Social justice is a principal focus of my life. Refugee advocacy, mental health, education for all, a good life for people with disabilities, homelessness and community development are areas I pursue passionately. A key interest of mine is the integration of efforts by the broader community, the corporate world, government, community and church organisations to create a better world and provide a place for all. I enjoy exploring opportunities to work with others on complex issues in order to achieve progress together.
I am currently the Manager, Community Transitions in the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion. This role has both a social policy and social change focus.
I believe in collaborative leadership and the ability of well organised groups to bring about change in our world.
With over 35 years’ experience in the community services sector, I have a strong commitment to social justice and believe that people who are vulnerable or disadvantaged should be accorded the full support they deserve in order to fulfil their ambitions and dreams. I believe the current policies promulgated by both sides of politics towards refugees are draconian, undignified and inhumane.
My most recent professional roles have included CEO of the Community Business Bureau, public officer for the Spastic Centres of South Australia and President of Cara, an organisation that provides accommodation and respite services to people with severe and multiple disabilities. I also volunteer with St Vincent de Paul. My educational qualifications include a Bachelor of Business, with a major in human resources management.
I have been involved with accompanying people who are refugees and asylum seekers for the past six years—four of them with people at the Inverbrackie Detention Centre. During that time we restarted Circle of Friends 111 to widen support for people in detention and also help them to adjust to living in the community once they were released from detention. Through this network we assist people with a range of practical needs and build connections and friendships between those people newly arrived and the Australian community.
Early in 2015, I was part of a group from this Circle who decided to relaunch Justice for Refugees SA.
Ustinia (Tina) Dolgopol
I have been engaged in community activities for over forty years. Whilst working for the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva, Switzerland) my duties included liaising with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. During the negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of the Child I 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. For over a decade I have participated in two Circles of Friends. When RASA was first formed I assisted with legal research and lobbying activities, including a visit to Woomera. My report published by Action for Children received substantial media attention. Over the years I have worked with the Australian Refugee Association to secure grants that resulted in publications, school programs and the production of an educational DVD. I have been a member of Justice for Refugees since its reincarnation and have contributed to various working groups.
I was an active member of JFRSA in the early 2000s and was one of its members responsible for forming JFRSA again in 2015.
A family lawyer by profession, I have been passionate about human rights and social justice for the marginalised and oppressed for many years. I have been a leader in addressing issues about children’s rights in this State, particularly in advocating for the removal of children from immigration detention. I am an active member of Circle of Friends 111, the Effective Living Centre and Christ Church Uniting Church at Wayville.
Kate Walsh was first involved with Justice for Refugees SA in 2003 as a volunteer and then in 2005-2006 as Coordinator. When JRSA was re-established in 2015, Kate joined the Management Committee 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 and is currently based at Flinders University in student engagement.
I have Bachelor degrees in Science and Social Administration and 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, I am a member of the South Australian Council of Social Services, a Visiting Fellow at the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, and am on the Board of Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide. My wife and I have been enriched by an Iranian refugee family we met at Inverbrackie and we still provide some assistance and friendship to them.
I have worked as a South Australian secondary school teacher and held numerous positions in education, training, the union movement, the SA public service, Colleges of Advanced Education and Universities. I am now Adjunct Associate Professor of Labour Studies at the University of Adelaide.
My committee work includes various offices in the National Tertiary Education Union, Industrial Relations Society of SA, SACE Board of SA, Trade Union Training Authority, VEET Board of SA, SA Training and Skills Commission, Adult Community Education Council, and the Management Committee of Justice for Refugees SA.
My wife and I have befriended refugee families from Sri Lanka and Iran in recent years. I have worked with J4RSA in research, policy campaigning and social media.
Kim has been a social worker for 30 years and has worked across the non-government, local government and government sectors.
Her work has been in 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.
Her roles have included community development, project, management and clinical.
She has a passion for creating environments which enhance the health and wellbeing of people in their communities and work towards positive sustainable change.
Kim believes that the personal is political and felt passionate about joining J4RSA to lobby for refugee policy changes that are directly affecting individual’s lives in ways where their dignity and human rights were not being upheld.