The UNSW Arts & Social Sciences ambassadors are an engaged group of alumni and industry leaders that function as an agile "community of practice" in a reciprocal and connected partnership with UNSW. The group engages in a wide variety of ways as ambassadors and advocates of our teaching, research and engagement.
Sarah Agboola BMedia '13 BMedia(Hons) '14- Co-Founder, m-Time
Sarah Agboola is an entrepreneur passionate about the facilitation of ideas and opportunities. She is the co-founder of m-Time, a start-up dedicated to supporting busy parents, and speaks regularly about diversity in business and alternative career pathways for young people. Sarah fell into entrepreneurship after attending a start-up bootcamp held by The University of Melbourne. Since then, she has been awarded over $40k in scholarships and grants to support her study of entrepreneurial practice, and has led two youth engagement initiatives which reached more than 2000 young people on a daily basis. In addition to m-Time, Sarah runs leadership capacity building workshops for women of colour, is on the board of directors at the Foundation for Young Australians and is a member of Australia Post's Stakeholder Council.
Caitlin Barrett BInSt ' 12 MDS '15 - CEO, Love Mercy Foundation
Caitlin Barrett is the founding CEO of the Love Mercy Foundation which was established to empower the women of Northern Uganda to overcome poverty caused by the horrors of war.
She started her career as a volunteer and is now the CEO. She drove the development of this organisation since its conception in 2009, battling the minefields of the not-for-profit world. She became the first full time employee in the fourth year of operation, and has managed a team of volunteers who have established the vision and mission of the organisation spread across three continents. Under Caitlin’s guidance the Love Mercy foundation has raised over $2 million to empower communities in northern Uganda.
Caitlin was recently awarded Young Alumni of the year at UNSW in 2017. She is passionate about people and the foundation which she heads, and has a young family in Sydney’s south.
Bruce Callaghan - Executive Chair, BCA National
Bruce has been involved with education and business activities for 40 years. He has recently stepped down as CEO of BCA National, a highly accredited National Vocational Provider, and remains as Executive Chair of the Board. BCA is a major provider of Aboriginal Education in Australia, and was awarded ‘Large Training Provider of the Year’ at the 2017 NSW Training Awards. Bruce was a member of the Faculty Board for the Australian Medical School in Newcastle during its establishment and initial recruitment.
He is an ‘advanced mediator’ and involved in International Mediation workshops with MATA, an international mediation training organisation.
He has served as a senior administrator in the NSW public sector, a lecturer at UNSW Social Work Department, and consultant on strategy and business management, where he has written significant reports on organisational development including to Commonwealth and State Departments and for business on Aboriginal employment and education. He is Chair of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, and former board member of Tresillian (a child and family health organisation).
He has held numerous Board positions in the last 10 years: Barnardos Australia, Richmond Fellowship, LEADR Australia – a National Mediation training and accreditation body.
Justin Davies, BA'99 - Senior Development Executive | Drama, FremantleMedia Australia
One of the UK's leading scripted producers, Justin has just joined FremantleMedia Australia & the Global Drama Team. Justin’s scripted productions are best characterised by the sparks where comedy and drama genres collide.
As executive producer, developer or producer he’s been responsible for Quacks (BBC2 / NBCUniversal International Studios in partnership with The Wellcome Trust); Tracey Ullman’s return to the BBC; Inside No.9 & Twenty Twelve (both for BBC2); Stan and Ollie (BBC Films); Two Doors Down (BBC1, BBC2 and BBC Scotland); Way to Go (BBC3); the return of the International Emmy-Nominated Absolutely Fabulous (BBC1 / BBC America & Logo); Psychoville (BBC2) for which Justin won a BAFTA; Beautiful People (BBC2); To the Manor Born 25th Anniversary Special (BBC1); H.R. (BBC4); I Do (BBC1).All these shows were made with hugely talented collaborators and stars.
Justin was Associate to legendary comedy Producer Jon Plowman, Head of BBC Comedy (2006 - 2009). In Australia, Justin EP'd Foxtel’s 2011 Sydney Mardi Gras live Telecast. His documentary Butterfly Man (AFTRS) won the Silver Cub at IDFA. As a very junior assistant back in the day, Justin worked on Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme on Broadway in NYC & San Francisco (2002). After 12 winters in London he’s exchanging Hackney for Sydney in 2018. Hector, his Bedlington Whippet is already in therapy about that little move.
Jihad Dib, MP HonEdD '14 - Shadow Minister for Education, NSW Government
Jihad Dib is the Member for Lakemba. In March 2015, Jihad was elected as the Labor Member for Lakemba and was made the Shadow Minister for Education in March 2016. He is the state’s first lower house Muslim MP in the NSW Parliament.
His purpose is to ‘make a difference’. At the age of 33, Jihad Dib was appointed as the Principal of Punchbowl Boys' High School; a school that had been on the verge of closure. Under his leadership, the school made highly significant and externally recognized improvements in educational and social outcomes for students and the school community through a systematic and practical approach to educational reform.
Jihad was recognised as the 2011 P&C NSW Secondary Principal of the Year, received the Director NSW Public Schools Principal Award and was conferred an honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of NSW in June 2014. In 2013, Jihad was awarded the NSW Pride of Australia Medal in the inspiration category.
Lachlan Harris BA/LLB '03 - Founder & CEO, RevTech Media
Lachlan Harris was born and raised in Balmain and is the Founder and CEO of RevTech Media, an Australia media and technology business. RevTech Media owns and operates One Big Switch, The FiftyUp Club, and RoboSave.
During his studies at UNSW Sydney, he founded, Budgy Smuggler, building it into one of Australia’s most recognisable swimwear brands, until he sold in 2007.
In 2005 Lachlan was a founding staff member of online activists group GetUp.org.au acting as the group’s first political adviser and spokesperson. From 2006 until 2010, he was the Principal Press Secretary for the Hon Kevin Rudd MP during his time as Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition and also served as Press Secretary for Shadow Treasurer Wayne Swan and Shadow Defence Minister Robert McClelland.
Lachlan is also on the Board of the Australian Paralympic Committee and is a regular political and media commentator across television, radio, print and online
The Honourable Courtney Houssos, MLC BA ' 11 - Member of Parliament
Courtney Houssos was born and raised in Forster on the Mid North Coast of NSW. She now lives in Earlwood with her husband, George, and their young children, Anna and Arthur.
Courtney was the first female Country Organiser for NSW Labor. She spent ten years organising community campaigns with Labor members across the state with a focus on ensuring regional NSW receives its fair share of government services and infrastructure.
As a member of the NSW Legislative Council, she is committed to representing all of NSW. Courtney is a strong voice for working families, who are often too busy balancing work and family and get overlooked by government. She is a strong advocate for universal and accessible healthcare, quality education, flexible work and safe and fair workplace practices.
Thomas Keneally BCCJ ’18 –Doctor of Letters honoris causa
Internationally renowned Australian author and historian Thomas Keneally has been awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contributions to Australian literature and society. Keneally is the author of more than 40 published works of fiction and history, and has won an array of literary prizes and honours in Australia and around the world. He has three times been nominated for the Man Booker Prize for the best work of fiction published in English, winning in 1982 for his novel Schindler’s Ark, which was later adapted into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List. Keneally has had a long-standing relationship with UNSW. In January 2014, he delivered the university's annual Gandhi Oration, and before that played an important role in the campaign to establish a Chair of Irish Studies.
Declan Lee BCCJ ’18 – Current BCCJ (Hons) Student
Declan has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminology and is currently undertaking his honours thesis on disability hate crime and the role that social media has in advocating controversial issues for people with disabilities. Declan has been a strong advocate for students with disabilities on campus by being involved in a number of advisory groups that report on the issues that students face on a daily basis and provide suggestions on how the university can be better equipped to support students with disabilities and mental illness that aligns with UNSW’S 2025 diversity and inclusion strategy. Declan has also contributed to a number of programs here at UNSW including the Student Welcome Initiative internship program and is an Accessibility Ambassador for new students. Last year, Declan completed the UNSW Arts and Social Sciences Career Ready Mentoring Program as a mentee and gained valuable insights of what he would like to do as a career later on. Declan continues to challenge himself and strives to ensure that all students from diverse backgrounds can achieve their own milestones in a supportive environment like UNSW
Robert Leigo BA ’11 – CEO, SelfPOS’
Robert is Founder and CEO of SelfPOS, a fintech startup working with NFC technology. A serial entrepreneur, he is an emerging technologies specialist who provides high-level strategic and technical advice to state and federal government departments, major banks, airlines, telcos, pharmaceuticals and a variety of ASX 200 companies. He was named one of Men’s Style Magazine’s “Men of Influence in 2014”. Robert graduated from the UNSW with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Politics & International Relations / Philosophy
April Long BA/LLB '12 - National Programs Manager, SHINE for Kids
I am a proud Aboriginal woman from the central coast and mid-north coast of New South Wales: Darkinjung and Gumbangiir country. I am extremely passionate about the rights of those socially and economically disadvantaged within our society of whom services are largely inaccessible. My principal areas of concentration are children services and youth services, digital inclusion for economic participation and innovation. I am particularly concerned with criminal justice issue and young people in and out of home care. I have undertaken International Studies in diversionary mechanisms for reducing incarceration.
My work is grounded in collaboration, partnerships and working with communities as co-producers of solutions not consumers. I believe individual and collective empowerment of young people, their families and their communities is essential for Australia being a prosperous nation. I am particularly committed to supporting and growing young entrepreneurs who can develop social enterprises that address community concerns at a grassroots level.
To me innovation is about changing how we live in the world together. The value for stakeholders is being able to better understand the context from which each other speaks - the building of empathy. Empathy guide us towards respect and understanding. It enables us to engage one another with multiple truths, and move through our biases to combat complex issues together. For me, innovation and entrepreneurship must be embedded in environments of trust, sharing and collaboration. I believe that with a focused effort on shared understanding, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can start having meaningful conversations and building trust. When two-way respect is practiced and trust is restored, collaboration becomes possible in unprecedented ways
Nakari Thorpe BMedia '14 - Political Correspondent, National Indigenous TV
Nakari Thorpe is a proud Gunai, Gunditjmara and Gureng Gureng woman from Victoria and Queensland.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Media (Communications and Journalism), Nakari completed a 12-month journalism cadetship with the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) in 2016. She is now the Political Correspondent for National Indigenous Television (NITV), working in the Press Gallery at Parliament House in Canberra. She is a cross-platform reporter filing for television, online and radio.
Her work has enabled her to interview political figures such as former Senator Jacqui Lambie, Indigenous senators Malarndirri McCarthy and Pat Dodson, Linda Burney, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten
Jennifer Vo-Phuoc BA '08 MPH '12 - Senior Manager, Health Economics, PwC
Equal access to health care and equal health outcomes are two principles that have motivated my career to date. I am a Health Policy and Economics Consultant at PwC where I work with clients to provide economic and policy advice and interpret data and interpret to draw insights about health needs. The Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Public Health at UNSW have both been instrumental to my career progress so far. My time at UNSW gave me the opportunity to step upon the shoulders of giants – I learned, I understood and I challenged. Now I practice the tools I have been given directly and indirectly to keep on empathising, questioning and growing.
Eamon Waterford BInSt '10 - Director of Policy, Committee for Sydney
Eamon Waterford joined the Committee for Sydney in June 2015 as Head of Strategy and Advocacy and took on the role of Director of Policy in August 2016. Prior to working at the Committee, Eamon was the head of Policy for Youth Action, the Peak Body for young people, where he worked across social and economic policy affecting 12-25 year olds. His past experience spans small and large not-for-profit agencies in the human services industry. Eamon is also a Board member of the NSW Council of Social Services and the Sydney Community Foundation.Eamon has a passion for identifying economically viable solutions to social problems, where efficiency and equity can achieve better outcomes. Eamon has a Master of Political Economy from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of International Studies (Globalisation) from UNSW Sydney, where he went on exchange to the University of Oslo.