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Supporting Community Voices

Community Voices is an initiative of the Judith Neilson Institute, in partnership with Media Diversity Australia, giving underrepresented Australians a greater voice in our national conversation. The program aims to give people from all walks of life the chance to engage with the media on issues that are affecting all Australian communities.

In November 2020, the Institute and MDA called for applications for the program. Twelve participants were announced in February 2021. The successful applicants were chosen from a strong field of more than 80 candidates. Each has a close connection with their local communities and the group reflects Australia’s ethnic, religious and socio-economic diversity and different political and cultural outlooks. As the program involves frequent face-to-face sessions, participants were required to live in NSW.

Meet the 2021 participants

Twelve participants were chosen to join Community Voices, based on their close connections with their communities and their understanding of issues affecting people throughout Australia.

Joy Adan

Joy Adan

Joy Adan

Joy is an Filipino-Australian writer, journalist, artist and podcast host. She is an active member of her church community and hosts ‘At the Well’, a podcast for Catholic women. In 2020, she received a Creative Arts Grant from Blacktown City Council to create an art anthology based on stories from the local community.

Basim Al-Ansari

Basim Al-Ansari

Basim Al-Ansari

Basim is the co-founder and executive director of BF Global Solutions, a boutique consulting firm. He is a leader in the Australian Muslim community and a senior adviser to the Office of the Ayatollah for Australia. Basim has worked as a medical consultant and educator in Australia, the Middle East and UK.

Sawsan Alfayadh

Sawsan Alfayadh

Sawsan Alfayadh

Sawsan is a digital campaigner for Sydney Alliance, supporting diverse people across Sydney to tell their stories through video, social and traditional media. She has worked as campaigner and organiser for a number of non-profit organisations, including the Islamic Council of Victoria and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Sawsan is a board member of Happy Brain Education, a non-profit providing tutoring and support services for young people.

Jimmy Bai

Jimmy Bai

Jimmy Bai

Jimmy has worked as a lawyer, community organiser, and communications adviser, and has a background in public policy. He is a committee member of the Chinese Australian Forum and sits on the boards of St George Community Transport, based in Sydney’s south.

Ann-Marie Boumerhe

Ann-Marie Boumerhe

Ann-Marie Boumerhe

Ann-Marie is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and Regional Manager at the Law Society of NSW. She is a Director of Maronites on Mission, an outreach group supporting marginalised people in the community, both domestically and internationally. Ann-Marie has helped organise the Kicking Goals for Sick Kids 24 Hour Soccer Marathon Annual Fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead since its inception in 2012.

Michael Camit

Michael Camit

Michael Camit

Michael is an Filipino-Australian health literacy and multicultural health communication expert, with more than 20 years’ experience in the NSW public health system. His health literacy work helps marginalised communities navigate the health system. Michael has worked on numerous award-winning campaigns including the Pink Sari Project, which increased breast screening in South Asian women in NSW. Michael has completed a PhD in Public Communication at UTS.

Idrissa Dumbuya

Idrissa Dumbuya

Idrissa Dumbuya

A former high school teacher, Idrissa moved to Australia from Sierra Leone in 2018. He works with the Jesuit Refugee Service and Refugee Council of Australia, sharing his refugee story with school and community groups across Sydney. Idrissa has also worked as a Community Service Worker with the Red Cross society of Sierra Leone.

Daniel Gobena

Daniel Gobena

Daniel Gobena

Daniel is a manager at the Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency, where he helps to resettle new Australians from refugee backgrounds in Western Sydney. He is also working with local communities to tell their stories through podcasts. Daniel has worked as an engineer in Australia and New Zealand.

Angelica Ojinnaka

Angelica Ojinnaka

Angelica Ojinnaka

Angelica is a Nigerian-Australian youth advocate. She is a Youth Ambassador with the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW and is a Projects Officer at African Women Australia. Angelica is also a founding member of the African Australian Youth Suicide Prevention Committee and sits on several national youth mental health and policy research/advisory councils.

Amar Singh

Amar Singh

Amar Singh

Amar is the founder and president of Turbans4Australia, a not-for-profit organisation based in Western Sydney promoting harmony, multiculturalism and understanding of Australians from different backgrounds and cultures. Amar was awarded an Order of Liverpool medal for relief work during NSW bushfires and COVID pandemic. He runs his own small transport business.

Jeffery Wang

Jeffery Wang

Jeffery Wang

Jeffery is the founder of the Professional Development Forum, a not-for-profit providing education and networking opportunities for diverse young professionals. He is a member of Liberal Party’s Chinese Council and works in IT. Jeffrey hosts the '10 lessons it took me 50 years to learn' podcast.

Yvonne Young

Yvonne Young

Yvonne Young

Yvonne is an Chinese-Australian solicitor and insolvency practitioner who works closely with the Asian Australian business community. Yvonne is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin and able to read and write Chinese. She has worked in every state, local and federal election since 2010, including as a Polling Place Manager on several occasions.

Meet the team

The program is led by an experienced team of journalists.

Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll

Project Manager

Jim Carroll

Project Manager

Jim is one of Australia’s most experienced media executives having been the long serving Director of News and Current Affairs at both SBS and Network Ten and he also held senior roles at the Nine and Seven Networks. He has led editorial strategy and news teams for more than 30 years and travelled extensively to cover major international stories, including a period heading Seven’s European Bureau. Jim has worked across all platforms starting his career in newspapers, moving to radio and then television and digital. He left journalism for several years to work as a senior advisor to the NSW Premier. Jim is a Director of the Australian Science Media Centre and a former member of the Australia Day Council (NSW). Jim holds a degree in economics and is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Antoinette Lattouf

Antoinette Lattouf

Project Adviser

Antoinette Lattouf

Project Adviser

Antoinette is a multi-award winning journalist. She is the Director and co-Founder of Media Diversity Australia, a senior journalist at Network 10 and a member of JNI's International Advisory Council. In 2019, Antoinette was named among AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2020 she was a B&T Women in Media ‘Champion of Change’ finalist. Her career spans television, radio and online in both news and current affairs. She is also an Ambassador for mental health organisation the Gidget Foundation and the Australian Thyroid Foundation.

Ky Chow

Ky Chow

Project Consultant

Ky Chow

Project Consultant

Ky Chow has almost two decades experience working in news media, communications and consulting. He has worked as an editor and reporter for some of Australia’s biggest news brands including the ABC, The Australian Financial Review and Sky News Australia, and continues to provide news commentary for a range of video and audio news programs. Ky has successfully media trained people from a diversity of industries, backgrounds and levels of experience. He is also an experienced public speaker, screen presenter and freelance writer.