Naomi Steer

National Director

Naomi is the founder and National Director of Australia for UNHCR and has travelled to many conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia, to report on UNHCR operations. Naomi is a former diplomat with postings to the United Nations in New York and India, and has held senior leadership positions in the trade union movement.

A passionate advocate for gender justice, Naomi has led many UNHCR initiatives supporting women and girls forcibly displaced by conflict, including the first ever UNHCR reproductive health projects in Myanmar and Somalia. She is currently the Co-Chair of UNHCR’s Global Partnership Council.

Naomi Steer, National Director

Trudi Mitchell

Deputy National Director

Trudi Mitchell was appointed Deputy National Director of Australia for UNHCR in 2016. She has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector. She was previously Director of Marketing and Communications at Cancer Council NSW, was a Director of Weave Youth and Community Services, and was on the Board of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA). Trudi is currently a Board Director of the Emergency Action Alliance and the new entity New Zealand for UNHCR.

At Australia for UNHCR, Trudi has led a number of strategic and fundraising projects, expanding UNHCR’s fundraising streams. She is also a leader in the international aid sector and chairs the Emergency Action Alliance Appeals Committee – a group of 15 Australian charities working together on humanitarian projects around the world. Trudi was also awarded FIA's 2021 Fundraiser of the Year.

Trudi Mitchell, Deputy National Director

Debra O'Neill

Strategic Development Director 

Debra is an experienced senior strategist with a track record of driving growth and innovation. She has worked with Australia for UNHCR for over 20 years, guiding organisational strategy, improving supporter experience, creating new innovative campaigns and forging new partnerships. Debra also leads on emergency response frameworks, and has led missions to many conflict zones including South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and East Timor. She is a passionate supporter of refugee women and girls and was instrumental in establishing the Leading Women Fund and also led on the development of the first high school in Nakivale camp, Uganda.

Prior to joining Australia for UNHCR, Debra worked as a Fundraising Consultant for Médecins Sans Frontières and The Smith Family, and was Head of Fundraising at UNICEF Australia. Debra was also seconded to UNHCR Geneva to help create global fundraising campaigns.

Debra O'Neill, Strategic Development Director

Catherine Harding, Chief Operating Officer

Catherine Harding

Chief Operating Officer

Catherine is the Chief Operating Officer at Australia for UNHCR, providing leadership to HR, Finance, International Programs, IT and Donor Care within the organisation.
Catherine has over 20 years’ experience working in the government, corporate and non-profit sectors across Australia. Passionate about social impact, her career has focused on social and economic policy, encompassing community development, human rights, health, justice, education and sport. She is experienced in developing organisational strategies to drive the growth and performance of organisations, and motivated by finding creative and innovative solutions to complex problems. Prior to joining Australia for UNHCR, Catherine was a Director at KPMG and served as a non-executive director for organisations including VicHealth and Vicsport. 

Annika Low

Head of Finance

Annika has worked with Australia for UNHCR since 2008 and has over 20 years of finance and accounting experience. Prior to joining Australia for UNHCR, Annika held positions in accounting and financial reporting in the private sector. Annika is a qualified CPA and has a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney.

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