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 Berhan Ahmed (Shiday)
Dr Berhan M. Ahmed (Shiday) is the current ex-Chairperson of the African Think Tank (ATT); ex-chief editor of the ATT focus E-magazine; CEO of the African Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services; Board member of Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre; and White Ribbon Ambassador and well-known to many African residing in Australia, through his commitment to numerous community issues via main stream media and community media and community activities. First African Australian Senate Candidate for federal election 2004 for Victoria. Dr. Ahmed is a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne for over 17 years.
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 for African refugees, Refugees committee (1997 – 2005), and Board member of AMES 2008 – 2016.
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 will explore new ways of engaging youth in participation, decision and eliminate 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 youth in Australia.
Dr Ahmed first priority is to make Victorian diverse multicultural society a strong, dynamic and a show case “yard stake” society in Australia and around the world. A community that values its heritage while embracing multiculturalisms, 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 my own life experience; my memories of being a refugee as a teen age (1978), discriminated, entrenched in poverty and treated as enemy before I knew what an enemy mean; this stand in sharp contrast to the dignity and love that I got from my family and from my adopted country Australia.
My job as a leader 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.
I hope in doing so, community members to place emphasis on local and national issues and provide moral and financial support to all the homeless, youth, and refugees regardless of their religion, tribe, race, skin color, political membership, gender, age, income, education level etc. I will not be a mouthpiece of either the government or the opposition, but I will support any youth to participate and practice his/her democratic rights within any political, social, economic, cultural and sport activities.
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 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 (Mineral Processing and Oil & Gas), 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 currently serves as expert Reviewer for several journals 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. His approach to problem solving is a combination of enthusiasm, dedication, logical paths, cause-and-effects analyses, realistic optimism and organisation. Michael brought these to serve as Ordinary Board member and later became the Treasurer of the African Think Tank (ATT).
M. Education Policy International, B. Education, Grad Dip Student Welfare
Jennifer has broad experience working with networks of industry, business, government and civic contacts gained through past and present leadership roles that include:
- CEO Futures Voices Inc. 2016 -17
- Cultural Arts teacher, Dept of Justice, Boxhill TAFE 2017
- African Think Tank board member 2017
- Inaugural Chair National Partnership Brokers Network 2010 - 2011
- 2009 - 2011, 2014 Convenor of the Victorian LLEN Partnership Broker Network
- CEO of the Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) 2001 – 2014
- State Convenor Regional Youth Advisory Network (RYAN) 2009 – 2011
- Chair Goulburn Regional Youth Advisory Committee 2003 - 2011
- Past Assistant District Governor, Rotary 9790
- Past President Rotary Club of Tatura
- Fairley Fellow (Goulburn Murray Rural Leadership Program)1999
- Past Inaugural President of the National Council of Women, Goulburn Valley and State Regional Representative
- Senior Regional Curriculum Consultant, DEECD Hume Region 1996 - 1998
- Civics and Citizenship Regional Network Leader, DEECD 2000 - 2001
- Secondary teacher in both metropolitan and rural government and non government schools, holding senior positions in administration, curriculum, faculty coordination and welfare 1977 - 2001
- 2009 – 2014 Member of the Goulburn Valley Integrated Settlement Planning Committee and a founding member of the Shepparton District Interagency Team
- A broad base of learning and skill acquisition underpins her thinking and strategies, including: Masters in International Education Policy, Bachelor of Education Melbourne University; Post Graduate Diploma Welfare including counselling and communication skills, conflict resolution and mediation, group behaviour and dynamics; study at the Centre for Adolescent Health; accredited training in:Alcohol and Drug Management; Marketing and Promotion; Total Quality Management and Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle Centred Leadership.
International experience includes:
- Sarawak, Borneo Art and Culture study trip, Deakin University 1990
- Masters in International Education Policy, University of Melbourne study trip to: Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom 2010
- University of Melbourne study trip to: Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom 2013
- 2017 Member of the Pan African-Australasian Diaspora Network (PAADN): working parties: Diplomatic and International Relations committee; Community Leaders and Engagement committee and Academics, Research and Knowledge committee.
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.
Mr Njanja, originally from Kenya and now living in both Australia and Kenya, holds a Master of Applied Technology from Monash University. His first degree was Bachelor of Commerce acquired from Nairobi University. Mr Njanja has served in many capacities at Unilever and General Motors. In both firms, Mr Njanja was in charge of Africa operations and so his knowledge of Africa is solid. Mr Njanja has also over the years conducted extensive business in the middle east and Asia regions.
He is a Director at the Job Training Institute (JTI) which he co-founded in 2008. JTI is a medium sized Registered Training Organization (RTO]) licensed to offer training across Australia focusing on Community Services and Health qualifications. Mr Njanja’s entrepreneurial skills have been acquired and manifest through interaction with multinationals in Africa and co-founding many successful businesses in IT, construction and business management in both Kenya and Australia.
Mr Njanja’s philanthropic activities and leadership in community organizations is widely recognized in Australia. He is the founder Chairman of Kenya Community Victoria Inc. a not-for-profit organization, whose primary objective is to bring the community together to share joy, grief, celebrate and also share experiences and knowledge with a view to equipping the community to excel in their endeavours.
Coordinating community activities involves organizing events, info sessions, conferences, and workshops to equip the youth with life skills and to empower our ladies and men. This we believe is the pathway to motivated and grounded individuals, strong families and communities.
Mr Njanja is also one of the founders of African Australian Community Leadership Forum which aims to engage the government in terms of collaboration and bring about better understanding of the African Australian in society.
He is also AFL Multicultural Ambassador having been inducted in 2014. This role opens a whole lot of opportunities to the African community to take advantage of the most popular sport in Australia.
Mr Njanja is director of Africa Think Tank (ATT). ATT provides training in Leadership and advocacy for the disadvantaged of society..
Mr Njanja also a member of the Advisory Committee of Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria.
Mr Njanja is also listed in Federation Square as one of the contributors to President Nelson Mandela Memorial alongside other global contributors in tribute to the much loved and larger than life Madiba.
Currently Mr Njanja is engaged in a drive to launch Swahili Schools right across Victoria and as of 2016, Swahili classes in the South East in collaboration with Victoria School of Language (VSL) and another in the North has been running since 2015 initially at Fitzroy School. Another Swahili school is in the process of being setup in the Western suburbs. With time, we expect to open Swahili centres right across Victoria to cater for the broader community, especially travellers to Swahili speaking parts of the world, mainly Africa. Alongside Swahili School is the "Youth Leadership Forum" which among other objectives aims to equip the youth with Life Skills to survive and thrive in today's world.
Mr Njanja is married and has three children.
Wadzanai is a Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Herconomics a Sisterhood bringing women together to talk, learn and teach about money in an open and judgement free space via the Herconomics Sisterhood facebook group and face to face money conversation events.
Wadzanai is passionate about the advancement of African Australians and is currently developing a Financial Literacy Program focused on Migrant women many who come from Africa to become financially literate and empowered.
She graduated from the African Think Tank’s African Leadership Development Program in 2016 where she received a great foundation of becoming a leader in the Australian community and supporting the advancement of African Australians.
She is the Engagement Officer of Women's Melbourne Network an organisation that creates a network for women in Melbourne to share and engage with each other and the wider public on gender equality issues.
A Financial Services Professional with over ten years’ experience in the industry. She has worked in the areas of Financial Planning, Superannuation, Investments, Banking and Compliance. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University, Master of Accounting from Swinburne University, Diploma of Financial Planning from ASFA and a Graduate Diploma of Public Policy from RMIT University.
She is the Member and Social Affairs Coordinator for The Coalition for Female Social Entrepreneurs a networking and accelerator platform for Female Social Entrepreneurs in Australia many that came as immigrants and are making a wonderful contribution to their adopted country. The group learns from and support each other and have access to mentors and other individuals that can help them scale their enterprises for greater impact.
Wadzanai is passionate about the empowerment of Women. She believes the sky is not the limit it’s only the beginning. Her focus is in becoming the best version of herself and inspiring others especially women to be the best versions of themselves and in turn changing the world.