The Operational Team is made up of paid and unpaid staff who manage Diaspora Action Australia’s day-to-day operations:
Director Denise Cauchi
Volunteer Coordinator Nicky Reiss
Community Coordinator Lisa Vettori
Operations Manager Manuela Rubio Gomes
Communications Coordinator Michael Liddell
Resource Mobilisation Coordinator Matthew Graham-Freeman
The Board is the governing body of Diaspora Action Australia, made up of seven elected members.
Acting Chair Jez Hunghanfoo
Secretary Joe Selvaretnam
Treasurer Jamie Han Chu
Member Hala Abdelnour
Member Nuran Higgins
Member Joanna Hayter
Member Andrew Hewett
Our dedicated volunteers work in the following teams: Communications, Community Engagement, IT & Office Management and Resource Mobilisation.
The Board of DAA
Director, Diaspora Action Australia
Denise Cauchi is the Director and founder of Diaspora Action Australia.
Denise is a human rights and development advocate and practitioner, with a particular focus on armed conflict. She has worked in protective accompaniment in Colombia with Peace Brigades International, and as human rights researcher with a Colombian women’s NGO. She has also held positions with Oxfam Australia and the Human Rights Alliance of Australia.
Denise is a member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Council for International Development and the International Council of Peace Brigades International. She is a Trustee of Live and Learn Environmental Education.
She has been a human-rights activist for over 25 years, in Australia, Spain, Timor-Leste and India.
Denise has a Master of Development Studies (University of Melbourne).
Before all this, she was a journalist.
Jez’s background reaches across the NGO and Arts sectors, with a particular focus on communications, marketing and fundraising. He currently works at Oxfam Australia, having worked for 7 years in various leadership positions across the agency. In his roles at Oxfam, he has had a particular focus on donors and volunteers, and works closely with staff and leadership across the agency in Australia and internationally. Jez also regularly speaks at public events and with media on Oxfam activities and events. Prior to joining Oxfam, Jez held marketing and management roles at Arts Hub Australia and Village Cinemas Australia.
Outside of work, Jez maintains his involvement in the arts and with volunteering in various capacities.
Joe has 18 years experience working in the not for profit sector at the community, national and international levels, in the Consumer Movement and later in HIV/AIDS. He was Head of Programs with a peak Malaysian HIV/AIDS organisation for five years, acting as a conduit between government and civil society providing financial, program development and management, capacity building and advocacy skills, knowledge and support. Joe currently works with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s office, a role he has occupied since coming to Australia in 2009. He holds a Masters in International Politics (Peace Studies) from UK and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the UK.
Jamie is a finance professional with many years of experience in commercial, government and not for profit organisations. Jamie is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and has a Masters of International Development. Her experience ranges across many countries and continents including Australia, the United Kingdom, Africa and Asia. In 2011 she helped establish her own not for profit organisation called FEED which supports food, environment and economic issues in Nepal. Jamie is a strong advocate for community engagement and is committed to social rights and equity.
(BSc (Psych), BA, BSW)
Hala is the Director of Global Echo Consultants Pty Ltd and a Vincent Fairfax Fellow since 2008. Her career interest is in the areas of international relations, leadership and community empowerment. She aims to provide quality and excellence in service delivery and to achieve greater global equality among diverse populations. This includes developing and maintaining strong relationships with various communities and agencies. Hala is well travelled, multi-skilled and multilingual with a love for creativity and innovation. She is passionate about social issues that involve respect for our planet and all living things.
Joanna has been the CEO of International Women’ Development Agency since 2010. She has been working in the international development, human rights and social justice sector for 30 years, with experience ranging across four continents and 25 countries including long term residencies in Myanmar, Vietnam and Japan and nearly a decade across African nations. She is presently a member of the Australian Council for International Development Executive Committee.
Andrew is a PH.D candidate in international relations at LaTrobe University and works as a sessional university lecturer.
He worked at Oxfam Australia for nearly 22 years, including over 11 years as Executive Director (CEO) finishing up at the end of 2012.
He visited Oxfam programs across the world, including in Africa, South Asia, the Pacific, Central America, South East Asia as welll as Aboriginal Australia.
Andrew has extensive international advocacy experience, was a member of the World Bank-NGO Committee for four years and has participated in and observed numerous international conferences, including those of the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank.
Andrew was a member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak council of non-government international development agencies, for over 10 years. He was also Co-Chair of the Make Poverty History Campaign and was a member of the BHP Billiton Forum for Corporate Responsibility for more than a decade.