Shankar is LGPro’s Director of Strategy and Engagement and is an in-house diversity & inclusion specialist trainer.
Shankar started his career in local government and over the past 20 years has accumulated experiences in Youth Services, Housing, Public Health, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs across Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT. In one capacity or another, he has worked for Transparency International, Oxfam Australia, National Heart Foundation, Amnesty International and the Red Cross.
Shankar has been an adviser to State and Territory members of parliament (including members of Cabinet). His appointments have also included sessional teaching at Charles Darwin, Monash, UNSW and Deakin universities. Outside of his work with LGPro, Shankar is a Commissioner for Multicultural Affairs in the State of Victoria and the Deputy Chair of the Migrant Workers Centre.
Maria is a 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 public 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 a Medal 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.