A NSW free from poverty and inequality

NCOSS CSW62 Delegation Bios

NCOSS CSW62 Delegation Bios

Melanie Fernandez – NCOSS Deputy CEO

Melanie Fernandez is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS).

Melanie is an advocate and activist who is committed to human rights, gender equality and bringing about long term change to address disadvantage. Grounded in her father’s experience as a refugee; Melanie is deeply passionate about challenges facing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, migrant and refugee communities. 

Melanie has worked in leadership roles in grassroots, membership-based and NGO organisations. Melanie has previously been the Chair of the Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia, co-founding member of F Collective, and Steering Committee member of Equality Rights Alliance.

Melanie currently sits on the Board of Reproductive Choice Australia and the NSW Juvenile Justice Advisory Council.  Melanie holds a degree in Gender Studies.


Elyse Cain – NCOSS Policy Lead

Elyse is a Policy Lead at the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS). She works with the community sector, vulnerable groups and the NSW Government to improve outcomes in the areas of health, mental health and children and families. In doing so, she contributes to NCOSS’s vision to reduce poverty and inequality in NSW.

Elyse has worked in a range of policy areas both in government and non-government settings. These include senior policy roles in the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, the Commonwealth Treasury and the Australian Medical Association (NSW). She recently sat on the Secretariat that reviewed one of the most significant pieces of consumer legislation in the country. She also managed the public health work that awarded AMA (NSW) recognition of the best state public health campaign from the federal AMA for two years running.

Elyse holds a double degree in Communication and International Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney, with majors in social inquiry and German. She also studied in Germany at the Technische Universitaet Berlin and completed an internship in the Economic and Policy Division of the Australian Embassy. Elyse is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and has previously sat on the Council of the Young Professionals Network at the Institute of Public Administration Australia (NSW).


Caroline Dimond – NCOSS Policy Officer

Caroline Dimond is a Policy Officer at the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), taking carriage of the NCOSS Women’s Unit and Children, Families and Young People portfolios.

With an interest and passion in human rights and social change, Caroline has worked on an array of policy issues in the areas of gender, natural resource management and community development, across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors in Australia, India and Jordan.

Prior to joining NCOSS In 2016, Caroline was a Research and Project Associate at the United States Studies Centre. Here she was a part of a number of programs related to developing innovative responses to complex policy challenges in Australia and the United States (US) in the areas of women’s empowerment, the Australia – US trade relationship and sustainability. 

In 2015 Caroline worked for Seva Mandir, a non-government voluntary organisation working on rural and tribal development issues. Here she managed a number of research projects that examined gender injustices and resource scarcity across the 700 villages of southern Rajasthan, India.

Previously, Caroline was a policy advisor with the Australian Public Service, where she worked in international resource management, and trade negotiations, specialising in fisheries, ocean management, and open market access for agricultural products.

Caroline holds a Bachelor of Economics Social Sciences (Hon I) where she focused her degree on government and international relations, economics, and geography


Keira Jenkins – NCOSS Delegate

Keira is a Gamilaroi woman from Moree, but she has lived most of her life on Bundjalung country on the north coast of NSW. 

She has been a journalist with the Koori Mail for two years - since she graduated from her Bachelor of Communications at Charles Sturt University in 2015. She is currently working towards a Diploma of Languages and Culture. 

Keira became involved in the NSW Council of Social Services’ Seven Sisters Aboriginal Women’s and Young Women’s Advisory Panels in 2016 . This led to her attending CSW62, where she spoke at an NCOSS and Australian Government-supported event. 

Keira brings with her, an experience in the media, knowledge of growing up in regional and rural areas, and her connection to her culture.


Penny Dordoy – NCOSS Delegate

Penny Dordoy is a passionate advocate and change champion for issues affecting women in rural and regional NSW. She is a leader in the field of innovative responses to domestic and family violence, advocates tirelessly for the issues affecting women, particularly those in rural and regional NSW, and promotes the importance of women’s voices in all decision-making at individual, community and business forums.

Penny led the regional launch of the whole of Government Domestic Violence reforms. She works hard to galvanise community support for the reforms to ensure better outcomes and increased safety for victims of domestic violence.

She is currently leading the development of an innovative crisis accommodation model for women and children in Central West NSW. In addition, she has developed a new workplace program that supports women to remain in the workforce when experiencing domestic violence, securing their financial independence, attachment to the workforce, and career development. This program has been recognised in the UN Women report on workplace responses to domestic violence.

Penny is an active and inspirational speaker in the community and local media on the issues affecting women. She inspires women to achieve their personal and professional goals by modelling and mentoring other women, helping them to remove barriers to reach their full potential.

She plans to engage with other local female leaders to develop and implement a women’s leadership and mentoring program in the Central West Region.

Penny is currently studying for a Master of Social Change and Development, sits on the board of Central West Women’s Health Centre and the Central Western Daily and was previously a rural representative on the advisory board of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program.


Un-Ai Jo – NCOSS Delegate

Un-Ai is a graduate of B. Laws/B. International and Global Studies, majoring in Government & International Relations, at the University of Sydney in 2014.  She worked as a Legal Information Officer for LawAccess and Tenants’ Advocate, providing free advice and casework assistance to tenants in social housing and private rentals, at Marrickville Legal Centre while studying full-time. She also volunteered at Shopfront Youth Legal Centre and Korean Consulate Office, Sydney.

In 2015, Un-Ai was admitted as a lawyer and worked as a Youth and Generalist Solicitor at Marrickville Legal Centre, providing free legal advice and representation to young people in civil, criminal, employment, tenancy, discrimination and mental health law. She now works as a Solicitor at the Inner City Legal Centre and runs the Safe Relationships Project at the Downing Centre Local Court every Wednesday for LGBTIQ community member escaping domestic violence, while working as a Tenants’ Advocate for Northern Area Tenancy Service.

Un-Ai has been a Youth Ambassador with Multicultural Youth Advisory Panel since 2016 and this led her to be part of NCOSS Young Women’s Advisory Panel.  She brings her knowledge and experience in working closely with tenants as Tenants’ Advocate for the past four years to Young Women Housing Working Group. 


Harpreet Dhillion – NCOSS Delegate

Harpreet Dhillon is a from a CALD family. As well as being a panel member on the NCOSS Young Women’s Advisory Panel she is also an ambassador for Girl Guides Australia, and was a member of their 2016 Advisory Panel.

She is currently attending her first year of university, and is the first women in her family to do so. At age 17, Harpreet was the youngest Australian delegate to attend CSW61.





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