Our Experts

Oxfam staff are able to provide expert comment or background briefings to media on a number of specialist topics. This ranges from country-specific comment to more generic issues relating to our work in areas such as labour rights, impacts of climate change and humanitarian disaster response.

Media wishing to speak to any of the Oxfam spokespeople profiled below, or with an enquiry on a topic related to our work not listed, should contact the Oxfam media team in the first instance.

Information on our directors can be found here, or if you’d like to request a speaker from Oxfam please contact us.

Our spokespeople on the issues

Oxfam Australia

Dr Helen Szoke

Chief Executive, Oxfam Australia

Dr Helen Szoke

Dr Helen Szoke is a human rights advocate who has worked for many years to stop race discrimination in Australia and who is passionate and vocal about women’s rights and gender equality here in Australia and around the world.

Helen commenced as Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia in January 2013. Prior to this appointment, she served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, following seven years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.

Helen is currently an appointed member of the C20 advisory group, which advises the Australian Government on civil society engagement with the G20 and Co-Chair of Make Poverty History. She is both an Executive Committee member of the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) and the ACFID Humanitarian Reference Group (HRG) Champion, representing the work of the HRG which provides a mechanism for Australian agencies engaged in humanitarian assistance work to share information, strengthen coordination, and drive policy dialogue and development for the improvement of humanitarian relief work. Helen is also a member of the Deakin University Master of International and Community Development Advisory Board and also sits on the Executive Board of Oxfam International.

In 2011, Helen was awarded the ‘Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Award’ for her contribution to human rights. In 2014 she received the ‘University of Melbourne Alumni Award’ for leadership. Helen has extensive experience in management, community development, organisational development, consumer advocacy and regulation in the education and health sectors. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration.

Twitter: follow Helen on Twitter

Raijeli Nicole

Regional Director for the Pacific, Oxfam in the Pacific

Raijeli Nicole
Areas of expertise: Policy, lobbying and advocacy, working with International NGOs, unions, employer groups and governments at the UN level.

Raijeli Nicole is a community development specialist and women’s rights advocate.

Raijeli commenced as Regional Director of Oxfam in the Pacific in 2015 and provides strategic direction and coordination of Oxfam’s programme, advocacy and humanitarian work in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Micronesia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Previously Raijeli was the Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children in Fiji and a Community and Development and Funding Advisor to the New Zealand Government where she led the Pacific Community Post Earthquake Recovery Strategy following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Raijeli is a Fijian national with a strong sense of social justice, stemming from her time as a student of history and politics at the University of the South Pacific.

An active women’s rights’ advocate, Raijeli worked at the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and later led the Asia Pacific women’s rights advocacy organisation Isis International in the Philippines to monitor and report on the Asia-Pacific Governments’ responses to women’s rights and other development issues.

Raijeli has a masters in in International Law and Politics from the University of Canterbury and currently lives and works in Christchurch, NZ

Colin Collett van Rooyen

Change Director, Oxfam in the Pacific

Colin Collett van Rooyen
Areas of expertise: Long-term development issues, organisational development and change.

Colin is the director of Country and Regional Development Programs and Organisational Change campaign.

Colin leads our organisational change processes at Oxfam in the Pacific and provides support to country programs in change and operational processes.

Colin has worked in a range of roles with Oxfam, including Country Director roles in Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific. He has also worked on change related processes and development effectiveness at senior levels at Oxfam Australia in Melbourne. During March 2015 he led Oxfam’s response to Category 5 level Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

Twitter: follow Oxfam in the Pacific on Twitter

Abimibola Akinyemi

Country Director, Oxfam in Solomon Islands

Abimibola Akinyemi
Areas of expertise: Human rights, women’s rights, gender, governance and institutional accountability, corruption, and civil society development.

Abi leads the team in the Solomon Islands program, focusing on active citizenship, gender and humanitarian action and resilience and adaptation work.

Abi’s main areas of focus are strengthening partnerships for development, civil society strengthening, young people, resilience building and women’s rights.

Abi has over 20 years of experience in development including strategic planning, program management, policy analysis, training, facilitation, gender, human rights, governance and corruption minimisation as well as rights based approaches to development. A pioneer of programs on women’s rights, basic education, governance and institutional accountability in various organisations and continents, Abi has an excellent understanding of partnerships between civil society and government in promoting pro-poor policies.

Kathy Richards

Country Director, Oxfam in Timor-Leste

Kathy Richards
Areas of expertise: Community development, civil society strengthening, human rights and gender.

Kathy leads the Timor-Leste country team, focusing on food security, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian preparedness, community rights to free prior and informed consent, and civil society strengthening.

Kathy has worked in development in Timor-Leste since 2014. Prior to Timor-Leste, Kathy worked on the Australian Government aid program for the Philippines. Kathy has extensive experience in the women’s movement, leading the secretariat for Equality Rights Alliance, Australia’s largest national alliance of women’s organisations. Kathy was Human Rights Advisor with the Australian Council for International Development and has worked with Amnesty International Australia in a range of positions, including National Campaign Coordinator and Vice President of the National Board. In 2012 Kathy was awarded the annual ACT International Women’s Day Award.

Pam Anders

Public Engagement

Pam Anders | Head of Public Engagement
Areas of expertise: Media engagement, issues management, stakeholder engagement, public campaigns and shaping policy in complex contexts.

Pam leads the Public Engagement Unit and is responsible for fundraising, marketing, communications, media relations and campaigns. She has extensive experience in media engagement, issues management, stakeholder engagement, public campaigns and shaping policy in complex contexts.

Pam joined Oxfam Australia in January 2014. Prior to this appointment, she was the Director for WorkHealth at WorkSafe Victoria, designing and delivering world-class occupational health and wellbeing programs. Pam is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has also held various governance roles, including as a current Board member for the Central Highlands Water Authority. Pam’s extensive senior management experience across a wide range of public policy, public sector management and communications areas includes roles as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Premier of Victoria, Chief Of Staff in the Office of the Treasurer of Victoria.

Twitter: follow Pam on Twitter

Alex Mathieson

International development, policy and advocacy

Alex Mathieson | Programs Director
Areas of expertise: International development, policy and advocacy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and humanitarian strategies.

Alex Mathieson is the Programs Director for Oxfam Australia, leading an Australian and international team to deliver positive impact and lasting change in communities around the world.

Joining Oxfam in Great Britain as a volunteer in 1989, Alex has 25 years of experience in long-term development and humanitarian assistance, including leading programs in Vanuatu, the Philippines, Eastern Europe and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Commencing with Oxfam Australia in 2003, Alex has managed teams as a senior leader in Australia and in Vanuatu, as well as serving as the Associate Director for Strategy. Alex is a respected humanitarian with sound experience and expertise in strategic leadership and people management across cultures, long-term development and humanitarian programming, high-level advocacy and stakeholder engagement, and gender and inclusivity.

Tony McKimmie

Change management, financial strategy, commercial sector

Tony McKimmie | Chief Operating Officer
Areas of expertise: Change management, financial strategy and the commercial sector.

Tony has a strong background as a leader and senior manager. He held several senior positions before joining Oxfam in September 2011 — most notably at Lonely Planet, including Chief Executive Officer Lonely Planet UK, General Manager Australasia and Global Sales and Operations Manager.

Anthea Spinks

International development, humanitarian assistance and emergencies

Anthea Spinks | Associate Director, Program Partnerships
Areas of expertise: International development, humanitarian assistance and emergencies, conflict and fragility, leadership and organisational development.

Anthea oversees the units within Oxfam that implement international and humanitarian programs across 25 countries as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programming that is implemented alongside partners in Australia.

Anthea has over 15 years of experience working in international programs with a focus on humanitarian and conflict affected contexts. Anthea has lived and worked in Mozambique and Brazil as well as spending time in contexts as diverse as Thailand to Jordan. She has held senior leadership roles in a number or organisations both in Australia and overseas.

Katie Greenwood

Gender justice, Pacific development, humanitarian assistance

Katie Greenwood | Associate Director Strategy and Advocacy
Areas of expertise: Gender Justice, Pacific development, aid and development, humanitarian assistance, resilience, youth development.

Katie provides strategic leadership across thematic areas of Oxfam programming and advocacy with a focus on supporting the organisation to develop an evidence base for policy and accountability.

Katie has a substantial background in community and international development working at a variety of levels from grassroots programming to global governance on a diverse range of issues such as gender based violence, community resilience and disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Katie worked for many years in regional communities in Australia and has spent much of the last 10 years working across the Pacific, including a 6- year stint in Solomon Islands.

Twitter: follow Katie on Twitter

Meg Quartermaine

Emergency response

Meg Quartermaine | Humanitarian Manager
Areas of expertise: Emergency response

Meg is the Humanitarian Manager for Oxfam Australia and oversees our emergency responses.

She has worked in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and development for more than 14 years and has held technical, coordination and operational roles. Meg has worked in both conflict and disaster responses throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific.Meg holds a Master in Public Health and is a sessional lecturer in international and refugee health through Monash University.

Kelly Dent

Labour rights, food crisis, trade

Kelly Dent | Food, Climate and Advocacy Manager
Areas of expertise: Food security, agriculture and land justice, global climate change, private sector accountability including banks, global supply chains, women’s rights and civil society space.

Kelly leads a team of policy and advocacy experts working on agriculture and sustainable livelihoods, action on climate change, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response. The Food, Climate and Humanitarian Advocacy Team at Oxfam Australia advocates for change that will help to build thriving and resilient communities around the globe.

With over two decades experience working at the forefront of global development, Kelly is one of Oxfam Australia’s senior policy experts. For five years she led Oxfam International Delegations to the United Nations Global Climate Talks, and has led high-level representation to governments, multilateral organisations and the private sector. Kelly has expertise in climate change and food security, civil society space, private sector accountability and labour and women’s rights. She also spearheads Oxfam’s groundbreaking campaign to get Australian banks to ensure they are upholding human rights standards. Kelly has extensive field experience, having lived and worked in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. She holds a Masters in Climate Change with Distinction from the Australian National University and has authored work on women and agriculture, women in supply chains and on corporate codes of conduct.

Twitter: follow Kelly on Twitter

Dr Simon Bradshaw

Climate policy, change, finance and adaption

Simon Bradshaw | Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator
Areas of expertise: Australian climate policy, international climate negotiations, climate finance, climate change adaptation, climate change and the Pacific.

Dr Simon Bradshaw is our climate change expert. He has been a researcher, policy advisor and advocate for climate action for over a decade and with Oxfam since 2012. Simon’s work with Oxfam has taken him to many countries of the region and to successive rounds of international climate negotiations. He has authored reports on international climate finance, climate change and the Pacific, the role of renewable energy in reducing poverty, and how Australia is measuring up against its international responsibilities on climate change. Simon achieved his Doctorate from the University of Melbourne in 2007, spending four years researching environmental challenges on the Tibetan Plateau. He is a Climate Leader with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and a keen adventurer. He is available to speak on climate change, the relationship between climate change and poverty, and all things climate finance.

Dr Paul Cleary

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Dr Paul Cleary | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Program, Policy and Advocacy Lead
Areas of expertise: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Justice, Development and Native Title

Paul supports this program with research and advocacy on the issues that most affect the well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

Paul is a writer and researcher whose work has influenced public policy in Australia for more than two decades. As a journalist in the Canberra Press Gallery his reporting on material he obtained under FoI law led to a Senate inquiry into the GST and beneficial changes for low income people. He is the author of non-fiction five books and has recently focussed on the resources boom and the results for Indigenous Australians. He has a PhD from the Australian National University for a thesis on native title negotiations in the Pilbara, WA.

Joy Kyriacou

Economic inequality, labour rights and global development

Joy Kyriacou | Fair Economies Advocacy Manager
Areas of expertise: Economic inequality and tax, aid and development policy, labour rights, corporate accountability

Joy heads up a team of policy and advocacy experts that cover fair tax, fair pay & conditions for garment workers, a strong Australian aid program and ensuring that Australian mining companies respect human rights. Working across each of these areas, the team strives to ensure the poorest people benefit from global economic development.

Joy’s role with Oxfam follows three years leading aid and development advocacy at the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak organisation for international development NGOs, as well as a stint with the Rudd and Gillard Governments as a Policy Adviser. Joy also serves on the Board of Directors of The Aurora Group, a charity that raises funds for LGBTIQ initiatives across NSW. Joy holds a Masters in International Affairs from the Australian National University.

Twitter: follow Joy on Twitter

Sarah Jane Hook

Sarah-Jane Hook

Fair Trade, Oxfam Shop

Sarah-Jane Hook | National Marketing Manager, Oxfam Shop
Areas of expertise: Fair Trade, Oxfam Shops

Sarah-Jane should be contacted for all media enquiries relating to Oxfam Shop including requests for product images and stories around Fair Trade and Oxfam Shop’s work with producer partners in over 40 countries around the world.

Before joining Oxfam, Sarah-Jane was the Marketing Manager for the Myer Centre Adelaide and Harbour Town Shopping Centres, held marketing positions with Westfield and was the head of marketing communications for Skycity Adelaide.

Twitter: follow Oxfam Shop on Twitter

Rachel Ball

Human rights, corporate accountability, women’s rights.

Rachel Ball | Head of Public Policy and Advocacy
Areas of expertise: Human rights, corporate accountability, international law, women’s rights and refugee law and policy.

Rachel leads the development and implementation of Oxfam Australia’s policy and advocacy agenda, heading up a team that works across labour rights, inequality, mining, gender, climate change, food and humanitarian issues.

Before joining Oxfam, Rachel was Director of Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, where she ran human rights advocacy and litigation in Australia and at the United Nations. She was part of the campaign team for No Business in Abuse, targeting corporate complicity in human rights abuses in Australia’s immigration detention centres, and has served on the boards of Liberty Victoria and Alola Australia. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts and Law from Monash University and a Master of Laws from Columbia University.

Twitter: @rachelballl 

Our spokespeople in country

Our media team can put you in touch with expert spokespeople from these countries:

  • Bangladesh – Disaster management, women’s rights, Indigenous people’s rights, climate change adaptation work
  • Cambodia – Sustainable livelihoods, access to social services
  • China – Community health, livelihoods
  • Fiji – Peace building, natural resource exploitation
  • India – Reducing inequality for women, natural resource management, disaster management
  • Laos – Sustainable livelihoods, education
  • Malawi – Sustainable livelihoods, HIV and AIDS
  • Mozambique – Sustainable livelihoods, food security, HIV and AIDS
  • Papua New Guinea – HIV and AIDS, natural resource exploitation
  • Solomon Islands – rebuilding after 2007 tsunami, food and livelihood security, gender and domestic violence, sustainable resource development, HIV and AIDS
  • South Africa – HIV and AIDS, gender equality, food security
  • Sri Lanka – Sustainable livelihoods, gender equality
  • Timor-Leste – Sustainable livelihoods, agriculture, access to basic services, safety from conflict and disaster
  • Vanuatu – youth education, health, HIV and AIDS
  • Vietnam – Disaster management, clean water and sanitation, anti-trafficking
  • Zimbabwe – HIV and AIDS, food security

Media contacts