Helen is the founder of the Hot House Community Projects; an emerging social enterprise, based in the west of Melbourne, with a focus on learning and development through transformational pedagogies and community development principles. Hot House specialises in community leadership, community development, civic literacies, community governance and community research. Her work involves both the community sector workforce and active community members and volunteers.
Helen has 30+ years’ experience working at the intersections of the community, education and youth sectors and working with diverse and intersectional communities including culture, age, gender, ability and people from all levels of educational experience.
This thread of work has been a consistent part of Helen’s career trajectory since the early 1990s where she supported the development of the Western Young Peoples Independent Network (WYPIN) and worked in school settings to promote the rights and participation of young people with a disability, with both positions set in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Helen was the lead Facilitator and part of the team that designed Wyndham’s Building Blocks program for which she was awarded the Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (VET) in 2017. She has intimate insights into community leadership theory, practice and emerging trends, sound knowledge of the structures and processes of local government including from a civic participation and community influence perspective.
Terori is a First Nation Artist, cultural knowledge keeper, cultural educator, cultural mentor and water ceremony holder. Her cultural knowledge journey comes from her elders and traditional knowledge keepers. Terori celebrates her First Nation songlines of Papua New Guinea, Saibai in the Torres Straits and Samoa. She is the founder and managing director of Avaivilla Group.
Avaivilla Group started as a creative studio back in 2012 called Salt Studio Consultancy. It was originally a platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female artists to grow their brand within the visual art space. The consultancy half of the business was added later to combine Terori’s love of sharing her creative culture, ceremony and cultural knowledge sharing.
Terori comes from a health, community services and cultural consultancy back ground with many years of strategic and project planning, policy advice, community development, and project management. Terori has a passion in project collaboration, community engagement, program design and cross cultural partnerships facilitation, as well as having wide and various networks within her First Nation communities in Victoria.
Terori’s work and practice are framed on the principles of human rights, social justice and cultural strengthening. The consultancy’s current work engages First Nations peope and African Nations community to come together in shared knowledge building and healing.
In 2005, Terori was the recipient of Victorian State Training Awards, Trainee of the year. In 2015, Terori was the recipient of the Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership – Emerging Leader Award, for her commitment to Women’s Health Education. And in 2020 she was awarded the Indigenous Employment Partners ‘Strong Sista’ award for her work and commitment to her community.
Téa came to Australia as a refugee from the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, with her family when she was 5 years old. All throughout her academic and professional life she has worked with culturally diverse communities, and was fascinated by culture, and particularly the effects that adapting to a new culture has on people who resettle in new countries. Téa has a broad community development experience across 5 different local government bodies in Queensland and Victoria, primarily in community development roles focused on cultural diversity. Her expertise includes cultural diversity, concepts of health and wellbeing, refugee health, and bridging the gap between research and practice in this space. Téa has specialist expertise in conducting needs analysis, program development and implementation, evaluation, and reporting.
A British Australian, with a background in entertainment, applied psychology and critical thinking, Jane worked for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission for nearly a decade, and there began her ongoing collaboration with Aboriginal academic Professor Yin Paradies, Chair of Race Relations at Deakin University.
Based on Yin’s research and feedback, Jane designed innovative, evidence-based anti-racism training for mainstream workplaces, and has been delivering it ever since, with a range of fabulous collaborators including Pirooz Jafari, Terori Hareko-Avaivilla, Anyier Yuol, Gloria Tabi and Sami Shah.
Working with Kine Graffiti, Jane creates powerful videos for opening unfairly advantaged eyes to what racism is, how it works, and how to arc toward justice. AntiRacism Capsules, Conversations and Commitments combine video content with experiential activities to create intrinsic motivation to change our minds and systems.
Justin Mohamed, as Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, wrote recently to Jane, “The work you do is very powerful. Don’t stop what you are doing.”
A Brolga member of the Rumbalara Football Netball Club for seven years, Jane encourages everyone keen to support self-determination and extraordinary leadership from the community that walked off the Cummeragunja mission, to join her.
Maria Theresa “Tet” Kelly is a Geelong-based multi-disciplinary creative in areas of graphic design, web design, visual arts and communication arts. Prior to coming to Australia, she has collected experiences and education in various fields such as journalism, education, marketing and graphic design. In Australia, she has been an independent designer since 2013, building websites and creating communication materials for non-profits, small businesses and government agencies.
Realising the need to learn new techniques from mentors, she completed her Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design at The Gordon (Geelong) in 2020, subsequently receiving the Student of the Year Award and becoming a finalist to the Victorian Training Awards (Vocational Student of the year category).
Tet’s lived experience of being of Filipino heritage, a female and caring for people with a disability has helped shape her commitment to designing for good, allowing her to offer her creative skills and knowledge to those whose vision align with hers.