Whitlam Institute
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Our People

Our People

 
 

Meet Our Team

A diverse team, working towards the contemporary relevance of the Whitlam Program.

 

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Leanne Smith

Director

Leanne Smith is an international human rights lawyer by training, with a Masters in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. Leanne has worked in the Australian judicial system, for the Australian Human Rights Commission, in the international NGO sector, regional human rights organisations, as an Australian diplomat (DFAT) and in various roles for the United Nations in New York and in the field, most recently as Chief of Policy and Best Practices for UN Peacekeeping Operations. Leanne has published a number of articles on Australian national identityAustralian foreign policy and international human rightsrule of law and development as well as the United Nations and women, peace and security. She is a visiting fellow at the ANU Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy and the UNSW Australian Human Rights Centre, and a member of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Advisory Committee. 

Leanne joined the Whitlam Institute in 2017.

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Sandra Stevenson

Senior program manager | Company Secretary

Sandra has a legal background in the private and community legal sectors including the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as solicitor and coordinator of the Public Interest Law Clearing House. Her work managing its pro bono referral scheme and access to justice program involved a diverse range of projects including indigenous justice, consumer protection, workplace issues for people with disability, unlawful detention of young people, protection for refugees and education and training for not for profit community organisations, enabling her to work closely with the public, private and community legal sectors and a range of community sector organisations and peak bodies.

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Lyndal Howison

Communications Manager

Lyndal has more than 15 years experience in communications, not-for-profit organisations, community campaigns, local government and political office. As a communications strategist she has developed and delivered campaigns, and led multi-channel teams, to reach and engage people through media, digital platforms, events and publications. Her sectoral experience includes policy, community development, medical research, finance and small business. Lyndal holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from the University of Technology Sydney and a Postgrad Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

     

Maree O'Neill

Administration and operations Manager

Maree comes to the Whitlam Institute after 14 years at Western Sydney University. She has a wealth of valuable expertise in University structures, policies, processes and people, most recently from 6 years at the School of Business. Maree has received several awards during her time at the University including a Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award.  She has had a long career in administration prior to joining the University, holding senior, long term roles in large government sector organisations such as CSIRO and AFTRS.  Maree will make an invaluable contribution to the Whitlam Institute by managing the day to day administration, finance and general operations.

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Kylie Beach

Communications Coordinator

Kylie has previously worked as Communications Director for Not For Profit start up Common Grace, and as a freelance writer and creative director. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, where she is also currently undertaking her Masters in Creative Writing.  Kylie joined the Whitlam Institute in May 2017.

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Matthew Meagher

Education and Outreach Officer

Matt has taught in NSW public high schools over the last four years, mostly teaching English to speakers of other languages. He holds a Master of Teaching (History and TESOL) from the University of Sydney and has extensive experience in social justice campaigns from Teachers for Refugees to Save Medicare. Matt joined the Whitlam Institute in July 2017.

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Georgia Vasiliadis

Program Support Officer

Georgia has previous experience at Western Sydney University, having worked in the Assessment and Graduation Unit as a Graduation Officer. Her current role sees her supporting all program areas such as our events, exhibitions, schools program and publications. She has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Sydney, and she spends her free time dabbling in various crafts such as cake decorating. Georgia joined the Whitlam Institute in January 2012.

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Steff Fenton

Visitor Services Officer

Steff joined the Whitlam Institute in 2017 on a part time basis. Steff has a background in communications and over 6 years' experience working with not-for-profit organisations. Prior to joining the Whitlam team, Steff worked in the coordination of media, events, volunteer programs and stakeholder relations. Steff holds a Bachelor of Media from Macquarie University.

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Narelle Vance

visitor services officer

Narelle has experience working in the cultural heritage sector in both museums and built heritage. She has worked at major cultural institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and the Sydney Opera House delivering education and public programs. Narelle has also worked for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage- Heritage Division as a Heritage Assessor. In 2017 Narelle worked in the private sector as a Heritage Consultant contributing to assessments of significance, interpretation strategies and assessing the impacts of development on heritage sites. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Cultural Heritage. Narelle wholeheartedly believes that history and heritage have positive roles to play in making the places we live beautiful and meaningful.

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Lisa Cuffe

administrative officer

 


 

Our Fellows

Our Whitlam Institute Fellows are an esteemed group of scholars who contribute intellectual and strategic focus to the contemporary relevance of Gough Whitlam's work, through our public policy program.