People

Our Committee

Our Management Committee comprises of volunteers who offer a range of skills

John Haren

John Haren

Social justice is John Haren’s principal focus—including refugee advocacy, mental health, universal education, quality of life for people with disabilities, homelessness, and community development. He is keenly interested in bringing together communities, companies and government to create a better world for all people. John enjoys exploring opportunities to work collaboratively on complex issues in order to achieve progress together. John is currently Director Community Services for Lutheran Community Care. He believes in collaborative leadership and the ability of well organised groups to bring about change in our world.

Meredith Evans

Meredith Evans

Meredith Evans has been involved with the flights of refugees and asylum seekers for several years—including with people at the Inverbrackie Detention Centre. During that time, she helped to restart Circle of Friends 111 to widen support for people in detention and also help them to adjust to living in the community once released from detention. She is a member of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans. Through her networks Meredith assists people with their practical needs, as well as building connections and friendships between the people newly arrived and the Australian community.

Ustinia (Tina) Dolgopol

Tina Dolgopol has been engaged in community activities for over forty years. Her extensive experience working with the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva, Switzerland) includes liaising with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. During the negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Tina, along with others, lobbied for clauses that supported the right to seek asylum, promoted the importance of family reunification, and recognised the child’s right to hold political opinions. Her report, published by Action for Children, received substantial media attention. She has worked with the Australian Refugee Association to secure grants that resulted in publications, school programs, and the production of an educational DVD. For over a decade Tina has participated in two Circles of Friends. She has been a member of Justice for Refugees since its reincarnation in 2015 and has contributed to various working groups. In 2017 Tina’s name was added to the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice Legacy Wall at the United Nations in New York.

Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh first became involved with Justice for Refugees SA in 2003. Kate joined the management committee in 2015 to show her support for asylum seekers and refugees in the Australia and to work towards a fairer and more just system for processing and welcoming refugees into the community. Kate has over ten years’ experience working in the community and education sectors. She is currently based at Flinders University, working in student engagement.

Gary Wilson

Gary Wilson

Gary Wilson has bachelor degrees in science and social administration—as well as experience in social work, advocacy, mental health, human resource management, and governance in both government and non-government sectors. Previously Executive Director of Shelter SA, Gary is a member of the South Australian Council of Social Services and is on the board of UnitingSA. Gary and his wife have seen their lives enriched by an Iranian refugee family they met at Inverbrackie, to whom they continue to provide assistance and friendship.

Kim Voss

Kim Voss has been a social worker for 30 years, working across the non-government, local government and government sectors. Her extensive experience includes community development, aged care, neighbourhood houses, domestic and family violence, and women’s health—in particular, the health and wellbeing of women from culturally diverse backgrounds. She has held roles in community development, project management and clinical. Kim has a passion for creating environments which enhance the health and wellbeing of people in their communities and work towards positive sustainable change. She believes that the personal is political. In joining Justice for Refugees SA, Kim pursues her passion for lobbying for refugee policy changes to address how refugees and asylum seekers’ dignity and human rights are not being upheld.

Dorothea Megow-Dowling

As a child of immigrant parents, Dorothea Megow-Dowling (interim Treasurer) has always been keenly aware of social justice issues. Her first involvement in advocacy has been through church and then community groups committed to raising awareness about, and offering compassion to, the socially and economically marginalised. Dorothea now works with Justice for Refugees SA, bringing her education background and her experience in economic research and analysis, strategic planning, corporate affairs, and marketing and communications to the organisation. She is passionate about teaching English to speakers of other languages and developing her skills as a volunteer.

Rev Sandy Boyce (Deacon)

Rev Sandy Boyce is a minister at Pilgrim Uniting Church. She is also the current President of DIAKONIA World Federation. One of her main passions is connecting the church and community, which she achieves by engaging in collaborative projects and partnerships for the common good in our ‘glocal’ community. Sandy draws on her background as an educator, raising awareness across many areas of justice. She participates in advocacy in the public arena, as well as practical support and acts of solidarity. Under Sandy’s leadership, Pilgrim Uniting Church hosts regular vigils and information events for refugees—and its many members have offered generous support to refugees over years of changing policy.

Ruth Jacobs

Ruth is the Project Coordinator for Justice for Refugees SA. She is responsible for stakeholder engagement, research, advocacy and campaign work, event and project management, and coordinating volunteers. Ruth sits on the board of the Refugee Council of Australia and is a member of the executive of the End Child Detention Coalition. With ten years’ experience working in the refugee sector in South Australia, Ruth has a strong insight into the issues facing refugees and people seeking asylum—as well as a deep respect for the stories of individuals and families seeking asylum. Ruth’s past roles include Migration Support Program Caseworker at Australian Red Cross and Migration Assistant at Australian Refugee Association. She holds tertiary qualifications
in international relations and migration law.

Kirsty Magarey

After studying law and arts at the University of Adelaide, Kirsty Magarery moved to Sydney to begin an exciting career in law reform and social justice. She started as an associate to Justice Elizabeth Evatt, where she worked with the Australian Law Reform Commission and United Nations treaty bodies. She was on the committee for the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and a research fellow at the University of New South Wales, helping the Australasian Legal Information Institute to curate their human rights and Indigenous collections. For the next 25 years, Kirsty worked for the Human Rights Branch of the Attorney-General’s Department and then the Law and Bills Digest Section of the Parliamentary Library’s Information Branch. She was an author, editor and trainer for the Bills Digests—providing independent perspectives and research on legislation to assist parliamentarians in their decision-making. Throughout her life, Kirsty has been an active member of various not-for-profits, including Amnesty International, Oxfam, the Community Refugee Settlement Scheme, Woden Community Centre, MS Society and MS Australia. Kirsty is passionate about refugee, environmental, disability and multiple sclerosis advocacy and awareness.

Holly Roberts

Holly Roberts

Holly Roberts has been passionate about social justice from a young age and has spent most of her adult life dedicated to working towards a more equitable society. Currently working in the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults and studying a Bachelor of Media at university, she hopes to use these skills alongside her passions to engage people about the matters close to her heart. Holly is a committee member of Caritas South Australia and has been involved in the organisation of local Welcome to Australia walks. Holly’s passion for justice stems from the interactions she has had with young refugees in her community, who greatly inspire her.