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Diversity Key to Auspire Ambassador Program

  • May 5, 2021

Each year Auspire invites outstanding community members to join its Ambassador program and in turn become members of its Inspiring Australian’s Network. During the year, Ambassadors volunteer their time to visit local communities throughout Western Australia to share their personal stories of their Australian experience and discuss topics such as identity, values, culture and inclusion. Community engagement opportunities often coincide with key dates throughout the year such as Harmony Week, Reconciliation Week, Naidoc Week and of course Australia Day.

Newest Auspire Ambassador appointments include Dr Rishelle Hume AM and Mr Nilesh Makwana. Ms Hume is a proud Noongar Woman with traditional ties to the Whadjuk, Ballardong and Gnaala Karla Boodja peoples. Rishelle is a Diversity and Inclusion Business Advisor Eurasia Pacific with Chevron Australia, recently retired Auspire Board Member and as such will take on the role of Lead Ambassador of the year.

“My twenty plus years in Aboriginal engagement ranging from employment, education, justice and health means I have many stories and experiences to share about the unique perspectives of our first nations peoples,” Ms Hume said.  “In particular I am hoping my personal story as an Aboriginal woman in business and leadership may inspire others.”

In contrast to Ms Hume’s 2,000 years of unbroken family connection to Perth and the surrounding region Mr Nilesh Makwana is one of Australia’s newest citizens arriving in Australia in 2012 and receiving his citizenship in 2019. Since migrating, Mr Makwana has worked tirelessly to make his adopted home more inclusive.

Nilesh is CEO of Illuminance Solutions, a Microsoft technology Social Impact advisory and consultancy, and Founder of West Tech Assemblage, an event promoting innovation and cross-industry collaboration. He is also founder of Borderless Gandhi, a non-profit organisation promoting Gandhi’s message of peace, equality and nonviolence through various artistic reflections and social media.

“By sharing my story, I aim to inspire other international students and new Australians to be active citizens and to drive business, government, academia and community to better collaborate in mutually beneficial ways,” Mr Makwana said. Nilesh is dedicated to making a social impact by focusing on workplace diversity, social inclusion and digital literacy.

“Ambassadors are selected in recognition of their achievements, diversity and great Aussie values, and for their positive contribution to our National Identity.” said Morgen Lewis CEO at Auspire. “We are privileged to welcome these two new Ambassadors to our Inspiring Australians Network and are excited about the opportunities ahead for them to encourage community engagement and social inclusion.” she added.

For more information about the Auspire Ambassador program call 0499 111 944 or visit Auspire.org.au

Media Contact: Anne-Marie Farley, General Manager Programs

Auspire – Australia Day Council WA

Office: 0499 111 944

Mobile: 0412 309 340

Email: [email protected]

Background Bios of Ambassadors

Dr Rishelle Hume AM

Rishelle Hume is a proud Noongar Woman with traditional ties to the Whadjuk, Ballardong and Gnaala Karla Boodja peoples. She is the current Diversity and Inclusion Business Advisor Eurasia Pacific with the Chevron Corporate Office Global Diversity, Inclusion and Ombuds.

Rishelle has over 25 plus years’ experience in Aboriginal engagement ranging from employment, education, justice and health. She is actively involved in the Aboriginal community within the Perth region. Rishelle has added value to Aboriginal advancement in WA by demonstrating Aboriginal leadership and is seen as a professional figurehead within WA to approach to engage the Aboriginal communities and coordinating approaches in dealing with these state Aboriginal matters.

Rishelle is a recipient of the 2016 Western Australian of the Year Award – Aboriginal Category Winner, an inductee into the 2017 Little Athletics Australia Roll of Excellence (Hall of Fame) in the Achievers Category, an inaugural inductee on the 2018 WA Roll of Excellence in the Achievers Category for Little Athletics WA. In 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Rishelle was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia AM division. In 2019 she was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame for her service to the Aboriginal community and received the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy 2020 Outstanding Woman in Resources Award and recently was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Edith Cowan University.

Nilesh Makwana

Nilesh is the CEO of Illuminance Solutions, a national technology company he co-founded with his business partner, Vincent Lam. The company is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Social Impact and provides technology consulting and professional services throughout Australia. Under Nilesh’s leadership, illuminance has created software products to fill a gap in support for those living with disability, Indigenous Native title trusts and corporations, and the elderly.

Nilesh’s community activities are driven by a focus on empathy and creating social impact for the betterment of society. He has worked tirelessly to eliminate the digital literacy gap in Indigenous communities and throughout regional Western Australia by providing countless hours of free technical training. Nilesh is the founder of West Tech Assemblage, an event for tech leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators to promote cross-industry collaboration. With his wife, Lene, he co-founded Borderless Gandhi, a non-profit organisation promoting Gandhi’s message of peace, equality and nonviolence through various artistic reflections and social media.

Nilesh is a 40 Under 40 Award Winner and recipient of the 2020 City of Perth Strategic Alignment – Business Migrant of the Year Award. He has also been recognised as 2019 CXO Disruptor of the Year, 2019 Global Microsoft Partner of the Year and as WA Business News 2019 Rising Star for Diversity.

Nilesh has a Master of Management Information System from Edith Cowan University and Honours degree from University of West London. Nilesh is also a frequent media commentator in local, state, and national publications.

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