Panel Speakers




Anthony Scerri, Federation of Ethnic Community Councils of Australia

Anthony Scerri is a member of the Youth Committee of the Federation of Ethnic Community Councils of Australia. He is also the Multicultural Youth Development Project Officer at the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra Inc. Since completing his tertiary studies in 2008 he has worked with a diverse range of community groups in multiple locations around Australia. He is passionate about community development and working with individuals, groups and communities and aim to facilitate active participation and involvement in community life through the creation of unique programs adapted to their needs.

About MCCI

The Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI) is a peak not-for-profit community based organisation which was established in 1975 as the Illawarra Ethnic Communities Council Inc. The MCCI seeks to represent the interest of people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD).

Programs and services extend to Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven local government areas with expansion to deliver aged care expertise across NSW and the ACT.
The MCCI aims to empower, support and advocate for the diverse communities and enrich the cultural experiences of living in a multicultural society.

We are proud to be a dynamic CALD organisation that represents the diverse and ever changing needs of our community.

Joumana Harris, Muslim Women Association

Joumana Harris graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Sydney. For the last 20 years she has been working in education, with a passion for welfare, equity and leadership development in low SES communities. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Management and Leadership at the University of Sydney.

In 2011 Joumana was appointed as Secretary to the board of the Muslim Women’s Association and President in 2012. She is also a member of the Sydney Alliance and a member of the Australian Muslim Reference Group to the Minister. In 2013 she was nominated and participated in the Community Awareness and Police Program (CAPP).

Talitha Stone, Collective Shout

Talitha Stone is the Community Group and School Representative for Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigning movement against the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular culture.

Collective Shout activist Talitha Stone recently made headlines across Australia and internationally for leading the campaign against US rapper, Tyler the Creator, whose lyrics glorify violence against women. Talitha asked why the Australian Government had a national plan of action to reduce violence against women while at the same time welcoming artists who promote and endorse that same violence. Tyler retweeted her one tweet to his 1.7 Million fans, the reaction was an instant onslaught of online abuse from his fans, threatening Talitha with rape and violence, one boy posted what he believed was her address so these abusers could find her.

Talitha attended Tyler’s Sydney all-ages concert where he proceeded (not knowing she was there) to vilify her before his audience of young fans. She recorded him stirring the crowd into a a frenzy with his tirade, uploading the footage to Youtube. As a result, New Zealand decided to ban him from entering their country. Because of the abuse she received, she persuaded Twitter to add a ‘report abuse’ button.

As an activist against violence against women you are immediately a target for online abuse, when speaking out against rape and violence against women, you in turn receive threats of it, and when we go to the police about it, we are the ones told to get offline, to stop fuelling it, to have a more plain profile picture, or to just delete our accounts. There are no consequences for the perpetrators, just the victims.

Julie Nathan, Executive Council of Australian Jewry

Julie Nathan is the Research Officer for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). She has worked in this position for over four years. Julie’s main focus has been on researching and documenting antisemitism within Australia, and other related issues of concern to the Australian Jewish community. Julie is the author of the ECAJ annual Report on Antisemitism in Australia, in both 2013 and 2014. As well, Julie has been a representative of ECAJ in interfaith dialogue, predominantly with Christians and Muslims.

About ECAJ

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) is the officially elected national peak body representing Australian Jewry. It articulates the needs, interests and views of the Australian Jewish community to all levels of government, the media, other faith and ethnic communities and the wider Australian community. The ECAJ’s advocacy covers all policy areas, foreign and domestic, which affect or are of concern to the Australian Jewish community. These include protecting the physical security of the community; responding to the threat of terrorism and violence; combating antisemitism and other forms of racism and incitement of racial hatred; campaigning on behalf of Israel and combating attempts to demonise and isolate Israel; relief and rescue of persecuted Jews and Jews in distressed circumstances; protecting religious freedom; advancing Jewish education and Jewish day schools; promoting Holocaust education and memory; and securing restitution for Holocaust survivors and their descendants. The ECAJ has also been very involved with interfaith and inter-community dialogue and building relationships with the wider Australian community.

Luke Pearson, @IndigenousX

Luke Pearson is the founder and director of IndigenousX and works actively as a consultant, campaigner, advocate, entrepreneur, and outspoken social commentator. Luke fervently believes that racism against Indigenous people is a critical national issue which negatively impacts on health outcomes, educational opportunities, and limits the scope of dialogue around the need for evidence based and Indigenous owned policies and practices.

IndigenousX Pty Ltd is an organisation developed by Like Pearson to help expand, and make sustainable, the important work begun through the social media project, @IndigenousX. IndigenousX Pty Ltd has as its central focus, and underpinning philosophy, to continue to elevate and amplify a diverse range of Indigenous voices and provide a prominent online space for new conversations, connections and opportunities.

Noel Hadjimichael, Parents Council NSW

Noel Hadjimichael is CEO of the Parents Council NSW, the peak body representing parents of non-government school students in NSW. Noel has previously worked as a lawyer, a team leader for a Commonwealth Government agency and as a university lecturer in cyber crime.

The Council represents parents on all major educational committees at state and federal level including the NSW Board of Studies, Board Curriculum Committees, the NSW Non Government Ministerial Schools Advisory Council, AIS NSW Consultative Council, and the NSW Teachers Institute. They have regular meetings with the Minister for Education, the Opposition counterpart, and work closely with organisations including the Association of Independent Schools NSW and the Association of Heads of Independent Schools.

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