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Publications

Migrant and Refugee Womens' Voices: Survey Report

26 November 2018

The Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change conducted the inaugural Migrant and Refugee Women’s Voices Survey in partnership with SBS and SBS Radio over six weeks between May and July 2018.

 

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Migrant and refugee women must be supported to participate in the workforce

20 November 2018

The Harmony Alliance has today welcomed a series of measures announced by the Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, in the inaugural Women’s Economic Security Statement.

 

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Submission to the Consultation on the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030

October 2018

Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership and Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change welcome the opportunity to make a joint submission to the consultation on the draft National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030.

 

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Submission to Department of Social Services consultation process regarding the development of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022

September 2018

As part of the Alliance’s commitment to advocate for better health and wellbeing of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, we held four consultations in the lead up to the development of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

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Submission to the Inquiry into the appropriateness and effectiveness of the objectives, design, implementation and evaluation of jobactive.

The Alliance welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the submission to the Senate Education and Employment Commitees regarding the appropriateness and effectiveness of the objectives, design, implementation and evaluation of jobactive.

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Submission to the Inquiry into the practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia

17 August 2018

The Alliance welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee regarding the practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia.

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Submission to the Future Employment Services Consultation

August 2018

The Alliance welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Future Employment Services Consultation.

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Open Letter to Female Members of Parliament and Senators

22 May 2018

An open letter calling upon the female Members of Parliament and Senators to oppose proposed changes to Social Services legislation that would see new permanent residents of Australia wait four years before being eligible to access many crucial welfare payments.

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Migrant and refugee women overlooked in Budget

8 May 2018

The Harmony Alliance has this evening welcomed a series of measures announced in the 2018 federal budget aimed at improving the lives of Australian women. The Alliance has, however, expressed concern at the lack of focus on the needs of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

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Submission to the Inquiry into the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Commitments for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2018

27 April 2018

The Alliance welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee regarding the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Commitments for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2018.

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Submission to Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018

18 April 2018

The Alliance welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Committee regarding the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018

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International Women’s Day 2018 - Response to Government and Opposition policy priorities

19 March 2018

The Harmony Alliance reiterates its commitment to working with the Government and the Opposition to improve experiences and outcomes for women in Australia from migrant and refugee backgrounds, including women seeking asylum.

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It’s time to improve data

28 February 2018

The Harmony Alliance has today called on the Australian Governments to prioritise for further research the experiences of violence by women of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, after the release of the Australian Institute on Health and Welfare report on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence 2018.

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Increased waiting periods to keep women out of work

19 December 2017

The Harmony Alliance has today expressed concern at the Government’s announcement that it will seek to increase waiting periods to three years before new migrants can access many welfare payments, and introduce a three-year waiting period to access Family Tax Benefit, Paid Parental Leave and Carer Allowance.

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2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission

15 December 2017

AWAVA and Harmony Alliance call on the Government to facilitate the implementation of actions and commitments made in the Third Action Plan 2016-19 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

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Khadija Gbla

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

Khadija is a very passionate and inspired young African Australian woman. She is the Director of Khadija Gbla Cultural consultancy, which offers cultural awareness, intelligence training and facilitation to government agencies, not‑for‑profit organisations and individuals; advocacy and mentoring to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Khadija is also the Executive Director of No FGM Australia—a not‑for‑profit organisation, which works to protect Australian girls from FGM and to support survivors of FGM. She is an Ambassador for Our Watch and Director of Reacher’s Philanthropy - Committed to Women's and Girl's Self Empowerment.

Khadija is an award winning inspirational speaker, facilitator and consultant and has been recognised on a number of occasions, including most recently as 2017 Cosmopolitan Women of the Year finalist, 2016 Women's Weekly and Qantas Women of the Future finalist, and 2016 AusMumpreneur Rising Star and Making a Difference Award recipient.
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Carmel Guerra

Ms Carmel Guerra represents Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network – an ex-officio member of the Council.

For over 30 years, Carmel has been a strong advocate for young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds in Victoria. Carmel has used her extensive experience to improve advocacy and support networks for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. As the CEO of the Centre for Multicultural Youth, she is at the forefront of innovative service delivery and policy development.

Carmel’s contribution and service to multicultural youth in Victoria has been recognised with a Victorian Premier’s Award for Community Harmony in 2015 and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016. Carmel is the Chairperson of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN), the national peak body representing multicultural youth issues in Australia.

She also serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Youth Parole Board of Victoria, the Victorian Children’s Council, the Migration Council of Australia, and the Settlement Services Advisory Council advising the Federal Minister for Social Services.
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Dewani Bakkum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ms Sahar Okhovat represents Refugee Council of Australia – an ex-officio member of the Council.

Sahar is a Senior Policy Officer with the Refugee Council of Australia, the national umbrella body for refugees, people seeking asylum and the organisations and individuals who support them. Her work involves research, policy and advocacy on issues impacting refugees and people seeking asylum.

Sahar previously worked with Australian Red Cross as a caseworker and a team leader in Migration Support Program and later on as a Humanitarian Observer, monitoring conditions of immigration detention centres. She holds a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney
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Carla Wilshire

Ms Carla Wilshire represents Migration Council Australia – an ex-officio member of the Council.

Carla is the CEO of Migration Council Australia, the national research and policy institution on migration, settlement and social cohesion.

Carla has a background in policy development, corporate governance and tertiary research. She has worked as a public servant and as an advisor to Government, principally in the area of migration and resettlement, including as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

Carla is a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity, which provides policy advice to the Council of Chief Justices of Australia on improving access to justice for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians.

Carla is also a member of the National Anti-Racism Partnership and co-founded the Friendly Nation Initiative, which aims to link corporate Australia with the settlement community to improve employment outcomes for refugees.
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Tamara Stewart-Jones

Ms Tamara Stewart-Jones represents Multicultural Youth South Australia.

Tamara has 14 years of leadership and service delivery experience in the human services in both mainstream and multicultural contexts. She has extensive knowledge and experience in responding to a range of social issues and problems, having worked across service areas as diverse as settlement, health, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, crisis intervention and domestic violence.

Tamara has dual qualifications in primary health care and transpersonal counseling, as well as post‑graduate qualifications in Social Work.

She has worked in a teaching and research capacity at the University of South Australia for the past three years with her work focusing on new and emerging issues in both refugee and Indigenous communities. 
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Roshan Bhandary

Ms Roshan Bhandary represents inTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence.

Roshan has worked in the area of violence against women, social justice and community development for over 20 years. She worked closely with marginalised women in her home country—Nepal—before pursuing her Master’s degree in the United States where she worked in the area of family violence and human trafficking.

Being a migrant woman and from a culturally and linguistically diverse background herself, she brings a lot of experience and expertise in working with multicultural communities.

At inTouch, she has played a central role in the development and implementation of several innovative and award winning projects across the continuum of family violence. She continues her passion for supporting, encouraging and inspiring women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

In August 2012, Roshan received the Empowering Monash Women Award. In 2015 she was inducted into Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll for her exemplary contribution to multicultural communities in Victoria.
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Gail Ker

Ms Gail Ker represents Access Community Services. Over the past 20 years,

Gail’s vast industry experience and arguably unrivalled expertise in the Australian multicultural, humanitarian and community sectors have seen her change countless lives for the better. A nationally lauded and award winning visionary, Gail leads nearly 300 staff at Access in pursuit of their organisational vision—to create social, cultural and economic experiences and opportunities that transform the lives of individuals and communities globally.

Renowned for her expertise in innovative service solutions for newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants, Gail is a recognised thought leader in needs-based community planning, innovative business models, and strategic partnerships. Gail’s knowledge is actively sought by policy makers, politicians, and industry leaders, both nationally and internationally.

She serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Settlement Services Advisory Council advising the Federal Minister for Social Services.

Gail’s standing has been recognised with a number of honours, including the 2010 Order of Australia Medal, and 2017 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards –Empowering Women Award.               
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Violet Roumeliotis

Ms Violet Roumeliotis represents Settlement Services International, a NSW community‑based, not-for-profit organisation that provides support services for refugees, asylum seekers, people with disability, job seekers, and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who require foster care.

Violet has steered SSI through a major growth period, from a staff of less than 70 just four years ago, to over 500 in 2016. She was named in Pro Bono Australia’s 2014 and 2015 lists of the 25 most influential people working in the not-for-profit sector.

Violet has an extensive background in the leadership of large not‑for‑profit organisations and providing services to at‑risk communities. She has developed specialised knowledge and skills in working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, refugees, women and families in crisis, and prisoners.

Violet has a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Sociology and History from UNSW, and a Masters in Management from UTS. She is also an accredited mediator.
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Uieta Kaufusi

Ms Uieta Kaufusi represents Tongan Association of Canberra and Queanbeyan.

Ms Uieta Kaufusi is a proud Tongan woman based in Canberra and is the National Sector Engagement Manager for 1800RESPECT, the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counseling service.

Prior to joining the 1800RESPECT team in 2016, she led a breadth of initiatives on addressing domestic and family violence both in Australia and overseas. In her previous role as Learning and Development Manager at Lifeline Australia, Uieta managed the development and implementation of the DV‑Alert training suite—a nationally accredited and delivered domestic violence response training program for frontline workers. During her work with DV‑Alert, Uieta oversaw the development, implementation and evaluation of the General, Indigenous and Multicultural streams of DV-Alert, including the DV Awareness session and the Brothers Standing Tall: Aboriginal Men’s Program.

Uieta is married with 3 children and is a member of the ACT Government Multicultural Advisory Council, the White Ribbon Australia Indigenous Reference Group, and the Lifeline Aotearoa Pasifika Reference Group.
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Juliana Nkrumah AM

Ms Juliana Nkrumah AM represents African Women Australia. Juliana is an advocate for women—specifically refugee women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and African women.

She founded African Women Australia as part of her quest to have African women gain a voice in Australian sociopolitical systems.

Juliana has served on several Boards to improve the status of women, including the Board of YWCA NSW, Australian National Committee on Refugee Women, Act For Peace, African Ministerial Committee, and the Eminent Australians Committee to review the Australian Citizenship Test.

Juliana’s past contributions included being the first women's representative of the African Communities’ Council NSW, initiating African Workers Network in Sydney, working as the first Community Education and Development Worker on FGM in Australia and advising in the development of the National Education Toolkit for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Awareness.

She managed the African Liaison Unit set up in Centrelink's Multicultural Services Unit in 2005-2006, and led two nationwide consultations into issues affecting refugees and migrants from African countries.

Juliana Nkrumah was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for her work in the community, and was the winner of Woman of the West from University of Western Sydney in 2007.
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Maria Dimopoulos (Chair)

Ms Maria Dimopoulos is the independent Chair of the Alliance Council and the Harmony Alliance
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Maha Krayem Abdo 

TBA
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Australian National Committee on Refugee Women

TBA
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Maria Osman

Ms Maria Osman is a leader with over 30 years’ experience in gender equity, diversity and human rights as a senior government policy adviser, consultant, speaker, trainer and community activist.

As the former Executive Director of WA’s Office of Multicultural Interests and Office for Women’s Policy, she has lead the development and implementation of cutting edge policies and programs.

Maria has always combined her senior roles with grass roots advocacy with migrant and refugee women. She was appointed as Australia’s official delegate to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York and has served on numerous national, state and community boards.

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

Maria was awarded the WA Government Multicultural Community Service Award in 2007 and a National Living Legends Award, awarded to the 100 most influential African-Australians in 2012.  Maria is of Somali heritage, is a mother and grandmother
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Eugenia Tsoulis

Ms Eugenia Tsoulis has 40 years of work experience across a number of sectors focusing on multicultural policy research and review, leadership management, mental health, education, the arts, and employment and training.

Eugenia is the CEO of the Australian Migrant Resource Centre, and over the past 20 years, she has overseen its expanding work, ensuring a critical leadership position in South Australia’s social, cultural and economic development.

Previously, as the Director of the Migrant Workers’ Centre, her work furthered migrant women’s employment, training and participation. Eugenia has established programs that serve to empower migrant and refugee women and young people through the Stronger Families initiative that counters domestic violence and through women’s training and employment.

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1994, ZONTA Woman of the Year Award in 2007, and the Governor’s Multicultural Award—Individual Achiever of the Year in 2012. Eugenia was a founding member of the Settlement Council of Australia, and has served on a considerable number of State and Commonwealth boards and advisory committees.

Eugenia received the inaugural Harmony Alliance Award in 2017, for lifetime contribution to empowering migrant and refugee women. 
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Libby Lloyd

TBA
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 Joumanah El Matrah

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

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

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

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

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