Government Workers




Joyce Adu
Project Manager, Capability Planning & Governance, Centrelink

Joyce Adu has project management experience across a number of industries including government, construction and education.  Joyce has served in a number of roles in the areas of strategic management, corporate governance and research.  She is currently a Business Manager in the Capability Planning and Governance Unit in Centrelink. Prior to this, she managed the development of Centrelink’s Portfolio/Program Management Framework. She has also worked for a number of years in the Construction Industry as a Quantity Surveyor (Building Estimator).

Joyce holds a Bachelor of Science (Building Technology), Graduate Certificate in Personal Management and Master of Project Management.  She has researched on  ‘communication in the delivery of projects in multicultural environments’ for her doctorate in the University of Technology under the supervision of Professor Lynn Crawford, Assistant Professor Jacob Oluwoye and Mr Gerard de Valence. This research has received both the NSW Chapter and National Student Medals from the Australian Institute for Project Management.  

Joyce Adu is a winner of the Australian Institute for Project Management (AIPM) Outstanding Student Medal.







 Sossy Msomi is the Tanzania Honorary Consul in charge of the Consulate of Tanzania in Adelaide. Sossy is one of the prominent Africans helping to build a positive image for the Community. He actively participates in various community events, helping to foster African community development and was conferred an Excellence Award in Diplomatic and Community Services in 2011.

Currently, he is the Cost Manager at Ceiling and Wall Contractors Pty Ltd  and an ex-President of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, South Australian Chapter.





Solomon Kebede is the North /Western Metropolitan Region  Multicultural Liaison Officer for the Justice for Refugees Program (JRP) with the Department of Justice.

Having arrived in Australia as one of the first African resettled refugees, he has had first hand experience surrounding issues of resettlement for positive integration within the mainstream Australian communities.

Leaving behind his pride, education and professional work experience gained back home, he started everything from scratch in Australia.  He worked on various labour and mundane jobs to support his family and himself.  He went back to the university to continue improving his knowledge to better his life style and to become a role model to the African community in Australia.

Some of his achievements with African community engagements include:

  • Founder of the Ethiopian community association in Victoria
  • Founding member of the Federation of the Australian and African Community Council  
  • Founding member of the Ethiopian Orthodox church in Victoria
  • Reference group Committee member of  the African Australians on Human Rights and Social Inclusion
  • Member of the Refugee Brokerage Program partnership
  • Treasurer and  project manager for the Ethiopian community association in Victoria over two election periods

His current position with the Department of Justice in Victoria entails engagement in research and development initiatives of policy frameworks employing his knowledge and interest in social justice, and project management as defined by the State priorities while responding to regional and global trends.

Solomon is also highly involved in addressing justice access issues for people from Refugee backgrounds (Sudanese, Somali, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Democratic Rep of Congo, Burundian, Iraqi, Afghanistan and Burma)

He has been working with great results on the initiative to minimise the negative contact between the African refugee communities and the justice system.

Some of Solomon’s achievements in his position with the Department of Justice in Victoria include:

  • Minimised the negative contact of the refugee communities with the justice system
  • Significantly increased cultural awareness knowledge and skills of the department’s staff
  • Increased refugee communities knowledge of Victorian justice and legal system through Expos, Forums and consultations 
  • Increased refugee communities Country Profiles with internal and external stakeholders

He is a strong advocate, passionate, rational, and strong leader in human rights and equal opportunities issues affecting the African communities in Australia.


Samia Baho


Justice for Refugees Program (JRP)

Department of Justice


Samia is currently a Manager of Justice for Refugee with the Department of Justice in Victoria. She came to Australia as a refugee 22 years ago. Her early settlement experience helped to shape her approach to work and life. On arrival, Samia could already speak several languages and soon developed expertise in English.

Samia has extensive experience and expertise in working with refugee communities. Over the last 18 years, she has worked in interpreting, children’s services, family & youth, domestic violence, teaching and research. Samia has constantly looked at ways to support and assist refugee communities especially young people and women, she initiated and developed several programs for refugee communities, she set up the first ethno-specific Playgroup for Horn of African families, the first Home Base Child Care training and the first Horn of African Home Work Support Club.  

Samia uses deferent methods to build refugee communities knowledge and capacity,  to assist refugee communities enjoys living in Australia. She conducted many information expose related to health and currently related to justice system, provide information sessions through sport and drama. Samia set up a number of organisations to support and minimize adverse experiences for humanitarian entrants, particularly young refugees and families with complex needs. She uses her knowledge and credibility with both world the system and the refugee communities and tied to open dialogue and create pathways for refugee communities and the hosting society to interact.

Samia has a Bachelor of Social Work, a Certificate in Cultural Practice Law and Health from Latrobe University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Health and a Masters Degree in Women’s Health from the University of Melbourne. Prior to managing the Justice for Refugee Program Samia spent 8 years as the state-wide Program Advisor for the Family and Reproductive Rights Education Program (FARREP)

A tireless, committed and passionate activist and thinker, Samia has often demonstrated extraordinary leadership on racism and sexism issues. She has made an outstanding contribution to addressing the various barriers to ensuring appropriate and equitable services are available to the African community. Through her work, particularly in the area of settlement and violence against women, various community groups have undertaken pioneering work in challenging mainstream perceptions and understanding of refugee communities. Samia is a steering committee member for the HREOC African Communities’ Project.

Samia’s contribution was recognized at a state and national level, in March 2008 being inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and appointed on the flowing committees

1. "Refugee Resettlement Advisory Committee. Department of Immigration & Citizenship, Canberra 2008 - 2010

2. FECCA newly and Emerging Advisory Committees 2008 - 2009

3. “African Australians: A report on human rights & social inclusion issues.” Australia Human Rights Commission (HREOC) 2008 - 2010

4. "Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria, Board member 2009- 2010

5. “Western Health Cultural Diversity Steering Committee, Western Health Services.2007 - 2008

  1. FGM Working Party, Office of the Child Safety Commissioner, Victoria. 2008
  2. “Multicultural Health & Support Services (HIV, HPC, STIs for Horn of African 2006
  3. Victorian Law Reform Commission, Cultural and Linguistically Diverse Communities 2005
  4. “Advocacy, Leadership and Community Participation. A training program for consumers and carers.” North Central Metro PCP (Primary Care Partnership) 2005

Due to work demand and commitment, Samia currently seats only on:  

  1. Refugee Minor Program quarterly Reference Group Meeting
  2. Australian Federal Government, Department of Human Services, Victorian Multicultural Advisory Committee ( MAC )

A success stories re Samia State and National work with members of refugee communities is available on request.  


Abraham Mamer, a South Sudanese is the Multicultural Affairs Manager at the Darebin City Council local government in Victoria State.  Darebin covers a very large area and has the highest proportion of overseas-born citizens of any council in Australia. Mr Mamer international reputation in Social Policy has earned him a managerial position to develop settlement plans and policies for African Australian Community in the Brotherhood of St Laurence – working for an Australia free of poverty    

Throughout his career, Abraham Mamer has been a leader and a pioneer in developing personal and organisational policies and programs to the humanitarian resettlement of refugees.  Because of his generosity and effort, tens of thousands of migrants to New Zealand and Australia have been assisted in making a positive adjustment to their new cultures. 

The innovative and progressive leadership that is characteristic of him is shown in the many organisations that he has been a founder or board member of, including:

  • Founding Member: AUT ESOL Advisory Board
  • Founding Member: African Centre for Education – UNITEC NZ
  • Founder and Advisor of National Refugee Communities Network
  • 1999 – 2001 President of the Sudanese Association Inc. NZ
  • 2001 –2002 Executive Member NZ Refugee Council
  • 2005 – 2006 Chairman Board of Directors Refugee As Survivors (RAS)
  • Board Member: Centre for Refugee and Migrant Health, Auckland University of Technology
  • Board Member and Trustee: African Think Tank, Victoria, Australia
  • Advisor: Sudanese Community Association of Australia
  • Member: Asian Network Inc

Abraham has been equally generous at lending his time and experience as a speaker, participant, and presenter at many seminars and conferences, among them:

  • Co-convenor, UNESCO conference on Diversity in Education, August 2004.  As a result of his work at this conference, Abraham was presented with a medal from the King of Thailand.
  • Co-organiser and Convenor, The Inaugural International Asian Health and Wellbeing Conference 2004
  • Co-presenter, AUT Conference in Education in Diverse Cultures
  • Keynote Speaker, Children & Young People As Citizens: Participation Provision and Protection Conference
  • Keynote Speaker, Conference on Community languages and English for Speakers of Other languages, Auckland, 2008

Abraham Mamer has also published and presented numerous papers devoted to raising awareness and understanding of refugee and migrant issues at national and international conferences, among which are:

  • Making Progress at Last: The Auckland Somali Community Education Programme (with Karen McDermott, published by Waikato University)
  • Barriers challenging education provision for new emigrant students in New Zealand schools
  • Six papers at CLESOL (Conference on Community Languages and ESOL in New Zealand) conferences over seven years:
    • Experience of Sudanese refugee Students in NZ schools
    • ESOL students’ English Language Acquisition and learning shift
    • Proficiency in English and impact on other subjects
    • Heart and Mind in teaching students from the refugee backgrounds
    • Does one-size-fits-all?
    • Refugee Family Reunification Policy Impact on Family Resettlement Outcomes (published by Childrenz Issues. Vol. 10, No. 1, 2006)
  • Key note speaker on: Minorities and Security  - 12th International Metropolis Conference Melbourne 2007


who holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from the University of Texas (USA), is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Engineers of Australia.

He is a Senior Safety Assessor (Major Hazards Facilties) in  the Department of Mines and Petroleum of the Government of Western Australia since 2004. His current responsibilities include regulating safety within Major Hazard Facilities in WA, assessing the adequacy of the Major Hazard Facilities Safety Reports to satisfy regulation requirements, and providing timely feedback and recommendations to MHF Operators on the adequacy of Risk Assessments and Safety Management Systems.

Prior to coming to WA, he worked in NZ between 2001 and 2004. He was the project Engineer for Shell (NZ) in Auckland from 2001 to 2003. Then in 2003 and 2004, he became the Senior Project Engineer at Connell Wagner Engineering Consultants. One of his major achievements at this firm was the revamping of bulk fuel storage tanks at Napier and Nelson BP Terminals. The works involved tank decommissioning, inspection, repair, internal/external coating, calibration and re-commissioning.

Amon’s career started in Kenya shortly after his graduation when he became the Project Engineer at Shell Oil (Kenya) in Nairobi in 1980. By the time he left Kenya in December 2000, he had risen to the position of Engineering Services Manager at Shell Oil (Kenya).

Maria Osman
is first woman of Somali heritage to be the CEO of two Western Australian State Government departments, she is presently the Executive Director of the Office of Multicultural Interests and from 2003 to 2006 was the Executive Director of the Office for Women’s Policy, she has also held senior positions in universities and the NGO sector. For over three decades Maria has made a significant national and state contribution to the empowerment of ethnic and refugee women, anti-racism and human rights.

In 2007 she was awarded the Government of Western Australian Multicultural Community Service Award for excellence and innovation in advancing and promoting multiculturalism, inclusiveness and participation, and improving access to services and promoting equity for minority communities.

Maria was appointed by the Premier to the inaugural Western Australian Anti-Racism Steering Committee and in 2005 the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) appointed her to the National Steering Committee for the ‘Voices of Australia Project’ established to celebrate 30 years of the Racial Discrimination Legislation.

In recognition of her leadership in creating family friendly workplaces the Minister for Community Development appointed Maria as an inaugural WA Family Ambassador and in the Minister for Consumer and Employment Protection appointed her to the Independent Review of Gender Pay Equity Gap.

She has served on a number of boards such as Centre for Human Rights at Curtin University, was the Deputy Chair of the Women’s Law Centre and the UWA Centre for Muslim States and Societies.

Maria has been actively involved with the community sector and in a past Women’s Vice President of the WA Ethnic Communities Council and she is also a past executive member of the African Community Association of WA and helped establish the Somali Women’s NGO and is a past Patron of the West African Women’s Community Organisation.

Maria has contributed to the development of national and state public policy in gender equity, human rights, multiculturalism and workplace diversity and undertaken research and written and presented conferences extensively on these issues.

Maria is proud of her Aussie-Somali heritage and has recently returned from a visit to Somaliland.


Michael Sutherland, a Member of the Australian Parliament, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1954, and lived there until he immigrated to Australia in 1987.

In 1995 Michael was elected as a councillor to the City of Perth council, Western Australia  and became the longest serving councillor in the City’s history. He was also elected Deputy Lord Mayor and served five years in this capacity.

In South Africa, Michael was active in the United Party, the then main parliamentary opposition to the ruling National Party, from the early 1970s. In 1982 he was elected to the Johannesburg City Council as a member of the Progressive Federal Party, which by then had become the main parliamentary opposition party. Michael served on the Johannesburg City Council until he came to Australia.