An executive group provide strategic direction and oversight of the Network’s activities. The group has rotating membership supporting sustainability and succession planning within the sector.
Kath Desmyth (Co-Chair)
Kath is the Statewide Facilitator of the Refugee Health Program. In her role she provides support and training to nurses and allied health staff working in the program as well as advising local, state and national agencies that provide services to people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.She has over 10 years’ experience in international development and public health working in Africa, Asia and the Northern Territory. Kath is a registered nurse and holds a Master’s in Public Health. She sits on the executive committee for Refugee Nurses Australia and RHeaNA.
Dr Suresh Sundram (Co-Chair)
Professor Suresh Sundram is Head, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Director of Research, Mental Health Program Monash Health and consultant psychiatrist to the Monash Health Refugee Health and Well-Being service. He is an expert consultant on asylum seeker and refugee mental health to the UNHCR and has provided expert advice to the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australian. He initiated and ran the psychiatry clinic at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre for over a decade providing pro bono psychiatric services to asylum seekers and in 2016 with Cabrini established, the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub. He has published and presented widely nationally and internationally in this area has conducted numerous research projects examining the mental health of asylum seekers and refugees.
Jessica has experience working in refugee health service provision and until last year, was the Refugee and Migrant Project Services Manager at Ballarat Community Health Service. Beyond this she has experience working in forced migration research and public policy in The Netherlands, USA and Australia. Jessica has worked in the corporate, community and government sectors and undertaken strategic work in areas of: Migrant and Refugee Health; holding Community Engagement portfolios with Local Government Authorities. She recently entered as a PhD candidate at Monash University in Refugee and Migration studies.
Sophie has worked as a project and program manager in refugee and community health and development for over 20 years and currently works for the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health. Sophie has worked for the ASRC, Centre Multicultural Youth, Jesuit Social Services and the Brotherhood St Laurence and through CEH has worked with Interpreters in Health Service training. She chairs the board of a small Not for Profit working with women from Afghanistan in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Dr Tecwyn Davies is an Emergency Medicine specialist, currently completing Paediatric Emergency Medicine subspecialty training at Monash Health. Tecwyn holds a Master of Disaster Management from the University of Copenhagen. On a daily basis, he works in the Emergency Department, regularly meeting and treating patients from a refugee or asylum seeker background, where the barriers to accessing healthcare are all too apparent. He also works in the Humanitarian sector, having worked as a medical doctor with Médecins Sans Frontières in Sudan and continues to be actively involved with the organisation.
Jamal has an academic and professional background in international and community development practice and brings experience in the development, implementation and management of capacity building projects, youth focused initiatives, and direct program work with asylum seeker and refugee communities in Australia and internationally, particularly in Afghanistan where he held a number of program management roles.Jamal currently holds the role of Manager, Community Capacity Building and Strategic Development at Foundation House, which we hope will provide representation of, and linkage to refugee communities and advisory groups. Jamal also has extensive personal connections with asylum seeker and refugee-background communities in Australia.
Tracey Cabrie (RN, MPH) is the General Manager of Cabrini Outreach’s Asylum Seeker Health Services. She has a diverse nursing and public health background in paediatrics, asylum seeker and refugee health and infectious diseases, as well as in international health. For the last 20 years she has been working with people seeking asylum, internally displaced populations and refugees both domestically and overseas within not-for-profit community-based organisations, community health and in the tertiary health sector. Tracey has a broad understanding and experience of the policy environment, collaborative sector partnerships, health inequities and the social and psychosocial determinants of health impacting on clients and the service sector.
Chiedza is a public health professional with experience in refugee health and sexual and reproductive health and research in multicultural communities. She has worked in statewide programs across Victoria, ranging from individual and community-based programs through to policy and advocacy initiatives. Chiedza is a Director on the Board of WaterAid Australia
Director of Policy and Research at the Refugee Council of Australia.
Department of Health Representative