CRSA’s staff, board of directors and ambassadors draw on their breadth of experience and knowledge to implement the organisation’s vision.
Jump to: Our team | Our Board of Directors | Our Ambassadors
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.
CRISP Program Manager
Romy has a Master of Social Work, a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, and has worked extensively with people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds including with Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, Australian Red Cross, AMES Australia and the Legal Aid Scheme in Ghana. She is a proud mother of two and is driven by the sheer joy of welcoming people with refugee experiences to Australia, and the opportunity to harness the enormous contributions that this resilient cohort can offer to Australian society.
Community Engagement Manager
Program Support Officer
Community Development Manager
Community Development Training Lead
Media & Communications Manager
snowboarding or bushwalking.
CRISP Community Liaison Officer
Renata joins the CRSA team with fifteen years of experience in refugee protection and forced migration in Australia and internationally. She has previously worked on the delivery of social programs at Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, Australian Red Cross and Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project as well as international humanitarian projects in Greece, Lebanon and displacement-related research on Sri Lanka. Renata has postgraduate degrees in Community Development and Social Work, while also pursuing further study on the intersection between gendered violence and forced migration. She is a strong believer in people power and the active role of communities in working toward social change.
Our Board of Directors
CRSA’s Board currently comprises the following individuals.
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 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.
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 promoting 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.
Noel is a not-for-profit sector leader with over 30 years experience across a diverse range of social causes, with a particular depth of experience in migration and emergency management. He recently left Australian Red Cross after 20 years, most recently as Director of Australian Programs, and is now pursuing a range of new opportunities to contribute his knowledge and skills.
Noel has extensive experience in asylum seeker and refugee program implementation, advocacy and policy. He’s sat on Ministerial Advisory Councils, presented to Senate Select Inquiries and has implemented programs at scale including humanitarian settlement services, immigration detention monitoring, and asylum seeker community care. He was a co-chair of the Global Red Cross Movement’s Migration Leadership Platform and has worked on migration issues at local, national, regional and global levels.
A critical thinker, Noel looks to unpack organisational and community issues to shape strategic and tactical responses. He has substantial experience in building effective relationships and collaborative partnerships.
Noel is a qualified Social Worker (PIT 1988) and holds a Masters in Social Policy (RMIT 2000).
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 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.
Cam is an Anglican Bishop who loves people and music; and using his little gifts with the gifting of others, to make the world a better place. Born in Northern Ireland, and educated in England, Cam spent many formative years in Papua New Guinea working in Christian education and Community Development.
In Australia Cam has worked in Parish, School, and University contexts and has seen great synergies between these in caring for the homeless (Lismore Soup Kitchen), supporting those in the wider community (Anglicare Central Queensland, and Anglicare Southern Queensland), and assisting those who come to Australia as refugees through community-based settlement (Sanctuary-Northern Rivers; Sanctuary-CQ; Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Service).
Now based in multi-cultural Toowoomba Cam is very much aware that regional and rural communities are fantastic places for refugees to find welcome and friendship, education and employment, and ultimately… a new sense of ‘home’.
We are grateful for the public and behind-the-scenes support of the following esteemed individuals.
Professor Peter Shergold AC
Andrew Kaldor AM
Tim Costello AO
Watch Tim Costello on the Role of Faith Communities in Community Refugee Sponsorship