Sally Collins

Operations Manager

Sally is responsible for providing leadership for the management of the Centre operations and for providing strategic and governance support and advice to the Centre Directors, the leadership team and the Centre Executive Committee.

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Dr Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings

Associate Director, Research

Nazanin teaches in the Master’s of Humanitarian Assistance. Nazanin received her PhD from the City University of Hong Kong in 2018. Nazanin’s research interests include disaster management, humanitarian aid, humanitarian access, human rights, civil society, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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Stephen McDonald

Centre Co-Founder, Director Partnerships, Policy and Practice

Stephen McDonald is co-founder of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership and has been working in the humanitarian sector since 2005 with extensive experience in leading humanitarian responses.

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Dr Phil Connors

Centre Co-Founder, Course Director Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership

Dr Phil Connors is co-founder of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership. Phil works across all the Centre’s educational programmes and is the course director for the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership the Master of Humanitarian Assistance.

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Sophie Perreard

Senior Lecturer, Course Director Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership Francophone

Sophie is a Pracademic who combines thirteen years of humanitarian experience and six years of academic teaching and research.

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Sonia Brockington

Course Director Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health

A dietitian by background, Sonia started her career in clinical settings in Australia and the UK. She lectured at Deakin University in nutrition and dietetics for five years and has also completed missions as a nutritionist to South Darfur and East Timor.

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Daniel McAvoy


Daniel lectures in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin and teaches a range of core and elective units within the Masters of Humanitarian Assistance. Daniel brings over 20 years’ experience working and researching in humanitarian aid and international development, and joined Deakin after 6 years lecturing at the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

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Miriam Saward

Associate Lecturer, Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership (Francophone)

A former French teacher with experience in international programs, Miriam is the Associate Lecturer & Interim Unit Chair of the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership (Francophone).

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Elizabeth Irvine

Research Fellow

Elizabeth Irvine is a researcher in the Centre’s humanitarian health team with interests in climate change, global health security, emerging trends in global disease burdens and how these impact the provision of health care in emergency and low resource environments. Elizabeth is an occasional lecturer in the Master of Humanitarian Assistance programme.

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Melanie Book

Humanitarian Strategic Foresight Research Analyst

Melanie joined the humanitarian sector in 2010, responding to emergencies throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, she has played leadership roles in Save the Children’s responses to the Rohingya crisis, the Syrian crisis and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

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Liz Thompson

Engagement and Events Coordinator

Liz leads the planning of the Centre’s biennial Humanitarian Leadership Conference and other major events; and coordinates engagement activities. This includes the alumni engagement program and the Abruzzo Medal.

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Nicole Muir

Communications Adviser

Nicole Muir is the Centre’s Communications Adviser. Nicole has over fifteen years’ experience in communications, media, and publishing, and has a speciality interest in managing social media channels, generating digital and print content and managing organisation brand identity.

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Wouter Schulten

Administration Officer

Holding a bachelor degree in Social Work, Wouter gained invaluable experience through his participation in several international humanitarian projects in Suriname, Haiti, Indonesia and India. His role provides high-level administrative support to the Centre, with a strong focus on documentation, engagement and communication.

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Jamie Jaworski

Finance Manager

Jamie, a Chartered Accountant, provides strategic finance support to the finance and leadership teams. Prior to joining the Centre of Humanitarian Leadership, Jamie had been a Senior Auditor at PwC, then entered the humanitarian space as Senior Accountant at World Vision Australia.

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Jimmy Effendy

Jimmy Effendy provides key financial administration support to the Centre for Humanitarian leadership. His role includes working with Save the Children’s Melbourne-based finance team, and programs and finance staff at Deakin University.

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