees. Al also produced a documentary project discussing domestic abuse with Companion House. This project centred the voices of migrant and refugee youth, and it received the YOGIE Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Youth Participation’ in 2020.
At NEDA, Al will be the Project Officer supporting the creation and implementation of the project, ‘Our Voices, Our Lives, Our Way’. They hope that they will be able to use their past experiences and skills to help this project thrive and reach the people who will benefit from it the most.
Lingyun is a culturally sensitive social worker with considerable experience working in the disability, domestic violence, aged care and community services sectors, mainly in Queensland.
Ling’ personal and professional beliefs in social justice and equality gave her a strong desire to support vulnerable people, especially those from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Her previous work experiences include providing support to people with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people affected by domestic and family violence, low-income families and asylum seekers and refugees.
After working in the disability sector as a frontline worker, Ling worked for an organisation providing support to CALD people with a disability, especially CALD parents who have children with disabilities.
Ling holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Film Production) from Sichuan Normal University and a Master of Social Work from Queensland University of Technology.
Before coming to Australia, Lyn has worked for different media organisations in China as a journalist and as a film production assistant.
Her previous experiences working with vulnerable people in both Australia and China, as well as her life experiences have developed her experience on how to support disadvantaged groups to achieve the best quality of life.
Ling joined NEDA at the end of 2020. At NEDA, she works on the linkages and capacity building (ILC) project, facilitating NDIS workshops for interpreters and multicultural organisations across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Neha holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and a Master of International Relations, where her research focused on human rights, human security and refugee policy.
Neha joined NEDA in August 2019 to help manage the Community Radio Engagement Project that focused on creating awareness about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services amongst people with a disability from refugee backgrounds. The project used a co-design format to engage with speakers of Arabic, Farsi, Assyrian, Chaldean, Burmese and English in Sydney and Melbourne.
Currently, she works as a Contract Administrator, where she prepares tender documentation and manages paperwork associated with contracts, projects and services provided by NEDA. She serves as a first point of contact for all contractual matters and maintains contractual correspondence, notices, claims etc. for contracts, contractor, and subcontractor organisations.
Her experience includes working as a settlement officer, leading legal literacy programs, legal aid camps and advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees.
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.
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.
Lara is the Executive Assistant to NEDA’s CEO, Dwayne Cranfield. Lara joined NEDA with extensive experience working for and with not-for-profit organisations, most recently as a Governance Officer.
During this time Lara has worked closely with organisations supporting the disability sector including Music for Canberra and their Music for All Abilities program and Rebus, a mixed-ability theatre company stimulating social change and healing through theatre.
The child of immigrant parents, including her father from a non-English speaking background, Lara shares experience of a culturally and linguistically diverse background which supports her advocacy and commitment in the CALD space.
Lara graduated from the ANU (Australian National University) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
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.