We build a community that embraces diversity
We build a community that embraces diversity
Natalia is the Director and founder of Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours Inc., a for-purpose organisation born from the needs of the cultural and linguistically diverse communities of Gladstone in 2010. Natalia migrated to Australia in 1999 from Argentina. She is a mother of two primary school aged boys and lives between energetic Gladstone and beautiful Tannum Sands. Natalia works across the Central Queensland Region delivering and managing a range of projects to improve the wellbeing of CALD communities, increase cross cultural understanding and build partnerships in the sector. Natalia has a number of qualifications, including a Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety (with Distinction) and a Diploma of Business (Governance). Natalia is also a trained facilitator of evidence-based programs: Circle of Security® Parenting™, 1-2-3 Magic® & Emotion Coaching, Parents as Teachers, Seasons for Growth and LOVE BiTES. Other relevant education that has shaped Natalia include Partnering EssentialsTM programs in 2014 and the completion of Social Return on Investment (SROI) practitioner training in 2017.
Natalia is a very active member of her community and currently sits on a number of Boards including the Gladstone Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence as its Treasurer, the QCWA Tannum Sands as its Secretary and the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a board member. In her spare time, Natalia travels and roller skates.
Dana joined Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours Inc. as a Project Officer in August 2017. She assists with a number of programs, including grant applications, Skilling Queenslanders for Work projects, organisation of language and computer courses, parenting programs and reports. She is originally from Iowa in the United States where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management (with distinction) from Iowa Wesleyan College and played volleyball on a scholarship, as well. Dana moved to Australia at the end of 2008, made a home in Gladstone and later became an Australian citizen in 2014.
Dana is married and mother to an energetic toddler named Lincoln and her 4-legged fur baby, Rebel. She enjoys watching and playing a number of sports. In her spare time, Dana enjoys traveling back to Iowa to see her family, working out, running and being outdoors.
Elmira is a project officer of Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours Inc. Elmira and her husband moved to Australia in 2015 from Iran. Elmira has a number of qualifications, including a Bachelor and Master of Architecture and a diploma in Interior Design. She is passionate about empowering people to reach their best, specially CALD community to build their confidence in their new home. Her enthusiasm and creativity result in a community project of 72 m2 Artwork, the Unity Bricks, at Gladstone CBD. Elmira projects include coordinating Volunteers, the Gladstone Multicultural Playgroup and the Gladstone Linked community networking event. You will also see Elmira often out and about as she organises and runs WIN’s workshops and stalls at events and special occasions such as a Multicultural Week, Sunfest, Seniors Week, Under 8’s Week, Mental Health Week and other occasions in the Gladstone Region.
She is a very active member of the community, volunteering her time as committee member of the Gladstone Volleyball Association as its social media officer and a member of Volleyball Queensland. Elmira is also member of the Australian Red Cross and a founder member of Start-up Gladstone. In her spare time, Elmira watches movies and enjoy to scuba dive.
Lohnet has been a Project Officer in the Rockhampton office of Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours Inc. since April 2018. Lohnet is involved in the coordination and delivery of WIN’s Rockhampton projects including the Multicultural Playgroup, the Safer Pathways for CALD Women and Their Families Program and the Seasons for Growth grief and loss education program for children.
Lohnet was born in New Zealand and is of Maori heritage. Before moving to Australia, Lohnet worked as a Case Manager for Work and Income New Zealand assisting people into employment, connecting them to appropriate training or support services and administering benefit payments. It was in this job that she provided specific support and service to migrants, refugees and women affected by Domestic and Family Violence as the Migrant Centre and Women’s Shelter Liaison worker. Since coming to Rockhampton 3 years ago, Lohnet has worked at Relationships Australia as a receptionist and has been involved in the Gracemere Junior Rugby League Club volunteering her time with administration and social media support.
Crystal is our Program Coordinator at Welcome Intercultural Neighbours and has several years of experience as a registered facilitator for our evidence based programs such as Circle of Security, 123 Magic & Emotional Coaching, Engaging Adolescents, Seasons for Growth, LOVE BiTES and has many years of experience in the Community Service Sector. Crystal is currently completing her Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) at Central Queensland University.
Crystal lives in the picturesque Boyne Valley with her husband and 4 children, living off the grid and enjoying the challenges and experience building a self-sufficient lifestyle brings. In her spare time you will find her gardening and bushwalking with the children, enjoying the simple things nature has to offer.
Crystal is passionate about sharing information with parents that empowers them in what can sometimes be the most difficult role in their life. With knowledge comes choices, and Crystal works in group settings to ensure all parents and children walk away with a new set of ways to deal with difficult situations or other challenges in their lives.
Ivanka started volunteering for WIN Rockhampton in February this year and has now joined us as a staff member at the Rockhampton Inclusion Centre. She is a Program Assistant who will be facilitating the Multicultural Playgroup sessions and providing creche services during parenting programs.
Ivanka was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Australia with her husband in 2017. She lived in Mount Isa for almost one year before relocating to Rockhampton in August 2018. Ivanka obtained several qualifications from the Philippines, including a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, a Teaching certificate and a Kids and Families Yoga certificate through Rainbow Kids Yoga. She has recently completed her Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia. She has worked in the Early Childhood Education field since 2014 and has been a Lead Preschool Teacher involved in curriculum planning, development and implementation. Currently, she also works as an Assistant Educator at a daycare centre in Rockhampton. Ivanka is passionate about teaching children through play-based experiences and loves creating resources and activities for children. She is continuously updating herself with new teaching ideas, frameworks and strategies.
In her spare time, Ivanka loves to visit the library and borrow books. She enjoys watching movies, exploring events in town and trying out different cuisines with her husband.
Jessica Ponciano first joined WIN as a volunteer in 2017 and has since become a staff member in Gladstone. Her role is Program Assistant looking after child minding services during WIN’s parenting programs.
Jessica is originally from the Philippines and moved to Gladstone with her family in 2012. She is happily married with 2 beautiful sons, aged 13 and 9. She became an Australian citizen in 2014 and has gained qualifications in Certificate III in Retail, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Barista along with Provide first aid. Jessica has also taken part in English Conversational classes with WIN.
In her spare time, Jessica volunteers at her church and WIN and also enjoys cooking Filipino cuisines.
Rikki is an Administration Assistant at Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours Inc. He began working at WIN in July 2018 after serving in a volunteer role with the organisation since 2017. Rikki decided to volunteer with WIN as a way to put his computer skills to use while meeting new people and improving his English speaking skills. He took part in the Skilling Queenslanders for Work project to gain qualifications in Retail, RSA and Barista training in 2017. Rikki looks after the weekly and monthly newsletters for WIN along with social media and events promotion, Language Café and managing WIN’s youth group Gladstone Youth for Cultural Diversity (GYCD).
Rikki was born in the Philippines and migrated with his parents and two sisters to Australia in October 2016. He is the youngest child in his family with all older sisters. He has a particular interest in technology and enjoys taking photos of everything with an ambition to be a professional photographer one day.
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