Generation West is the Dialogue’s youth advisory panel, consisting of a diverse group of young people with a vision for Western Sydney to grow.
Bess is currently completing her Master of Public Policy at the University of Sydney, having completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts, Government and International Relations, there in 2018. Coming from regional New South Wales, Bess is passionate about addressing geographical inequality within Australia, particularly education based. Bess served on her college’s inaugural Equality Committee in 2018, and hopes to work to lessen gender inequality with a particular focus on lowering rates of domestic violence, an issue central to the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue which Bess is currently contributing to as part of her internship.
Matilda Harry is a 21 year old proud Wiradjuri woman who is passionate about making positive social change through education. She is commencing her Masters degree at Western Sydney University and through further research, volunteering at grass-roots levels and being a voice on boards and commissions she has made significant changes for Western’s Sydney’s community as she advocates for those less fortunate. She is a leader and youth voice on local, state and national levels and volunteers across many organisations, especially those within her community.
Matilda empowers NSW’s young mob by mentoring through Pathways to Dreaming and the Kimberwalli Centre. She has also been a Reading Ambassador and volunteer at Riding of Disabled, Rotary and has spent time volunteering in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
Matilda is particularly passionate about women’s rights and equality and not only inspires young women rather she empowers, advocates, mentors and raises their voices. Her passion, drive and story motivates all, as despite coming from humble beginnings her leadership and community service is recognised within her achievement of the Premier's Young Volunteer of the Year, the Young Woman of the West and the 2019 Zest Outstanding Youth and Unsung-Hero Awards. Whilst receiving such recognition for effort, her service within community, especially the success of her young students, remains her most proud achievement.
Lakshmi Logathassan is a law and international studies graduate ('18) from Western Sydney University (WSU) who recently commenced her career in law and public policy. As a Graduate in the 2019 NSW Government Graduate Program, she is currently undertaking her first rotation with the Ministry of Health in industrial relations. Lakshmi also sits as an advisory member on Parramatta City Council’s Smart City Advisory Committee.
Lakshmi is an emerging young voice who is involved in a range of initiatives that make a positive impact in the community, particularly in the area of access to education. Her efforts as founder and coordinator of The Laptop Project are enabling hundreds of disadvantaged students gain access to a digital education. Lakshmi was recognised as the 2014 NSW Young Woman of the Year and she also received the WSU Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship.
During her studies, as a recipient of the Australian Government's prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship, Lakshmi studied at the National University of Singapore and worked with in-house counsel at BHP Billiton's Asia Headquarters in Singapore.
Lakshmi is passionate and fascinated about the important role that public policy plays in shaping and imagining the future of Australia and all Australians. She hopes to continue making meaningful contributions and growing her knowledge in this space.
Rameen is a fifth year Chemical Engineering/Law Student at the University of Sydney. She is passionate about social justice and the role of technology and storytelling in creating meaningful representation of underrepresented communities.
As a frequent performer and volunteer with the Bankstown Poetry Slam, Rameen has performed at the Sydney Writers Festival, Biennale of Sydney and Bankstown Poetry Slam's Grand Slam. She has been involved in a number of youth leadership initiatives including the US Consulate Youth Advisory Council, BYDS RESPECT Program and the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering's Inclusion program for Women in STEM. Rameen has also interned at the Refugee Advice and Casework Service, PwC and BHP and is currently an energy researcher at the University of Sydney.
Born and raised in Bankstown, Catherine is the Events & Communications Officer at the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, where she is responsible for delivering a range of initiatives, from the VIP Boardroom Dinner series and industry workshops, to the Dialogue’s Best of the West publication and general communications.
Catherine has been involved in a range of volunteering and leadership programs, including leading the UTS chapter of international student organisation, AIESEC. Catherine holds a BA in Communications and BA in International Studies from the University of Technology Sydney, specialising in information management and Japanese.
She is passionate about diverse representation in media, events and leadership, and is interested in showcasing the best of what multicultural Western Sydney has to offer.
An alumnus of Western Sydney University, Andrew completed his Bachelor of Business (International Business) degree having accumulated a comprehensive range of skillsets through 8 sponsored experiences abroad which took the form of internships, conferences, study tours and exchanges in Vietnam, China, India, Thailand and the UK. This included work in delivering ‘Vietnam’s Innovation Ecosystem’ report for 2019 with Austrade in addition to being a National Australia Bank sponsored Scholar on the inaugural Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s East London Study tour.
He has received various awards in recognition of his leadership capabilities, competence and potential through Western Sydney University’s Citizen Scholar Award, News Corp’s ‘Go West’ Mentoring Scholarship, the Dean’s Merit List, The Academy Community Leadership Scholarship, the Australia-China Bridging Cultures Scholarship and The Academy’s Collegiate Award for excellence in academic, community engagement and leadership.
Andrew is passionate about international business development and continues to sustain and expand networks both domestically and abroad through his appointment as 1 of 43 New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassadors in Australia for the Federal Government’s strategic signature initiative within the Indo-Pacific region as chosen by Asialink Business and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
An ambitious boy from Cabramatta, Andrew is a proud member of Australia’s growing multicultural community and aims to contribute towards closing the gap in unemployment, education and mental health in addition to advocating for cultural inclusion, acceptance and equal opportunity within the workforce.