Our Advisory Board

Affinity Intercultural Foundation’s Advisory Board aims 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

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.

Walangari Karntawarra (also known as Colin McCormack) is an Arrernte Aboriginal elder from Alice Springs who now lives and works in Sydney. He is an international award winning “Central Western Desert” painter and his colourful and spellbinding works tell the traditional Dreaming Stories of the world’s oldest living culture.

His childhood was spent living a traditional lifestyle in the Australian outback. His direct family line includes the famous water colourist Albert Namatjira and two of the founding fathers of the Papunya Tula movement, Clifford Possum and Paddy Carroll

Walangari enthrals audiences with his wonderful stage presence as a didge player and dancer with his traditional performance troupe, Diramu Aboriginal Dance and Didgeridoo. He is an eloquent and captivating public speaker, has two university degrees and has run his own very popular cross-cultural course.

Totally at ease in front of the camera, Walangari had a credited roll in the Australian movies “Oscar and Lucinda” and “Primal”. His own life and work have featured in numerous Australian and international publications and television shows, from “Good Morning Seoul” to the National Geographic’s “Sacred Skin”.

A talented musician, Walangari/Colin has performed in many diverse venues from Paris nightclubs to the World Tattoo Convention in Frankfurt. His current band The Black Turtles play large concerts like “Yabun” and the “Dreaming Festival”.

Walangari’s work has been exhibited extensively both in Australia and internationally. He uses his art as a means of cross-cultural communication and he is dedicated to improving the lot of his people.

In 2008 Walangari was awarded the “Green Leaf Award” for artistic excellence in painting by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Natural World Museum.

The National Gallery of Australia has acquired one of his early works and he was voted the 2010 “Deadly” Visual Artist of the Year.

Craig Foster AM, Adjunct Professor – Sport & Social Responsibility, Torrens University

Following a decorated football career as Australia’s 419th Socceroo and 40th Captain, Craig has become one of Australia’s most respected sportspeople as a broadcaster, social justice advocate and human rights campaigner.

Craig represented Australia in the junior National Team at age 15 in the first FIFA Under 16 World Cup in China, 1985 where he was selected in the FIFA Team of the Tournament. He would later go on to represent Australia at senior level on 29 occasions including as Captain.

Following retirement, he quickly became one of Australia’s most respected sports broadcasters with an 18-year, triple Logie-winning career with Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) as part of The World Game (TWG) team which included five FIFA World Cups and four FIFA Women’s World Cups as well as the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and domestic competitions.

A member of the Australian Multicultural Council under the Department of Home Affairs, Immigration and Citizenship division, Craig works across a vast range of social programs from indigenous rights and self-determination, homelessness and domestic violence, climate action and gender equality and is particularly well known for his refugee advocacy.

He is an Ambassador for Amnesty Australia, the Affinity Intercultural Foundation and Addison Road Community Centre including their #RacismNotWelcome campaign for Local Councils across Australia, Pushing Barriers, an Australia Committee member with Human Rights Watch, Advisory Council member of the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW and a Director of the Crescent Foundation.

A Strategic Advisor for Frontrunners, in 2020 he wrote to the Secretary-General of FIFA on behalf of 17 climate action and environmental groups urging the world governing body of football to utilise the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand to promote greater climate action from the world.

Craig developed a primary school initiative to facilitate an understanding of diversity with the Australian Government for Harmony Day, is a former Chairman and CEO, Life Member and PFA Champion of Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), Australia’s representative body of the Socceroos, Matildas and professional players around the world where as Chair he oversaw the introduction of a gender equality and Indigenous representation quota at Board level, is a former Director of the Council on Australia Latin America Relations(COALAR) with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and has led a number of sport and business missions abroad with the NSW and Australian Government including the signing of a Sports collaboration with Brazil at MERCOSUR with then Australian Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd.

His humanitarian activism extends to several, high profile campaigns including #SaveHakeem to free Bahraini refugee Hakeem al-Araibi from a Thai prison for which he was a Finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission Medal, #GameOver to call for the resettlement and freedom of over 400 refugees and asylum seekers indefinitely detained by Australia in PNG, Nauru and in Australian hotels (Alternative Places of Detention) for over seven years and #PlayForLives which is a humanitarian response by sport to the COVID-19 pandemic which began in Australia and expanded internationally.

In 2020, Craig fasted during Ramadan with high profile members of the Australian Muslim community as an act of solidarity between religions and cultures as part of Australia’s multicultural cohesion and in 2021, fronted the #RacismNotWelcome campaign with the Inner West Multicultural Network of Sydney to confront, challenge and eradicate racism in Australia’s local communities through collaboration with Local Government Areas (LGA’s) including the City of Sydney.

He is a former columnist for the Sun Herald, author and co-author of several books including ‘Fighting for Hakeem’ by Hachette Australia, and writes for the Guardian, The Age and other publications and holds a Professional Coaching License and helped guide dozens of Australia’s finest young female and male talents, many of whom graduated to Australia’s National Teams.

In 2019, the Australian Financial Review recognised Craig as a ‘True Australian Leader’, the Sydney Morning Herald as one of the ‘People that Defined 2019′, he was the recipient of the 2020 NSW Government Humanitarian Award for his work with sport and human rights, an Australian Human Rights Commission Medal finalist, was awarded the Australian Muslim Council 2020 Abyssinian Medal and was a finalist for the NSW 2021 Australian of the Year.

In 2021, Craig became a Member of the Order Of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List which he dedicated to his refugee friends and former Manus Island detainees, Moz Azimitibar and Farhad Bandesh, and Hakeem al-Araibi as well as all refugees seeking safety around the world.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Master’s Degree in International Sports Management and a Postgraduate Degree in Football Management.

Somehow, Craig was nominated as one of Australia’s Best Dressed Men despite spending his life in ripped jeans and boardshorts and still plays football for the Waverley Old Boys Over 35’s in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia where he tries to forget he’s now in his 50’s.

Today, Craig advises on athlete activism for some of Australia’s most prominent sportspeople and is an Adjunct Professor of Sport and Social Responsibility with Torrens University, Australia.

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.

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Esta Paschalidis-Chilas is a not-for-profit, community sector professional, with over 25 years of experience within the industry. She is currently the Manager of Government and Member Relations at Settlement Services International.

In the past, she has held a broad range of management and leadership positions in multicultural, public health, advocacy and policy organisations.

Esta is an expert in international refugee affairs and has worked with a range of diverse stakeholders. She has solid knowledge of the workings of government, of social policy development and impact and great communication skills.

Having served as an elected Councillor on Canterbury City Council, she is keenly committed to the needs of people in their local community. She takes a strengths-based and solutions-oriented approach – whether she’s sitting on a Board, volunteering in the community or managing projects and representing people’s needs at policy-making tables. She has a strong belief that people themselves have the solutions they need.

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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.

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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.

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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 was a Senior Executive since 1987, managing radio newsrooms and ABC NewsRadio in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. She worked as Radio Editor for SBS Radio, and Planning Editor for SBS TV, Radio and Online. She retired in 2015 to concentrate on windsurfing, sailing and learning languages. Lissa is now President of the Windsurfing NSW Association.

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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.

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Mehmet Saral is the President and co-founder of Advocates for Dignity, an advocacy organization that seeks the rule of law, democracy and fundamental human rights and liberties.

He was also the co-founder and past President of the Affinity Intercultural Foundation and is currently on the Board of Directors of Affinity.

He is a Telecommunications Engineer by profession working on the NBN National Broadband Network. He is married with 3 daughters.

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Pauline Wright returned as President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties in January 2021 after her term as President of the Law Council of Australia. Pauline was also President of NSWCCL from October 2018 – October 2019, having been actively involved with the council since 1988 and including service as Vice President for a number of years. Pauline graduated in Arts Law in 1985 from Macquarie University. She was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1985 and has been in private practice since then and is a principal of PJ Donnellan & Co Solicitors in Gosford. She is an accredited specialist in Local Government and Planning Law and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Pauline has previously served as the President of the Law Society of NSW during 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. Pauline has also been President of the Central Coast Chapter of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (NSW Division).
Appointed 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.

Philippa McDonald is a former Senior ABC News Reporter and Senior Journalist and is one of Australia’s highly respected and influential journalist and presenter. Currently, Philippa is an author, MC & Facilitator, Mentor & Media Trainer. Renowned for asking insightful questions and fostering quality discussions, Philippa has facilitated events on Covid and Bushfire recovery interviewing the NSW Chief Psychiatrist, Senior Public Health Officers, Cabinet Ministers, and Multicultural leaders as well as many of Affinity’s webinars.

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).

Richard has been awarded the Officer of the Order (AO) Medal in 2019, for his distinguished service to international relations through the advancement of Australia’s diplomatic, trade and cultural relationships.


Rosemary 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.

Rosemary 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

Emeritus Professor Alan Knight, Former Academic and Journalist

Hon Barrie Unsworth, Former Premier of NSW

Hon 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

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

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

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

Jim Mein, Director of Schools Ministry – Uniting Church Board of Education

John Meadow, Former Executive Director Uniting Church NSW Synod Board of Education

Bishop Kevin Manning, Former Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta Catholic Diocese

Nick Kaldas, Former NSW Police Deputy Commissioner

Professor Peter Manning, Academic & Journalist

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

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

The Hon Justice Margaret J Beazley AO,
President, Court of Appeal | Supreme Court of New South Wales