Members of the Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations

Casta Tungaraza 

Chair, Dr Casta Tungaraza, President African Women’s Council of Australia

In addition to being President of the African Women’s Council of Australia, Dr Tungaraza is Director of the Australian Institute of Swahili Language and African Culture and a member of the Western Australian Government’s Multicultural Advisory Group. She is a recipient of the WA Multicultural Services Award. In 2012 she received the national Living Legend and Most Influential African in Australia Awards. Dr Tungaraza works closely with the African Diaspora in Australia and actively supports the integration, participation and empowerment of African-Australians within Australian society.


Mary Kimani 

Co-Chair, Dr Mary Kimani, Director, Super Community Care

Dr Kimani has a PhD in early years’ education. She was awarded her PhD degree from James Cook University. Mary’s experiences in the education field span over twenty five years and include research, lecturing, classroom teaching and training of in-service and preservice teachers at different levels, both locally and internationally. She worked as a Research Fellow with Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), a Senior Program Manager for early childhood development and Education at Plan International Australia, a curriculum developer with Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and as a lecturer for seven years in Education Department, Daystar University. Mary was born, raised and educated in Kenya and has extensive experience in international development work including research in education in East and South Africa –Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.


John Hearn 

Co-Chair, Professor John Hearn, Board Executive Director and Chief Executive Worldwide Universities Network and Chairman of the Australia Africa Universities Network

Professor Hearn is Professor of Physiology at the University of Sydney and Chairman of Hearn International Pty Ltd. He was awarded his PhD from the Australian National University and served for 6-7 years each in leading research, teaching and administrative positions at the Universities of Edinburgh, London UCL, Wisconsin, ANU and Sydney. He has lived and worked in Kenya and Uganda, and has extensive education and research links especially in East and Southern Africa. Professor Hearn is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Di Fleming 

Ms Di Fleming, Executive Director Ducere Foundation and President Australia Africa Business Council (VIC)

Ms Fleming has been working in Africa for nearly 10 years, building relationships, teaching and business matching. Ducere is working in schools across 11 African countries to develop passionate leaders and learners and to prepare young people for business creation rather than job seeking. Previously, Ms Fleming was Director of the Centre for Excellence in Digital Design at RMIT University and Associate Professor in Learning at the University of Melbourne. Ms Fleming was the Founder and CEO of Digital Harbour Holdings and the first educator to achieve the Telstra Victorian Businesswoman of the Year Award and the National Telstra/Australian Industry Award.


Bill Repard 

Bill Repard, Publisher and Proprietor Paydirt Media

Paydirt Media are publishers of the leading mining industry news and investment magazines, Australia’s Paydirt and Gold Mining Journal. Paydirt Media also runs the major mining investment event in Perth each year - Africa Down Under (ADU). Mr Repard has served as National Chair of the Australian – Africa Business Council (AABC) since 2000. He was a founding Board member of the Australia Africa Mining Industry Group (AAMIG). He has also served as Honorary Consul for the Republic of South Africa in Western Australia. Mr Repard was previously a senior executive with News Corporation.


Nadine Shema 

Dr Nadine Shema, ‎Co Founder, Public Relations Director and Health Program Coordinator - ‎Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development International (GLAPD Int.)

Dr Shema is an overseas trained Medical doctor and a public Health professional.

Nadine co-founded the Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development Int. in 2012 just one year after she arrived in Australia (2011).

Since then, she devoted herself to the welfare of migrants and refugees from the troubled Great Lakes region of Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the D.R. Congo) by promoting peace, harmony and development among those people, both in Australia and internationally through her advocacy and advisory work.

Nadine’s main focus has been to empower refugees to work in partnership with one another and with Australians to create positive changes, including intercultural exchanges.

Nadine was finalist for the 2017 Rotary Inspirational Women’s Awards.

Henry Olonga 

Henry Olonga, public speaker

The first black cricketer and youngest-ever player to represent Zimbabwe at international level, Olonga represented his country in 80 international matches, taking 126 wickets. Henry Olonga made international headlines in 2003 when, along with Andy Flower, he donned a black armband to protest against the "death of democracy" in Zimbabwe. Mr Olonga fled Zimbabwe and found a new home in England where he was a media pundit, cricket club player and commentator.

Mr Olonga has since settled in Adelaide with his family and works as a public speaker, singer and entertainer. In addition, he acts as an ambassador for a handful of organisations with causes close to his heart.


Peter Coleman 

Mr Peter Coleman, CEO and Managing Director Woodside Energy

Mr Coleman has 31 years’ experience in the global oil and gas industry, covering Asia, the Americas, Africa and Australasia. He has been Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Woodside since joining the company in 2011. Mr Coleman is Chair of the Australia Korea Foundation and advisor to the Asia Society.  He is also a member of the University of Western Australia Business School Board, the Executive Committee of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Council, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australia-India CEO Forum and Monash Engineering Foundation.


Santilla Chingaipe 

Ms Santilla Chingaipe, journalist and documentary filmmaker

Ms Santilla Chingaipe is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker.

Ms Chingaipe spent nearly a decade working for SBS World News which saw her report from across Africa and interview some of the continent’s most prominent leaders and reported extensively on Australia’s diverse African communities. Ms Chingaipe  created and hosted the Africa Talks series in partnership with the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, which explored perceptions about African-Australian identity, representation and politics.

Last year, Ms Chingaipe presented a one-off documentary for SBS, Date My Race. Her latest film, Black As Me, explores the perception of beauty and race in Australia. Ms Chingaipe recently partnered with The Wheeler Centre to create and curate Australia’s first all day anti-racism festival, Not Racist, But...

Ms Chingaipe’s work explores contemporary migration, cultural identities and politics. She is currently developing several factual and narrative projects including a visual art and documentary project about African migration to Australia pre-federation. Ms Chingaipe writes regularly for The Saturday Paper


Lisa Sharland 

Ms Lisa Sharland, Head of the International Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)

Ms Sharland’s research focuses on Australia’s engagement in UN peacekeeping operations, UN peace operations reform, women in defence and security, and Australia-Africa engagement.  During her time at ASPI she has undertaken field research on UN peace operations in South Sudan and the Central African Republic as part of a visiting fellowship with the Stimson Center in Washington DC, where she remains a non-resident fellow as part of the Protecting Civilians in Conflict program. She has also worked as a consultant for the International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations.

Prior to joining ASPI, Lisa worked as the Defence Policy Adviser at the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations in New York, where she provided advice on peacekeeping and defence-related policy issues. Ms Sharland holds a Master of International Studies from the University of Sydney, as well as a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Macquarie University, Australia.


Ms HK Yu 

Ex-Officio Member, Ms HK Yu, First Assistant Secretary, Middle East and Africa Division, DFAT

Prior to joining DFAT in 2018, Ms Yu was the First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from April 2016 and Acting Deputy Secretary NSIP from August 2017.

Ms Yu has extensive experience in representing Australia in various international fora. As the General Manager of the G20 Policy Division, HK supported the Treasurer to shape, manage and lead the policy agenda and engagement in relation to Australia’s hosting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings.

Ms Yu was posted to the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan as Minister-Counsellor (Economic) between 2009 and 2012. During this time, Ms Yu was seconded to the Korean government to assist with preparations for the G20 meetings during 2010. She was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2011 for outstanding public service in strengthening the Australia-Korea bilateral relationship, particularly through major contributions to the successful outcome of the G20 in Korea in 2010.

Ms Yu has a Bachelor of Commerce (UWA), a Graduate Diploma in Economics (ANU) and a Master of Taxation (UNSW).


Last Updated: 12 April 2018