About Us

Our Team

The UNAA has teams situated across Australia. With a small efficient core staff and over 150 titled volunteers, we work together to inform, inspire and engage all Australians regarding the work, goals, and values of the UN to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable world.

Choose a team to learn about our people

National Board

Goodwill Ambassadors

National Office

National Programs

Young Professional Network

Academic Network

UNAA Divisions (Executive Committees)

Lachlan Hunter – National Executive Director

Lachlan Hunter was appointed National Executive Director in May 2018.

Lachlan’s knowledge as former ACT Young Professionals President and NSW Board Director assures his commitment to building generational change and in continuing the modernisation of the UNAA. As well as having worked for the Federal Government, Ministerial Offices, the not-for-profit sector and most recently as an Executive for Chief Executive Women, Lachlan brings contemporary relevance to the UNAA. Lachlan’s experience will be crucial in forming key strategic government and private sector partnerships, driving National programs on the Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights, and in overseeing implementation of the new Strategic Plan 2018-2023.

Lachlan has a Bachelor of Arts and Economics from the University of Adelaide, Diploma of Government in Public Policy, Certificate of PRINCE2 in Project Management, and is currently undertaking a Master of Laws.


UNAA National Board

Major General (Ret’d) Michael G Smith AO – President

Michael Smith is the National President of the United Nations Association of Australia. He is the Chairperson of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund, a former Visiting Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University and former Adjunct Professor at the Key Centre for Ethics, Governance, Law, and Justice at Griffith University. Michael consults on peace and security issues and maintains a strong commitment to human rights. He has had a long association with the United Nations, including field experience in Cambodia, Kashmir, Libya, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor-Leste, and Yemen.

From 2008-2011, Michael was the founding Executive Director of the Australian Civil-Military Centre, a multi-agency organisation established by the Australian Government in 2008 to support the development of national civil-military capabilities to prevent, prepare for, and respond more effectively to conflicts and disasters overseas. The Centre worked particularly closely with the United Nations and contributed to Australia’s successful bid for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.

From 2002-2008, Michael was CEO of Austcare (now Action Aid Australia), an international humanitarian and development agency committed to supporting underprivileged communities, including refugees and internally displaced persons affected by conflict, explosive remnants of war, violence and natural disaster. Under his leadership, Austcare significantly increased its funding and pioneered a ‘protection of civilians’ program with UN humanitarian agencies.

Major General Smith served for 34 years as an Army Officer in the Australian Defence Force. He graduated with the ‘sword of honour’ from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1971, and had a distinguished military career as an infantry officer. He was a member of the Defence Organisation’s Strategic Review writing team in 1993, served as Australia’s Defence Adviser to the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1994, and throughout 1999 was Director-General for East Timor. He was appointed as the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in 2000-2001, in recognition for which he was promoted from a Member to an Officer in the Order of Australia.

Dr. Stephen John Lennon – WA President and National Vice President

Dr. Stephen Lennon is a qualified scientist and engineer, with a primary degree in Chemistry and a Masters and Doctorate degree in Materials Engineering. He is an experienced company director, having held Board positions on state and private companies in South Africa and the USA, as well as numerous not for profit entities. His independent, non-executive experience has been strongly supported by a rich executive career in Eskom, which is South Africa’s State-Owned power company.

He is widely recognised for his expertise in the sustainability area and he has held numerous international leadership roles in this area. He is also recognised as an international expert in the energy sector, with specialist knowledge in sustainability, energy technology (fossil, nuclear, renewables and delivery systems), climate change and renewable energy.

Steve has a strong local and global network through advisory roles and various executive and non-executive leadership roles. For several years, he was Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Innovation – an advisory body to South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology – as well as Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Energy and Environment Commission. In the latter role, he engaged extensively with the United Nations as the voice of International Business. These engagements included climate change negotiations, water, and energy, as well as input to the formulation of the Sustainable Development goals in Johannes-burg in 2002 and Rio in 2012. He has worked with UNEP, UNDP, and UNIDO. In particular, he was part of the advisory team in the formulation of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) programme which was a programme run by UNIDO and supported by the office of the Secretary-General.

Steve is regarded as an effective business leader with a reputation for constructive input to various global forums such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the United Nations Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce.

He is currently Managing Director of Shanduvan (Pty) Ltd, a specialist energy, sustainability and strategy advisory service and investment holdings company, based in Perth, providing high-level advisory services in Southern Africa, Australia, and the USA. He is also Chief Executive of SolaJoule Pty Ltd, efficient lighting, electrical services and point of use solar technology company.

Louisa Minney – Secretary

Louisa has more than 20 years’ experience in Australia and internationally, in strategic change management and evaluation, with specific expertise in the international and security sectors. During her career as a specialist advisor, she has worked closely with more than 20 organisations; including government agencies, not-for-profit organisations, academic institutions, the private sector, and multi and bilateral organisations.

Louisa founded her career through work in disaster relief (crisis response) and, supportive work for developing nations more broadly as well as Australia’s response to that mission. In this capacity, she has worked with the United Nations World Food Programme in China and more recently, she has consulted to the Australian Civil Military Centre where she designed the Australian Interagency Preparedness Framework designed to enhance whole-of-government capacity to respond to crises.  In the past, she has worked with a UNFPA Inter-Agency Working Group drafting coordination policies for sexual and reproduce health response in crises.  Louisa is currently working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.  Louisa works with these agencies to develop initiatives that increase economic participation and employment opportunities, with an emphasis on the economic empowerment of women.

Concurrently with her civilian career, Louisa serves in the Australian Army as an Officer in the Australian Army Reserve. Louisa was awarded her Commission in 1992 and provides service as a Subject Matter Expert on diversity and inclusion, and Women, Peace and Security to Vice Chief of the Defence Group and the Peace Operations Training Centre.

Louisa is also a Director on the board of Australia Business Volunteers and an elected member of the International Development Contractors (IDC) Australia Executive Committee. Louisa was a nominated participant in Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world panel for the 2020 Australia Summit.

Tony Dobson – Treasurer

Tony is a CPA qualified accountant and Registered Tax Agent who has a wealth of experience and expertise working in both the commercial and not for profit sectors, assisting a wide variety of small to medium-sized organisations. Skilled in compliance, reporting and business strategy, Tony has a proven track record dealing with a diverse range of people and business situations. Tony’s qualifications include Master of Business Administration, CPA Professional Status and Bachelor of Business in Finance & Accounting.

Donnell Davis – QLD President

Bio coming soon…

Brian Gleeson – ACT President

Brian is currently an international development consultant who has just completed an assignment with the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia and soon to take up an assignment in PNG. Brian completed a two-year contract as the Director of Human Resources UNRWA in Amman Jordan and was responsible for the oversight, leadership, and management of all human resources policies and practices in Headquarters and the five Field Offices – Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank. UNRWA has over 30,000 national (Area) staff and around 200 international staff.

Brian has had over fifty years of experience in international and the Australian Public Service, working with and for most UN agencies for over fifteen years, including has head of the UN in Libya, setting up UN Women, working directly with five Heads of UN agencies and a previous Secretary-General as Senior Adviser in transition teams and change management.

His last position (2009 to 2014) in the Australian Public Service was the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services – a statutory position responsible for oversight of the Remote Service Delivery program in support of improving the quality of life of Indigenous Australians in designated remote communities around Australia.

Lidia Moretti – SA President

Lidia was a teacher educator at the University of South Australia for over 25 years. Lidia taught English in the Foreign Language Department of Huizhou University, China for 6 years. She was also coordinator of Food and Wine Study Tour of South Australia for 5 years for the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy. Lidia has led delegations to the Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre, held in Turin Italy, which included members of Govt, Australian Ambassadors to Rome, Business Leaders, SBS Broadcasting Network, Iconic Australian Chefs and members of UN Youth since 2006. Lidia has also been an Advisor to the Australian Slow Food Management Group and co-leader of the South Australian Division.

Lidia hosts weekly information and interview radio food program on 5RPH (Vision Australia) since 2005. Lidia is a Board Member of 5RPH and on the Advisory Board of 5RPH(Vision Australia), and also an Honorary Member of Cittaslow Goolwa (Australia). Lidia is a delegate to the International Assembly of Cittaslow International Italy and the Netherlands since 2008, and also coordinator of a music cultural exchange between Adelaide and the headquarters of Cittaslow, Orvieto, Italy. Lidia has been an ambassador for OZ Harvest Food Rescue Program since 2011 and has helped to establish it in South Australia.

Lidia represented the UNAA at the WFUNA European Meeting in Geneva. Lidia is also a Committee Member of the Australian Committee for UN Women, Adelaide Breakfast (SA), an active member of the Italian Community(SA), and a Justice of the Peace.

Dr. Patricia Jenkings – NSW President

Dr Jenkings is passionate about the importance of quality education, in particular, for women and girls. Dr Jenkings was awarded her PhD and BA with Honours from the University of Sydney.

In 2014, Dr Jenkings was a representative at the UNA European meeting in Geneva. Patricia has served as Vice Chair UN Women Sydney, is a Member of the Academic Council on the UN System and, at the Council’s Annual Meeting in New York, presented on UN principles.

Dr Jenkings is an experienced Ministerial Policy and Research Analyst who has assisted disadvantaged peoples globally. For women and struggling communities throughout Africa, she has developed strategic programs, contributed towards educational and workplace reform, combatting child trafficking and improving life chances for disadvantaged youth in Pakistan. Dr Jenkings also led a UN Local Governance Project for Uzbekistan to increase local participation. At home, Dr Jenkings initiated a surf awareness program at Bondi Surf Club for new settlers to Australian shores, for which she received international recognition. She is passionate about advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a UN initiative to transform our world by 2030, to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

Ian Howie – VIC President

Ian is currently Adjunct Professor in International Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne. He has spent more than 30 years working in the field of international development. The majority of this time was spent with the United Nations as a career official and included multi-year assignments as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in China (with responsibilities also for Mongolia and North Korea), Vietnam, Ghana, Rwanda and Papua New Guinea. He also spent seven years at UN Headquarters, New York, following his appointment as Director, Division of Human Resources.

Earlier, Ian served as a Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) managing primary health care projects in rural Bangladesh, in the plantation sector in Sri Lanka and in the industrial estates of Kenya and the slums of Nairobi. Prior to joining the UN, he spent a number of years in the South Pacific working as a university lecturer, a trade union official and as a ministerial adviser. Ian has also been the recipient of a number of national awards including Distinguished Service medals from Vietnam, China and Mongolia and a presidential citation from Ghana. Ian is on the boards of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project, and the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance, and is a patron of Marie Stopes International.

Katrina Fong Lim – NT President

Katrina Fong Lim is a born and bred Territorian.  Her family has a deep connection to Darwin and Northern Australia, having arrived in the 1860s from southern China. Katrina has had a career in the Public Service, Community Sector and runs a small business.  She holds a Bachelor of Business, Masters of Professional Accounting and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Most recently Katrina has completed a five-year term as City of Darwin’s Lord Mayor. Her skill set includes financial management; governance, marketing, event management, fundraising and working with people. Her volunteer involvement in the community has included sitting on the board/committee of Youth Training Advisory Committee, NT Volunteering, NTCOSS, Foundation for Young Australians and the National Heart Foundation.

Michael Henry AM – National Board Director

Michael was an intern at the UN in New York in the early 1970s and went on to work for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), based in New York. He was responsible for education and research programs in South East Asia, as well as programs in the Philippines and South Pacific. On returning to Australia, Michael undertook UNFPA needs assessments in Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Tonga and renewed a long-standing interest in NGO development issues.

Michael has served substantial terms as Chair for Oxfam Australia and Deputy Chair of Oxfam International, retiring in 2012. He is currently a member of the Council of the Australian Institute for International Affairs (Victoria) and is Managing Director of the Strategy Shop, in Melbourne.

Jessica Herne – UN Youth Australia President
Jessica is the National President of UN Youth Australia. She has been involved in UN Youth Australia as a volunteer since 2013. Last year, she served as Chief Communications Officer on UN Youth’s National Executive, coordinating the organisation’s profile and outreach across both traditional and social media. She was also previously Vice-President of the Victorian Division and has volunteered on educational programs to Europe and the Middle East. Jessica has recently graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and International Studies/Media and Communications) and U21 Diploma in Global Issues.

Laura John – National Young Professionals Lead

Laura John is a lawyer in the Office of General Counsel at Australian Government Solicitor. She has extensive experience in leadership, advocacy, and public speaking internationally and at home in Australia.

Laura has previously worked as a consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva and volunteered with advocacy organisation Human Rights First in New York. She was a rapporteur for the 2nd UNESCO Conference on Global Citizenship Education in Paris and a panelist at the World Education Forum in South Korea.

Laura was selected as the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations in 2014. In this role, she engaged with a variety of stakeholders including young people, media, politicians and civil society. Laura’s term as Youth Representative culminated with a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on the importance of good mental health, resilience, and well-being.

Laura received the inaugural Graduate of the Year award from the Australian Public Service in 2015 for her outstanding contribution and leadership. She is currently completing a Master of Laws in International Law through the Australian National University.

UNAA Goodwill Ambassadors

Professor Ramesh Thakur – Goodwill Ambassador for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

Professor Thakur is Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and Editor-in-Chief of Global Governance. He was formerly Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University (and UN Assistant Secretary-General). Educated in India and Canada, he has held full-time academic appointments at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has also served as a consultant/adviser to the Australian, New Zealand and Norwegian governments on arms control, disarmament and international peace and security issues.

Professor Thakur was a Commissioner and a principal author of The Responsibility to Protect, and Principal Writer of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s second reform report. He was a Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Foundation Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario. He is presently Co-Convenor of the Asia–Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Professor Thakur’s recent books include Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey; The Responsibility to Protect: Norms, Laws and the Use of Force in International Politics; The Group of Twenty (G20); The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy; Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015; Nuclear Weapons and International Security: Selected Essays; and The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect.

Hon. Dr Lynn Arnold – Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Dr Lynn Arnold AO is former Premier of South Australia and former CEO of World Vision Australia. Prior to his appointment as Premier in 1992, Dr Arnold worked in the Labor Government for 11 years. He has extensive experience working with World Vision, having also served as Senior Director for World Vision International and World Vision’s Regional Vice-President for Asia and the Pacific. A long-time member of the UNAA (SA), Dr Arnold has held the positions of State President in South Australia and National Vice-President. Dr Arnold is also former CEO of Anglicare SA, which works in the areas of aged care, families, vulnerable people, housing and economic participation. He was awarded the Order of Australia (AO) in 2004 for his services to Australia through the South Australian Parliament and internationally through the development and humanitarian aid assistance. In 2013, he was ordained Deacon in the Anglican Church and since 2014 has been serving as a Priest in Adelaide.

Hon. Dr Robyn Layton AO QC – Goodwill Ambassador for Human Rights

Hon. Dr Layton is a former Supreme Court Judge of South Australia. Currently, Justice Layton is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Law, University of South Australia and is a Judicial Education and Program Development Consultant. She is a consultant for the Asia Development Bank on gender issues such as a Gender Development Poverty Reduction Project for Women in Kazakhstan, Cambodia and the Philippines, and is currently in a team which is developing and delivering gender sensitisation training for judges in Pakistan and Afghanistan. As an International Labour Office (ILO) consultant she delivers training for judges and lawyers in labour law and human rights standards internationally.

Prior to her Supreme Court appointment, Hon. Dr Layton worked as a barrister and later a Queens Counsel across broad areas of law, many of which intersected with social justice and human rights, such as the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, children, women, and refugees. At the international level, Robyn was a Member and later the Chair of the Committee of Experts on Application of Conventions of the ILO, Geneva, from 1993 to 2008. At the National and State level, Robyn was and still is a member of many boards, a Patron of numerous organisations and works closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in many capacities.

Hon. Dr. Layton has been the recipient of many awards as a result of her human rights work: Member of the Order of Australia (2012); The South Australian, Australian of the Year (2012); Justice Award Law Society of South Australia (2013) and Australian Woman Lawyer Award (2016).

Ms. Erika Feller – Goodwill Ambassador for Global People Movement, Refugees & Asylum Seekers

From January 2005 to April 2013, Ms. Feller held the post of Assistant High Commissioner (Protection), one of the four top management positions of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, carrying the United Nations grade of Assistant Secretary-General.  Her professional career has included 14 years and three international postings with the Australian diplomatic service, followed by 26 years with UNHCR, both in Geneva and the Field. As the High Commissioner’s Representative in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, she concurrently served as UNHCR’s Regional Coordinator for Status Determination for the Indo-Chinese refugee outflow. As Director of the Department of International Protection for six years, Ms. Feller ran key protection negotiations with Governments.   She initiated and managed the 2001-2 Global Consultations on International Protection, which generated the Agenda for Protection, an internationally endorsed multi-year “road map” for global refugee protection. As Assistant High Commissioner, Ms. Feller exercised oversight of the performance by UNHCR of its core protection responsibilities worldwide, in some 127 countries where the office was represented. She had direct responsibility for ensuring age, gender and diversity mainstreaming and accountability throughout UNHCR’s global programs.

Ms. Feller retired from UNHCR in April 2013.  She was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in 2013 and, in July 2014, a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne.  As of January 2018, she is serving as a Professorial Fellow with the University’s School of Government.  Her recent work has centered on regional refugee protection and on the reduction of statelessness.  One direct outcome has been the creation in 2018 of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness.  Based in the Law School at Melbourne University, the Centre will focus on developing teaching, research and engagement projects with the aims of improving understanding of the problem in the Asia/Pacific region, underpinning work towards reducing and eliminating situations of statelessness and furthering the rights of stateless people.   Ms. Feller is a founding Advisory Board member.

In 2015 she was awarded the Arts Alumni Award for Leadership.  She is an academically acknowledged authority on refugee law, an entrant in Who’s Who in International Law, is a contributor to the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, has published widely in Journals and is co-editor of a book on Refugee Protection in International Law Professor Barbara Norman.

 Professor Barbara Norman – Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainable Cities and Communities

Professor Barbara Norman is the Foundation Chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) at the University of Canberra. Professor Norman is Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council, an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick UK and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. Barbara is a Life Fellow and past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Life Honorary Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK). Barbara’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Town & Regional Planning, Masters of Environmental Law and a PhD on sustainable coastal planning. She also has a substantial professional background having worked at all levels of government and run her own practice. Her current research and teaching interests include sustainable cities and regions, coastal planning, climate change adaptation and urban governance. Barbara was a contributing author to IPCC 5 WG 2 report on Impacts 2014. Professor Norman advises the public and private sector in Australia and has strong international linkages within Asia, Europe and the United States. Barbara was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community through urban and regional planning.

Leanne Smith – Goodwill Ambassador for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Leanne Smith is an international human rights lawyer by training, with a Masters in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. Leanne has worked in the Australian judicial system, for the Australian Human Rights Commission, in the international NGO sector, regional human rights organisations, as an Australian diplomat (DFAT) and in various roles for the United Nations in New York and in the field, most recently as Chief of Policy and Best Practices for UN Peacekeeping Operations. Leanne has published a number of articles on Australian national identityAustralian foreign policy and international human rightsrule of law and development as well as the United Nations and women, peace and security. She is a visiting fellow at the ANU Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy and the UNSW Australian Human Rights Centre, and a member of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Advisory Committee.

Grace Forrest – Goodwill Ambassador for Anti-Slavery

Grace is a founding director of the Walk Free Foundation, an international human rights group with an objective to end modern slavery. Underpinned by research, the Walk Free Foundation uses direct engagement with business, government, faiths, and grassroots intervention to drive systems to change from the top down and ground up. Grace has spent extensive time working in South East Asia and the Middle East, using photography and storytelling to share the stories of survivors of modern slavery, with a current focus on refugee communities. She regularly represents the Walk Free Foundation at international forums, including recent events at the Vatican and United Nations. She is also a director of the Minderoo Foundation, recently joined the board of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and previously worked at the Legatum Institute as a research analyst on global people movement.

David Macintosh AM – Goodwill Ambassador for Oceans

David Macintosh is Australia’s United Nations Association of Australia Goodwill Ambassador for Life Below Water. He has been involved with the ocean and marine life for the past 50 years in Surf Life Saving, conservation, Outrigger Canoe paddling throughout Australia and the Pacific and has a real appreciation for our marine parks, Great Barrier Reef, fishing and fish stocks.

From 1976 to 2016 David worked in the Transport Industry in Australia and in Europe and the Construction and Property Industry in Australia in both Managing Director and Executive Chairman roles. From 1978 to present, David has a close relationship with Royal Alexandria Hospital for Children – Westmead as Donor and Committee member. Awarded Founder in 2013 after establishing an Endowed Chair in Perpetuity in 2008, “The Macintosh Chair of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine” Sydney University and The Children’s Hospital, Westmead.

David is a Life Governor of the Australian Respiratory Council, Patron of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research after being Governor 2000 – 2011, Governor of the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation. In 2011 David was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for services to Business, Medical, Philanthropy and Surf Life Saving. Awarded the National Medal in 2014 for Surf Life Saving.

David published “The Quartered Cap”, a children’s book written in 1992 for children to understand the history, mythology, health, education and wonders of Surf Life Saving and the ocean. David holds a Business Degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

Tanya Hosch – Goodwill Ambassador for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Tanya Hosch is the General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy at the AFL. Ms Hosch has a long and distinguished history in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy, advocacy, governance and fundraising.

Before joining the AFL as the first ever Indigenous person and 2nd woman in their Executive ranks in August 2016, Tanya was the Joint Campaign director of the Recognise movement for constitutional reform.

At the AFL Tanya’s portfolio’s include – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, Gender equality, Sexuality and Gender Diversity.  Tanya is tasked with the implementation of the AFL’s enhanced Indigenous strategy, advising the AFL Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council, maintenance of the Respect and Responsibility Policy, 2017, the AFL’s Gender Action Plan and the Gender Diversity Policy.

Tanya is a member of the Indigenous Advisory Group of the NAB and is a Board Director of the Indigenous Land Corporation, Circus Oz, the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute and was a member of the Referendum Council that led the process and final recommendation that resulted in, The Statement from the Heart in May 2017.

National Office

Dr. Candice Woods – National Communications Manager

Candice is the UNAA National Communications Manager | Social Media Manager | Editor (UNity), and a Doctor of Behavioural Science.

Passionate about the celerity and dynamics of social marketing and the non-profit industry, Candice has a strong interest in humanitarian, health and non-profit industries, spokesperson effects, the psychology of decision-making and international affairs. Candice is a published author, a research and news analyst for UNDP (BERA), is a Communications and Marketing consultant for WFUNA, and has performed managerial duties in Public Information/Global Communications with WFUNA for WIMUN New York (2017, 2018 and 2019) and India (2019) conferences.

Candice has previously completed her Bachelor, Masters (with Distinction), and Ph.D. at the University of Newcastle and comes with a professional background in health, marketing and research.


Madeleine Gordon – National Intern
Madeleine is currently studying a Bachelor of International Security Studies/Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Australian National University (ANU). In 2017, she studied The Chinese government and its foreign policy in Hong Kong. Most recently, she travelled to Thailand as part of an ANU cultural exchange during which she learnt about how leadership practices differ across cultures. She has also worked for 180 Degrees Consulting, developing a strategic plan for a local social enterprise focused on encouraging women into leadership positions. She has a history with the UN Youth, working as a Regional Officer. In this position, she organised an educational summit on international affairs for schools in the rural Bega Valley. Madeleine is currently working as a research intern in the government and defence sector of engineering firm KBR, assisting with procurement projects for the Australian military. In her work with the UNAA, she is primarily focussed on progressing climate change initiatives.

Antoine Boman – National Intern

Antoine is currently studying a double degree in Laws and International Relations at the Australian National University, with the goal of pursuing a career in the international sphere. Antoine’s interest in global affairs is due to his father’s career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has been on posting twice, spending four years in Canada and six months in Indonesia.

For the past two years, Antoine has been volunteering with Uniting Care in Canberra to do his part in providing some support to struggling Canberra families in the hope of returning some stability and comfort to them. In the past, Antoine has also volunteered as an English tutor for a newly arrived refugee family.

Antoine has a key interest in human rights. In particular, the human rights implications of homelessness, and more broadly, the effects that displacement and asylum-seeking can have on human rights.

National Programs

Jo Tighe – National Human Rights Program Manager

Jo Tighe has worked with disadvantaged and marginalised members of the community for over 15 years. Her project management experience has taken her from the Kimberley in the far North-West to remote corners of Tasmania; and spans Mental Health, Indigenous, Alcohol & Other Drugs, Youth, Homeless and the long-term Unemployed sectors. Working with not-for-profit, grassroots organisations is her passion.

In 2018 Jo worked as an Intern with the United Nations Association of Australia National Human Rights Program, coordinating the development of the Human Rights Position Paper. Jo holds a Master in Public Health and is currently finishing her Master in International Development (Politics of Development) at the University of Western Australia. She is currently employed as an Outreach Worker, providing primary medical services to Fremantle’s homeless community.

Graham Hunter – National Climate Change Program Manager

Graham is an independent consultant in Environmental and Catchment Management. He first joined the UNAA in the 1970s when he was a Vice President of the Victorian Division and helped establish what was then called the Younger United Nations Association.

Subsequently, as an environmental specialist, Graham worked for the OECD in France and the USA. In Victoria, he has held senior positions with the Environment Protection Authority, the Victorian Parliament and government departments responsible for the management of natural resources and the environment and was CEO of Greening Australia Victoria.

More recently Graham has been a consultant and part-time university lecturer. He re-joined the UNAA and in 2012 completed his three-year term as the Victorian President. He led the UNAA delegations to the UN climate conferences in Copenhagen in 2009 and in Paris in 2015 and to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.

Sally Airs Shevach – UNAA Advisor on the Challenges Forum

Sally is a human rights and humanitarian specialist with 20 years of experience working with the United Nations, governments and NGOs. She is currently an Executive at Humanitarian Advisory Group in Melbourne and has held leadership roles with the UN and other leading international organisations, working in conflict zones and complex humanitarian emergencies in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific.

Sally is experienced in policy, strategy and advising UN, government and community sectors on global issues such as international law and protection. Her recent work includes drafting the Australian Guidelines for the Protection of Civilians for the Australian Defence Force and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Sally is also an experienced trainer and facilitator. In 2016-17 she co-led the UNHCR’s protection training for the UN Humanitarian Country Team in Myanmar and government agencies in the Philippines.

Sally has a Master of Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne and currently serves as a Board Member for The Institute for Effective Governance and Stabilization.

Young Professional Network

Jessica Wave – NSW Team Lead

Jessica Wave is a Talent, Leadership and Change professional, who has been working for over 5 years in consulting and in house roles to adapt an organisation’s strategy, culture and processes.
Jess is committed to making a difference in her workplace and energetically contributes to her organisation’s Diversity and inclusion, Women in leadership and Innovation committees.
As part of her career, Jess has managed regional, national and local projects for clients. Jess is driven to get results and has managed local and remote teams to ensure every project she is part of is a success.
When she isn’t working, Jess has a passion for learning and self-improvement, shown in her Undergraduate Degree in Arts and Science (Psychology Major) and Diploma of Business Administration.  She is also a huge animal lover and volunteers to dog or cat sit for her friends when they go on holidays.

Neesha Seth  – WA Team Lead

Neesha Seth is a registered Psychologist, currently working in Private Practice and as a consultant Psychologist to Organisations in Perth. Neesha has a strong passion for working with people to optimise their wellbeing. As a trained TV presenter, Neesha also extends this love into the media.

Neesha has been an executive member of the UNAA WA for 9 years and has a strong interest in international relations, with a specific focus on creating opportunities to engage the community in events that create an increased awareness in the UN ideals.  Neesha has a double degree in Science (Psychology) and Commerce (HR&IR), and a Masters degree in Psychology.

Emeline Gillingham – VIC Team Lead

Emeline is the Victorian Lead of the UNAA Young Professionals. She is a dynamic and enthusiastic French-Australian young professional interested in people, culture, and social change, and working in project management and stakeholder engagement in the fields of global education, Australia-Asia engagement and international affairs. Emeline is passionate about inspiring and empowering people, particularly young people, to create positive change and make the world a better place. She is a strong advocate for sustainable development and believes that everyone can play a part in shaping a better future for all.

Emeline is convinced that intercultural understanding and cross-cultural collaboration is vital to achieving this. Outside of her work at the Asia Education Foundation and her volunteer committee role with the UN Association’s Young Professionals Network, Emeline is currently learning Mandarin at the University of Melbourne’s Confucius Institute. She also helps her husband grow his new tourism business venture, The Confident Camper. Emeline was a delegate of the China-Australia Millennial Project 2017.

Joel Lindsay – QLD Team Lead

Joel Lindsay spent a large part of his childhood overseas and as a result, sees himself as a global citizen. He studied International Studies at the University of Queensland where he was able to combine his passion for languages, travel and political science. It also gave him the opportunity to complete a six-month study abroad program at Sciences Po in France. He then went on to complete a Masters in International Relations at UQ.

Being passionate about climate change mitigation and adaptation, this program allowed him to focus his studies on the practical measures we can take to address major global challenges like forced migration, resource scarcity, and a warming planet. It also put him in contact with the United Nations Young Professionals, and with their strong focus on global issues advocacy, it was a perfect fit.

Joel joined the Queensland team as a Subject matter expert and has since achieved the roles of editor-in-chief and is now the Team Lead for Queensland. He hopes to use this position to engage other young professionals in the vital work of the UN and to encourage them to see themselves as global citizens as well.

Ariadne Braz Magalhaes – Tasmania Team Lead

Ariadne Braz Magalhaes is an Economist and Senior Management Consultant with over eight years experience dedicated to providing solutions in corporate strategy, cost efficiency, revenue optimisation, change management and continuous process improvement in the face of rapidly evolving markets. She has worked in numerous industries including Energy, Pharmaceuticals, Aviation, Retail, Construction and the Public Sector. Ari has significant international experience throughout Europe, Latin America and Oceania. She speaks six languages and holds a double degree Masters in International Management. She is currently the Managing Director of BluPrint Consulting and the Tasmanian Lead of the United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals Network (UNAA YP). Ari is a Chartered Manager, Prince2® Registered Practitioner and a dedicated member of Australia’s Institute of Managers and Leaders and the Internal Consulting Group (ICG).

Academic Network

Dr. Jeremy Farrall – UNAA Academic Network Convenor
Dr. Jeremy Farrall is the current Convenor of the UNAA Academic Network. He holds academic appointments at the Australian National University (ANU), a Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, and at the University of Tasmania, as Adjunct Associate-Professor in the Faculty of Law. Jeremy has previously worked for the United Nations Secretariat in a range of positions, including as Political Affairs Officer for the Security Council Affairs Division in the Department of Political Affairs at UN Headquarters in New York, as UN Facilitator for the Secretary-General’s Good Offices Mission in Cyprus, and as Political Affairs Officer for the UN Mission in Liberia.

Jeremy is currently a Chief Investigator on a 4-year Australian Research Council Discovery Project entitled ‘Leveraging Power and Influence on the UN Security Council: the role of elected members’ (with Chris Michaelsen, of the University of New South Wales, Jochen Prantl, of ANU, and Dr. Jeni Whalan, of the University of Queensland). Jeremy’s books include United Nations Sanctions and the Rule of Law (Cambridge 2007), The Role of International Law in Rebuilding Societies after Conflict (Cambridge 2009, edited by Brett Bowden and Hilary Charlesworth), Sanctions, Accountability and Governance in a Globalised World (Cambridge 2009, edited by Kim Rubenstein) and Strengthening the Rule of Law through the UN Security Council (Routledge 2016, edited with Hilary Charlesworth).