Our People

CRSA’s staff, board of directors and ambassadors draw on their breadth of experience and knowledge to implement the organisation’s vision.

Our Team

Lisa Button

Lisa Button

Chief Executive Officer

Lisa has been leading the work of CRSA and its predecessor, CRSI, since she instigated its establishment in 2018. She began her career as a commercial lawyer and has been working in refugee law and policy for more than a decade with organisations such as the Centre for Policy Development, Save the Children and Refugee Legal. Lisa is also a Fellow with the Centre for Policy Development and has been a director of a number of refugee-led organisations. Lisa holds a Masters in Public and International Law in addition to her BA/LLB(Hons) from the University of Melbourne. She lives in Melbourne and is the proud mum of three boys.

Sophie Bosch

Sophie Bosch

Operations Manager

Sophie is an Operations and Project Manager who specialises in helping to scale early stage startups. She also has a long standing passion for refugee and human rights issues with a particular interest in programs that offer employment, language and literacy support to new Australians. Sophie holds Masters degrees in Journalism and Management from the University of Sydney. She enjoys using her creative and analytical skills to support the sustainability and growth of innovative organisations who are shaping the future.

Mohammad Nawrozi

Mohammad Nawrozi

Community Liaison Officer

Before coming to Australia Mohammad was involved in leading community capacity building initiatives in Afghanistan. He worked to implement programs in micro-financing, education and vocational training with a particular focus on programs that empowered women and young people in their local communities. Mohammad has been involved with Australia’s refugee community for many years. He has extensive experience in supporting refugees from diverse backgrounds having previously worked with AMEP in Victoria, STTARS in South Australia and most recently as a Community Tour Guide for Cumberland Council’s Refugee Camp in my Neighbourhood project in NSW. He was previously an executive committee member for UNAA’s South Australian Division where he was also a volunteer.

Mohammad is currently studying a postgraduate diploma in Australian Migration Law at Western Sydney University as well as a diploma in Community Services. He is Afghan and speaks six languages including Dari, Hazaragi, Urdu, Pashto, Persian and English. Mohammad is enthusiastic, collaborative and empathetic in his approach to his work supporting members of the refugee community.

Nicole Watkins

Nicole Watkins

Community Development Manager

Nicole is a community development practitioner with ten years experience working in not for profit and government agencies. Nicole completed a Masters of Social Development from UNSW and has extensive experience working in the refugee sector with agencies such as Australian Red Cross and Settlement Services International. She is passionate about building community capacity to drive long lasting and sustainable change that delivers meaningful outcomes for the community.

Shabnam Safa

Shabnam Safa

Community Development Officer

Shabnam is a driven community development practitioner who is passionate about cultivating true partnerships between communities and structures of power and influence in addressing the complex challenges of forced migration and resettlement. Inspired by values-based leadership, advocacy, and her own lived experience, she has founded multiple initiatives in Australia and abroad supporting refugees and host communities. She has previously worked at the Centre for Multicultural Youth designing and delivering strengths-based capacity-building programs for migrant and refugee young people. Shabnam is the inaugural chairperson leading the National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG), a refugee-led organisation that aims to create space for the voices of those with lived experience in key decisions, policies, advocacy, and public discourse about refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.

Our Board of Directors

CRSA’s Board currently comprises the following individuals.

Libby Lloyd AO

Libby Lloyd AO

Director & Chair

Libby has a strong background working with refugees. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2022 for her distinguished service to the community, particularly to women and refugees, through a range of social welfare initiatives. This followed her earlier appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia in 1992 for her contribution to refugees and to the international community in Iraq and Kuwait. She co-founded the White Ribbon Foundation in 2007 and is currently patron of the Indigo Foundation and the Chair of CRSA’s board of directors.

Ali Reza Yunespour

Ali Reza Yunespour

Director

Ali Reza Yunespour works as Academic Internships Coordinator and Director of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His PhD thesis examines the political economy of Afghanistan’s higher education; and his research interests are education politics in fragile contexts and asylum seeker and refugee issues in Australia. He has extensive community development experience in conflict societies and has helped around 8,000 students in 22 rural schools in Afghanistan through his volunteer work with indigo foundation Australia. Previously, Ali Reza has worked in DFAT and as a lecturer at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. Ali Reza was a People of Australia Ambassador in 2012 and 2013 and was awarded the National Volunteer Award for his works with refugees and migrants in Australia and his contributions to indigo foundation’s education programs in Afghanistan. Ali Reza arrived as a refugee in Australia in 2005.
Achol Madong

Achol Madong

Director

Intrinsically motivated to service and support the community, Achol Madong has extensive experience in developing, managing, and delivering community engagement strategies and programs for multicultural and Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. As the Inclusion Coordinator for the Royal Life Saving Society WA, Achol is dedicated to promaoting safe participation in, on and around water and has successfully implemented multicultural, Aboriginal, and special needs inclusion programs that remove barriers to community participation for vulnerable communities across the Perth metropolitan and regional area.

Achol is Chairperson of the Perth African Nations Sports Association (PANSA), a not-for-profit sports organisation concerned with the development, promotion and implementation of sporting programs and pathways for African Australians who have made Western Australia their new home. She is a super-connector of people from all perspectives, experiences and cultures and is highly skilled in fostering partnerships between community organisations to support the delivery of meaningful and beneficial community programs. Achol holds a Diploma of Business from Australis College and a Bachelor of Business, Sports Management from Edith Cowan University.

Cindy Carpenter

Cindy Carpenter

Director

Cindy is Chair of The Bread & Butter Project, Australia’s first social enterprise artisan bakery, investing 100% of profits to provide training and employment pathways for refugees and asylum seekers.

Cindy also Chairs the advisory groups supporting two refugee-led social enterprises, Aunty’s Ginger Tonics and CommUnity Construction Group, convenes a knowledge sharing group of about fifteen refugee-focused social enterprises, and sits on the work-integrated-social enterprise Hub to promote payment for outcomes models. She is also a Director on the Board of Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia, and coordinator of a neighbourhood group mentoring two young refugees.

Cindy sits on the National Judging Panel for Westpac Foundation’s Social Change Fellowship and is a member of the Steering Committee for the RISE program that connects business mentors to social enterprises impacted by COVID-19.

Cindy was a Principal strategy consultant and then General Manager Aust/NZ for the Boston Consulting Group before co-founding the consulting firm, Cast, 12 years ago. She thrives on helping organisations achieve their boldest aspirations and has advised many corporates as well as not-for-profit and public sector organisations. She has an MBA from AGSM where she was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship, with an exchange to the Wharton School of Finance in University of Pennsylvania.

Ian Smith AM

Ian Smith AM

Director

Ian Smith is the founding partner of corporate and political advisory firm Bespoke Approach, working with national and international blue-chip companies. He is also a Senior Adviser to Albright Stonebridge Group, a Washington-based strategy consultancy. Ian is deeply involved in refugee advocacy, chairing Barefoot to Boots, a charity assisting refugee camps and their host communities. He is a member of the University of South Australia Council. He became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2018. He is married to former Senator and Ambassador Natasha Stott Despoja and they have two children, Conrad and Cordelia.

Our Ambassadors

We are grateful for the public and behind-the-scenes support of the following esteemed individuals.

Professor Peter Shergold AC

Professor Peter Shergold AC

Peter led a government-commissioned independent inquiry into Integration, Employment and Settlement Outcomes for Refugees and Humanitarian Entrants in Australia in 2019. He is currently the Coordinator General for Refugee Settlement in NSW and Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney.

Watch Peter Shergold on Community Refugee Sponsorship

Nyadol Nyuon

Nyadol Nyuon

Nyadol is an Australian lawyer and human rights advocate, who was born in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, of a family fleeing the Second Sudanese Civil War. She currently works for the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety and is also a writer, speaker and media commentator. In addition to her role with CRSA, she is Chair of The Harmony Alliance.

Andrew Kaldor AM

Andrew Kaldor AM

Andrew arrived in Australia in 1948 as a refugee from Hungary. He went on to become a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist and, together with his wife Renata, established the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales.

Watch Andrew Kaldor on Community Refugee Sponsorship

Phoebe Wynn-Pope

Phoebe Wynn-Pope

Phoebe is a senior executive with over 25 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector. She has worked extensively with government, business, academia, the media and the public to promote human rights and develop excellence in humanitarian practice. She is currently Head of Business and Human Rights at Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Watch Phoebe Wynn-Pope on Community Refugee Sponsorship

Tim Costello AO

Tim Costello AO

Tim is the Chairman of the Community Council of Australia. He is Director of Micah Australia and a Senior Fellow for Centre for Public Christianity. He is well known as a leading spokesperson on social justice issues including problem gambling and homelessness.

Watch Tim Costello on the Role of Faith Communities in Community Refugee Sponsorship

Om Dhungel

Om Dhungel

Om, a former engineer, is now a consultant and a practitioner of Strength-Based Approach to refugee settlement and community engagement, offering his services as a trainer, mentor and a speaker. A Graduate and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he is currently a Director on the Board of Asylum Seeker Centre, a Member of NSW Police Multicultural Advisory Council and has served on a number of other boards. Formerly a refugee from Bhutan, Om is the founding President and currently a senior member of the Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA) Sydney. Om is a recipient of the 2017 University of Technology Sydney (UTS) International Alumni Award and 2016 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Watch Om Dhungel on Community Refugee Sponsorship

Arash Bordbar

Arash Bordbar

Arash Bordbar is a former Refugee originally from Shiraz in Iran. Arash is the Co-ordinator of the UNHCR Global Youth Advisory Council and is also currently working with the CMRC as a Youth Employment and Enterprise Officer. He has just finished his Bachelor of Civil Engineering(Hons). Arash is the Chair of Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN). He was awarded the Young People’s Human Rights Medal in 2016 for his advocacy on human rights in Australia and the Asia Pacific, chosen to be an Australian Ambassador since 2018 for Australia Day.