Our Hosts

Journalist and Audio Producer

Olivia Rosenman is a journalist and audio producer with experience working in media and communications in Australia and China.

She is the executive producer of Fourth Estate, a weekly media affairs show broadcast on 2SER Radio in Sydney. She previously worked as a reporter for the South China Morning Post and Storyful News Agency in Hong Kong and Sydney. Her freelance work has appeared in DestinAsian Magazine, China Media Project and The Telegraph (UK).

As an AusAID Youth Ambassador for Development, she ran the communications department of a disability services organisation in Nanning, China. Olivia holds a Master of Journalism from the University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.

CEO, Cufa

Peter Mason has been the CEO of international development agency Cufa for the last twelve years. Cufa’s programs focus on economic development of underserved and disadvantaged communities across the Asia Pacific region. Cufa works through multiple approaches including education, employment, enterprise, and financial institution development. This work is carried out by local Cufa offices and country staff who work with local communities, institutions, and governments.

Peter has worked in Cambodia, Timor Leste, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Federated States of Micronesia. His research interests include examining the way in which social and the economic interact within the development environment and he has recently published a chapter, Credit Unions in Routledge’s Alternative Organisations.


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Our Guests


Tim Costello is Chief Advocate at World Vision Australia and is one of Australia’s most sought-after voices on social justice issues, leadership and ethics. He has spearheaded public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse. He has been instrumental in ensuring that the issues surrounding global poverty are on the national agenda. Tim was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1984 and he established a vibrant and socially active ministry at St Kilda Baptist Church. He has served as Mayor of St Kilda, Minister at the Collins Street Baptist Church and as Executive Director of Urban Seed, a Christian not-for-profit outreach service for the urban poor.

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Aaron Kearney is a multi-award winning broadcaster, journalist and sports commentator with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. As a member of the ABC’s International Development team he has led the communications support for the Pacific Sports Partnership, an Australian Aid program that promotes gender equality, disability inclusion and a variety of health benefits. Aaron has also worked as a commentary lead, training and mentoring female journalists across the Pacific in the Women In News and Sport (WINS) initiative.

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Melissa Bungcaras is the Gender and Resilience Manager for ActionAid Australia. She is currently managing a portfolio of programs across the Asia-Pacific focused on women’s resilience to climate change and disasters, and drives policy advocacy on climate justice and women’s leadership in emergencies. Melissa has over 10 years’ experience in international development and environmental management, primarily in the Asia Pacific region.

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Guy Winship was the founder and CEO of Good Return, an organisation that provides microfinance across the Asia-Pacific region. Good Return delivers programs to those who are financially and socially excluded, empowering through financial inclusion. Guy is a development expert who has worked in Africa, Asia and the Pacific for 30 years. He has consulted and advised governments and NGOs on microfinance, public policy and vocational training.

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Stephen Wearing is a conjoint professor at the University of Newcastle whose research focuses on sustainable tourism and the importance of community based approaches in the tourism and volunteering sector. For 22 years he ran VOICE Volunteers in Community Engagement (previously known as Youth Challenge Australia), a not-for-profit organisation sending volunteers on grassroots, community-identified development projects since 1992.

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Mahir Momand is a microfinance expert and the CEO of Thrive Refugee Enterprise, an organisation that provides microfinance and business support to refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. Previously, Mahir served as CEO of the National Association of Credit Unions in Afghanistan, worked for the World Bank, UNHCR and was Financial Adviser to the Federal Ministry of Labour in Afghanistan. The microfinance programs run by Mahir have helped establish a total of 165,000 small and medium business enterprises in Afghanistan. These have provided a livelihood for nearly 1 million people.

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Brynn O’Brien is an international lawyer and researcher in the area of business and human rights. She started her career as a corporate lawyer and then went on to practise human rights law, representing refugees in Australia’s detention centres and people who had suffered human trafficking and severe exploitation in Australia. Now as Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, she holds Australia’s largest companies to account for their impacts on people and the environment.

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Aimé Saba has worked in the field of international development, humanitarian assistance, peacebuilding and peacekeeping for over 10 years. He recently returned to Sydney after serving as a civilian peacekeeper with the UN Mission in Liberia in Monrovia. He has also served on the Iraq desk of the Department of Political Affairs at the UN Secretariat HQ in New York and has worked for the Australian Government’s overseas aid program (AusAID) on humanitarian programs in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, North Korea, and the Philippines. Aimé is an accredited Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist and is currently part of the Australian Civilian Corps Cadre with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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Antony Loewenstein is an independent freelance journalist, author, documentarian and blogger. Antony’s best-selling books include My Israel Question, on the Israel/Palestine conflict, The Blogging Revolution, on the internet in repressive regimes, Profits of Doom, about privatisation. His latest book is Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe, about fortunes made from disaster, poverty and catastrophe. His first film is Disaster Capitalism. He’s currently working on a book about the global “war on drugs”.

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