Professor Kathy Laster
Appointed as Chair of LanguageLoop in November 2020, Professor Kathy Laster is thrilled to lead such an important organisation which provides such vital services to Australia’s diverse communities. Currently the Director of Victoria University’s Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Professor Laster has successfully gained funding for the Centre’s Courts and Tribunals Academy which specialises in ‘law and cultural diversity’.
With more than a decade experience in various leadership roles throughout the public sector, Professor Laster has published an extensive range of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the field of criminology, legal history and gender and multiculturalism in relation to the law. Many of these contributions have been highly influential in both the public and legal sectors, as has her work on improving access to justice. She has also recently co-authored Interpreters and the Legal System, a key text used in interpreter education in Australia and overseas.
Professor Laster completed her LLB and Master of Arts at the University of Melbourne and went on to postgraduate study in New York obtaining her Doctorate of Juridical Sciences degree from Columbia University.
Carlo was member of the Victoria Parliament for more than 16 years, and brings a depth of experience to the complexity of government and pursuing changes to public policy. He is currently Chair of the Legislative Leadership and Governance Group at Deakin University (Victoria) – an organisation that provides training and parliamentary strengthening programs for overseas parliaments.
Carlo is also Chair of community health service Merri Health in Melbourne’s north, and works as a consultant and lecturer at Victoria University. In recent years he worked on governance and capacity building in the Pacific region and in Uganda, and also with Aboriginal-managed health organisations. Carlo speaks Veneto, Italian, Spanish and French, and is an advocate for access and equity, multiculturalism, and broader human rights issues in the community and within the political process.
Sabah has over 15 years of experience in commercial and corporate law, including her current role as Legal Counsel for contingent workforce specialist Entity Solutions, which is positioned in AUSNZ and APAC regions. As part of the senior management team, Sabah helps lead decision-making by providing strategic and expert legal advice on all areas of business activity, including risk management.
Previously, she was Legal Counsel for one of Australia’s largest franchise networks, Jim’s Group. She provided legal advice on the contractual and commercial management of the Group’s franchisees, and delivered improvements relating to legal and business procedures, compliance and documentation. Committed to social inclusion, Sabah has volunteered at the Women’s Legal Centre, providing free legal advice and representation to women in Victoria. She is fluent in Hindi and Urdu.
Draga Jevtic is an organisational psychologist with 25 years’ experience and a proven track record in governance, strategy and leadership in commercial and large organisational environments. As a highly experienced leader, Draga has significant experience in enabling organisations and individuals across a diverse range of industries make changes that have elevated productivity, margins, morale and well-being and which have been instrumental in driving critical transformational change.
With extensive experience in reducing absenteeism, conflict, unproductive and dysfunctional behaviour costs, Draga has also increased sales revenue through various strategies that are built on a deep and comprehensive understanding of the client’s needs.
David has a Master of Business (Sport Administration) and a Degree in Law LLB. He has extensive Board experience including Ministerial appointments to the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) and a Ministerial Taskforce in relation to Women in Sport and Recreation. His background also includes practicing Law in the UK, and international Legal and Professional recruitment. As an immigrant to Australia, David has a keen interest in diversity and inclusion. He has volunteered his time as an AFL Multicultural Ambassador and sat on the Carlton FC Diversity and Inclusion sub-committee. He is was a member of Cricket Australia’s Elite National Match Referee’s Panel and currently, Chair of SEDA College, Victoria.
Michael currently works as the Business Development Manager for Hanlon Industries, a National steel manufacturer. With over 20 years’ experience working on major projects, Michael is also the principal consultant for Diversity Consultancy.
Previously the CEO at Diversitat, the Geelong Ethnic Communities Council representing over 60 ethnic communities, Michael managed a portfolio of interests including immigration and settlement services, RTO, aged support along with various social enterprises.
Having a Bachelor in Politics and History from Monash University and a Diploma in Business (specialising in Governance), Michael is also the founder of “Los Locos” a Latin group which performs in regional Victoria at events and private functions.
Dr Michális S. Michael is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe University, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, at Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Dialogue – Global Reconciliation. He has taught, published and researched extensively on political science, international relations, conflict resolution, foreign policy, and the theory and practice of dialogue.
His work involves the careful study of intergroup and international conflict and their transformations away from narrow notions of state-bound security. Effectively, Dr Michael’s work seeks to deepen our understanding of the increasingly complex and often volatile social, political and cultural environments which conflict inhibits, and the corresponding pressures it places on both governance and civil society. By probing the need for dialogue in the conflictual setting, his research gauges the extent to which dialogue offers an effective form of communication that goes beyond traditional approaches of mediation and negotiation, and provides both governmental and non-governmental agencies with new possibilities for defusing polarisation and maximising the prospects for constructive engagement.