Council

The Council drives the direction of the Partnership and brings together representatives from peak professional and standard setting bodies for clinicians, the community sector, and relevant government agencies.

Dedicated working groups may be established to progress specific projects of the Partnership.

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Dr Vijay Roach, Chair

Dr Roach is Chair of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges and a Visiting Medical Officer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in both public and private practice in Sydney. More

He is immediate past President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He is committed to medical education and lectures at the University of Sydney.

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Carla Wilshire, Deputy Chair

Carla Wilshire is the CEO of the Migration Council Australia—Australia’s national research and policy institution on migration, settlement and social cohesion. More

Carla has a background in policy development, corporate governance and tertiary research. She has worked as a public servant and advisor to Government, principally in the area of migration and resettlement, including as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Carla is a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity, which provides policy advice to the Council of Chief Justices of Australia on improving access to justice for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians. Carla is also a member of the National Anti-Racism Partnership and co-founded the Friendly Nation Initiative, which aims to link corporate Australia with the settlement community to improve employment outcomes for refugees.

Paris Aristotle

Paris Aristotle represents Foundation House: The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture. More

Paris Aristotle AO is the founding CEO of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc., also known as Foundation House.
Paris has 30 years’ experience in the field of supporting refugees and asylum seekers, in particular the provision of services to survivors of torture and trauma.
In 2002 Paris was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and in 2003 he was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal. In 2012 he was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.
In 2017 Paris was named the Victorian Australian of the Year and made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), he also holds and Honorary Doctorate by RMIT University in the field of Social Science. 
Paris has chaired several federal government councils and is currently Chair of the Refugee and Migrant Services Advisory Council (RaMSAC).  He is also an executive member of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma FASSTT). 
In 2021, Paris was tasked by the Prime Minister to Co-Chair the Advisory Panel on Australia’s Resettlement of Afghan Nationals.

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Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle

Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle represents The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. More

Associate Professor Boyle also chairs the Partnership’s Sub-Working Group on Refugee Women’s Health. Associate Professor Boyle is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and heads the Indigenous and Refugee Women’s Health Program at Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation. Associate Professor Boyle works clinically in refugee women’s health in Victoria and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health in outreach services in the Northern Territory, as well as in research, translation and education nationally. She also holds an honorary appointment at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. Her research interests are in women’s health across the life-course with a focus on a healthy start to life—pre-pregnancy through to early childhood.
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Maria Johns

Maria Johns represents Multicultural Aged Care. More

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Dr Chris Lemoh

Chris Lemoh represents Victorian African Health Action Network.More

Chris Lemoh is an infectious diseases and general physician, currently Head of General Internal Medicine at Western Health. He has a strong interest in the relationship between social inequities and health.
Chris is current President of the Victorian African Health Action Network, a group which works to strengthen the African Australian community responses HIV, chronic viral hepatitis and challenges related to sexual and reproductive health. His other main interest is martial arts, particularly capoeira, jujitsu and kali.

Claire Hewat

Claire Hewat represents the Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA). In 2018, Claire was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the AHPA, where she leads a team in the representation and advocacy of allied health interests and concerns to state and federal government. More

Claire has a history as a practicing Dietitian across various areas of clinical, public health, private practice and diabetes education nutrition, and is experienced in rural health service management. She previously served as CEO of the Dietitians Association of Australia and has been appointed to multiple boards throughout her career. She has used these positions to facilitate collaboration among and assist in the leadership of regional and national health-related organisations, advocating on a wide range of issues related to health at the highest levels of government.

Chiedza Malunga

Chiedza Malunga represents Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing. More

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Bernice Murphy

Bernice Murphy represents the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health.More

Bernice Murphy is the Manager at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health CEH), a program of North Richmond Community Health, which works towards improving the health and wellbeing of people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, and their engagement with agencies and government.
With a background in youth work, sexual assault, and women’s health Bernice joined the Victorian Department of Human Services in 1998.  Here, she worked in family violence and homelessness, and managed the Primary Health Programs team comprising of women’s health, counselling in community health, family planning, language services and school nursing.
Equitable access to services has been a theme throughout her career and this interest continues through her work at CEH and its programs, including its Multicultural Health & Support Service.
Areas of expertise and interest include cultural competence, health literacy, language services, plain language, and consumer participation.
Since being appointed Manager, Bernice has overseen a restructure of CEH and refreshed relationships with government and non-government agencies. 

Jenny Johnson

Jenny Johnson represents the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Vase Jovanoska

Vase Jovanoska is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). Born in Macedonia and migrating to Australia, Vase understands the challenges faced when migrating to a new country and is passionate about social justice and equity.More

She is committed to improving the quality of health services and community wellbeing. With many years of experience across the corporate and not-for-profit sectors including over five years at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), two years at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), and until recently, a Board Member of DPV Health and Girl Guides Victoria, Vase has been instrumental in transforming organisations into efficient, high-performing and positive environments.

Vase’s corporate expertise extends from strategy development and implementation, operations and financial management, to governance, continuous improvement, change and risk management and education.

Margaret Kay

Dr Margaret Kay represents the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). More

Dr Kay is a part-time general practitioner, Fellow of RACGP and has a Diploma of Obstetrics. She holds an academic title as Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, UQ. Dr Kay was awarded her PhD on Physician Health in 2013. In 2015, she completed her Certificate with the Oxford International Primary Care Research Leadership Programme. She was inaugural Chair of the Refugee Health Network of Australia, is a member of the RACGP Refugee Health Special Interest Group and Clinical Lead in Multicultural Health with Brisbane South PHN, working with the Refugee Health Partnership Advisory Group Qld. Dr Kay has extensive research experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities and continues to work as a clinician and educator in the field of refugee health.

Erwin Loh

Professor Erwin Loh represents the Royal Australiasian College of Medical Administrators More

Professor Loh is national Chief Medical Officer and Group General Manager Clinical Governance for St Vincent’s Health Australia, the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care provider, with 36 facilities, including six public hospitals, nine private hospitals and 17 aged care facilities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, along with three co- located research institutes – the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.

He is qualified in both medicine and law, with general and specialist registration as a medical practitioner (medical administration specialty), and a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia. He also has an MBA, Master of Health Service Management, and PhD in management.

He is Chair of the Victorian State Committee and Board Member of the Royal Australasian College of Administrators. He is adjunct Clinical Professor at Monash University, where he leads the Clinical Leadership and Management Unit at the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation.

Donata Sackey

Ms Donata Sackey, Director Mater Refugee Health Service and Chair of the Refugee Health Partnership Advisory Group QldMore

Donata is the Director of Mater Refugee Health and Chair of the Refugee Health Partnership Advisory Group Qld. Over the past 15 years she has been based at Mater Hospital in Brisbane, prior to the Mater, Donata held positions in various human service organisations including over a decade with QPASTT (Qld Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma). Donata is a social worker with an interest in embedding community development approaches in health policy, planning and delivery. As Director of Mater Refugee Health Donata has facilitated integrated models of care including the delivery of refugee health services in partnership with general practices. She supports the Refugee Health Network Qld which, with communities and stakeholders , has played a critical role in promoting a more equitable response to COVID-19 in Queensland. 

Michal Morris

Ms Michal Morris is the CEO of inTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence, based in Melbourne, Victoria. More

Michal has worked for over 20 years advocating for and supporting diverse communities across government and the third sector. She has developed innovation and service responses for multicultural communities since the late 1990s.

Prior to her role at inTouch, Michal was General Manager of Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health for 9 years. She has worked in community health, peak advocacy bodies, state government and at the national level at Primary Health Networks.

Michal has worked on issues as diverse as community capacity building, person centred care, Drug and Alcohol, Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, Language Services, Cultural Competency and Health Literacy.

Christine Phillips

Christine Phillips represents the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. More

Christine is Professor of Social Foundations of Medicine at the ANU Medical School, Medical Director of Companion House Medical Service (the ACT’s refugee health service), a member of the Institute for Communication in Healthcare, and immediate-past Chair of the Refugee Health Network of Australia.She is a general practitioner with qualifications in anthropology, public health and teaching. For over a decade, Christine has advocated through policy, research and education for better use of interpreters in medical settings, and improved cross-cultural communication in health.

Carolyn Stapleton

Carolyn Stapleton represents the Australian College of Nursing.

Executive Officer

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Gulnara Abbasova

Gulnara Abbasova is an experienced executive with a significant track record in civil society leadership, strategy and advocacy across social policy, gender equality and human rights nationally and internationally. More

Previously, Gulnara was Executive Director of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, where she led national initiatives focused on the empowerment of migrant and refugee communities. Gulnara’s international experience includes leading programs at two United Nations agencies on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and issues, as well as in the area of civil society capacity building and participation. She also worked extensively in international advocacy with a focus on Indigenous Peoples and ethnic minorities, and facilitated local community development initiatives. Gulnara serves on a number of boards and committees focusing on professional regulation, access and equity, women’s empowerment and public health.