AWAU’s mission is to ensure that the voices and lived experiences of continental African women and their descendants are centred and heard. We seek to ensure that the needs of African women and their communities are addressed through our diverse community engagement, development, and empowerment initiatives.
AWAUs purpose is to strengthen national intellectual capacity on African Women in Australia by being the hub for the most comprehensive, up-to-date and Afrocentric information about African women in Australia. We do this by seeking first to understand African women and their communities and then developing programs and initiatives that directly respond to their needs.
AWAU’s approach is based on a strengths-based human rights African feminisms framework. This framework both recognises and centralises intersectionality and intragroup variance and diversity. Our work is guided and informed by African women themselves through extensive consultations with African communities. AWAU is an organisation for African women, by African women.
AWAU serves coloured women from Africa and descendants of Africa. We value the knowledge, skills and expertise of these women. Given the limited platforms and acknowledgement of these strengths AWAU is focused on raising the voices and profile of these African women in Australia.
Juliana Nkrumah AM founded AWAU with the aim of providing African women with a forum with the capacity to influence decision makers about what matters to African women. She has led campaigns and conducted research with national and international impact across a range of social justice areas including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and strategies used in multicultural policing. Her work has resulted in the development of best-practice models and policy change.
Faduma Geddi has over 10 years experience working with young people, women and refugees from African communities with a focus on health, education and social participation. She is also the Vice-President of the Horn Africa Relief and Development Agency (HARDA). Faduma's participation with women and communities of African descent ensure access to support and services often hidden to these populations. Faduma is very passionate about women’s participation and addressing issues of disadvantage.
Dr Tinashe Dune, PhD is a multi-award winning Senior Lecturer in the areas of health sociology, public health and health psychology. Her clinical psychology practice focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of marginalised populations. At Western Sydney University Dr Dune teaches and conducts research in the Interprofessional Health Science program. Her work is widely published in scholarly journals and books. She is passionate about changing what is means to be 'different' in Australia.
Niwa Mburuja is a dynamic arts administrative professional adept at developing and implementing multifaceted projects programs. As a creative director, she has expertise in developing innovative and creative projects with communities, fostering spaces for underrepresented voices to express, connect and be empowered. HEr work and experience managing community is done in close collaboration with emerging artists, community organisations, and local, state and federal government.
Dr Virginia Mapedzahama, PhD is a research leader with diverse experience in the public, NGO and academic sectors. Her research focuses on understanding the meanings attached to this difference and its implications for those assigned difference. Her expertise includes new African diaspora in Australia, race and ethnic studies and cross-cultural identities She has extensive experience in social research methods and methodology (including survey research and various qualitative research methods).
Elizabeth Tunha has over a decade of experience in financial services across operations, strategy, project management, customer remediation and life insurance. Her work supports the development of authentic and meaningful interactions with communities and national stakeholders. She is passionate about cultural diversity and inclusion, working with people from migrant backgrounds creating networking platforms to encourage personal and professional development.
Dr Tanaka J. Dune, MD, FACOG, FPMRS is a fellowship trained Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon (Urogynecologist). She is a pelvic health expert, academician, clinician, surgeon and media expert. She mentors and teaches a multitude of different groups of individuals including high school students, undergraduates, medical students, residents and fellows. She has had a relatively long-standing interest in women’s health research and is passionate about local, national and international collaborations.
Sifa Mtango has practised as a lawyer in New South Wales for more than 12 years. She predominantly worked in private practice and in various roles in the federal government. Sifa strives to support Africans in Australia, as they seek to establish themselves in education, employment and in their social networks. She mentors undergraduates from diverse backgrounds studying law. The mantra, ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’, aptly summarises her vision for the African women and communities she represents.
Angelica Ojinnaka is an emerging researcher, established advocate and social media writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Macquarie University. She is an active advocate for minority populations and youth engagement in social and health environments. She holds several leadership roles including in the Orygen Youth Research Council. Angelica is passionate about raising the voices and profile of minority women and youth through her popular and academic publications.
Ellen Abakah is a trained Adult Educator with experience in higher education teaching and management, research and project coordination, and in community development activities. She holds a PhD degree in Education from the University of Technology Sydney and has a robust profile working in African Development. Ellen believes in women’s empowerment and active participation in governance and other political spheres, with the needed voice to inform changes.