Skip to content Skip to footer

Who we are

The Equal Employment Opportunity Network was established in 1988 to support EEO practitioners and employers in Victoria.

EEON is a not-for-profit organisation whose members pay an annual fee that includes attendance to most events and webinars. For almost 30 years we have been delivering networking, information-sharing and training to people and organisations committed to promoting and building diversity and inclusion in workplaces and the wider community. We are passionate about making a change for the better, and aim to be a forum for anyone interested in issues of diversity, inclusion and equal employment opportunity. Our fast-growing membership includes individual specialists in diversity and inclusion practices, small to medium enterprises, not-for-profit organisations, government agencies, large corporations and students. We encourage all members to attend and actively contribute to our networking and information events and webinars and to share expertise, experiences and challenges in our diversity and inclusion community. We know that together we can help create a fairer and more equitable society. 

2020 Summit
Age Diversity

what we do

The Equal Employment Opportunity Network creates opportunities for professionals to learn, network, share their expertise and experiences and showcase examples of best practice in diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including emerging diversity issues.

We encourage all members to provide feedback and suggestions for future events and webinars, and speakers. As a not-for-profit organisation, we aim to serve our membership by minimising fees and maximising benefits. EEON has an active Executive Committee of experienced practitioners that meets regularly. The committee members are drawn from the current membership base and provide a diversity of industry perspectives.

our mission

Our mission is to help all organisations prosper by employing and engaging a diverse workforce.

Office bearers

Rana Ebrahimi

rana ebrahimi

president

Rana Ebrahimi is the National Manager of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network Australia (MYAN). She leads the MYAN to advocate for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds’ rights and best interests in policy and practiceRana is the first Iranian woman to be a National Head of Office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iran. Rana is an expert in social inclusion and humanitarian ethics. Over 20 years, she has led strategic engagements to partner and build a shared vision with networks of stakeholders, funders and community groups to deliver transformative community and social operations.

She is a member of the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Regional Advisory Council and is on the Community Advisory Committee of Dental Health Victoria. She is also a Board member of Australian Iranian Society of Victoria and Vice President of Equal Employment Opportunity Network.
 

Dr. Teresa De Fazio OAM (MAICD)

Vice President

Born in Australia (immigrant parents who fled post-war chaos) Teresa grew up experiencing the challenges – and labels (first in family, female, low SES, CALD, etc) growing up ‘different’ in a country that was increasingly defining itself as multicultural against the imposed silencing of First People ownership and rights. This lived experience has been the basis for the insights and passion brought to her work in equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Teresa is the Director of Intersect Global Partners specialising in equity and inclusion. She was the Manager, Cultural Diversity at Victoria University and an active researcher and academic. She is also a former Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and remains a member of the Regional Advisory Council. She is a Board Director for Zoos Victoria, and former Board Director of Multicultural Arts Victoria and Edmund Rice Community and Refugee Services. She is also a Community Ambassador for Melbourne Victory Football Club

Dawn Teo

Dawn Teo

Treasurer

Dawn Teo is a champion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), with over eight years’ experience within both the public and private sector across Australia and New Zealand. 

Not afraid to challenge the status quo, Dawn works collaboratively with leaders to improve organisational performance and culture through the design and delivery of DEI strategies, initiatives, and training programs. She has a passion for facilitating courageous conversations that help inspire more inclusive leadership, attract and retain talented people and enable a workplace culture where everyone can flourish and thrive.

She is currently the Head of DEI Consulting for The Dream Collective, a business attracting, retaining and advancing female talent globally through leading diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.

Elena Callipari

Elena Callipari

Secretary

As a first-generation child of migrant parents growing up in regional Victoria Elena is deeply passionate about amplifying minority voices and achieving equitable outcomes. Elena joined the Victorian Public Service (VPS) in the 1980s while still a student completing an Arts/Law degree. Elena’s first employment experience in public housing shaped her career and interests in law, policy, people management and change projects.

Further studies in a Media and Communications pivoted Elena toward passions of communication, writing, editing, publishing, and workforce communications.  

Elena’s values, interests and passions align with inclusion and opportunities in a diverse workforce. Elena’s recent achievements include key lead in policies and actions for employment of Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander peoples, Culturally diverse communities, LGBTIQ+ employee communities and people with disabilities.

Elena coordinates a VPS Diversity and Inclusion community of practice comprised of more than 140 practitioners across the public sector. She works collaboratively with colleagues to reduce barriers, promote human rights, create safe workplaces, and promote change for gender equity.

Elena is one of many who are committed to inclusion outcomes: employee experiences of belonging, freedom of identity and valued contributions and the safety to be and thrive towards one’s full potential.

 

committee members

Hala Abdelnour

A lover of languages, people and creativity, Hala has lived, travelled and worked in more than 50 countries. She is an expert at designing and delivering professional training and has participated in event management, sales, teaching, counselling and community development. 

Hala is the CEO and Founder of the Institute of non-violence and is a highly qualified and experienced consultant and professional trainer, with specialist skills in family violence, intersectionality, and equity and inclusion.

Hala has dedicated her career to supporting individuals and families who are experiencing various hardships, including family violence. Hala has focused on people from migrant & refugee backgrounds, violent offenders and those battling with addiction (substance use and gambling).  In this capacity, she has consulted with Victoria Police, various government bodies and welfare services regarding more inclusive practice and effective client engagement.  She has also developed and delivered numerous training programs to community members, including multicultural and multifaith communities, as well as various professionals in the emergency services, government, private and not-for-profit sectors. 

Debbie Marks

Debbie Marks

Debbie has a background in commerce with many years’ experience in IT and Business Project Management. Working for large multi-national organisations and governments in both Australia and the UK, she excels at delivering and embedding change. Now an accredited and qualified coach, facilitator and partnership broker, Debbie loves working with people to improve their outcomes in work and life. Throughout her journey Debbie has realised that there was a lack of support and understanding for working parents and how to maximise their participation in the work environment without support for leaders. Debbie has spent the last 12 years coaching working parents and their leaders in how to manage return to works, flexibility and team coordination. She has written and facilitated programs for large universities and within the government sector around leading remote and flexible teams as a means of enhancing diversity, inclusion and equity in our work environments.

David Tonge

David Tonge

David is the Chief Operating Officer at Amaze. He has a background in not-for-profit, government, education, health and community service delivery, and prior to joining Amaze, was the Director of Family Services at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. He also has previous experience as a University Lecturer, and currently volunteers his time on a number of boards and committees. He has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in education and an MBA.

Sophie Burzacott

Sophie Burzacott

Sophie Burzacott is currently a HR business partner at Ford Motor Company and is passionate about all things diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). 

Born and raised in Ballarat she learned from a young age the importance of DEI when her younger brother was diagnosed with a disability at a young age. Competing her higher education at Federation University Australia and RMIT she has become inspired to learn more in the DEI space and create workplaces where everyone feels valued, safe and most importantly loves their job! 

In her spare time she loves going to the gym with her twin sister, hanging out with her cat Kevin and watching horror movies.

She is looking forward to having an open mind, listening to others experiences and taking real action on improving DEI for all.

Narissa Diwan

Narissa (she/her) is a 1.5 generation Canadian/Pakistani who moved to Australia about 3 years ago. Narissa currently works as a Global Talent Acquisition Partner in marketing technology, recruiting in APAC, Europe and UK. Narissa brings to EEON a strong passion and extensive experience in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, organisational development, learning and development and talent acquisition. Going through several lived experiences, Diversity and Inclusion is very close to her heart.

She currently volunteers as a Research & Development Lead for the Asian Australian Organisation Psychology association & a member of Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast as well as Reconciliation Queensland.

Narissa’s work is focused on creating and facilitating workshops with an intersectional lens, on topics such as racial equity, gender equality, gender-inclusive language, anti-racism, inclusive hiring practices and LGBTQIA+ communities.

Jodie Nicks

Jodie Nicks

Jodie lives with disability and grew up in a multicultural environment which brought great richness to her life. She is driven to creating more inclusive communities for all who face barriers to and within employment particularly for those experiencing multiple, intersecting forms of systemic discrimination. She is a senior advisor for disability and accessibility for the Victorian government. Previous roles include diversity and inclusion lead, capacity building and NDIS transition support through Victorian government grants.

Jodie worked as a performing artist for many years. In 2016 she was awarded the inaugural Funds in Court Inspire award in recognition of her professional contribution to performing arts and for creating a more inclusive society through her work. She is on the board of Arts Access Victoria, the state’s peak body for arts and disability.

Mat Lewis

Mat Lewis

As an out and proud gay man working in the university sector, Mat has a background in finance, recruitment, call centres and HR. Mat is an LGBTIQA+ Equality and mental health advocate, residing on the lands of the Wurundjeri people. His experience from the financial and corporate sectors, and his passionate involvement (both professionally and personally) in the LGBTQ+ and mental health communities allows him to bring a personalised enthusiasm to ensuring the continual growth and elevation of underrepresented communities across a number of areas.

Now working at RMIT University in Naarm (Melbourne), Mat is a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor and works across a number of focus areas such as gender equality, accessibility/disability, LGBTQ+ and cultural inclusion.

ASSOCIATES / ADMIN / LIFE MEMBERS

Adrian Price and his Cat Sheena

Adrian Price

EEON Administrator

Adrian (He/Him) brings over 25 years of administrative experience and has spent over 10 years of working in diversity and inclusion. 
Sheena brings 4 years of dropping in to say hello on Zoom calls.
 
From his initial degree in Nursing through to working with organisations such as Deakin Uni and Melbourne Water, Adrian has a passion for work that makes a difference. He has also developed workplace inclusion strategies and programs on accessibility and LGBTIQ, including conducting training and coordinating an ally network. 
 
As a member of the LGBT community and a person with mental health issues. I believe it is possible to succeed in the workplace when the culture is inclusive and appropriate accommodations are in place.

Jill Sears

EEON Life Member

Jill is a human resources professional with expertise in strategy development, program design, management and implementation, diversity and inclusion, equal employment opportunity, change management and general human resource consultancy gained within a range of sectors including resources, telecommunications, education, health and emergency services.

Roman Ruzbacky

EEON LIFE MEMBER

Roman Ruzbacky is an experienced inclusion, diversity and equity practitioner, starting his career as an analytical chemist. He has extensive experience in designing and implementing strategies, facilitation and dispute resolution to raise consciousness and build competency. 

At the core of the work is the belief that people should be treated with dignity and respect, have equitable access to employment opportunities and outcomes and have the ability to participate in all aspects of work and public life.