Monica Lillas is an intellectual property lawyer at international law firm K&L Gates. Her work focuses on enforcing and defending intellectual property rights, including trade marks, copyright, passing off and misleading and deceptive conduct. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts (Japanese language major) from the University of Melbourne. She studied international law in Switzerland and worked at the Asian Law Centre at the University of Melbourne. Monica previously served on the board of a community legal centre, Youthlaw, Young People's Legal Rights Centre and was chairperson of that board for 4 years, from 2012 to 2016. She is a member of Victorian Women Lawyers and participates annually as a mentor in their mentoring program. Monica is a co-lead of the UNAA (Vic) Young Professionals and is passionate about engaging with and inspiring young people to contribute positively to the world and effect change.
Emeline is the Victorian Co-Lead of the UNAA Young Professionals. She is a dynamic and enthusiastic French-Australian young professional interested in people, culture and social change, and working in project management and stakeholder engagement in the fields of global education, Australia-Asia engagement and international affairs. Emeline is passionate about inspiring and empowering people, particularly young people, to create positive change and make the world a better place. She is a strong advocate for sustainable development and believes that everyone can play a part in shaping a better future for all. Emeline is convinced that intercultural understanding and cross-cultural collaboration is vital to achieving this. Outside of her work at the Asia Education Foundation and her volunteer committee role with the UN Association's Young Professionals Network, Emeline is currently learning Mandarin at the University of Melbourne’s Confucius Institute. She also helps her husband grow his new tourism business venture, The Confident Camper. Emeline was a delegate of the China-Australia Millennial Project 2017.
Kathryn is the Victorian Secretary and Advocacy committee member of the UNAA Young Professionals. She is completing her Graduate Certificate in Public Health and is a new professional looking to start her career in public health. Her main interests in public health are, but not limited to, NCDs, health equality, social justice, and the social determinants of health. She is an experienced personal trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the health, wellness and fitness industry. She currently volunteers as a mentor at Centre for Multicultural Youth and CHASE, and as a volunteer public health officer with Positively Transforming World. Kathryn is currently creating a nutrition education program at her part-role as a trainer. You can generally find her either motivating a group of poor souls in a gym, jogging, doing a MOOC, or eating.
Elsie is a Chartered Accountant, working in the government sector. She is also a Treasurer of the Victorian Young Professionals at the United Nations Association of Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Information Systems (The University of Melbourne), and a Master of Business Administration (Melbourne Business School).
Nadia Han is a Project Manager at Teach For Australia, a not for profit organisation that aims to address educational disadvantage in Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (English major) from Queensland University of Technology. She studied English literature in San Jose, California and has previously held the role of Assistant Principal at a Chinese language school in Brisbane. Nadia currently leads the Global Goals Academy committee and is enthusiastic about promoting the work of the UN in Australia and inspiring young people to take an active role in changing society for the better.
Chris Renwick is currently working in automation consulting at Deloitte. Having majored in Chinese language and business, Chris is hoping to blend his passion for economic empowerment and Asia by operating as a migration agent assisting refugees alongside his full-time work. Chris loves all things China, and has spent the majority of the last 3 years studying Chinese and teaching English in rural areas throughout Southern China.
MA. Rhenette Cabanero
Rhenette hails from Mindanao, Philippines, and is currently a final year Master of Development Studies student at the University of Melbourne, Australia. In 2015, she was awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships which is the Australian Government's internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program. Previously, she worked for the Department of Education and the US Agency for International Development’s education and training activities and projects in the Philippines. Her career in education and community development have given her the opportunity to be involved in various social causes. Through all her pro-community and pro-youth involvements, she was awarded as an outstanding young leader of her city in 2014. Being an Event Committee Member of the UNAA Young Professionals has allowed her to build productive linkages with experienced colleagues and experts in various fields of development. She aims to further contribute to the UN goals through further organising events that aim to inspire others to make a tangible difference, and create sustainable solutions to society’s most pressing concerns.
Elisabeth is a communication practitioner with cross-cultural experience in events/marketing/public relations, and an interest in foreign affairs. Elisabeth holds a Bachelor of Communication from Monash University and is currently completing a Master of Diplomacy and Trade. She works as a Communications and Events Coordinator in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Australian Catholic University. Elisabeth joined the United Nations Association of Australia Victoria Young Professionals Committee in 2015 and contributes to delivering social, networking events to educate, inspire and empower action towards achieving the UN’s peace, human rights and sustainable development goals. She is a member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs Victoria and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Born and raised in Mauritius, Elisabeth has lived in Melbourne for the past 10 years. She speaks French, Mauritian Creole, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Her aim is to engage in international relations as an agent, advocate, informant, counselor and steward for a peaceful and prosperous world for all human beings and communities to thrive.
Vincent is currently studying a Master's of International Relations at Monash University focusing on diplomacy and trade.Having worked and volunteered in various institutions and organisations he brings to the team a wide range of perspectives that include social and entrepreneurial styles of thinking. He is passionate about the UN Global goals and wants to improve education access and establish cultural understanding to all in the global community. As the Partnership's coordinator of the UNAAV he is always looking for new opportunities to work with others and develop new relations to work towards a better future.
Laiza is the Sponsorship Co-Chair of the UNNA Young Professionals. She is a Mexican-Australian young professional interested in different cultures and community development. Laiza possesses an array of skills across a range of disciplines, including; Business Consulting and Strategy, Business Process Improvement, Project Management and Stakeholder Engagement in International Development environments. Laiza is a people developer who enjoys mentoring young professionals to help them to achieve their goals to create a positive change in their community. She is a strong advocate for sustainable development and corporate social responsibility and believes that corporate, government and society play a part in shaping a better community. Laiza is convinced that collaboration among these parties is key to achieve this. Outside her work as business consultant manager and her volunteer committee role with UNNA YP Network, collaborates as international development consultant for malaria control initiatives. She also enjoys working on her sailing startup, “make fast mooring”. Laiza was awarded with the prestigious “Global Leaders for Innovation and Knowledge “scholarship by Fujitsu-JAIMS Foundation, in 2017.
Sesilia Posi has recently joined the United Nations Association of Australia - Young Professionals Partnership team.She has demonstrated a commitment towards the values and goals of the United Nations including local community development projects and overseas assistance such as community kitchens and orphan centres for non profit organisations. Sesilia also completed an Honours research paper on Environmental Sustainability stemming from UN Sustainable Development Goals which sparked her initial interest. She currently works for a multinational company with experience in business stakeholder engagements and continuous improvement. She believes in having an attitude of service and to bloom where ever you are planted.
Hilda is a digital communications master’s student in Victoria University. She is passionate about telling stories of people through photography and videography. She believes that visuals are a powerful way to galvanise change. She is an avid believer of the 17 sustainable development goals to make the world a better place. She is particularly interested in environmental sustainability. She believes the state of the environment has an equal impact to the economy. When an environment thrives so will the economy and people of a country.
Maeve is an experienced events and marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in the business, education and community sports sectors. Skilled in event management, marketing strategy, international relations, Adobe and Microsoft platforms. Maeve is currently the Corporate Programs Officer at Asialink Business and has previously worked for Netball Victoria and Monash University.
The Young Professionals Committee meets every two months to discuss and plan upcoming events and activities. The committee includes around 20 young professionals from various sectors and industries, all volunteers, some of who are profiled below. Co-Leads Monica Lillas and Emeline Gillingham also sit on the board of the UNAA Victorian Division to represent the Young Professionals. To express interest in volunteering with us and joining the committee, please complete the form here.