Our Advisory Board

Affinity’s 10th-year celebration in 2011 also marks the formation of the Affinity Intercultural Foundation’s Advisory Board. The advisory board will serve to assist Affinity in its outreach program. The advisory board offers a wealth of experience as it comprises highly respected personalities within society.

Advisory Board Members

In alphabetic order. Click member name for details

Political Party Activity
Australian Labor Party (ALP). Member of ALP Administrative Committee 1971 – 1988.

Community Activity
Commissioner of the Public Transport Commission of New South Wales 1972-1975; Member of the Pipeline Authority 1973-1978. Deputy Chairman, then Chairman, of His Royal Highness Duke of Edinburgh Study Conference, Chairman, Australian Executive Committee 1982-1998, Chairman, Australia Day Council of New South Wales 1995-2003, New South Wales Centenary of Federation Committee 1997-2002. Chairman of Board, of Ambulance Service of New South Wales 2001-2008. Director of Railcorp 2005-2008. Chairman of State Transit Authority from 2004 to Nov. 2009. Chairman of WorkCover Authority of New South Wales 1995-1997. Australian delegate to International Labour Organisation (ILO) Worker Participation in Management Conference at Geneva 1980. Australian delegate to International Labour Organisation (ILO) Worker Participation in Management Conference at The Hague in 1981.

Qualifications, occupations & interests
Electrician and Union Organiser. Educated at Kogarah High School. Electrical Trades Certificate. Left school at 15. Apprentice Electrical Fitter, Electrical Fitter, Electrical Testing Officer and Sales Representative for Sydney County Council from 1950 until 1960. Technical representative for PWA Transformers from 1960 until 1961. Electrical Trades Union of New South Wales, Organiser from 1961-1967; Labor Council of New South Wales, Organiser from 1967-1975, Assistant Secretary from 1975-1979 and Secretary from 1979-1984. New South Wales Delegate to Australian Council of Trade Unions Interstate Executive from 1975-1984. Director of Totalizator Agency Board from 1997-2004. Director of Tempo Services from 1999-2005. General Manager of 2KY Broadcasters Pty Ltd Racing Radio 1992-2000. Director of Delta Electricity 1997-2006. Director of Youth of the Streets 2003-2008. Director of Entherm Pty Ltd 2003-2005. Member of Overseas Trade Authority of New South Wales in 1978. Director of Manly Warringah Sea Eagles2004-2006. Recreational interests include reading, golf, swimming and impressionist art. General interest in Industrial Relations.

Military Service
National Service 1953-1954 Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Honours Received
Awarded Churchill Fellowship in 1966 to attend Harvard University, Trade Union Program in 1966. Australian delegate to His Royal Highness of Duke of Edinburgh Study Conference, Oxford University in 1974.

Personal
Married Pauline Hennessy on 13 August 1955 and they had 1 daughter and 3 sons (1 deceased) and has nine grandchildren. Catholic faith.

Associate Professor Clive Pearson is a research fellow of the Public and Contextual Theology (PaCT) centre of Charles Sturt University. He was formerly Principal of United Theological College (North Parramatta) and, for a brief time, Head of the School of Theology, (CSU). He is a Fellow of the Center of Theological Inquiry (Princeton).

Clive is one of the three founding figures of the Global Network of Public Theology which embraces the practice of a public theology in 30 universities around the world. He is on the advisory editorial board of the International Journal of Public Theology and the Korean Presbyterian Journal of Theology. He was previously on similar boards for the journal Political Theology and Ecotheology. He was one of the series editors on cross-cultural theology published by Equinox Press (London).

Clive has been involved in the work of Affinity since its earliest days. He assisted in the establishment of the Centre for Islamic Sciences and Civilisation (CISAC) in Charles Sturt University. He oversaw the inclusion of ISRA / CISAC into the Global Network of Public Theology through its inclusion into PaCT. This is the first Muslim presence in the Global Network. He has collaborated in the writing of reports on Islamophobia and Halal certification.

Clive’s research lies in the area of systematic theology and climate change / the Anthropocene; the relationship between a systematic and contextual theology in situations of migration, diaspora and linguistic diversity; and, the relationship of the Christian faith to Islam. He has recently published a chapter on cultural minorities and the common good in The Brill Handbook of Public Theology (2017). Later this year Westminster John Knox Press will publish a major anthology on a Reformed practical theology and ethics involving scholars from the world – Imagining A Way, which he edited and held together with a seminal extended introduction.

Mr Erdogan was born in Izmir/Turkey in 1971. He completed his primary and high school education in Izmir. Mr Erdogan is a graduate of B.Sci (in Physics Teaching) from Bogazici University, Istanbul in 1994.Upon graduation, he took a Physics teaching position in Turkmenistan followed by Head of Physics Faculty in a cluster of thirteen Turkish origin schools in this country. Mr Erdogan arrived in Australia in late 1998. He originally worked at Amity College Illawarra Campus as an Acting and Founding principal in 1999 and 2000. Between 2001 and 2010, he was Deputy Principal initially followed by the Principal position of Sirius College Boys Campus.

Mr Erdogan’s most recent previous position was in Perth between 2011 and 2013 as the principal of of an independent private school. He has been in the current Executive Principal position since the beginning of 2014. Married with 3 children.

Mr Erdogan has been a member of Affinity Advisory Board since February 2015.

Director, Schools Ministry at Uniting Church Board of Education.

Jim Mein is a chartered accountant who answered the call in 1994 to leave the public accounting profession practice after many years.He became the full-time Executive Director in the corporate affairs, property, finance and related areas for the NSW Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia. His life was transformed in many Church roles, especially as the first full-time Moderator of that Synod, an experience that ignited his passion for relations with other faiths, social justice and community harmony.In 2010, he was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for service to the Uniting Church in Australia through many roles, for the promotion of interfaith dialogue, to education and to the community. He is a member of the Synod’s Relations with Other Faiths Committee, the Affinity Intercultural Foundation’s Advisory Board and recipient of their annual Interfaith Dialogue Award, and Honorary Treasurer of the Council of Christians & Jews NSW Inc.

John Cleary is the former presenter of Sunday Nights on ABC Local Radio.

John Cleary has been described as ‘one of Australia’s leading commentators on religious affairs’. He is a member of the ABC’s specialist Religion unit and is often heard as a commentator on Religious issues for ABC Radio and Television.

He is best known for his years with Radio National as presenter of The Religion Report and, prior to that, the philosophy program Meridian. He was part of the original Compass team on ABC TV, and was for several years a weekly part of the Triple J morning program with Angela Catterns and Jen Oldershaw.

In 1994 his book on the Salvation Army in Australia, Salvo, was awarded Australian Religious Book of the Year.

During his career with the ABC John has worked for extended periods in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. John’s appointment to Sunday Night on local Radio in 2001, marks a welcome return to a spot John occupied on Local and Metropolitan Radio in the early 90’s.

Former Executive Director Uniting Church NSW Synod Board of Education

John’s employment began with secondary school teaching in the government and private sector in Victoria.

This was followed by 20 years in publishing, book & magazine retailing with roles in publishing, marketing, general management.

For the past 15 years John has been employed by the Uniting Church (UCA) as Executive Director Board of Education and then Director Schools Ministry and sits on the boards of 7 of the UCA Schools.

Involvement in community organising (Sydney Alliance) and Affinity Advisory Board parallel his interest in education.

John has taken the Affinity sponsored trip to Turkey in 2007 and was honoured by Affinity for his work in supporting UCA school chaplains and then school students to experience the Affinity tours.

Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University

Dr. Julian Droogan is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT), Macquarie University, where he is Director of the International Security Studies program and lectures in Asia-Pacific security. Julian is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (Routledge), an international peer-reviewed journal examining academic and practical interactions between the fields of policing, intelligence and counter-terrorism. His areas of research expertise include religious radicalisation and violent extremism, the history of religious terrorism and political violence, and South Asian religion, history and culture.

Dr Kathy Egea has over 40 years academic experience in education at secondary and tertiary levels. As the First Year Experience (FYE) coordinator at the University of Technology Sydney, she co-leads the FYE strategy, a curriculum-based program designed to support the transition, retention and success for first year students from low socio-economic status (LSES) backgrounds. The FYE program embeds sustainable good practice strategies in first year curriculum and co-curriculum support, framed through a social justice lens, within a philosophy that good practice for LSES students is good practice for all students. To achieve this, Kathy leads a team of faculty FYE coordinators, facilitates a FYE grant scheme, works with academics on practice change, engages academic and professional staff in learning communities to meet, share ideas, network and create collaborative partnerships in FYE.  She is delighted to be part of the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, building bridges through dialogue, education and giving.

Former Planning Editor News and Current Affairs, SBS

Lissa has 30 years’ experience in the media, having worked in commercial radio, newspapers, the ABC and SBS. She has been a Senior Executive since 1987, managing radio newsrooms and ABC NewsRadio in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. She is a former Planning Editor for SBS TV, Radio and Online. Lissa has 30 years’ experience in the media, having worked in commercial radio, newspapers, the ABC and SBS. She has been a Senior Executive since 1987, managing radio newsrooms and ABC NewsRadio in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. She has particular experience in managing teams across numerous locations.

Professor, BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) PhD (Melbourne), Professor of Public Law

Mary Crock was born in 1959 in Perth, Western Australia but grew up in Melbourne, Victoria. She completed her undergraduate studies in Arts and Law at the University of Melbourne in 1983 and went on to work in a variety of positions ranging from solicitor in the law firm of Corr and Corr (as it then was) to Judge’s Associate and solicitor in a community legal agency. Mary is married to Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, working closely with him in all aspects of their joint professional life. Ron was a foundation member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), CRPD chair 2009-2013 and Chair of the Committee of Chairs of the 10 member UN Treaty bodies (2011-2012). They have three children: Gerard (b 1987), Daniel (b 1989) and Kate (b 1992).

Mary’s interest in migration and refugee law reflects her past involvement in direct advocacy work. Mary Crock helped to establish and run the Victorian Immigration Advice and Rights Centre Inc in Melbourne, now known as the Refugee and Immigration Law Centre (Vic). She has worked with Australian Senators (most notably in 1999-2000 on an inquiry into Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program) and with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (preparing a report in 2000 on the Immigration Detention Centre at Curtin, near Broome in remote Western Australia).

Mary has a long-standing interest in the intersections between legal scholarship and legal practice. She has assumed leadership roles as Chair of various migration law-related committees for the Law Institute of Victoria, the Law Society of New South Wales and the Law Council of Australia and has served on the Executive Committee of the Refugee Council of Australia. She is head assessor for Australia’s specialist accreditation programs for lawyers in the area of immigration law. Her contribution was acknowledged in 2007 by her appointment as an Honorary Specialist in this field.

Co-Founder, Affinity Intercultural Foundation

Educational Background
  • Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications Strand) from the University of Technology, Sydney in 1991.
  • Masters Degree in Islamic Studies from Charles Sturt University, Sydney in 2012.
Professional Career
  • Mehmet had an Engineering Scholarship with State Rail Authority of New South Wales (NSW) as a Telecommunications Undergraduate Engineer from 1986-1991.
  • He worked as a Project Engineer from 1991-1993 at State Rail Authority of NSW.
  • In 1993 he moved to Optus as a Network Engineer and served in that role until 1995.
  • From 1995 until now, Mehmet has worked in various Leadership roles and is currently Network Strategy Manager in Optus’ Networks Division.

Pauline was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in 1985 and has been in private practice since then and is a principal of PJ Donnellan & Co Solicitors in Gosford.

Pauline is the President of the Law Society of NSW for 2017, having served on the Council of the Law Society almost continuously since 1997. She chairs the Environmental Planning & Development Law committee and is Deputy Chair of the Future Committee.

A recent appointment to the Executive of the Law Council of Australia, Pauline sits on the LCA’s Access to Justice, National Criminal Law Liaison and Equality of Opportunity in the Law committees. She is also a past Director of the Law and Justice Foundation and the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, chairs Legal Aid’s Monitoring Committee and has sat on a number of panel selection committees for Legal Aid as well as its Human Rights committee.

Apart from her wide experience in local government, planning and environmental law, Pauline also has considerable experience in property law and commercial litigation and an extensive background in criminal law and was the long-term chair of the Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee.

Peter Manning was awarded his Doctorate of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at UTS in 2014. He was Senior Lecturer in Journalism at Monash University (2009-2012) and at UTS (2000-2009). He has also taught at the University of Sydney and Qatar University.

Prior to teaching he was the Head of News and Current Affairs at the Seven Network (1996-2000), and Head of TV News and Current Affairs at the ABC (1989-1993). In the latter role, he began the ABC’s very successful website (abc.net.au) and founded “Lateline”, “Foreign Correspondent” and “Landline”.

In the 1980s he was a field producer and then Executive Producer of “Four Corners”, winning many awards for its investigative journalism. He began his career at Fairfax and has been a reporter in print, online, radio and television.

He is the author of three books: “Us and Them: Media, Muslims and the Middle East” (Random House, 2006), now an e-book, “Dog Whistle Politics and Journalism” (ACIJ, 2004) and “Green Bans” (ACF, 1975). His PhD thesis is also currently being considered for publication.

He has written many chapters and papers for national and international peer-reviewed journals. He is a public commentator in various forums on media matters. He blogs at www.us-and-them.com.au.

Richard Broinowski is a former Australian diplomat. He served as Ambassador to Vietnam, Republic of Korea, and to Mexico, Central American Republics and Cuba.

He was also General Manager of Radio Australia. On retirement, Richard was an Adjunct Professor in Communications at Sydney University. From 2014 to 2017 he was also President, NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He is now a writer and public commentator on Australia’s foreign policies. His books include A Witness to History (MUP 2001), Fact and Fission: the truth about Australia’s Nuclear Ambitions (Scribe, 2003), Driven, an autobiography (HarperCollins 2009), and Fallout from Fukushima  (Scribe 2012).

Professor , Head of Education at UTS

Rosemary Johnston is Professor of Education and Culture at UTS and Director of the International Research Centre for Youth Futures. She serves or has served on the executive of a number of national and international Boards, including as Vice President of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et Littératures Modernes (affiliated to UNESCO). She is the lead investigator on several large Commonwealth-funded research grants, including two working with remote Indigenous communities. She is also one of three chief investigators on a Leverhulme (UK) Grant. She leads a growing number of projects which are funded by national and international corporates, and which aim to expand the horizons of thinking of disengaged youth and develop opportunities and pathways for their educational enhancement.

Emeritus Professor , Retired Deputy Vice-Chancellor for CSU

Emeritus Professor Ross Chambers served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Charles Sturt University from 2002 to his retirement in 2012.  From 1992 to 2002 he was Dean, Faculty of Arts, at CSU.  Since 2013 Emeritus Professor Chambers has acted on a part-time basis as Head of Campus for CSU at Port Macquarie, helping oversee the development of CSU’s new campus there.  As Dean, then DVC, Emeritus Professor Chambers oversaw the establishment of theology, Islamic studies and interfaith programs at CSU.  He has been chair of the Board of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture since 2002.  The Centre is dedicated to religious dialogue and to social inclusion in the context of religious diversity.  Since 2013 Professor Chambers has been chair of the Council of the United Theological College.

Director- Office of Equity and Diversity

Dr Sev Ozdowski is a human rights advocate, educator and social researcher, former senior civil servant, and Australian Human Rights Commissioner and Disability Discrimination Commissioner from 2000 to 2005. Ozdowski is known for his support for Polish Solidarity movement in the 1980’s, his defence of human rights of refugees, especially child asylum seekers detained in Australia and people with disabilities and mental illness as well as for his contribution to multicultural policies in Australia. Born in Poland, Ozdowski has a Master of Laws (LLM) and Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology from Poznań University, Poland and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales. In 1984 he was awarded the Harkness Fellowship for post-graduate work at Harvard, Georgetown and Berkeley Universities in USA (1984–86).

As the Australian Human Rights Commissioner Ozdowski authored the report about the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (2004), A Last Resort?, which talks about the human rights of the children who arrived by boat to seek refuge in  Australia. As Disability Discrimination Commissioner, in 2005 Ozdowski conducted the National Inquiry into Mental Health Services Not for Service. that resulted in a major change in the provision of mental health services.

Currently, Dr Ozdowski is the Director of the Equity and Diversity department at Western Sydney University, and Honorary Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, the University of Sydney. Since 2006 President of the Australian Council for Human Rights Education, and initiator of annual International Human Rights Education Conferences series. In December 2014 Ozdowski has been appointed Chair of the Australian Multicultural Council by the Australian Government. On Australia Day 2016 he was appointed as Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to human rights and multiculturalism.

Stephen is President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and a solicitor in private practice. Stephen is also a member of the NSW Law Society Committee on Privacy and Communications.

Stephen graduated in Law and Arts from the University of New South Wales in 1983, and has been involved in the NSW Council for Civil Liberties for more than 20 years. He has managed his own legal practice for more than 25 years, specialising in commercial litigation and commercialisation of intellectual property.

Stephen’s particular civil liberty interests include asylum seekers, national security, free speech, privacy and racial vilification. Stephen has been involved in many test cases in the Federal and State Courts involving important civil liberties and human rights issues.

Stephen appears frequently in the media commenting on issues involving civil liberties and human rights.

Former Advisory Board Members

Reverend Glenda Blakefiel, Former Associate General Secretary of the Uniting Church in Australia

Bob Carr, Former Australian Foreign Minister and former Premier of NSW. Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at the University of Technology Sydney

Virginia Greville, Director of the NSW State Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Nick Kaldas, Former NSW Police Deputy Commissioner

Emeritus Professor Alan Knight, Former Academic and Journalist

Jim Longley, Former Deputy Secretary of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, NSW Department of Family and Community Services

Bishop Kevin Manning, Former Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta Catholic Diocese

Greg Rochford, CEO of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia

Trish Madigan, Executive Director of the Dominican Centre for Interfaith Ministry