Advisory panel

Although we’re very passionate about sharing the stories of as many people of refugee backgrounds as possible, we’re the first to admit that we’re not always the experts. That’s why we’ve been seeking advice from experts in fields as diverse as journalism, refugee studies, migrant services, exercise science and nutrition.
We’d like to acknowledge the following experts for their valuable insights, contributions and time.

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is a Melbourne journalist. He is the former political editor of The Age, a Walkley Award winner and five-time winner at the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards. In 2005, he won the Graham Perkin Award for Australian Journalist of the Year for his coverage of the plight of asylum seekers on Nauru. He is the author seven books, including A True Believer: Paul Keating (1996), Reconciliation: A Journey (2001) and Freeing Ali: The Human Face of the Pacific Solution (2005).

Dr Claire Higgins

Dr Claire Higgins is a Senior Research Associate and historian at the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney. She is a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, and completed a DPhil in History at the University of Oxford. Claire has recently published the book ‘Asylum by Boat: origins of Australia’s refugee policy’ (NewSouth 2017), which the Sydney Morning Herald has called a ‘rigorous and scrupulously balanced work’.

Andrea Obeyesekere

Raised and educated in North Queensland and second generation Sri Lankan – Australian, Andrea Obeyesekere is a Community Development Worker with Centacare FNQ Multicultural Services.

Andrea has worked with vulnerable young people and their families for over ten years. During this time, she has worked with students and families of disadvantaged, low socioeconomic and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in regional and remote Australia and the United Kingdom.

Andrea loves her work and is part of an amazing team who work with newly arrived refugee communities predominantly of Burmese and Bhutanese origin and other newly arrived migrants to Cairns. Andrea currently holds the Youth and School Engagement Portfolio. She works closely with schools, families, and other stakeholders to provide assistance, support and programs for students and their families of CALD and Refugee background.

Andrea is passionate about raising the positive profile of people of refugee background within the community and oversees the Face to Face: Understanding the Refugee Journey program. This initiative gives a platform for speakers of refugee background to share personal stories of their journey to safety and give the broader community the opportunity to learn face-to-face about refugees, their experiences and their contributions to Australia.

Josh Strahorn

Josh Strahorn runs Dynamic Athletic, an Athletic Performance and Musculoskeletal Rehab practice in Queanbeyan (NSW). Josh opened his practice after working in rehabilitation with the ACT Brumbies. He has a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, Honours in Sports Studies and is completing a Masters in Exercise Physiology. Josh is a keen ultra runner, having completed numerous 100+ km races and multi stage ultra marathons. This experience has given him greater insight into what is required to compete in endurance events such as Bounding Plains to Share.