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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cr Joseph Haweil’s professional background is in the design, delivery and management of government services with significant experience in contract and grant management, strategic and social planning, community development, advocacy and local government. Since 2016 he has served on Hume City Council, one of Victoria’s largest and most diverse growth municipalities. In 2020 he was elected to a second term and elected Mayor.
He has extensive community links and networks across the social, educational, religious, multicultural and charitable sectors and has featured in Australian media commenting on metropolitan growth area challenges, the needs of culturally diverse and new and emerging communities and all things local government.
His community and peak body experience includes roles with the Victorian Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches in Australia, the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Regional Advisory Council and the Community Advisory Committee of the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust. He has participated in numerous intercultural delegations and forums and is an alumnus of the prestigious Australian-India Youth Dialogue.
He sits on a wide range of local government Boards, taskforces and advisory committees covering jobs and skills, regional growth and redevelopment. His Ministerial appointments include the Local Government Mayoral Advisory Panel and the Broadmeadows Revitalisation Board 4.0. He also sits on the Board of the Municipal Association of Victoria, the peak representative and advocacy body for Victoria’s 79 councils.
Cr Haweil completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History (Degree with Honours in History) and a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a recipient of the Victorian Premier’s Award for Multicultural Excellence.
Isabella Villani was appointed to the LanguageLoop Board in April 2021. As a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Order of Merit), Isabella is also Non-Executive Director and a member of the Renumeration Committee at Waterpool Trading, an organisation that provides a market driven water trading platform. Isabella is a Retail Advisory Board Member at Save the Children, an international children’s charity.
Isabella Villani is a thought leader in strategy, marketing, customer experience (CX), employee engagement and organisational transformation. With over 20 years’ experience at the forefront of CX, she is often sought after as a keynote speaker at global industry forums and events.
Isabella is a published author with international recognition for her two books, Good to Great CX and Transform Customer Experience. As the founder of Exceed Global, Isabella has earned a reputation for her infectious passion as an advisor who coaches, educates and inspires.
With extensive experience within the Victorian public sector, including 14 years as a senior executive in a large government department, Noble has a track record of achievements in leading policy development, service design, service operations, and the implementation of key government initiatives in the disability and human services sectors such as the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Noble currently works within a large not-for-profit organisation which provides services for people with disability, foster and out-of-home care, mental health, aged care, and services for refugee and asylum seekers across Australia.
As a former international student from Hong Kong shaped by her experiences in overcoming cultural and language barriers, Noble is driven by a strong commitment to valuing diversity and creating opportunities for people to overcome barriers and disadvantages.
Noble completed her Master of Special Education in 1986 and Executive Master of Public Administration at the Australian and New Zealand School of Government in 2006. Noble is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Eva is an organisational ethics and governance expert who has been researching, educating and advising on ethics and governance for over two decades. She has worked in the public, private and not for profit sectors and held executive roles in Australian and European universities.
Eva is the Deputy President of the Professional Standards Division of the Police Registration and Services Board, a Board Member of SW TAFE and a member of academic journal editorial boards. From Edith Cowan University, she was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy for her thesis on Moral Autonomy in Organisational Decisions and a Master of Business Administration and from Curtin University, a Bachelor of Business (Accounting).
Eva commenced on the Board in April 2021.