theme: 'Celebrating African Women, Their Voices'
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Committee

Passion. Experience. Diligence.

 
 

Committee

 
 
 

Cameroon

Committee Chair

Mimmie Claudine Ngum Chi Watts, Dr

Dr Ngum Chi Watts is a public health expert and academic in the College of Health & Biomedicine at Victoria University, Melbourne Australia where she has been a lecturer for over a decade. She is also the Course Leader for the Bachelor of Health Sciences.

Dr Ngum Chi Watts is a Commissioners with the Victoria Multicultural Commission (VMC). She is interested in migrant health and the health of minority persons and publishes in refereed scientific journals. Improving the health needs for women, providing better education for disadvantaged persons and increasing opportunities amongst disadvantaged groups are central to Dr Chi Watts work.

Dr Watts is a public speaker, an advocate for minority rights and constantly highlights the ‘diversity that exist within the diversity’. She is passionate about gender equality and draws on her own experiences as a young mother at 20, no qualifications at age 24, yet gaining a PhD by age 35.  She is married and a mother to three children. Dr Watts is the chair of the steering committee for the Inaugural African Diaspora Women’s Summit.

 

Education

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY
PhD

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY
MPH

Activities & Affiliations

VICTORIAN MULTICULTURAL COMMISSION
Commissioner

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY
Lecturer

 
 

 
 
 

Botswana | South Africa
Profile | SBS Interview

Associate

Nthati Rametse, 

Dr Rametse, an academic at RMIT University, originates from Botswana.  She teaches and researches entrepreneurship (women, migrant and social entrepreneurship), tax policy and tax compliance costs. Dr Rametse has experience in both higher education and vocational/TAFE sectors.   In Botswana, she was Administrator at the Botswana Human Rights Centre and Executive Board Member of Emang Basadi (women’s human rights organisation). Dr Rametse works with the African community.  She is Executive Board Member of Australia Africa Chamber of Commerce (a peak body for bilateral relations of Australia and Africa), President of Botswana Australia Victoria Association, Inc. and Executive Board of Nelson Mandela Commemorative Committee Inc. She currently works in partnership with the City of Melbourne on “Empowering African Australian Women” project. She was awarded the 2015 African Female Leader of the Year by Celebration of African Australian Awards, recognised by the Premier of Victoria. Read more about Dr. Nthati Rametse’s academic, industry and community work below:

Education

CURTIN UNIVERSITY
PhD

EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY
MBA

SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY
BBUS

Activities & Affiliations

RMIT UNIVERSITY
Lecturer & Academic

AUSTRALIA AFRICA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Board Member

 
 
 
 

 

Sri Lanka

Associate

Jayantha Dassanayake, Dr

Dr Jayantha Dassanayake is a chronic disease and physical activity epidemiologist with a South Asian background (qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis), with a strong background in chronic disease prevention and management through lifestyle change.  Jayantha obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in August 2009 from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic & Analytic Epidemiology, School of Public Health, and Faculty of Medicine. Jayantha   has completed a twelve months Post-Doctoral Fellowship (PDF) within the Health Policy, Ethnicity & Health Research Program at the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology Research Centre, University of Alberta, Canada. He has substantial work experience in research related to public health and social science health research with a special focus on population subgroups. His research interests are Health Literacy, Health Promotion, Physical Activity Measurement and Sports Medicine.

Activities & Affiliations

Research Fellow and Epidemiologist 

Education

PhD

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Egypt

Associate

Nevein El Refai

Nevein is an international businesswoman of Egyptian and Turkish ancestry with over twenty years of industry experience. Prior to starting her own business venture - The Realty International Group  in 2013 where she is Director, Nevein worked for many local and international businesses including RCA International; Bismarck International, Citicon Australia and Metricon Homes. Nevein continues to partner with some of these companies.

Growing up in Alexandria, Cairo, Nevein was surrounded by business people who all inspired her. She is fascinated by other cultures and all the different ways that people adapt. Despite her very busy life as a professional, mother and carer for her husband who has MS, Nevein volunteers in different places including Gawith Villa for disabilities in Malvern and Migrant Recourse Centre. She is involved in several other causes in the community aimed at enhancing social cohesion.

Nevein is a leader, role model and personifies inspiration.

Education

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY - CAIRO
Bachelor in Business Administration / Management

CHISHOLM INSTITUTE
Certificate IV In Property Services

PSG AUSTRALIA
Diploma of Hospitality Management

Activities & Affiliations

OFFICE CITICON AUSTRALIA
Representative

METRICON HOMES
Salesperson

REALTY INTERNATIONAL GROUP
Director

 
 
 

 
 
 

Eritrea

Associate

Entsar O Hamid

Ms Hamid is a member of the Institute for Public Administration Australia and has worked in the Victorian Public Service for the last 8 years in roles including:

  • Manager, Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC)
  • Senior Departmental Liaison Officer, Office of the Premier Victoria
  • Assistant Secretariat to the Chief Justice and the Courts Council of Victoria
  • Secretary to the Firearms Appeals Committee
  • Secretariat to the Child Protection Proceedings Taskforce

As a mentor for Leadership Victoria, and a qualified Mediator, Ms Hamid provides mentees with advice and assists them to increase confidence and build networks.

Ms Hamid is currently setting up the Office of the inaugural Chief Environmental Scientist at the Environment Protection Authority for a six-month period before returning to DPC.

Ms Hamid has been married for 11 year and is a mother to three children. She is the Co-Founding member of the Steering Committee for the Inaugural African Diaspora Women’s Summit.

EDUCATION

RMIT UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (APPLIED SCIENCE)

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY
ADVANCED DIPLOMA LEGAL PRACTICE

Activities & Affiliations

LEADERSHIP VICTORIA
MENTOR

 
 
 

 
 
 
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Kenya
Website

Associate

Samuel Muchoki, Dr

Dr Samuel Muchoki is a researcher and a public health practitioner. He holds a PhD in Community Health from La Trobe University and has published widely in the  areas of forced migration, gender and sexuality. Dr Muchoki is the author of 'Intimacy, Citizenship and Refugee Men (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). A motivational key note speaker, he also presents on topical issues related to forced migration  settlement, sexuality, advancing gender equity and preventing violence against women.

 

 

Education

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY
Community Health, PhD

Activities & Affiliations

INTIMACY, CITIZENSHIP AND REFUGEE MEN
Author

AUSTRALIAN HEALTH PROMOTION ASSOCIATION
White Ribbon Ambassador

CITY OF BRIMBANK
Health Professional

 
 
 

 
 
 

Mauritius
LinkedIn | Twitter

Associate

Patricia Kimtia

Patricia is a passionate educator who inspires, engages and educates for the 21st Century. She leads and works collaboratively with a team of experienced education professionals. She is an experienced professional who has managed collaborations and partnerships with business, community and industry to solve practical problems and build effective relationships for the benefit of the organisation, students, academic staff and the world.

Her multifaceted career journey is interesting and diverse with experience in the fields of teaching, technical writing, training and facilitation, relationship management, business development, project management and consulting, marketing, sales and service, accounting, community building and strengthening. She is enthusiastic and keen to share her knowledge and practical experience to help make a difference. She thrives on change and challenges and is passionate about championing social changes that address specific needs and have positive impacts.

 
 

Education

DEAKIN UNIVERSITY
International & Community Development (M.A)

MONASH UNIVERSITY
Business Management (BBus)

SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY
Learning & Teaching - Higher Education (GradCert)

Activities & Affiliations

CULTURAL HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF RODRIGUANS AND MAURITIANS IN VICTORIA
Founder, Former Chairperson, Current Treasurer

BUSINESS WITHOUT BORDERS SWINBURNE
Board Member

MORDIALLOC NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE
Former Chairperson, Current Secretary

LEADERSHIP VICTORIA
Great Connections Volunteer and Health Sector Leadership Mentor

CITY OF CASEY
Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee Member, past member of the Access & Inclusion Advisory Committee

ST PAUL APOSTLE
Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Group

 
 
 

 
 
 

Youth Associate

SHERRY-ROSE BIH WATTS

Driven by her desire to be an agent of social change, Sherry-Rose strives to be an active member, advocate and leader in the community. Sherry-Rose is a young African Australian woman of Cameroonian descent who is currently studying a Bachelor of International Relations and Diploma of Languages (French) at La Trobe University.

With a passion for people, Sherry-Rose spends ample time volunteering in various roles in the community and has always enthusiastically taking on leadership opportunities. Since completing high school where she served as a school captain, she’s taken on roles as an International Student host, mentor and Connect Leader at La Trobe University, is co-founder of La Trobe University ‘A Look Into African Society’ (ALIAS) in 2015 and former chairperson of ‘Afro-Australian Student Organisation’ (AASO) in 2016. As a ‘Shout Out’ speaker with Centre for Multicultural Youth, Sherry-Rose has given presentations on a range of topics on her lived experience and interests to diverse audiences and participants. Currently she works in amplifying youth voices in her local community as a Brimbank Youth Ambassador as well as being an associate with Foundation for Young Australians.

As a creative and performer, Sherry-Rose has previously worked with Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) as a youth steering committee member and project officer for their 2015 Emerge in the West Festival. She is a member of La Trobe Student Theatre, Maribyrnong Youth Arts and Events committee and now co-hosts and produces a radio program housed by SYN radio called 'Life In Colour'.

Sherry-Rose is passionate about contributing to the economic, social and political empowerment and emancipation of women and girls worldwide – particularly that of women of colour and black African women, as that is her background. She is a youth ambassador with Plan International Australia as part of their ‘Because I Am A Girl Campaign’ through their Youth Activists Series and has worked with The Red Cross Australia as a peer educator on the issue of forced marriage in Australia.

In line with her commitment to encouraging diversity, equality and social cohesion, Sherry-Rose also works as a consultant with CQ Cultural Consulting.

 

EDUCATION

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY
International Relations (B.A)
Diploma of Languages (French)

ACTIVITIES & AFFILIATIONS

FOUNDATION FOR YOUNG AUSTRALIANS
Associate

AFRO-AUSTRALIAN STUDENT ORGANISATION
Former Chairperson

 
 

 
 
 

Kenya | Pakistan | UAE

Youth Associate

Mehak Sheikh

Mehak Sheikh is a 20 year old advocate, young entrepreneur and psychology honours student, with a firestarter personality. When Mehak is not public speaking or facilitating workshops, she is an active volunteer in the community.

Mehak sits on a number of committees, including Wyndham Youth Task Force, Brimbank Youth Ambassadors and Brimbank Youth Events Committee. She has also been involved in the Youth Activist Series with Plan International working on women's safety in Melbourne and CHASE as a mentor working on health literacy for young people in the Western suburbs.

Mehak has initiated her own projects working on different social issues, including cultural diversity and homelessness.

She is passionate about health, education, empowering youth and women, and intercultural engagement.

Mehak also works with Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN) and Brimbank City Council.

Activities & Affiliations

Foundation for Young Australians

Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network

Brimbank City Council

Education

University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Arts, major in Psychology

Australian Catholic University
Bachelor of Psychological Sciences (Honours)

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Youth Associate

Desiree Naa Ogbedee Ashitei

Desiree is a proud woman of the Ga people of Ghana and takes pride in being an African woman. On track to becoming a world-renowned health expert and policy maker, Desiree describes herself as a pioneer and a woman who is not afraid of challenging conventional stereotypes about Africans, and African women in particular. She is not one who follows the crowd and describes herself as one who always likes to live a positive impression.

Desiree has a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Bachelor’s degree with Honours in Biomedical Science from La Trobe University. She has a genuine interest in people and has a keen interest in Health Promotion and Health Policy, particularly in the areas of non-communicable disease prevention and management, migrant youth health, environmental health and its influences on health and the effects of migration on the health of Africans in the Diaspora. Recently she conducted a research project to investigate the factors which influenced the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes held by sub-Saharan African women residing in Melbourne towards vitamin D. Desiree also has an interest in how policy can be used to shape healthcare and health education to be culturally appropriate for African migrants in Australia.

Aside from her interest in health, Desiree has a passion for cooking West African food, a passion which begun in her grandmother’s kitchen in Teshie, a bustling fishing town on the coast of Ghana. Desiree is the founder of Awo's Kitchen, an African food company, which specialises in bringing “the authentic taste of West Africa” to the Australian culinary scene. Through her cooking classes and catering, Desiree showcases the richness of African culture and the entrepreneurial spirit of Africans in the Diaspora.

 

Education

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY
Biomedical Science (B.S)
Public Health (M.A)

ACTIVITIES & AFFILIATIONS

AWO'S KITCHEN
Founder

 
 

 
 
 

Zimbabwe

Youth Associate

Amanda Green

Amanda Green is an International student from Zimbabwe, currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Majoring in Psychology)/Bachelor of Accounting at LaTrobe University.

She has always been passionate about youth empowerment and community development. She is an active volunteer at La Trobe University and in the Victorian community at large. She is the co-founder and past president of La Trobe University A Look Into African Society (ALIAS), the current youth director of the African Music and Cultural Festival (AMCF), an active member of the Diamond Valley Rotaract Club and has volunteered at La Trobe University as a connect mentor and an International Host.

Amanda strives to continue fostering more volunteering opportunities for students and programs to empower them to be better equipped leaders and change makers of the future.

Education

LA TROBE UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Accounting
 

Activities & Affiliations  

A Look Into African Society (ALIAS), La Trobe University
Co-founder and Past President 

African Music and Cultural Festival (AMCF) 
Youth Director

Rotaract Club, Diamond Valley
Member

 
 
 

 
 
 

Youth Associate

RAPHAEL MAVONDO

Is a committee member for the African Diaspora Women Summit who is passionate about women empowerment and his closest role models in life have been strong women like his mother and grandmother who he gives credit for awakening his artistic side. Raphael is very passionate about design inclusive of Architecture, Animation, Fashion, Graphic Design and his main hobbies are music and film making.  Raphael is currently involved in several youth programs and a member of African Union Youth Australia.

Activities & Affiliations

KUNDA ALL DESIGNS
CEO

AFRICAN UNION YOUTH AUSTRALIA
Coordinator

Education

coming soon...

 
 
 

 
 
 

Youth Associate

Robert Aduer Ring

(Bachelor of Health Science in Health Promotion)

Robert was born in Juba, South Sudan. At a very young Age, Robert moved to Ethiopia and then Kenya. Robert migrated to New Zealand, where he lived in Auckland for over 12 years.   In New Zealand, Robert studied Bachelor of Health Science in Health Promotion, and Diploma of Art in Auckland University of Technology, and done other trainings.

During Robert’s academic years, he was largely engaged in volunteering works, doing student mentoring for over years at the Tertiary Education. Robert worked at various Student Services, such as Student Centre, Student Experience Team, and Admission at AUT University. Robert was a Co-founder of an African Student Club.  The purpose of formation of an African Student club was because of many underlying issues facing African at the education setting.  His works was largely driven by the passion of community engagement, capacity building and empowerment approach.

Robert moved to Australia in recent years to join his family.  Robert’s previous work ethics and passion in New Zealand has led him to connect with the like-minded people, such as community engagement driven individuals.

Robert currently works at Melton Secondary College, as a Multicultural Education Support and engage with other networks.  Robert is a proud member of the Inaugural African Diaspora Women Summit, as newly formed organisation by Dr. Mimmie Claudine Chi Watts and number of active youths who are highly passionate about community engagement, capacity building, and empowerment especially for women and youths.

 
 
 

 
 
 
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Cameroon
Website

Youth Associate

Emmanuel Jean Mbala

Emmanuel is a young man who believes in the power of people to realise their goals and bring to fruition the realities they wish to see in the world. As such, he delights in working with talented individuals in a dynamic capacity to enable them to maximise their potential and output.

As a photographer, Emmanuel also believes in the power of images to convey a thought, feeling or emotion in ways which cannot be achieved with text alone. He is the founder of his own photography business and hopes to grow his capacities in this field to give voice to all types of stories.

Lastly, Emmanuel believes in the power of now, the potency of today. He believes the present is the only instance of time in which we are given any leeway and thus pushes himself and his peers to make the most with the opportunities now afforded them.

Activities & Affiliations

INSERT MEMORIES
Founder

Education

RMIT UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace)