Our People

Space2b is an incorporated association governed by a Board of Directors. Our Board provides ongoing governance and, in consultation with our key advisors, sets strategic directions for Space2b.

Board of Management – The Vision Room
When we work and train together we get real cultural understanding’.
Anu Bajwa – Ambassador
As a migrant from India, speaking several languages and with a PhD in human behaviour, Anu connects well with people from a range of backgrounds. Arriving as a student more than 20 years ago, she understands the difficulties migrants face when finding their place in a new community. Anu has more than 10 years’ experience in policy and strategic analysis in the government sector, focusing particularly on initiatives to improve community and family safety. She champions social inclusion by bringing people together, and organised the City of Port Phillip’s and Space2b’s first Diwali festival in 2019.
Anu has a special interest in Bollywood cinema, Cricket (when India wins) Indian Art and Female Empowerment
screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-19-18-49The value of
networking is everything.
Craig Francis – Treasurer
Craig has over 20 years experience in the corporate sector, with expertise in business development, sales and  finance. With over 15 years in key positions at SAP, Craig brings to the board considerable experience in corporate accounting, finance, budget management, and management. 
Craig has a special interest in comedy
Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 22.04.42Never stop learning and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 
Paul Hellyer – Company Secretary
Paul has over 20 years experience in international sales and marketing, most recently within the media and entertainment sector. Paul is a strategic thinker with commercial skills such as contract negotiation and business planning.
Paul has a special interest in films and books which stimulate the mind.
mariam-issa-smallEvery adversity has a sea of amazing potential within.
Mariam Issa – Founding Partner
Mariam is a charismatic storyteller, author, speaker and community activist. Mariam is the founder of our sister organisation RAW (Resilient Aspiring Women), a cultural community garden.As a Somalian refugee, Mariam brings a deep and lived experience. Mariam understands from personal experience what it takes to settle in a new country when you don’t speak the language, where nobody understands your culture, and you’re far from your community. Mariam is passionate in bringing people together with ideas, support and community.
Mariam has a special interest in people, spirituality, and community.
janine-prof-2014Connections make us who we are, they are why we exist
Janine lawrie – CEO & Founder
Janine is the creative ideas furnace of Space2b and is passionate when bringing ideas to life. With three businesses under her belt, as well as being an accomplished designer, Janine has much to share  in terms of setting up, developing and connecting into communities. Janine has been involved in social justice and change all her life. Janine has a special interest in migration, and the challenges of building a new life in a new country, having lived in 6 different countries in childhood.
IMG_0543Language brings people together, through language, we can bring about change
Janne Morton – Chairperson Vice President
Janne has over 10 years experience as a lecturer in linguistics at Melbourne University, where she also teaches ESL. Her research interests lie at the intersection between language and culture, including intercultural communication, discourse and identity, and the experiences of multicultural students in higher education.
Janne has a special interest in literature


Key Advisors – The Brain Room
Catherine Harris
Catherine is an Executive with extensive experience in general business management, planning, and operations. Catherine is currently General Manager Business, Sacred Heart Mission and brings skills in operational and process driven efficiencies, governance and building business capability for social enterprise and not-for-profits.
Karen Hopkins
Born in England, Karen is now a Melbourne artist painting principally acrylic and mixed media on canvas. She has been exhibiting as a professional artist since 1991 and has works in numerous corporate and private collections both nationally and internationally. Since living in Australia Karen has been inspired by beauty of  the landscape; from the energy, colour, vastness and sense of space in the Australia.
Clare larman
Clare is a writer and performer focused on bringing to life our social histories and exploring the fabric of relationship. Clare delivers into the heart of stories, enabling people to reflect on their own heritage, and to connect and celebrate their uniqueness. Clare is also a jeweler and entrepreneur and a mentors Space2b newly arrived participants.
Julie Mundy
Julie has over 20 years in partnership consultancy and brokering, with expertise in cross sector, cross program and cross border development initiatives.  As former CEO of Marie Stopes International Australia, and with a background in training, Julie is the master of human and organisational behaviour and performance.
Alba Chliakhtine
A supply chain professional with leadership focus on strategy, governance and sound management aiming at delivering the best possible outcomes.  Since 2002  Alba has been contributing to the not-for profit sector in the areas of Multiculturalism and Culturally and Linguistically Diversuppse Women’s groups.
Alison Maclean
An entrepreneurial marketing, merchandise and operations management professional with a proven track record in B2B and B2C business formats across a variety of commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Results oriented with extensive experience driving growth and profitability through innovative sales, marketing and merchandise programs. A highly skilled communicator with a collaborative management style, leading teams and motivating key stakeholders to achieve their financial and organisational objectives.
Cath Smith
Cath Smith
Cath has over 20 years experience working in community service, non-government advocacy, and international development and environment organizations. This includes 10 years working as the CEO of peak body VCOSS (Victorian Council of Social Services). Cath assists companies and government agencies in the management of change for socially responsible outcomes.


Staff – The Engine Room