The Board

Dr Berhan Ahmed (Shiday)         

Dr Berhan M. Ahmed (Shiday) is the Victorian Australian of the year 2009, co-chairperson of the Australia Africa University Network; current Chairperson of the African Think Tank and Adjunct Professor at the university of Melbourne in Australia and is well-known to mainstream Aussies and Africans residing in Australia, through his commitment to numerous community issues via Multicultural and main stream media. First African Australian Senate Candidate for federal election 2004 for Victoria and he was an independent candidate for the seat of Melbourne by-election on 21 July 2012. Dr. Ahmed has been one of the founding members of Imagine the future, Nelson Mandela and Africa day; African Australian Small Business Association; etc. Through his work and communication across the academic, government departments, Private and Public institutions, industry and community domains (working with Grass root members), at The University of Melbourne, CSIRO, Metropolitan public Transport and Taxi industry as expert on ecological and social (youth challenges) management become very well-known in Australia and Internationally.  This and many other similar roles has earned the respect of the academia, industry and community leaders and the general public, communities  around the world and the human right groups; together with recognition by national and international institution, industries and colleagues in the field. He has and is supervising several PhD and other postgraduate students and published extensively in the international journals, mainstream media and conferences with over 150 papers and over 300 articles.

Elected as chairperson on 19 March 2006 for the African Think Tank and Dr. Ahmed served as the advocate of human rights and refugee settlement in Australia and served as Refugees committee (1997 – 2005), and Board member for AMES 2008 – June 2015.

Dr Ahmed is motivated by five core principles – social justice, sustainability development, Aboriginal reconciliation, building stronger and dynamic communities and applying democracy in action. His current leadership role explores new ways of engaging Africans in participation, decision and eliminates the culture of cover up and continued hostility and lack of co-operation among community members. The African communities will also engage with other communities to create harmony and good image of the Africans in Australia.

His first priority is to make this diverse community a strong, dynamic and a show case “yardstick” African community in Australia and around the world. A community that values its heritage while embracing multiculturalism, tolerance, respects and cares for each other. The challenges are enormous and will be faced with happiness, community member’s consultation, talents and team work of the leadership. This stems from his own life experience; memories of being a refugee at a teen age, discriminated, entrenched in poverty and treated as enemy before he knew what an enemy mean; this stand in sharp contrast to the dignity and love that he received from my family and from my adopted country Australia.

His role as a chairman is to help others achieve their full potential, and also want to see community members engaged actively in shaping their own futures with a confidence that comes from a sense of pride of their identity and respect and trust of each other.


Dr Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe   

An empowering, client-focused academic, researcher and engagements Manager with outstanding community leadership added to high-level and exceptional professional management skills of cross-cultural sensitive capacity building nature (collaborative and participatory development). He plays excellent roles in advisory, advocacy, and collaborative relationship building including admirable partnerships’ enhancements. He is one of the experts in the settlement services deliveries to the African Australians communities in Victoria/Australia as well with an international African Diaspora links. He holds diverse international higher and other forms of educational experience and qualifications embedded in multicultural community stakeholders-ship management capabilities that are critical in delivering innovation and change especially in the current global world. He operates with exceptional collaborative relationship management and business facilitation skills.

 As well, he has extensive expertise in engaging and maintaining institutional connections, research, and community development, all of which tend to be aimed at driving sustainable knowledge growth, new capacities’ development, knowledge creation and sharing for social policy reforms, as well for better services delivery, in addition to reforms’ contributions including supporting the marginalised. For a number of years, he has researched, published, engaged communities, taught as well as being units’ coordinator of strategic Management subjects including International Business and International Management, Project Management, Organisational Change and Development, Employment Relations, Human Resources Management/Development, and Strategic Management. He has made significant inputs to higher education knowledge creation, sharing and delivery particularly through research developments and contributing to students’ career pathways; all done with shared visions and strategies.

 Apollo is specialised in Strategic and Effective Cross-Cultural knowledge delivery and Change Management especially in reference to the management and delivery of Settlement Services to Emerging Communities in both metro and regional/rural Victoria (Effective Management of Settlement Services). All these are added to being a tireless community leader, who believes in equitable and fair treatment of all (access and equity). He holds a PhD in Strategic Organisational and Human Resources Management from La Trobe University, Business School, where has been teaching/lecturing for over 17 years. Other qualifications include: a Graduate Diploma/Masters Personnel and Industrial Relations, a Graduate Diploma Therapeutic Counselling, a Graduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, a Graduate Certificate in Social and Medical Research, and he is a member of a number of top professional bodies (see below and the designation following his signature/name reflect so).


Dr Michael Akindeju  

Dr Michael Akindeju is a synergetic optimist, a nature loving personality who believes that there is no limit to human comprehension. The more beauty he brings to bear on the lives of his community, the lives of those close to him and the lives of those within his sphere of influence, the more the beauty and peace he enjoys in his personal live. He believes that no man is cheated by life or nature, except that there are those who cheat themselves in life making nature their excuse; and that a man can succeed is certain, but that he will is not. Therefore, if a man must succeed he must also work hard and smart with his gifts.

 Michael was born and educated in Nigeria. After his initial studies and 16years of Industry Experience (in Manufacturing, Oil & Gas Process Design, Engineering Consulting, and Banking), he migrated to Australia in 2006 to complete his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering Process Management.

 In 2008, Michael won the prestigious Australian Postgraduate (APA) Scholarship Award for his PhD in Chemical Engineering (Multi-Scale modelling and Controlled Synthesis of Titania Nanoparticles) during which he pioneered a novel system for controlled synthesis of Nanoparticles. He is a Chartered Engineer (UK Engineering Council) and a Professionally Registered Engineer in Queensland, Australia with in-depth cross boundary experiences including in academia, industry, banking and finance which are all geared towards adding value to stakeholders. He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (UK & Australia), a Senior Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a Member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy; and he is currently serving as expert Reviewer for several journals including Elsevier’s Chemical Engineering Science, Journal of Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry, Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology, Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technologies, and Insight Medical Publishing; and has authored 15 research articles, 2 book chapters and 1 book, while he has contributed to several others.

 Michael is the Group CEO of MKPro group of companies focusing on Process— Technologies, Development and Innovations, Design, Management, and Operational Optimisations. He believes in process’ and business’ dynamic work-flows and process automations aimed at removing operational drudgeries, and has helped several Mineral Resource and Oil & Gas process plants to realise and surpass their corporate production targets by providing technically sound and cost effective process risk management, process designs, site installations and commissioning tailored to suit both their current and forecast raw material bases without compromising on environmental and social responsibilities.  His approach to problem solving is a combination of enthusiasm, dedication, logical paths, cause-and-effects analyses, realistic optimism and organisation. Michael brings these to serve as Ordinary Board member and later the Treasurer of the African Think Tank (ATT), he is a keen proponent for self-awareness, learning and development.


Susan Lloyd       

Susan has over 18 years of Board experience in the Not For Profit, Community, Health and Hospital sectors and is a retired Local Government Councillor. Susan won an International award to the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and International Leadership programs in the UK enabling her to meet and be invited by the Mayor of Freetown (Sierra Leone) who invited her to visit Sierra Leone. Susan has been travelling through African to Sierra Leone regularly since 2008 and has written her Master’s Thesis on Medical Education and Training in Western Africa. Through the African Think Tank, Susan is very keen to support and develop the next generation of African Australian leaders, strengthen strategic relationships to enhance opportunities for employment and training and improve the lives of African Australians and their families.


Robert Olney (B.Ec, DFP, Grad Dip Banking and Finance)

Robert has over 30 years’ sales experience in the financial services industry working with Corporate Australia.  As a result he brings to the ATT Board significant Finance, Management, Administration and People Management acumen. Through the business activities with clients throughout his professional career he has developed the practical skills required in identifying what are the key issues that any organisation is facing and provided solutions that were specific to each client’s requirements. This applied irrespective of the type or size of the organisations he has engaged with, from SMEs and Community based non for profit organisations through to ASX top 200 clients, they all have specific issues that require solutions that apply to their unique strategic objectives. He has been actively involved and successfully led change management and project management activities that have delivered significant outcomes for the corporate organisations that he has worked for. To be successful he has developed strong referral networks that enable him to influence relevant stakeholders to assist in delivering desired commercial outcomes.

His belief to implementing effective change in our community is through education, in particular leadership development, as this will have a direct and significant impact on social justice outcomes. Robert is currently a mentor to a participant in the African Leadership Development Program 2016.

Through his 2 daughters active involvement with many sporting pursuits over the last 20 years Robert has been actively involved with all facets of running sporting teams and organisations with the key learning being how critical stakeholder management is, ensuring all are relevant parties are regularly informed as to what is what is being done to ensure the common goal or outcome is being achieved. Trust and credibility have been the foundations to all these stakeholder engagement activities.

Robert’s key philosophy when talking to any stakeholder is not accepting the words – “We can’t” and always looking for the answer to “How can we”.


Dr Cathy Vaughan

Dr Cathy Vaughan is a researcher and lecturer based in the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.  Her research and teaching focuses on health inequalities, particularly looking at how gender, age, disability, and the experience of migration affect people’s health.  Research on immigrant and refugee health issues means that Cathy has developed strong working relationships and friendships with members of diverse African Australian communities in Victoria, and it was through this research that she first became involved with the African Think Tank.

 Through the research in Australia, and the health and development work Cathy has done in low- and middle-income countries for many years, she recognizes how important community leadership is in addressing health and other inequalities.  It is vitally important that leadership bodies such as the ATT contribute to building the capacity, networks and evidence-base available to a broad range of future community leaders, including young people, women and others who may not have had leadership opportunities in the past.  Cathy has been a member of the Board of the ATT since 2015.


Milton Njana      

Mr Njanja has been ATT board member since 2013 having started off as Assistant Secretary and rising to Sectetary in 2015.

Milton has been an active member of ATT and has consistently participated in Leadership Development Program (ALDP) by way of working with Leadership Victoria in recruitment and interviewing of candidates. As Chair of Kenya Community Victoria, Milton has reached out to the community for candidates from the community to participate in the program. He has also on numerous occasions represented, ATT in other forums both African and multi-cultural [events, meetings etc.]

Milton’s vision for ATT is that of an apex organization that represents and reflects the aspirations of African-Australians while serving as the voice and bridge between the African-Australians and the Australian society. I also look forward to ATT [maybe with other like-minded organizations] have digital media outlets [Radio, TV etc.] that will project accurate position of the Africa-Australians. This will also act as a conduit of knowledge and skills transfer to Africa. This way ATT will come alive in Africa and have the voice of Africa-Australians heard in Africa and collaboratively fast-track progressive change in Africa.

My other expectation of ATT is that it would conduct its operations/activities in such a manner that other African organizations will look up to ATT for guidance and in the course of time become the undisputed voice of Africans in Australia. Tall order but doable/attainable.