Shankar works as a national campaign lead for the world’s largest human rights organisation: Amnesty International. He is also a Commissioner with the Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and is a non-executive director of the Migrant Workers Centre. Previously Shankar has worked as a sessional academic at Deakin, Monash and Charles Darwin universities and has developed community engagement & advocacy programs for Oxfam and the National Heart Foundation. He has been an adviser to local, state and territory governments as well as Members of Cabinet, about diversity & social inclusion strategies. He has been invited to present work at conferences in the UK, Ireland and Switzerland, and has worked extensively across Australia with aboriginal and refugee communities.
Maria a is nationally and internationally recognised expert specialising in the intersections of diversity, gender equality and the law. She is an outstanding communicator and facilitator and possesses an extraordinary ability to captivate her audience. She has had extensive experience in policy formulation for the Government sector, research for social planning and in community education.
Maria’s collaborative approach to working across sectors and within diverse immigrant communities has made significant contributions to the design and delivery of violence prevention strategies that recognise the complex dynamics of violence against different groups of women, including those who are newly-arrived, from well-established communities, in precarious employment, or from visible minority groups.
Maria is a recipient of Member (AM) of the Order of Australia and an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. Her roles have included Special Advisor, Multicultural Communities, for the Department of Justice and Community Safety and Deputy Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. She is also a Board member of the Coronial Council of Victoria, Reconciliation Victoria, the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, the National Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity and Chairperson of Safe and Equal.