We Must Stand Together - Speakers

We are delighted to present an amazing line up of speakers for We Must Stand Together.


Nyadol Nyuon 

 Nyadol Nyuon is a commercial litigator as well as a well-known advocate, writer and public speaker. Nyadol was born and raised in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya and came to Australia as a refugee aged 18. Nyadol regularly appears on the media, including recent appearances on The Drum and Q&A. Her work has been published in The Australasian Review of African Studies; The Australian Mosaic Magazine; Offset; and Cultralistal Magazine


Zione Walker-Nthenda

Zione Walker-Nthenda is an educator and social justice lawyer who has worked extensively in areas of family law, family violence, and human rights, as well as in law reform and policy work. She is the former national co-convenor of Women's Legal Services Australia.


Tim Lo Surdo

Tim Lo Surdo is the Founder and National Director of Democracy in Colour — Australia's first national racial justice campaigning organisation led by people of colour.


Tony Birch

Tony Birch is a multi award winning Australian poet, short story writer and novelist, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.


Soreti Kadir

Soreti Kadir known also as Hawiine, is a female, Oromo, multidisciplinary creative. Her work draws on the density of her experience to speak to the silences in our collective conversation’s on freedom, equity, womanhood, injustice and progress.


Jessie Taylor

Jessie Taylor is a lawyer working in the community sector, a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, and the current President of Liberty Victoria.



wāni is a proud descendant of the Bashi peoples of Walungu as well as the current Incarnation of the Afronaut. You can find him currently manifesting the form of a polyglot living and creating on the occupied lands of Narrm.


Serina McDuff

Serina McDuff is a former human rights lawyer and is the current CEO of the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic). She has advanced human rights and social justice for the past 15 years with a focus on the rights of women and people seeking asylum.


Julie Edwards

Julie Edwards has over 35 years experience engaging with marginalised people and families experiencing breakdown and trauma. She is a social worker, family therapist and a grief and loss counsellor. Julie is the CEO of Jesuit Social Services.


Tenda McFly

Tenda McFly is a Rapper and Poet living and working in Melbourne. Tenda recently released a project titled Memoirs and subsequently presented it to a sold-out audience in a format which encompassed elements of theatre, spoken word, rap and visual art.


Pauline Vetuna

Pauline Vetuna is a Tolai woman, artist and writer (of essays, articles, prose, scripts, poetry) living in Narrm. She uses poetry and creative writing to transmute pain, confusion and the experiences of marginalisation into things of beauty and liberation; to document healing lessons that she learns through living and contemplation, and speak new realities into existence.


Hamile Ibrahim

Hamile Ibrahim is an Essayist on social political work with a particular focus on race, gender, as well as gendered islamophobia and the insidious ways in which it harms those most marginalised primarily black women. she is also an academic tutor/contributor at Monash university’s faculty of arts & humanities.


Roj Amedi

Roj Amedi is the Senior Human Rights Campaigner at GetUp and a writer and editor based in Naarm/Melbourne. Roj is the editor of the current and 38th issue of Acclaim Magazine and has written for The Saturday Paper, SBS, Vault, Swampland, Meanjin amongst others.


Leah Tolley

Leah Tolley joined VLA in 2009 on a secondment to the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, she was the Principal of the Family division at VALS before commencing with the new Aboriginal Children’s Legal Service Balit Ngulu in July last year.


Jill Prior

Jill Prior is the inaugural Principal Legal Officer of the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women. Prior to establishing LACW, Jill was the Acting Principal Legal Officer at the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria. Jill was previously the Principal Legal Officer at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) where she worked for over 10 years. Jill’s unyielding commitment and dedication to her work has made her a well-known and respected public figure, in and outside legal circles.


Ruth Barson

Ruth Barson has worked to advance the human rights of people enmeshed in the criminal justice system for over a decade. She leads the Human Rights Law Centre’s work advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and children and adults in jails across Australia.


Nasalifya Namwinga


Nasalifya Namwinga is a Zambian Clinical Psychologist with experience working in the correctional space in New Zealand and Victoria, Australia. She completed a Masters in psychology and a degree Criminology in New Zealand. After completing a masters thesis on the idea of ‘invisible rehabilitation’ of 'offenders' on community work sentences, she developed a passion for research and working with 'offenders’.


Tarneen Onus Williams

Yigar Gunditjmara, Bindal, Wakka Wakka, Dja Dja Wurrung, Yorta Yorta and TSI from Erub Island. Tarneen Onus Williams is a Member of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, a Senior Program Officer at an NGO, and an Executive Member of Koorie Youth Council (KYC) Tarneen is passionate about intersectional feminism, body positivity, sexual health and consent, mental health, decolonisation, resistance, revival and young black people.


Anthony Kelly

Anthony Kelly Executive Officer of the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre and the Police Accountability Project. Anthony has over 25 years experience in human rights advocacy, strategic social justice campaigning and community development.


Nick Hudson

Nick Hudson is the Executive Officer of the Barwon Community Legal Service, based in Geelong. Nick is also a Director of the National Association of Community Legal Centres, the peak body for Australia’s 200 community legal centres.


Alma Mistry

Alma Mistry is a Senior Communications Adviser with Victoria Legal Aid. At VLA Alma has been working with lawyers to share client stories and systemic trends with media and the community in order to raise awareness and effect change. Prior to joining VLA, Alma worked as a TV producer and journalist on some of Australia’s most respected broadcast programs such as ABC News and The Project. She was a key producer on the ABC’s recent factual TV show War on Waste. From 2014-16 she worked in Cambodia on a DFAT funded international development project working in partnership with local radio stations.


Nerita Waight

Nerita Waight has worked at the Victorian Aboriginal legal Service as a civil lawyer and also in the family and youth team. In late 2016, she moved into a dual role, undertaking both legal casework and policy work culminating in the establishment of Balit Ngulu in 2017, a specialist legal service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Nerita is currently completing her Masters of Law at the University of Melbourne.



Laniyuk was born of a French mother and a Larrakia, Kungarrakan and Gurindji father. Her poetry and short memoir often reflects the intersectionality of her cross cultural and queer identity. She was fortunate enough to contribute to the book Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives as well as winning the Indigenous residency for Canberra's Noted Writers Festival 2017. Laniyuk received Overland’s Writers Residency for 2018 as well as being shortlisted for Overland’s 2018 Nakata-Brophy poetry prize.


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