Doug Cronin - Director of Change and Upstander

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Doug Cronin is the founder and director of Our Race and is an expert in using storytelling and conversations to create a “third space” to deliver cultural awareness and anti-racism programs across different sectors.

Building on these skills and to understand the real impact of his work, Doug is currently undertaking a PhD at Western Sydney University within the school of Social Sciences and Psychology. His research topic looks into how storytelling can create a space to counter the dehumanisation of individuals and groups who are regularly the targets of racism.

He is also a member of Challenging Racism Project Team, a multidisciplinary team collaborating across several Australian universities with global esteem for its research impact in countering racism and improving community relations.

Previous to this he led the design, development and implementation of a storytelling cultural awareness program for DHS staff, training over 15,000 participants and 170 trainers through a train the trainer program. This program continues today and has been delivered to over 14,000 staff across the country, from senior leadership to interns.


Deepak Khemchandani- Community Engagement Coordinator & Upstander

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Deepak plays a key role in engaging diverse communities and building partnerships with a variety of stakeholders to develop collaborative projects. Deepak has a background in economics and is the founder of an early stage start-up building an on-demand legal outsourcing platform. He is committed to helping refugees and asylum seekers find a welcoming home as the first step in forging their lives in Australia, and contributing to society through their resilience and progressive independence.


Renata Leme- Communications Designer & Upstander

Renata is Our Race’s first volunteer and has filled a number of roles. Currently she is leading the communications and graphic design of the business, including website development, social media and strategy. Renata has significant experience working with international students as a consultant and always goes above and beyond the students expectations to make sure they feel safe and welcome in their new home.

 Renata’s main interest lies in the areas of social and environmental sustainability in developed and developing countries. She believes that through education and a shift in consciousness, environmental sustainability action will become normalised.


Mariam Issa

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Mariam Issa is a resilient woman, entrepreneur, story teller, connector, mentor and hopefully healer. She believes that nurturing, mentoring and believing in the power of all individuals forms the collective strength of a community.

Mariam shares her experience and commitment to improving refugee’s lives by sitting on the board of Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, serving as an ambassador for Refugee Council of Australia and a Director at Family Peace. She is an International Women's Forum member and co-founder of Space2b, an art and design based social enterprise established to support asylum seekers, refugees and newly arrived migrants.

She was recently awarded the Ambassador of Peace award from the Universal Peace Federation - in recognition of her on-going work promoting social cohesion amongst Melbourne’s culturally diverse population.

Aleem Ali


Aleem has spent the past 20 years seeding and mentoring the development of leading initiatives and social enterprises that advance communities where everyone can belong.

He is a mentor and advisor to various start-ups, community enterprises and government agencies; including Apolitical, Immigration NZ and the Council on Economic Participation for Refugees.

As the National Manager of Welcoming Cities, Aleem is working with Local Government Authorities across Australia to leverage the socioeconomic benefits of cultural diversity and inclusion.


Corrinne Sullivan

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Corrinne is an Indigenous scholar from the Wiradjuri Nation in Central-West New South Wales. She is employed as a Senior Lecturer at Western Sydney University. Her research interests are multi-disciplinary and focus broadly on experiences and effects of body and Identity in relation to Indigenous Australian people. Corrinne’s knowledges stem from the disciplines of Indigenous Studies and Human Geography, and she utilises both to understand the ways in which Indigenous people are affected by their experiences of space and place.

Corrinne is currently undertaking a PhD in Human Geography, her research project explores the lived experiences of Aboriginal sex workers in New South Wales. The outcomes of this research will inform law-making, policy, as well as access and delivery of support and services that are culturally appropriate, relevant, and morally unbiased. Corrinne holds two degrees from Macquarie University; Bachelor of Community Management (2007), Bachelor of Arts (Hons) First Class (2011). Her Honour’s thesis was awarded the University Medal in Human Geography (2012).


Margaret Piper AM

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Margaret Piper is a consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the refugee sector. The focus of her work has varied significantly during this time but currently relates to research, training and capacity building.

In addition, she is involved in policy and program planning through her work on various government and non-government committees and boards. She is a member, inter alia, of the Advisory Board of Multicultural NSW, the Boards of MYAN NSW and the Australian Red Cross. She also chairs the Red Cross’ Service Committee and sits on its Migration Policy Advisory Committee and Audit and Risk Committee.

Since October 2015 she has also participated in the joint committee that has supported Professor Shergold and the Department of Premier and Cabinet to identify and implement reforms in refugee settlement in NSW. In January 2011 Margaret was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her work with refugees.


Stephen Hunt


As Managing Director of Emerging Technology and Media at Universal Music Group, Steve is tasked with building out internal functions for data-driven marketing and culture-defining content by leveraging the latest technologies available.

Before joining Universal Music Group, Steve spent 5 years building out TubeMogul in Australia, APAC and the US through a series of leadership roles.  He had just moved to New York when the company was listed on NASDAQ in 2014 and was leading the West Coast from Los Angeles when it was sold to Adobe in 2016. 

Prior to joining TubeMogul, Steve established Australia’s first Video Ad Network with Adconion and prior to that co-founded Y.E.A.H (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS), a not-for-profit with a mission to eradicate HIV/AIDS through education.