The Staff of Ishar come from a range of different cultural backgrounds. Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre values and acknowledges the contributions of its diverse team. Through its integrated service model, the Centre ensures clients have access to a full range of expertise offered by its multidisciplinary team.
Andrea started working at Ishar in 2002 initially as a volunteer then progressed through various roles in the organisation and became the CEO in 2007.
Andrea holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development, Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology, along with significant additional training in business, resource, finance and personnel management.
She has experience in leading people, programs and thinking at strategic and operational levels in both government and in the non-government community based health services sector. Her particular focus is on the development and delivery of policies, programs, projects, resources and services that are tailored to meet the needs of people with complex health needs and from CaLD communities. She welcomes the opportunities for engaging, motivating and inspiring staff to achieve competencies and performance standards in accordance with agreed governance frameworks, service deliverables and ministerial / departmental policy priorities.
Given her expertise in and knowledge of planning, policy development and decision-making relating to the strategic development and management of state wide health policies, community based health and mental health services, Andrea is regularly invited to be a part of various high level round table discussions on development and implementation of complex community projects.
Andrea migrated to Australia from India in 2001 and can speak Hindi and English fluently.
When she is not busy with her job and family duties she loves reading, cooking and dancing.
Sally Bower has been working at Ishar since September 2006, she was born in Perth and is a proud Australian Macedonian.
She is a resourceful and experienced Social Welfare Worker and accredited interpreter/translator, who has served in the Community for 33 years. She manages programs and provides services to migrant families who are facing adversities in their lives across areas such as social welfare, relationships, health, finance, education, employment and legal issues. In her Current role she provides support, advice, information, community resources, group sessions for social and skills development, and is able to interpret and translate in the Macedonian language. She has excellent communication and interpersonal skills, empathy, and the ability to interact with people from varied cultural backgrounds. On a personal level, she enjoys spending time with her family, entertaining, cooking, movies, music, pets, sewing and travel.
Champo Ngweshe is from Zambia and came to Australia in 2005. She is fluent in English and Bemba. She attended Edith Cowan University and acquired a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Occupational Health and Safety and minoring in Health Promotion. Champo is commencing a course to obtain a Diploma of Counselling at the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors in 2018.
Champo has been working at Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre since February 2015 where she is currently the Health Promotion Officer and Domestic Violence Triage Officer.
Outside of work, Champo enjoys spending time with her family, friends, boxing and helping people make healthier choices to improve their lives. Health is her passion.
Danielle Lobo was born in Australia. She has 20 years sector experience including; working with youth, the homeless, people living with addiction, carers, mental health patients, asylum seekers and refugees. Danielle has a Bachelor in Criminology & Social justice minoring in addiction studies from Edith Cowan University. She is also currently studying a Masters of Social Work at Griffith University.
In 2005, Danielle spent one year in Los Angeles with a volunteer agency working with youth involved in gangs, tutoring young people in juvenile detention camps and relief work after hurricane Katrina.
Danielle has been with Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre since April 2016, where she is the current Project Officer and Project Coordinator.
Danielle appreciates good food & wine, interesting literature and spending time with her young family. Danielle is currently on maternity leave.
Lana was born in Perth, Australia and commenced working with Ishar in July 2017 as the Practice Nurse and Clinic Coordinator. Lana was trained in sexual health through Sexual Health Quarters in 2017, has a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) from Edith Cowan University and is also a certified audiometric officer, drug and alcohol screener and holds a manual handling credential. Prior to her current role, she worked in Occupational Health and medical administration for seven years. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her Labrador named George, socialising with friends, travelling, watching movies and she is also currently learning the German language.
Lesley Cangemi was born in Australia and holds Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, with a double major in Social Sciences. She spent 15 years working with Care Options – a HAAC funded case management service for people with multiple complex needs. From there, she started working with Ishar in 2008 and is now the executive assistant to our CEO. In her spare time, Lesley enjoys crochet, knitting, seeing her grandchildren and spending time with her hilarious cat named Sunny.
Nicola Roberts has been working at Ishar in the health services sector as the Clinic Midwife since 2012. Born in Wales, UK, she graduated with first class honours from the University of Brighton, UK with a Bachelor of Science (Professional Practice in Midwifery). In addition to this, she holds a Graduate Certificate in Child & Adolescent Health, Advanced Diploma in Midwifery, Cert IV in Assessment Workplace Training and is also a Registered General Nurse. In her spare time, she enjoys biking; walking; reading; body boarding; spending time with family and friends and eating good food.
Rachel was born in Scotland and lived in the UK until she was 25. She then moved the United States for 2 years before finally settling in Australia which she has called home for over 20 years. Rachel is a qualified Chartered Accountant and ran a successful bookkeeping business for several years. She then underwent a career change and completed a Bachelor degree in Nutrition at Curtin University in 2009 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics in 2011 to become an Accredited Practicing Dietitian. She has also completed a Graduate Diploma in Diabetes and a Diploma of Management.
Rachel has been at Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre since May 2017 where she is the current Manager of Health Services and also practices as the Dietitian.
Rachel’s hobbies and interests include hiking, walking her dog, cooking, knitting, home decorating and meeting with her friends.
Rehab Ahmed, came to Perth from Cairo, Egypt in October 2001 after she had successfully completed a Bachelor Degree in Archaeology and had a successful career in administration. She speaks Arabic, English and French.
In 2014 Rehab successfully completed a Diploma in Community Services of Work because she realised she wanted a career in which she could make a difference in women’s lives by providing hope , encouragement and the knowledge that they have choices.
Rehab is working at Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre since 2014. She is currently the Carer Support Services Manager and studying Diploma of Interpreting (LOTE).
Rukmini Aryal came to Perth from Nepal in 2008 on an international student visa. While she lived in Nepal she studied at Tribhuwan University where she received a Bachelor of Arts (English literature and sociology). She speaks Nepali, English, Urdu and Hindi.
Rukmini has worked at Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre since May 2010 where she is currently the Information Officer.
Rukmini enjoys writing poems in Nepali, listening to music, spending time with her family and traveling.
Cherylann is a Dentist by profession (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) with over 21 years’ experience in private dental practice in her home country, India. On migrating to Australia, she commenced working at Ishar in 2011, initially as a volunteer and then as a Project officer- Outreach Services and as the Health Support Officer. After a short break from the organisation, Cherylann resumed work at Ishar in 2016 as the Project Officer- Client Services (Carer Support Services).
Prior to this, Cherylann worked at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as a Case Officer and also as an Assistant Property Manager at a Real Estate Firm.
Cherylann is passionate about giving back to the community and volunteers on a weekly basis with St Vincent De Paul (Vinnies). Her hobbies include card making, bike riding and other outdoor activities. She also enjoys dancing and listening to music. Cherylann speaks English, Hindi, Urdu & Marathi.
Ruth joined the Ishar team in early 2018 after completing a Masters of Social Work placement with us. Ruth holds a Bachelor of Business (Local Government) and completes her Master of Social Work at the end of 2018. Ruth is of Russian descent and speaks English & Russian fluently. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys cycling, reading, painting and spending time with friends and family.
Ms Shalini Noronha joined the Ishar team in February 2018 as the Yoga teacher. Following this, she volunteered with Ishar as a Social Worker and then formally acquired the role in September 2018. Shalini holds a Masters of Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce which she completed in India. She also has completed the Yoga Teacher’s Training Course from India. Shalini has over 10 years of experience working in the development sector, with a major focus on women and children.
Shalini speaks English, Hindi, Urdu and Marathi and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her young family, reading, cooking, traveling, and of course, yoga.
DR LINDA HAINES
Dr Linda Haines was born in Western Australia and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Western Australia in 1994. She qualified for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) in 1999 and has been an examiner for the RACGP exams since 2008. Linda started working with Ishar in early 2018 as a female GP. She has extensive further qualifications in sexual health, Western trauma, occupational health, chronic disease management, emergency medicine, rural health and more. In her spare time, Linda enjoys seeing her family, friends, spending quality time with her pets and eating good food.
DR LUDMILA POLCZYNSKI
Dr Ludmila Polczynski was born in Gdansk, Poland where she obtained her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1984. She furthered her studies in Paediatric care before immigrating to Australia in 1996. Dr Polczynski qualified for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) in 1999, she is a partner at the Gwelup Medical Centre and started working for Ishar in May 2018. Ludmila holds qualifications in women’s health, emergency medicine, sports medicine, mental health, clinical acupuncture and more. Dr Polczynski also works as a clinical lecturer at the University of Western Australia for medical students. In her spare time, she enjoys fashion, good food, spending time with her family and she speaks Polish and English.
DR GRACE PHUA
Dr Grace Phua was born in Malaysia and immigrated to Australia with her family in 1988. Grace holds a MBBS (Honours) and is also accredited with a FRACGP. Apart from working in Perth as a GP and GP educator, Grace has also practised medicine in Papua New Guinea, Nepal and Malaysia where she developed a passion for working with multicultural patients.
Grace has been working at Ishar since November 2017. She speaks a small amount of Mandarin and tiny snippets of Nepali. In her spare time, Grace enjoys dancing, singing and spending time with her young family.
DR THEODORA LI
Dr Theodora Li commenced working with Ishar in early 2018. She has worked in nearly all major tertiary Perth hospitals, has a background in critical care and holds an additional certificate in counselling. She emigrated from China to Australia as a child and speaks both English & Cantonese. In her spare time, Theodora likes camping, music, spending time with her family and eating good food.
DR BERNADETTE WRIGHT
Dr Bernadette Wright started sessional work at ISHAR in late 2016 as the Clinical Psychologist. Previous to that she has had an ongoing collaborative working partnership with ISHAR on numerous initiatives for 20 years. Bernadette holds a BA in French, and BA (Hons) majoring in Psychology and a Doctorate in Psychology. Her specialty area is transcultural engagement with migrants and refugees within a mental health context. Dr Wright also has extensive experience as a researcher, trainer and community capacity building – all within the domain of transcultural mental health.
Bernadette has had a keen interest in Cosmology and Space Science which has remained with her since her early 20’s where she previously studied Astrophysics.
When time permits, Bernadette enjoy playing the guitar, piano and trying out new cuisines. Dr Wright is originally from Indonesia and speaks English, Bahasa Indonesian and some French.
Susannah Shields is an Australian-born, Clinical Psychologist and has been working for Ishar since December 2017. Susannah completed her undergrate degree in Arts, from the University of Western Australia before going on to obtain a Masters of Applied Clinical Psychology with First Class Honours. Susannah has worked for Relationships Australia, Abbortsford Private Psychiatric Hospital and currently also works for Fremantle Clinical Psychology & Counselling. Susannah specialises in patients with trauma, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression and addiction.
In her spare time, Susannah enjoys women’s AFL, spending time with her friends, family and eating good food.
DR CAROL KAPLANIAN
Dr Carol Kaplanian worked at Ishar as the Counsellor from June 2014 – August 2018. Carol now facilitates the Ishar support group ‘Courageous Conversations’. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Work, a Masters of Social Work and a Doctorate of Philosophy. Carol was born in Jordan to Palestinian/Armenian parents. She is fluent in English, Arabic and can get by with French. Carol provides culturally sensitive counselling services for women and their families. She is specialized in trauma and domestic violence, but can see a variety of clients from all walks of life.
In her spare time, remaining active, swimming, cooking, traveling and self-development.