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This Life Foundation Dinner 2019

Danvers Room Room, Level 2, Gate 6

Marvel Stadium, 740 Bourke St, Docklands VIC 3008

26th October 2019, 6:30PM


In Support of child-headed families in Northern Uganda and young people in contact or at risk of contact with the justice system in Australia

This dinner is in support of young people at risk of getting in contact with the justice system in Australia and vulnerable orphaned children in Northern Uganda living in Internally Displaced Person`s camps. This is an opportunity to create awareness to the Australian mainstream community on the experiences of some of the young African Australians through the eyes of children trapped in camps in Northern Uganda and to educate young Australians of the opportunities they have in Australia to make better choices for lives.


The Host

Dorcas Utkovic

Dorcas is the Founder/Producer & Host of OZ AFRICAN TV.

Dorcas is the Program Manager at AIME Mentoring leading the African Australian Stream

She is a Creative Producer/Coordinator for One Beat One Love Festival

Dorcas also a Fine Artist, Writer and Filmmaker.

The Guest of Honour

Hon.Steve McGhieMP

Representing Richard Wynne, The Minister for Multicultural Affairs

Electorate:  Member for Melton,


Party:     The Australian Labor Party

House:    Legislative Assembly

Committees: Integrity and Oversight

Note: The Minister for Multicultural Affairs will be at another cultural event on the dinner night but will be represented at the Gala Dinner

The Guest Speakers



Yusupha Ngum

Yusupha is a Songwriter, performing Artist and a Human Rights Activist. Born in Banjul (The Gambia, West Africa), he inherited singing from his father Musa Affia Ngum, a professional musician and Pan African.

Yusupha sings about Human Rights, Spirituality, Social life and Love


Acholi Traditional Dance

Amongst the Acholi people of northern Uganda, dance represents a fundamental part of the cultural heritage.

The Acholi, a Nilotic Lwo-speaking ethnic group, live predominantly in the central region of northern Uganda, an area collectively referred to as Acholiland


Sami Obama

Entertainer Sami Obama is well known in local Ethiopian and Youtube communities, and wants to bring his stories to a wider Australian audience.


Born in a village called Zana in Tigray, Ethiopia, Sami Obama is a friendly and open character


Mercy Akongo

Founder, This Life Foundation

Mercy is a Social Justice Activist, a strong voice for a fair and Just Society.

She was a Member of the African Youth Parliament and An Action Partner of Oxfam International Youth Partnership. she is also the Winner of the Nelson Mandela`s Innovation Award amidst others. 

Ms Akongo , founded This Life Foundation following her personal experiences working with internally displaced people in  camps in the war torn Northern Uganda

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Francis Deng

Former Child Soldier

Francis, a former child soldier in the Sudanese civil war spent five years in a rebel-controlled camp and ten years in Kakuma refugee camp in north western Kenya. 


He was later settled in Australia on a government-sponsored humanitarian visa. 

Francis has completed a Bachelor degree and now works for the National Australia Bank.


He has recently published his memoir based on his past experiences in the Sudanese civil war. He now shares his story to inspire others

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Brigid Monagle

Deputy Secretary, Fairer Victoria 

Department of Premier and Cabinet

Brigid was appointed Deputy Secretary, Fairer Victoria Group (FVG), in 2019. This group oversees Equality, Veterans, Multicultural Affairs, Women and Youth.


Brigid has previously worked as Executive Director in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, leading advice in the areas of Aboriginal Affairs Policy, including Treaty and self determination, healthy policy and reform and inter-governmental strategy.

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Hon. David Southwick MP

Member for Caulfield (Victoria)

David James Southwick is an Australian politician, and has been the member for Caulfield in the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 2010.


In December 2018, Southwick was appointed the Shadow Minister for Police, Shadow Minister for Community Safety, and Shadow Minister for Corrections

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Anna Osherov

Anna Osherov is an event marketing expert creating a community of Eventologists and 14 years’ experience working directly with business owners. Anna Osherov is the CEO and founder of the Holistic Business Hub

Meet the Team


Alison Farajala

Ali is the Project Manager at National Australian Bank (NAB), Ambassador (One Young World Foundation)

Scholar ( Monash Global Discovery Leadership Program)


His  Passion & Motivation

Education & Poverty Alleviation

Community Engagement & Sustainability

Youth Empowerment & Development


Lilian Kikuvi

 A Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Evangelist, Keynote Speaker and Facilitator.
Originally from Kenya, Lilian has a vision to see a world where diverse people realise their full potential and thrive because of their difference.

Susanne Ech

An interdisciplinary communicator, aspiring social innovator aiming to facilitate collaboration for social and economic inclusion.


  Susanne has worked in a variety of industries including economic development, social enterprise, education and more recently corporate services in a government environment.


Brian Macharia

Brian is Results-oriented Director with 10+ years of experience in the enhancement of financial and business operations to streamline processes and optimize social, environmental and financial performance.


Dorcas Maphakela

The Founder/Producer & Host of OZ AFRICAN TV.

The Program Manager at AIME Mentoring leading the African Australian Stream

She is a Creative Producer/Coordinator for One Beat One Love Festival

Dorcas also a Fine Artist, Writer and Filmmaker.

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