We have an incredible team of dozens of people of colour – campaigners, creatives, storytellers, organisers, strategists and technologists with decades of experience creating change between us.

Take a look at some of the people involved in Democracy in Colour (with many more around the country – if you’d like to join us, click here).


Elisabeth Kava

Social Media Analyst

In a previous life, Lisa trained to be a physicist and mathematician, as a research assistant at UNSW and a college fellow at the University of Chicago. Lisa uses her data analysis and programming skills for social good, from her involvement with the Civic Tech community in Chicago to her current role as an economic analyst with the state government.  Lisa also uses her teaching experience as a regular volunteer with a local refugee community.

Lisa believes in broad-based participation as a key cornerstone to a healthy democracy, and in building platforms for amplifying the voices of marginalised peoples.

Umme Hoque

Deputy Director

A seasoned campaigner and organiser, she has nearly a decade of experience in reforming public policy, corporate behaviour and international and local norms with workers and community members from all walks of life.

Previously a journalist, she has a strong interest in utilising effective strategy, messaging and moments to bring people together to change workplaces, policy and our communities. She has developed and worked on winning campaigns in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, for unions, NGOs, community organisations, political parties, and environmental organisations.

Tim Lo Surdo

Founder and National Director

Tim works at United Voice as a Senior Organiser. Previously, Tim was the Head of Campaigns at Oaktree, has been an adviser to two Senators, directed national campaigns for an advocacy organisation in India, co-founded an international spoken word poetry platform, led communications for UN Youth Australia and organised young people in Queensland for the AYCC.

With a deep-seated belief in people-powered change, Tim has a burning passion for building a world where the inherent worth and dignity of everyone is recognised.

Deng Maleek Deng

Director of Community Engagement

Deng was born in South Sudan and now works at Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre (FKCLC), on a Police Accountability Project. His work is aimed at redressing racial profiling and discriminatory policing of young people from Indigenous, ethnic and religious backgrounds in Victoria.

Deng previously worked with Concern Australia in conjunction with Neighbourhood Justice Centre assisting young people in Juvenile Justice to end recidivism and breach of Court Orders and positively transit into the community. He was also part of the Atherton Garden’s Project’s Forum (Part of the Fitzroy Renewal Team).  He is in his final year studying Youth Work and Sport & Recreation Management at Victoria University.

Ricky Keung

NSW State Director & Digital Campaigner

With a background in Psychology and Finance, Ricky is passionate about the links between digital storytelling and social change, challenging the status quo and building a better economic narrative for all.

In a search for fulfilment, Ricky left his job in financial forecasting to learn about progressive politics, he went on to work at GetUp! as a trainee and has since worked as a Community Organiser and Digital Campaigner at Oxfam.

In his spare time, Ricky plays the bagpipes and has performed at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Australia and Scotland.

Neha Madhok

Digital Director

Neha has almost ten years of experience in Australian political campaigning and is driven by the power of grassroots organising to win tangible outcomes for social justice. Most recently she worked on the Yes campaign at Australian Marriage Equality, and as a Digital Campaigner at the Australian Services Union NSW & ACT. Previously she has worked for a NSW politician and was a Community Organiser on the Land Water Future campaign with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. Currently, Neha is working as a Campaigner at

In her spare time, you can find Neha at the beach, cuddling her cat, or tearing up a 90’s themed dance floor.

Ngaire Sidhu

Campaigns and Strategy Advisor

Ngaire initially became an activist with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) after witnessing coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. She has worked on a number of campaigns, including the Don’t Risk the Reef campaign, the Safe Climate Roadmap as well as numerous election campaigns in Canberra. She was the ACT’s AYCC State Coordinator in 2016 and helped run a successful youth enrolment and election campaign.

She has since moved to Melbourne where she works to educate activists and unions.She is very passionate about creating a better world for everyone. She also really likes reading books, drinking tea and cuddling cats.

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