Dr Phil Connors


Dr Phil Connors’ work is focused on the education and research aspects of the Centre. Phil works across all the Centre’s educational programmes—including the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership and Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health—and is Course Director for the Master of Humanitarian Assistance.

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Stephen McDonald


Stephen draws on experience in leading humanitarian responses since 2005. As Head of Humanitarian Programmes with Save the Children, Stephen was responsible for developing global tools and systems to improve humanitarian response efforts. He has lectured on humanitarian issues around the world.

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Matthew Clarke


Alfred Deakin Professor Matthew Clarke is Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and leader within the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership. While Matthew has taught and researched in Australian Universities for the last 15 years, he began his career working for World Vision in the mid 1990s.

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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. Prior to joining Deakin University, Sophie lectured at Aix-Marseille University and worked for Save the Children US as Deputy Director Emergency Response, and with Doctors without Borders, the German Cooperation and Norwegian Refugee Council in various capacities.

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Sally Collins

Centre 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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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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Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings

Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies

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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Marian Abouzeid

Associate Project Lead of the Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria

Marian Abouzeid is the Associate Project Lead of the Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria. With extensive experience across a diverse range of organisational settings and contexts in Australia and internationally, she now works in global health and development research and advocacy, with a particular focus on the Eastern Mediterranean region.

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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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Rebecca Barber

Casual Academic, Deakin University

Rebecca has masters degrees in international law and international development. She has published on a wide range of issues across humanitarian assistance and international humanitarian and human rights law, including the protection of civilians in armed conflict, humanitarian access, human rights in disasters, legal preparedness for disasters, the responsibility to protect, and the role of the UN Security Council and General Assembly in responding to humanitarian crises.

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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

Events and Research Officer

Liz provides high-level support for the Centre’s Events and Research programs. This includes the Centre’s bi-annual Asia Pacific Humanitarian Leadership Conference, and other Symposia that are held throughout the year. Liz also supports the Centre’s research program and the forthcoming short course program.

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Lois Meier

Learning Liaison Officer

Lois Meier is the Learning Liaison Officer for the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership Francophone course. Lois is also the main point of contact for GCHL and GCHLF alumni in the Centre and is involved in creating and supervising an alumni engagement and mentoring strategy for GCHL/GCHLF graduates.

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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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