fbpx

Who we are

ICAN AUSTRALIA

We are leading the movement for Australia to end its disarmament doublespeak by signing and ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We are proudly independent, non-partisan and funded by donations from our community of supporters.

While our organisation is made up of a voluntary board, ambassadors and a small staff team, the success of the campaign rests on a broad-based movement for change involving a diversity of people and groups. Everyone has something to contribute.

AMBASSADORS

Sue Coleman-Haseldine

A Kokatha woman who lives in Ceduna in South Australia, Sue Coleman-Haseldine is a nuclear test survivor and outspoken advocate of Aboriginal culture and environmental protection. She was a child at Koonibba Mission when the British carried out nuclear testing at Emu Field and Maralinga in the 1950s and 60s. In 2014, she travelled overseas for the first time to tell 150 governments about the effects of nuclear testing on Aboriginal land, culture and people at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

Sue is a Co-President of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance and was awarded the South Australian Premier’s award for excellence in Indigenous leadership in 2007 and the 2018 Jill Hudson Award for environmental protection.

Sue participated in a national speaking tour, ‘Black Mist White Rain’, highlighting the humanitarian impacts of nuclear testing, in April 2016. She delivered a statement during the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty negotiating conference at the United Nations in March 2017 and attended the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for ICAN in Oslo in December that year.

Karina Lester

Karina Lester is a Yankunytjatjara-Anangu woman who grew up on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) in South Australia. Her father, the late Yankunytjatjara elder Yami Lester, was blinded by the ‘black mist’ fallout from the Totem 1 nuclear test at Emu Field in 1953.

The Lester family has been a stalwart of nuclear resistance for decades. Karina works with the University of Adelaide’s Mobile Language Team as the Aboriginal Co-Manager and Language Worker, co-hosting the Nganampa Wangka radio show on Radio Adelaide about South Australian Aboriginal languages.

Karina attended the 2015 World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima, Japan and spoke about the consequences of British nuclear testing on her family and Aboriginal people more broadly. Along with her sister, Kunmanara Lester, she travelled with the national Black Mist White Rain speaking tour in April 2016, highlighting the humanitarian impacts of nuclear testing in Australia and the Pacific.

Karina and Kunmanara spoke at the women’s marches to “ban the bomb” in New York and Sydney, respectively, in June 2017. Karina delivered an Indigenous statement to the negotiating conference for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on behalf of 35 First Nations organisations. The statement helped to enshrine the rights of victims and impacted environments in the final agreement, as well as recognising the disproportionate impacts of nuclear weapon activities on Indigenous people worldwide.

Scott Ludlam

Scott Ludlam is a writer, activist and former Australian Senator representing the Australian Greens.  He served in Parliament from 2008 – 2017, and as Co-Deputy Leader of his party from 2015 – 2017. Scott held the nuclear issues portfolio for nine years, during which time he contributed to campaigns on uranium mining, waste dumping and nuclear weapons. He is currently an occasional columnist for The Guardian and The Monthly, and his first book on ecology, technology and politics will be published in 2020.

He is a long-term supporter of ICAN, co-hosting the Western Australian launch in 2007 and travelling to New York in 2017 for the final session of the ban treaty negotiations. He delivered a statement to the negotiating conference on the day before the Treaty’s adoption.

Melissa Parke

Melissa Parke is a former Federal Labor member for Fremantle, former Minister for International Development and former United Nations lawyer. She has degrees in business, law and public international (human rights) law. Melissa is a patron of the Tom Uren Memorial Fund, which supports the work of ICAN.

Robert Tickner AO

Robert has been campaigning against nuclear weapons since he was in his early 20s, firstly as an activist in the environmental movement and then as a Federal Labor MP where he was the convenor of Labor Parliamentarians for a nuclear-free Australia. 

Robert was Australia’s longest serving Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, before spending a decade as the CEO of Australian Red Cross. During that time he spoke on behalf of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation at the three international humanitarian conferences in Norway, Mexico and Austria, which led to the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

Robert is a patron of the Tom Uren Memorial Fund and advocates tirelessly for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty.

Vale Kunmanara Lester

Kunmanara Lester was an ICAN Ambassador, along with her sister Karina Lester, until her passing in June 2021. Kunmanara worked as a translator and interpreter, with a passion for preserving and sharing traditional language.

 

BOARD

Dr Margaret Beavis (Co-Chair)

Margie Beavis is a former general practitioner with a strong interest in public health. She teaches at Melbourne University and is the immediate past president of the Medical Association for Prevention of War. She is a Co-Director of Quit Nukes, a joint campaign of ICAN Australia and MAPW, working with Australian superannuation funds to be nuclear weapons-free.

Associate Professor Marianne Hanson (Co-Chair)

Associate Professor Marianne Hanson gained her Masters and Doctoral degrees in International Relations at Oxford University, where she focused on international security issues, especially the East-West conflict, strategic studies, and arms control. She has lectured at the University of Queensland for the past 24 years; prior to this appointment, she was a Stipendiary Lecturer at Magdalen College, Oxford University. Between 2000 and 2005, she served on the Australian government’s advisory panel on international security.

Dr Hanson joined the ICAN Australia board in 2019.

Victoria May (Secretary)

Victoria is a digital fundraising specialist who joined the ICAN Australia board in 2022, after acting as a board observer as a participant in The Observership Program throughout 2021. Victoria has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, a Master of Arts from RMIT and a Master of Business from the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at QUT.

Dr Marcus Yip (Treasurer)

Marcus is currently an advanced trainee registrar with the Australian College of Emergency Medicine. He also has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Honours and has previously served as Student Representative for the Medical Association for Prevention of War.

Dimity Hawkins AM

Dimity has over three decades of experience in the civil society sector working as an advocate on issues of nuclear disarmament and broader social, environmental and human rights activism. She was a co-founder of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN). Dimity is completing her PhD through Swinburne University in Melbourne focussed on nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific. She is also a co-coordinator of the Nuclear Truth Project. Dimity was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours for “significant service to the global community as an advocate for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.”

Dr Daryl Le Cornu

Daryl teaches history curriculum education at Western Sydney University and lectures in the UN Diploma course for the UNAA. He has had many years’ experience as a high school teacher and is currently a curriculum consultant and textbook writer for history and legal studies courses secondary schools. He is Director of Education at the World Citizens Association of Australia (WCAA). 

Dr Tilman Ruff AO

Tilman Ruff is a public health and infectious diseases physician, Hon Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Nobel Peace Prize 1985) since 2012, a co-founder and founding international and Australian chair of ICAN.

Dave Sweeney

Dave Sweeney has been active in the uranium mining and nuclear debate for over three decades through his work with the media, trade unions and environment groups on mining, resource and Indigenous issues. Dave is a founding member of ICAN and also leads the Australian Conservation Foundation’s national nuclear free campaign.

Talei Luscia Mangioni

Talei Luscia Mangioni is a PhD candidate and Pacific Studies teacher at the School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University.

Talei joined the board in 2021.

Dr Ruth Mitchell

Ruth Mitchell is a neurosurgeon at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. She is currently Chair of the Board of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Recently awarded the 2022 Convocation Medal by her alma mater, Flinders University, for her work with ICAN, she was also the 2019 winner of the John Corboy Medal from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons for her advocacy for diversity and inclusion in surgery, and was the inaugural Australian Medical Association Doctor in Training of the Year in 2016. She has previously served as Co-Chair of the ICAN Australia Board, and Vice President of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War. Twitter/Instagram @drruthmitchell.

 

 

Previous board members

ICAN Australia wishes to acknowledge the advice and assistance of previous Board members, from the first meeting in May 2006 to the present day, in alphabetical order:

Richard Broinowski

Joseph Camilleri

Daisy Gardener

Jenny Grounds

John Langmore

Jessica Lawson

Nic Maclellan

Fred Mendelsohn

Marie McInerney

Kazuyo Preston

Catriona Standfield

Richard Tanter

Sue Wareham OAM

Bill Williams

Tim Wright

Mark Zirnsak

STAFF

Gem Romuld, Director

Gem Romuld is the Director for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Australia, advocating for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its role in achieving the treaty. In 2021 Gem was awarded a Peace Woman award by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australia.

Gem has worked with Australians for War Powers Reform and produced radio programs for 3CR Radio and the Community Radio Network. She has degrees in Communications and Law from the University of Technology, Sydney. Gem has been a multi-disciplinary campaigner for over a decade, and is dedicated to growing our collective power to build a better world. She is based on Dharawal land in Wollongong.

Email: gem@icanw.org

Jemila Rushton, Campaigner

Jemila has been working with ICAN Australia since 2019. Jemila will be Acting Director for ICAN Australia from July 2022.  With a background as an organiser, networker and community builder, Jemila is grounded in working to address the interlinkages of militarism, extractivism, and colonialism for over a decade. First Nations solidarity and justice are core to her work.

 Jemila has led ICAN Australia’s Nuclear Ban Advocate program, which supports partner organisations and community members to engage with local representatives at all levels of government, and urge them to work for Australia’s ratification of the nuclear weapon ban treaty. Previously, Jemila has worked on the Cities Appeal campaign in Australia, which has seen 39 cities join the nuclear ban call. Jemila has also coordinated cross council initiatives, including divestment. In the lead up to the most recent Australian election, Jemila was involved in engaging candidates to make a commitment to the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge.

Jemila holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Community Development from Victoria University, Naarm/Melbourne, and is based on the lands of the Peek Whurrong speaking people on the shores of Southern Ocean Gunditjmara sea country in Victoria.

Email: jemila@icanw.org

Tim Wright, Treaty Coordinator

Tim Wright is ICAN’s Treaty Coordinator. He is a member of the ICAN international staff team, overseeing work to promote universal adherence to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. He has been involved in the campaign since it began in 2006. He has degrees in law and arts from the University of Melbourne.

Email: tim@icanw.org

Leila Mutapcic, Bookkeeper/Administration

War survivor. Passionate about eliminating the use of nuclear weapons and bringing peace and stability to the world. Leila has worked with ICAN Australia since 2019.

Email: accounts@icanw.org

 

Previous staff

ICAN Australia wishes to acknowledge the contributions of our staff and special project workers since the campaign began, in alphabetical order:

Cat Beaton

Kirsten Blair

Teri Calder

Adam Dempsey

Chrys Gardener

Lachlan Good

Dimity Hawkins

Sarojini Krishnapillai

Jessica Morrison

James Norman

Lavanya Pant

Pauline Renkin

Felicity Ruby

Colin Stephens

Dianne Street

Glenn Todd

Mihiri Weerasinghe