The Sydney Alliance is made up of our partner organisations, and we rely on the extensive voluntary and paid leadership that exists in those organisations. However we do employ a small staff to help train and support the practice of community organising.
Lead Organiser - David Barrow
David is the Lead Organiser at the Sydney Alliance and has been with the Sydney Alliance for 9 years. Over this time David has organised across transport, housing, social inclusion, employment, refugee and energy issues. David has worked closely with faith communities, unions, schools, charities, and migrant communities to build power for the common good. Before coming to the Alliance David had seven years experience organising on and off campus. David was the President of the UTS Union Board, the NSW and then the National Union of Students. As National President, he campaigned in Australia and India to secure the 2009 reforms of International student rights and won increases to youth allowance for rural and poor students. David plays a leadership role within the Uniting Church as a member of the NSW Synod standing committee and as Chair of the Leichhardt Uniting Church council. David has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and International Studies. David is proudest of the 150 diverse young leaders he has mentored directly over the last decade. He is a nostalgic Coastie.
Organiser – People Seeking Asylum - Chantelle Ogilvie-Ellis
Chantelle is the Community Organiser for the People Seeking Asylum Campaign, and the Campaign Mentor for Voices for Power. Chantelle joined the Sydney Alliance as a staff member in 2014, after 6 years as a key Alliance leader in her role with the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney’s Justice and Peace Office. Chantelle’s earliest experiences of working for the common good were as a young volunteer with the St Vincent de Paul Society. She spent five years working with the Young Christian Students and Young Christian Worker Movements, supporting young people to take action in solidarity with refugees and on issues like racism. Chantelle has a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications), a Graduate Certificate in Interfaith Relations, and a Masters of Theological Studies. In 2006 she was part of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s Inaugural Youth Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship. Chantelle has taught theology in a number of tertiary institutions, and has published articles on themes of interreligious dialogue, spirituality, democratic participation, and organisational change.
Organiser - Thuy Linh (Vivien) Nguyen
Thuy is the Organising Lead on the Voices for Power Campaign for affordable, clean energy for all. Thuy has experience in advocating for climate action with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. She has also been involved in policy and research regarding Australia's asylum seeker policy and international human rights. Thuy is particularly passionate about working with ethnically diverse communities to ensure equal access to opportunities and resources so these community can thrive. She hopes that through this project, she will be able to engage with the vibrant Vietnamese community in Sydney and help them address their concerns regarding power and the environment. Thuy has a Bachelor of International Studies and Law.
Organiser - Abdal Abumustafa
Abdul is working with Sydney’s Muslim Communities. Abdul has a Masters Degree of Islamic Studies from Gaza University & Islamic Manuscripts from Baghdad as well as a Bachelor of Islamic Law from Baghdad. Abdal has a Diploma of Community Services Work and currently completing his Bachelor of Social Work at University of Western Sydney. Abdal has many years of community organising work in Iraq, Palestine and now in Australia. Recently, Abdul graduated from the Sydney Alliance Internship program after six months working within the Alliance and connecting the Grand Mufti and other senior Muslim leaders to the Sydney Alliance Housing Campaign. Abdul is a father of 8 and lives in Western Sydney.
Organiser - Diana Olmos
Diana is the community organiser for the Sydney Alliance International students project in 2020. Before coming to Australia, Diana worked for the United Nations in Colombia in advocacy and research of internally displaced people. Since arriving she has worked as community organiser for the Latin American Community in Sydney through Somos21. Diana was an international student in 2019 when she completed her MBA and Global Project Management Master degree. She first engaged the Sydney Alliance as an intern at the beginning of 2020. During her internship, Diana organised to bring embassies, providers and many students into the organising work as well as organise many case studies that became critical news stories. Diana’s life passion is being true to her purpose: building power with organisations to be sustainable and make positive impact for the common good and solving social challenges.
Organiser - Jess Harrison
Jess is working with Sydney's Jewish communities as well as leaders of different cultural, union and organisational backgrounds across the Eastern Suburbs for clean and affordable energy for all. Jess was raised in the Jewish Progressive movement in Sydney where she served as Federal Chairperson of the youth movement 'Netzer Australia' and is a member of North Shore Temple Emmanuel. She combines her passions of building power in our communities and the creative arts in her double bachelor of Arts (in Global Development and Indigenous Studies) and Fine Arts (in sculpture, installation and performance) that she is currently studying. Jess is a proud member of her Union.
Digital Campaigner - Sawsan Alfayadh
Sawsan is Sydney Alliance's first digital campaigner, working primarily to support the Voices for Power team push for clean, affordable energy for all. As a young Muslim woman, who sought refuge in Australia when she was just 6 years old, Sawsan's identity was politicised from a very young age. This led her to start volunteering at RISE, an organisation run by refugees while still in high school, to seize control of the conversation around the issues that impacted her life. In her subsequent work as both an organiser and digital campaigner at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, the Islamic Council of Victoria and Environment Victoria (among others), she has supported others to elevate their own voices and take action on the issues that affect their daily lives. She also has a Bachelor's Degree in Arts (Politics and International Relations).
Office Manager - Liliana Capacchione
Liliana has been an administrator with the Sydney Alliance since mid 2009. She has worked in both private and government employment, with the Sydney Alliance as her first foray into the not-for profit sector. Liliana manages the Sydney Alliance office part-time 2 days per week. Her role encompasses all administrative tasks – from reception, event management, database management, office supplies, to assisting the community organisers.
Accounts Officer - Maggie Galley
Maggie is no stranger to the not for profit industry having worked in a number of not for profit organizations over her working life. Her passion has been to work for organizations that had a purpose to make a better world. Maggie feels that she has landed a jackpot working for Sydney Alliance and loves the diversity of the groups that are part of Sydney Alliance. Maggie works 1 1/2 days a week in keeping the Sydney Alliance accounts in order. Maggie also works voluntarily as a member of an international Christian peace group.