About the speakers:
Professor Sophia Pandya
Professor Sophia Pandya specialises in women, religion, and globalisation. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies/Arabic, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara in Religious Studies, with a focus on women and Islam. A Fulbright scholar, she researched Muslim women’s changing religious practices in Bahrain, looking at the impact of education on women’s religious activities, which became the topic of her dissertation. Dr. Pandya worked as a part-time lecturer at CSULB during 2005-2006, and was hired as a full-time assistant professor in 2006. After spending the summer of 2006 in Sana’a, Yemen, she is currently working on a project which examines religious change among educated Yemeni women, and the implications of modernity, globalization, and education on their practices.
Professor Paul Weller
Professor Paul Weller has been at the University of Derby since 1990. His role at the University involves strategically and operationally leading and managing research in the Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences, which is the University’s largest and most research-engaged Faculty. He is also strategically responsible for commercial development in the Faculty, working together with the Faculty’s Innovation and Enterprise Manager. From 2010-2012 he was partially seconded to head up a national Arts and Humanities and Economic and Social Research Council “Religion and Society” Research Programme project on “Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality in England and Wales: Theory, Policy and Practice, 2000-2010“.
Rev Tim Costello is one of Australia’s best known community leaders and a sought after voice on social justice issues, leadership and ethics. For 13 years until October 2016, Tim was Chief Executive of World Vision Australia (WVA). In his current role as WVA’s Chief Advocate, Tim continues to place the challenges of global poverty on the national agenda. Concurrently for 2018, Tim will act as the Executive Director of Micah Australia. In earlier roles Tim was National President of the Baptist Union of Australia and Mayor of St Kilda. He has been Baptist Minister at St Kilda Baptist and Collins Street Baptist in Melbourne, as well as Executive Director of Urban Seed. In these roles he spearheaded public debate on problem gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse. In 2006 Tim was named Victoria’s Australian of the Year, in June 2005 was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO); in 2004, was named Victorian of the Year; and in 1997 was named as one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures
About the facilitator:
John Cleary is a veteran ABC broadcaster and one of Australia’s best-known commentators on religion. In his 30-year career with the ABC he has worked extensively in both radio and television, but is known principally for his association with Sunday Nights on ABC Local Radio and The Religion Report on ABC Radio National. John began his career in Perth, where he was one of the original Compass team on ABC TV and a co-presenter of the philosophy program, Meridian, on Radio National in the 1990s. For several years, John also appeared in a regular slot on the ABC youth network JJJ. His 1992 book on the Salvation Army in Australia was awarded the Christian Book of the Year. In 2008, John was host of the interfaith event held by the Catholic Church in conjunction with World Youth Day and the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. John is in high demand as a conference moderator.