Lisa Singh is a former Australian Senator and was the first woman of South Asian heritage to be elected to the Australian Parliament. She is also a former Tasmanian Member of Parliament and was a Minister in the Tasmanian Government. She is currently the CEO of the Australia India Institute, a leading research and policy thinktank advancing Australia-India relations at the government, business, diaspora and academic levels. She is also Deputy Chair of the Australian Government’s Australia-India Council and sits on the advisory board of the University of Melbourne’s Asialink.
In 2014 she was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India for building friendly Australia-India relations, the highest civilian honour for a person of Indian origin. Representing Australia as an influential professional, Lisa has been advancing Australia’s social and economic ties with the Indo-Pacific region for over a decade. In 2016, representing Australia, Lisa was seconded to the United Nations General Assembly as an Australian government delegate. She continues to actively participate in inter-country dialogues including the 2022 Raisina Dialogue. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Tasmania and a Master of International Relations from Macquarie University. She lives in Melbourne.
Friday Aug. 26 - 09:00am - 09:30am (30 min)
Melissa brings a track record of decades of experience in Australian foreign policy to her role with the Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy & Defence Dialogue. For 13 years she served as National Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Melissa is currently a Council member of AIIA (Victoria). She joined the University of Melbourne in 2019 as Director of Diplomacy at Asialink and then as a Research Fellow/Associate in the Asia Institute. Most recently she was a visiting fellow in Taiwan at the Ministry of Defense’s think tank – the Institute of Defense and National Security Research – funded by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Andrew Cumpston, a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is Director of the Victoria State Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. From October 2015 until July 2019, Mr Cumpston was Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission in Wellington, New Zealand.
In Canberra, Mr Cumpston has held a range of positions including the Assistant Secretary, Banks and Funds Branch and was a Board Member of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mr Cumpston has previously served overseas as First Secretary and Economic Advisor Manila (2007-2009) and Honiara (2006) and as a Senior Advisor to the Foreign Minister. Mr Cumpston also worked at the Australian Department of Finance and was seconded to the World Bank.
Catriona Boyd is the Deputy Consul-General at the British Consulate-General in Melbourne and is focused on ensuring maximum benefit is realised from the UK- Australia relationship across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Before Melbourne (which is her first overseas posting), Catriona led a team working on citizens’ rights policy in the Department for Exiting the European Union and started her civil service career in the Department of Health and Social Care, working as a Private Secretary to the Minister for Health and Primary.
Prior to the civil service and with a background in legal studies, Catriona led the expansion of youth engagement for JUSTICE, a human rights and legal reform charity.
Leigh Howard has over two decades of experience representing Australian businesses in Asia, across corporate, government, start-up, and for-purpose sectors.
As the CEO of Asialink Business, Leigh is focused on delivering services that empower Australian organisations and their people to seize the opportunities available in Asian markets. Established in 2013, Asiaink Business is Australia’s National Centre for Asia Capability, supported by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources and hosted by the University of Melbourne.
Leigh was previously Deputy Commissioner to Southeast Asia for the State Government of Victoria, where he led a network of Trade & Investment offices assisting exporters and investors to access opportunities across the region.
Leigh’s roles in the private sector include board member and Executive Director for TradingPost.com.au, one of Australia’s biggest online classified portals, as well as the Director, South Asia for Talent2 International Ltd, one of Australia’s largest, publicly listed staffing companies.
Leigh is a Foundation Board Director of AustCham ASEAN, the peak body for all officially registered Australian chambers and business councils in Southeast Asia.
Layusa Isa-Odidi is a Partner with Dalberg Advisors, a global economic development and social impact firm. She advises corporations, governments, foundations, multilateral institutions, and NGOs, with a focus on private sector development, employment generation, and impact capital as a key tool to driving these across a range of sectors.
Prior to Dalberg, Layusa worked with McKinsey & Company in Lagos and the Boston Consulting Group in Boston, advising Fortune 100 companies in consumer goods and financial services, as well as national governments on energy. She has also served as a special adviser to the former Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment on the development of the private equity and venture capital space in Nigeria growth of the small- and medium-sized enterprises sector.
Layusa holds a Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA-ID) from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University.
Amit Singh is a Managing Director at Accenture where he serves government and technology sector clients with a focus on platforms and marketplaces. He has led strategy, research and economics projects for clients in over 25 countries covering economic impact analysis, regulatory and policy design, mobility systems integration, workforce development, media and content convergence, and responsible business. He previously served as Senior Economic Advisor to two Prime Ministers and an Opposition Leader where he worked on (or scrutinized) multiple Federal budgets. He also worked as head of economic policy globally at Uber in San Francisco where he oversaw key projects with leading thinkers, researchers and policymakers. He has delivered papers on the changing nature of work and its economic implications to global institutions including the ILO in Geneva. He is also a Fellow of the e61 Institute, a collaboration between Macquarie University and the University of Chicago.
Molina is the National President of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association. She is also the first South Asian woman to be elected President Elect of the Law Institute of Victoria. She is an experienced commercial lawyer having practiced at top-tier Australian law firms and the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office and in the Supreme Court of India.
Molina also serves on various boards including AMES Australia, Graduate House of the University of Melbourne, Good Shepherd ANZ, Gymnastics Victoria, AFL South East Commission, Table Tennis Victoria and Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health. She is also the co-founder of the Asian Australian Alliance and the founder of the organisation Multicultural Women in Sport.
She has received multiple awards for her work including the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence twice.
Michael provides strategic advice to the Australian Red Cross Board and Executive Team, and leads engagement with the other 191 National Societies and two Geneva-based institutions that make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Prior to this, Michael oversaw the International Humanitarian Law team's training program from 2017-2020. Michael came to Australian Red Cross following commercial litigation and pro-bono criminal law practice in Melbourne. Michael completed his juris Doctor from Melbourne Law School in 2014 with the support of a Zelman Cowen Scholarship, and the inaugural Geoff Hone Scholarship.
Prior to studying law, Michael worked in higher education; lecturing and providing technical expertise in music production in Australia and in the UK. Michael holds a Bachelor of Music with honours in Music Technology from the Queensland Conservatorium and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education.
Selena currently serves on the board of The Global Foundation and as a social impact consultant at Social Ventures Australia. Prior to transitioning fully to the for-purpose sector, she spent 15 years in the international nuclear power industry across Europe, Asia and Australia. Her diverse experience includes advancing technical collaborations to strengthen non-proliferation, advising governments on nuclear safety culture, and constructing nuclear power plants, alongside pro bono work with not-for-profits in Singapore, Malaysia, France, Benin, the UK and Australia. Selena is a graduate of Monash University (BSc), the University of Cambridge (PhD), Collège des Ingénieurs (MBA), the altMBA, and On Purpose.
Ms Spinks is currently the Director of Programs for Oxfam Australia. In this role she oversees the units within Oxfam that implement international programs across 25 countries as well as First Peoples’ programming and advocacy that is implemented alongside partners in Australia. She also oversees the Policy, Advocacy, Campaigns and Media teams at Oxfam Australia. Anthea has over 20 years of experience working in international programmes with a focus on humanitarian and conflict affected contexts.
As Director Ms Spinks is part of the executive leadership team within Oxfam Australia and she is responsible for leading programs and partnerships that support countries to achieve their goals of ending poverty and inequality.
She is currently a board member of the Emergency Action Alliance and the Deakin University Centre for Humanitarian Leadership’s advisory board.
Prior to joining Oxfam Australia, Ms Spinks worked for World Vision in a number of roles based internationally and in Australia and covered emergencies places such as in Nepal, Haiti, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Myanmar, Horn of Africa, Southern Africa. She has also been a RedR Australia Humanitarian Training Co-ordinator supporting the development of humanitarian professionals across the Asia and Pacific regions as well as in Australia.
Ms Spinks holds a BA Hons, Political Science (University of Sydney) and MA International Development (University of Melbourne)
Hayley joined Plan International Australia in 2017.
She has led major national and global campaigns on child rights, international development and gender equality, working with UNICEF, Plan International and various other NGOs in Australia, the UK and internationally.
With a background in journalism, campaigning and communications strategy, she is passionate about working with young people to create change.
Brian Borgonha is Assistant Director, Private Sector Relations New Colombo Plan (NCP), in the Global Programs & Partnerships Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Brian manages the New Colombo Plan (NCP) external stakeholder engagement relations and works with a range of business sponsors, academia, and NGO partners to obtain internships, training, and potential job openings for the NCP community. Overseas, Brian has served as SAO to the Australian Air Attaché’s Office in Washington DC, A/g DHOM (STA) in the Caribbean and as First Secretary in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In Canberra, Brian has also held a range of policy and development roles focussed on bilateral, multilateral, regional, and development, including Australia’s Pacific partnerships.
Thenu Herath is the CEO of Oaktree, a non-profit that supports young people in the
Asia-Pacific region to lead sustainable development initiatives in their communities. She has previously worked with World Vision, Teach for Australia and was the first female host of the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ Dyason House Podcast. Alongside her role at Oaktree, Thenu is also a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and a co-author of Australia’s first youth national security strategy. She has a degree in politics and international studies and is currently completing her Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne.
Mazita Marzuki is a senior diplomat in the Malaysian government, currently serving as Consul General at the Consulate General of Malaysia in Melbourne. Mazita has worked in Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2009, previously serving as the Deputy Director General for the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT). Mazita has also held positions as Deputy Chief of MIssion at the Embassy of Malaysia in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and as the Principal Assistant Secretary of the OIC and Regional Cooperation Division.
Eleanor has spent over 20 years working in the field of conflict, security and justice, including many years working in management and advisory roles with the UN and other international organisations in conflict-affected environments. Positions held include War Crimes Advisor to the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Head of the BiH Human Rights Coordination Centre, Head of UNHCR Zvornik Satellite Office covering Srebrenica, Political Advisor to the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) Coordinator, Gender Mainstreaming Focal Point in the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and consultant on conflict-related security and justice issues for various organisations, including UNDP, Saferworld and the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF). She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Monash University, where her research and teaching focus on inclusive ways to build security and justice after armed conflict.
Laura Hughes is currently employed as a Political and Economic Analyst at the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne. Her passion for Japan and international relations began when she started studying Japanese at primary school in Adelaide. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese language from The University of Adelaide, and a Master of International Security Studies degree from Macquarie University. Laura was a participant on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) in Gifu prefecture from 2008-2011 where she worked as an English Assistant Language Teacher at six junior high schools.
Josh Featherston graduated from Melbourne University with a BA in 2004, having studied history, literature and politics. After working in financial services, he was selected to participate in the JET Program. Between 2006-2010 he taught English to primary and junior high school students in Tokushima Prefecture, developing a deep love for the Japanese people, landscape and culture. He began working at the Consulate-General of Japan in the Political and Economic Section in 2011. In his role he conducts research and analysis of the Australian domestic political situation, and provides reporting and advice to Japanese diplomats on a wide range of topics relevant to Japanese interests.
Jessica joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2016 and most recently served as Second Secretary and Consul at the Australian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, periodically acting as Consul-General at the Australian Consulate-General in Istanbul. During the DFAT Graduate Program she acted overseas as Third Secretary and Consul at the Australian Consulate-General in Bali, Indonesia and Third Secretary and Consul at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, India. She worked in Canberra in a variety of foreign policy and corporate roles, including in the Media Liaison Section, North East Asia Branch and a brief stint as Office Manager in the Foreign Minister’s Office. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of International Business from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia and an MBA from Waseda University in Japan.
Eloise Dolan is Program Manager at Asia Society Australia, driving design and delivery of the organisation’s Victoria-based programming. She also leads the national Gen A (Generation Asia) young leaders’ network, a platform that connects and develops the next generation of Asiafocused leaders. Eloise previously worked as the Project Coordinator for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program. Passionate about intercultural learning, Eloise has served as both a board director and volunteer for AFS Intercultural Programs and regularly works in a team of international trainers to design and facilitate webinar content on global competence and social justice. In 2021 she was named as a young woman to watch by Young Australians in International Affairs.
Valentina Tan is a Research and Industry Officer in a newly created Victorian Government body, mRNA Victoria, a part of the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. In her current role, she is responsible for supporting the Victorian research and industry sector to develop its RNA ecosystem capabilities to make it globally competitive, and ensure that Australia has sovereign capabilities in fighting the next pandemic as well as other infectious diseases and health conditions.
Born in Brunei, she came to Melbourne in 2005, gaining her bachelor’s degree in economics and politics at Monash, and her Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Melbourne. Some of her achievements in her time in International Engagement include working on Australia’s periodic reports to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and leading Victoria’s input on the Australia - European Union and Australia - United Kingdom Free Trade Agreements.
Steven is a generalist human resource professional with a range of management experience, covering all facets of the discipline. He possess a range of extensive experience in the development and implementation of HR strategies and programs, including workforce planning, leadership development, talent management, graduate development, attraction & retention and performance management processes. He currently leads the Defence Graduate Recruitment and Marketing team who are responsible for the recruitment of candidates to the Defence Graduate Program, STEM Cadetships and a range of other entry level programs.
Steven possesses a Masters of Human Resources Management - University of Canberra; Graduate Certificate of Management - University of Canberra and Diploma of Government – HR
Laura Burke is the Regional Manager – Southeast Asia at Global Victoria. She is an experienced strategic adviser, lawyer and project manager that has worked across the government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Laura has provided strategic and policy development advice in Australia and Indonesia across a range of areas, including international trade, emergency management, human rights, anti-corruption, disability and social inclusion, preventing violent extremism and child marriage. She has also volunteered in the Australian Red Cross’ International Humanitarian Law and Emergency Services teams and sat on the Law Institute of Victoria’s Human Rights Committee. Laura has previously worked at Emergency Management Victoria, the Federation of Community Legal Centres, the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) and the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice in Jakarta. Before taking a two-year sabbatical to travel around the world, she was a Senior Associate at Clayton Utz.
Dylan has several years’ experience in politics and public policy. In his current role Dylan is responsible for policy development and advocacy on behalf of Victorian businesses and industries to ensure that the right policy settings are in place for them to thrive in Victoria. Prior to this he was an adviser to the Victorian Treasurer with carriage of several portfolios. He was previously a Masters and Undergraduate lecturer at Monash University.
DIO is part of the broader Defence Intelligence Group (DIG) and collaborates closely with the broader Defence intelligence community, and with Australia’s National Intelligence Community (NIC) and international partners in support of Government and Defence priorities. DIO is Defence’s all-source intelligence assessment agency. DIO’s role is to provide well-judged, clear and timely insights into defence and security-related matters that may affect Australia’s national interests. DIO’s assessments must enable ministers, policy advisers, capability managers and military commanders to make informed decisions. DIO works primarily at the strategic level but it also works to support the operational and tactical domains.
Vice Consul Alfredo L. Gonzalez joined the U.S. State Department in 2018. He has served as a Consular Officer in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Australia, and looks forward to his next assignment in Iraq. He has experience in all aspects of consular operations, including non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas, and American Citizen Services. Prior to joining the State Department, Alfredo worked for 14 years as a lawyer in private practice in Miami, FL, where he specialized in immigration law, with additional experience in litigation and appeals. He earned his undergraduate degree in English and History from the University of Miami and obtained a J.D. from Columbia Law School.
The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) is pleased to attend the International Careers Conference. AGO is part of the Australian Intelligence Community.
AGO provides Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) in support of Australia’s Defence Force, broader Australian Government and National Intelligence Community priorities. GEOINT is derived from the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial data that informs our understanding of features and events, with reference to space and time. Understanding what happens where and when, underpins all strategic and operational decisions. AGO informs decision-making at the highest levels of government and contributes towards the protection of Australia’s national security. AGO provides unique insights into international developments and critical support to ADF operations and activities.