Because I’m Black!; Fitting In And Standing Out The African-Australian Way programme explores what it means to be an African, of African descent and Australian, The programme is a Fitrah G.L.O.W programme particularly for youths in the African-Australian community and the larger African-Australian and Australian community as a whole. The programme uses creative writing and presentations, panel discussions, debates, workshops, networking and mentoring facilitation to provide a platform and creative avenue for exploration and meaningful engagement with various issues.
Workshop Topic: What’s In A Name?
Presentation Topic – Seating At The Table; Where Are We?
Debate Topic - Africans in Australia - Victims, Villains or Victors?
Discussion Panelists’ Sharing of Personal Experiences
Essay Competition Prize and Awards Presentation
Dr Razaq Balogun is a Masters and PhD holder, Asia-Pacific Regional Technical Services Manager for an international company, Kemin Industries, former president of the Nigerian Society of Victoria, African Think Tank Leadership program participant and mentor to young people with African background.
Our Conversation Curator and Dialogue Facilitator is Zione Walker-Nthenda; Human Rights and Social Justice lawyer, Women’s Rights’ Advocate, Documentary Filmmaker, Incubate Foundation President, Mentor and mentor coordinator, Leadership Victoria and Global citizen who has lived in Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, England, Australia and Nigeria.
Zione is a trained adult educator with extensive program design and delivery experience. Experienced in storytelling and with her social justice background, Zione moved to work for Victoria Police as their human rights portfolio manager developing their first human rights, equity and diversity policy and other policies and resources to enhance police and community interactions. Zione recently left the public service to run her own program design and facilitation firm designing and delivering change programs based on empathy and inclusion for communities and organisations; Change Architects.
Personalities on The Panel includes;
Sterg Ayeni; Director at Midas Media Pty Ltd, a marketing consultancy for SMEs, Churches and Community groups. Sterg is experienced in marketing, media planning, buying and selling, content development and customer service. Sterg has worked with and managed top clients in multiple roles with a few companies in the Fortune-500 space.
Tenda Chimbari; Co-founder and Managing Director of Rezi, an Incubate Foundation Board Member and a Client Relationship Manager at IBISWorld. He and his business partners started Rezi as a means of assisting students, young professionals and new migrants to Australia throughout each stage of the recruitment process. In the past he has also participated as a speaker at several TEDx events, using his gift for Spoken word Poetry as a vehicle to express and convey what life is like from the perspective of an African living in the diaspora.
Rhoda Kate Mphande; Multiple award winning international designer, a student completing her bachelors Degree in Business management and full time Operations Manager of Master Agreements at Service Stream. Rhoda is creator and owner of the RKM design label and brand inspired by the designer's name Rhoda Kate Mphande. RKM is a brand with a style personified with a touch of the African heritage with the objective and endless desire to create clothing that adheres to elegance, modesty and class. RKM is the 2015 National African Australian Award Winner in Fashion and Design, 2nd place award winner of Africa’s Got Talent Australia 2016 and designer for the June 2016 Top Model of the world Philippines; an international event with contestants from all over the world. In 2014, RKM outfits were featured at the Emirates Stakes day for Melbourne Cup carnivals, appearing on channel ABC, 7, 9 and 10, as well as being featured in the Sydney Herald sun as being in the Top 10 Outfits at the carnival.
Rhoda uses the RKM signature daring and fearless style steeped in the roots of the African heritage as seen in all and indeed her recent collection; ‘The wings of Mother Africa for her Empresses’. Rhoda strives to be through RKM the voice for social related issues and misconceptions, her newest collection for men ‘Our Kings’ is a response to the Black Lives Matter movement. RKM uses fashion to reach the world to bring about social change and has admirers and customers far and wide particularly in Africa, Australia and Europe.
Hanifah Munkayilar; Australian born Ghanain-Australian year12 student hoping to study Nursing and Midwifery at university. An avid reader, photography enthusiast and former Little Athletics team member, Hanifah volunteers for the Cancer Council of Victoria.
Paris Henkel; Nigerian-Australian undergraduate at the University of Melbourne. Vice President of the Melbourne University Debating Society and article writer for the Economics Student Society of Australia. A crepe chef at two of Creperies, Paris's hobbies include cooking and reading.