Ian Riseley is a member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham in Victoria, Australia. He is a chartered accountant and principal of Ian Riseley and Co., a firm he established in 1976. Prior to starting his own firm, he worked in the audit and management consulting divisions of large accounting firms and corporations.
Riseley has been a member of the boards of both a private and a public school, a member of the Community Advisory Group for the City of Sandringham, and president of Beaumaris Sea Scouts Group. He has been president of Langi-Taan Ski Club as well as honorary auditor or adviser for a number of charitable organizations.
Riseley’s honors include the AusAID Peacebuilder Award from the Australian government in recognition of his work in East Timor, the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the Australian community, and the Regional Service Award for a Polio-Free World from The Rotary Foundation.
A Rotarian since 1978, Riseley has served as treasurer, director, Foundation trustee, and member and chair of numerous RI and Foundation committees.
He and his wife, Juliet, a past district governor, are Major Donors and Bequest Society members of The Rotary Foundation. They live on seven hectares at Moorooduc, where they practice their personal philosophy of sustainable and organic living. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Steve Killelea AM
Steve Killelea is an accomplished entrepreneur in high technology business development and at the forefront of philanthropic activities focused on sustainable development and peace. After successfully building two international software companies, Steve directed most of his time and fortune to sustainable development and peace.
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is the father of both social business and microcredit, the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. For his constant innovation and enterprise, the Fortune Magazine named Professor Yunus in March 2012 as “one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.”
In 2006, Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
Professor Muhammad Yunus is the recipient of 55 honorary degrees from universities across 20 countries. He has received 112 awards from 26 countries including state honours from 10 countries. He is one of only seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. Other notable awards include the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1984), World Food Prize (1998), The Prince of Asturias Award for Concord (1998), Sydney Peace Prize (1998) and the Seoul Peace Prize (2006). In Bangladesh he got President’s Award in 1978 for introducing an innovative organisation in agriculture. He was awarded the Independence Day Award in 1987, by the President of Bangladesh for the outstanding contribution in rural development. This is the highest civilian national award of Bangladesh.
Professor Yunus was chosen by Wharton School of Business as one of ‘The 25 Most influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years’. AsiaWeek (Hong Kong) selected him as one of ‘Twenty Great Asians (1975-1995).” Ananda Bazaar Patrika (India) selected Professor Yunus as one of “Ten Great Bengalis of the Century (1900-1999).”
In 2006, Time Magazine listed Professor Yunus under “60 years of Asian Heroes” as one the top 12 business leaders. In 2008, in an open online poll, Yunus was voted the 2nd topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States). In 2010, The New Statesman (UK) listed him as one of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures”.
Professor Yunus has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Hardtalk on BBC and The Simpsons. Financial Times chose Professor Muhammed Yunus as one of six Finance Pioneers. In the March 31, 2015 issue in an article entitled “Business Pioneers in Finance” Professor Yunus has been placed alongside Warren Buffett, Amadeo Giannini, Henry Kravis, J.P Morgan, and Mayer Amschel Rothschild as greatest business finance pioneers of all time. He has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, Newsweek and Forbes Magazine.
Hugh Riminton - MC
Hugh Riminton is a multiple-award winning journalist, foreign correspondent, political editor and presenter.
He has reported from more than 50 countries, including from the frontlines of almost every major global conflict of the past 25 years.
In that time, Hugh has held senior positions as presenter and correspondent with CNN and for Channels 9 & 10.
Among many journalistic honours, he has won Walkley Awards as a foreign correspondent and as TEN’s political editor based in Canberra, where he and colleague Matt Moran broke the “Skype Scandal” which triggered half a dozen federal government inquiries.
Hugh is a foundation board member of Soldier On, a national charity helping Australians who have suffered as a consequence of their service to the community. He also chairs the John Mac Foundation, founded by former child soldier and criminal lawyer Deng Adut. The foundation provides scholarships and mentoring for students from war-torn or refugee backgrounds.
Hugh is married with four children. His memoir “Minefields: A Life In The News Game” was recently released through Hachette.
Jean Nepo Sibomana
Nepo is Co-Founder and Director of The Mustard Seed Institute, a social enterprise working at the grassroots level on Poverty Alleviation, Reconciliation, and Sustainable Peace through Agriculture, Vocational Training and Research in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region of Africa. Born in Eastern Province, Rwanda, Nepo is a Genocide Survivor and has been a long-time advocate for the rights of Genocide Survivors, Youth Empowerment and Peace.
He has held leadership positions in several youth organisations advocating for peace and sustainable development across Rwanda and East Africa; The Nursery of Peace, The Rwanda Student Genocide Survivors’ Association, Initiatives of Change Rwanda, East African Youth Forum for Peace and Development, and the Commonwealth Alliance for Young Entrepreneurs East Africa. Nepo previously worked at African Rights and The Pan-African Bank, Ecobank. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering and Information Technology, Kigali Institute of Technology, Rwanda.
He lives in Eastern Province, Rwanda, with his Australian–born wife and young daughter, in the same community where he grew up and lost his whole family during the Genocide. His passion is to inspire his community to work together towards a common goal of achieving socio-economic transformation, which provides the foundation to eradicate genocide ideology, promote reconciliation and ensure sustainable peace for future generations.
As a member of the Foundation’s Knowledge and Innovation team, Jeremy’s work focuses on issues surrounding social media and online behaviour, cyber safety resources and ensuring youth perspectives are considered in industry initiatives. Jeremy has written about, presented and facilitated discussions on these topics across Australia and internationally.
Jeremy was an ambassador for the Australian Internet Governance Forum (auIGF) in 2013 and 2014, running expert panels and introducing youth issues to the event for the first time. He also convened sessions at the Global IGFs in Bali and Istanbul and represented the Alannah & Madeline Foundation on the Dynamic Coalition on Child Online Safety.
Jeremy organised the first cyber safety stream at the 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights, and regularly appears as session moderator for key annual events such as the Child Online Safety and Protection conference. Jeremy is also on various industry roundtables and panels and collaborates with organisations such as Google, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and leading academics.
His recent projects at the Foundation have included designing the framework and content for the eSmart Digital Licence – an interactive cyber safety resource for teachers, parents and children; working with McDonald’s Australia on youth cyber-risk prevention; and authoring book chapters on ‘sexting’ and ‘cyber safety’ for prominent youth mental health publications. More of his writing can be read on selected websites and media outlets, including the London School of Economics’ Parenting for a Digital Future blog.
She was born in Bankstown into a Croatian migrant family. She is a high school teacher specialising in Studies of Religion and Geography. Kate has a graduate certificate of Interfaith Dialogue and was a member of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship in Canberra in 2009. She has an interest in South Asian culture and in particular Bollywood film. She regularly contributes articles to the Society and Culture Association journal ‘Culturescope’ helping teachers and students explore Bollywood as a popular culture.She is also a mother of two daughters.
Madenia Abdurahman is a retired principal and is currently still involved in numerous charitable oganisations. Madenia was born in Cape Town, South Africa during the Apartheid Era.
She got her Teaching degree in 1966 and taught in a sub economic area where there was a lot of poverty. While she was teaching in the sub economic area she got involved with the struggle of underprivileged students that suffered because of Apartheid. She instilled in them a strong desire for learning, making them aware of the power of education which they could use as a weapon against the “White Man”.
Whilst teaching full time, she did a lot of volunteering work with:
- National Cancer Foundation of South Africa
- Old Age homes
- The Mental Health Institute
- Welfare Organisations
She moved to Australia in 1981 with her husband and her 4 year old son. She started casual teaching in public sector and in 1982 gave birth to twin daughters. In 1986 she started a fulltime teaching position in the private sector of Education. From the moment she arrived in Australia she continued with her charity work with many different organisations. She is currently working with:
- Muslim Aid Australia – Chairperson
- Together for Humanity – President
Madenia Abdurahman is now a proud grandmother of 5 grandchildren.
Mahir Momand is a Microfinance expert who has lived 2/3 of his life as a refugee. Mahir currently serves as the CEO of Thrive Refugee Enterprise. Thrive provides micro-finance and business support to refugees and asylum seekers in Australia to start new businesses and grow existing ones.
Mahir’s current work is focused on highlighting how refugees can contribute to economic growth by creating jobs for themselves and others. Mahir’s work shows that when refugees become economically active, it leads not only to economic integration and financial independence but also faster social integration.
Previously, Mahir served as CEO of the National Association of Credit Unions in Afghanistan, worked for the World Bank, UNHCR and was Financial Adviser to the Federal Ministry of Labour in Afghanistan. The Microfinance programs run by Mahir have helped establish a total of 165,000 small and medium business enterprises in Afghanistan that provided a livelihood for nearly 1 million people.
Dr Curley is a senior Lecturer in International Relations and Director, UQ Rotary Peace Centre. Her research and teaching interests include Southeast Asian politics and international relations, Cambodian politics and post-conflict reconstruction, and non-traditional security in East Asia (including trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, pandemic disease and child protection issues). Dr Curley also co-facilitates the UQ Working Group on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in the T.C Bernie School of Law (http://www.law.uq.edu.au/humantrafficking). She has published in internationally peer reviewed journals including: Review of International Studies, The Journal of Law and Society, Australian Journal of Human Rights, and Australian Journal of International Affairs, amongst others. Her most recent book is Migration and Security in Asia (Routledge 2008) with S.L. Wong. Before joining the School in January 2006, Dr. Curley was a researcher in the China-ASEAN project at the Centre of Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong, where she also coordinated a consultancy project on Southeast Asian affairs for the Hong Kong Government’s Central Policy Unit. She holds a Ph.D in International Relations from Nottingham Trent University in the UK, and BA(Hons) in Government from UQ.
In 2015, Dr Curley joined the Executive Advisory Board of Bravehearts, an Australian not-for profit organisation that aims to educate, empower and protect Australian children from sexual assault. Bravehearts operates in four states in Australia with headquarters in Queensland and offices in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Nicholas Drushella was born in the USA and graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelors degree in International Studies and a concentration in Journalism. His multidisciplinary education and volunteer work led him to pursue a career in conflict prevention through expanding student educational opportunities in vulnerable communities.
Nicholas has worked with several youth development nonprofit organizations, including Imagine Scholar in South Africa. He has placed an emphasis on connecting students with experiential learning opportunities and advocating for more equitable resource dispersion in rural communities. He became heavily involved with Rotary and has spoken to over 50 clubs about engaging youth in proactive peace processes. He is conducting his Applied Field Experience at the United Nations Population Fund in Jakarta, Indonesia.
He is passionate about social justice and intercultural cooperation and communication. He plans to utilize the Rotary Peace Fellowship and the worldwide Rotary network to more effectively empower local agents and create sustainable community change.
Perla Padilla was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and migrated to the United States at the age of 20. She has completed bachelor degrees in Psychology and Latin American studies from the University of California, San Diego, and has been the recipient of various prestigious fellowships and honours programs, including the McNair Scholars program, Minority Health Disparities International Research Training program, Psychology and Latin American Honours Research Programs and the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Her work focuses on the intersections between immigration, education, health services accessibility and human rights. Her research also covers questions of motivation and learning in children, the relationship between civil unrest and religion in Honduras, and the availability of mental health services in Mexico City’s disadvantaged areas.
Perla is an advocate for the rights of immigrant and vulnerable youth. Her work with unaccompanied and undocumented immigrant youth on the Mexico-US border assisted in reconnecting over 100 children with their families. She has collaborated with the Honduran, Salvadorian, and Mexican consulates to introduce policies aimed at accelerating the process of bringing families back together. She has also worked in marginalized areas of San Diego, supporting homeless, low-income, pregnant and parenting youth in educational and employment programs. Perla’s goal is to continue advocating for the human rights of immigrants and at-risk youth across the world.
During her Applied field experience in Colombia she will be evaluating a program that seeks to reduce violence against youth by providing psychosocial coping skills to members of the community. She will also be involved in another program that is seeking to increase the political participation of youth in the peace process and in politics in Colombia.
Rebecca Tolstoy is managing director of Tolstoy Consulting (accounting practice) and CEO of FinTech Start-Up Tolstoy System with more than 24 years of professional and executive business experience.
Rebecca is Chairman, Co-Founder and Director of Path of Hope Foundation, a joint venture between Rotary and the Salvation Army. In this role, she provides strategic vision and facilitates the formal collaboration between Rotary and the Salvation Army worldwide.
In 2014, the Foundation received a Significant Achievement Award from Rotary International for its efforts to support disadvantaged women and children.
Rebecca is also a Board Member of the Victims of Crime Reference Group, advising the Attorney General of Western Australia on issues affecting victims of crime in that State.
Late last year, Rebecca was invited by the Hon. Michael Jeffery, a former Governor General, to join the Board of Future Directions International. This is a not-for-for profit strategic research institute conducting comprehensive research of key medium to long-term issues facing Australia and the world.
A first-generation Chinese-American, Shen Huang is an engineer and works to protect public health and the environment with marginalized communities. Her area of focus is water and sanitation. Shen has a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Mechanical Engineering and is a current Rotary Peace Fellow studying a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland. Her Rotary Sponsor is the Visalia County Center Club in District 5230 (California), and her Host Counsellor is the Club of Woolloongabba in District 9630. Shen loves to solve problems together with communities with a holistic approach, develop community leadership capacity, and advocate to improve quality of life. She has helped advance the human right to water with Californian farm-working communities at the local, state, and federal levels. Other projects have included renewable energy and sustainable farming in Nicaragua, Zambia, and China. Complementing her current studies, Shen is working with Indigenous Australian and Pacific Islander communities to improve health outcomes, including assisting Rotary’s End Trachoma by 2020 program and researching if there is a link between unsafe drinking water and kidney disease.
Stephanie Woollard is a Melbourne-born social entrepreneur, Rotary Foundation Peace Scholar and Rotarian who has created the international aid organisation Seven Women, tour-company Hands On Development and the International Training and Hospitality initiative.
In 2016, Stephanie was recognize on the global stage with a prestigious Rotary Responsible Business Award, one of only six honorees worldwide. The award presentation took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York with Rotary International President John Germ, more than 1500 Rotary members, UN officials and NGO leaders present. Other accolades received include, Moral FairGround’s, National Most Ethical Enterprise Award in 2014, the Nepali Association of Victoria’s award for “Commendable service to the Nepalese Community, “ and the distinguished La Trobe Young Achiever Alumni of the Year Award in 2016. She has this year also been nominated as Australian of the Year.
Stephanie is a deeply inspiring young woman dedicated to education and empowerment of the world’s most marginalised. Her journey demonstrates how through persistence and unrelenting commitment one person can truly make a difference. Steph’s vision that underpins all her work, is to create a more tolerant and compassionate world.
Stephanie holds an Undergraduate degree in International Development from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and a Masters degree in Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution from Uppsala University, Sweden.
Taha Allam is a science teaching student, and Together For Humanity Facilitator and role-model. Taha is a Muslim Lebanese Australian who has come a long way from his insular experience growing up in a monocultural community in Greenacre and Punchbowl. During his formative years he was exposed to media coverage “hammering his religious beliefs”. As the same time as the media onslaught, a group appealed to Taha under the name of “Islamic State”, which hinted at big ideas such as protection and justice. However, he soon discovered that things didn’t appear as they seemed.
Rabbi Zalman Kastel
Zalman Kastel was ordained as a Rabbi in the Chasidic Jewish tradition in a racially divided part of Brooklyn NY. Encounters with Christians and Muslims transformed him and inspired a passion for interfaith dialogue. He has run interfaith workshops and countered alienation among Aboriginal and Muslim youth since 2002.