UNSW Diversity Champions

The Diversity Champions’ role is to drive significant cultural change around equity, diversity and inclusion at UNSW. The five areas represented by the Champions are:

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Flexible Work and Leave
  • LGBTIQ - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer / Questioning

 


ArifaS

Arifa Sarfraz, Cultural Champion

Arifa is a passionate sustainability professional with over 17 years of experience in the field. She is a UNSW alumna and has worked in different areas of environmental sustainability across the campus.

In her current role as Sustainability Manager, Arifa facilitates the environmental sustainability vision, programme and engagement activities in the University. She supports the development and implementation of policies and strategies to ensure environmental compliance and sustainable practices. She is the lead for the engagement and awareness theme of UNSW’s latest Environmental Sustainability Plan.

Arifa is also a casual academic at UNSW Faculty of Build Environment. She is a certified Environmental Auditor and a trainer with extended experience of behaviour change management in complex higher education environment.

In 2017, Arifa’s community engagement-based recycling program at UNSW received a Green Gown Award from Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS).

 

“As a first generation, Muslim- female- migrant from Pakistan, a mum, student and part-time employee, I understand what it means to experience the challenges of diversity. I feel fortunate to be part of the change and hope to help to cultivate a culture and environment at UNSW where everyone feels safe, empowered and motivated to build a sustainable, socially just and emotionally fulfilling future.”


Learn more about Arifa here.

 
Alanya

Dr Alanya Drummond

Dr Alanya Drummond is a UNSW alumna and a Lecturer in the Interior Architecture program in the Built Environment (BE). She has also been integral in the training of the faculty's sessional staff and is part of the team hosting the Sessional Staff Community of Practice.


Alanya is a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in BE and has partnered to develop a peer-to-peer support resource called BE Inclusive. As the Faculty’s Academic Disability Advisor she has worked through a range of complex cases to support students with disability to achieve an equitable educational experience. Alanya is also a current member of the Disability Champion’s Working Group.


“Through my role as a diversity champion I will proactively support those experiencing disability related to physical or mental ill-health in our higher education. With lived experience of clinical anxiety, I will work to increase recognition of the breadth of circumstances that disable people, and how to manage common trigger situations in the classroom.”

 

“I hope to develop further peer-to-peer resources on how to behave inclusively on campus, plus boost the availability of RUOK practices to embed within our teaching and learning. I am especially passionate about ensuring our community is equipped with the communication tools to confidently ask for help in challenging moments.”

 

Alanya is also involved in local government and is a current elected Councillor for North Sydney Council where she is working to ensure the implementation of the municipality’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

 
JanelleW

Vinita Chanan (shared role) Gender Champion

Vinita Chanan is Director, Alliances at UNSW. She is responsible for the development and management of strategic partnerships, including the PLuS Alliance, NUW Alliance, Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) and Sydney Quantum Academy. She undertakes strategic planning and business development and evaluates programs and initiatives delivered through the Global Learning Network and Global Knowledge Network of the PLuS Alliance.

Vinita’s previous experience in the sector includes the role of Senior Manager, Research Partnerships at UNSW, Bid Director, and Project Manager of large international development projects.

“I am a woman, a mother and a migrant,” says Vinita. “I believe in a gender-balanced workplace to foster excellence and innovation. As a professional staff member in higher education for over 20 years. I experienced the challenges of developing a fulfilling career path, benefitting from opportunities to grow personally and professionally. “It is refreshing to see the focus on diversity and inclusion in the 2025 Strategy, and its representation in the University’s performance measures. “As part of my role as a gender diversity champion, I will listen to your gender issues, and be a lobbyist for gender equity in the UNSW community.” Vinita has an MBA and a Master of Environmental Management and is a member of the Project Management Institute.

 
AdrienneT

Adrienne Torda (shared role) Gender Champion

Adrienne Torda is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW Sydney. She is a leader in medical education and educational innovator and has won the Medicine Faculty award for Excellence in Teaching in 2017. She has a special interest in educational innovation and has developed a number of ways of incorporating digital innovations into teaching medical students including online learning tools. She has also co-developed executive education programs for development of other faculty and has taught medical educators internationally.

She is also a senior clinician at Prince of Wales hospital, specialising in Infectious Diseases. Her main areas of clinical research include immunisation of patients with special needs, antibiotic allergies, prevention of cellulitis and prosthetic joint infections.

Adrienne is a leader in gender equity and has attended the Harvard Medical school course for Developing Leadership in Women in Healthcare in 2018. She currently chairs the Women in Medicine committee at Prince of Wales hospital, is the patron of the UNSW Women in Medicine society and co-founder of the WimWam mentoring program for medical students at UNSW. She is involved in a number of programs to encourage, mentor and support female medical students and junior doctors as they navigate their career progression into more senior roles.


“I have a fractional appointment at UNSW and another at Prince of Wales Hospital, have four children and work as an education-focussed academic. These were all things I was told would hinder my career progression, but they haven’t.  As a woman who juggles career and family and embraces it all, I want to help other women – both students and staff. I am passionate about improving gender equity by broadening opportunities, role models and mentors.”


Learn more about Adrienne here

 

Patrick Armstrong, Flexible Work and Leave Champion

Patrick joined UNSW in 2017 to build and lead the newly formed internal communications area within the Division of External Relations. He has more than 20 years’ experience across multiple communications disciplines. These include internal, external and B2B communications; corporate affairs; journalism; strategic and change communications; issues management; sustainability; equity, diversity and inclusion; employee engagement; social media; and video production.

Before joining the higher education sector, Patrick worked across several industries including financial services; engineering; IT; government; media; film and television; advertising; and consultancy. 

Patrick holds Master and Bachelor qualifications in Communications, Journalism and Media Production. He is a Board Director at the NSW Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

Patrick is a sessional academic at UNSW Business School and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He specialises in Communications, Public Relations & Marketing. Patrick is a globally accredited Strategic Communications Management Professional (SCMP).


“I have been a long-term advocate of flexible work and leave options and support my team here at UNSW with several flexible work options. These include job shares, part-time work and the option to work from home as needed. My view is that by giving people flexible work to suit their family and other commitments, they are more engaged and productive. I was fortunate to be a stay-at-home dad for a period when my son was very young. That was 13 years ago, and it was considered very unusual at the time. It’s encouraging to see the Australian workplace has changed since then, but there is still a long way to go.”


Learn more about Patrick here.


BridgetH

Bridget Haire, LGBTIQ Champion

Bridget Haire is an NHMRC early career fellow at the Kirby Institute, and lectures in public health and medical ethics. Prior to academia she worked in HIV and sexual and reproductive health for more than 20 years as a journalist, editor, policy analyst and advocate. Bridget is a member of the Australian Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Diseases, the African-led Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium, and a former consultant for the Australia-China Human Rights Technical Co-operation Program on sexual and reproductive health rights for the Australian Human Rights Commission. She also served on the Data Safety Monitoring Board for the South African HIV prevention study CAPRISA 008 as a medical ethicist and is the medical ethicist on the NSW HIV Assessment Panel for People who Put Others at Risk of HIV. Bridget’s research interests are ethical issues in infectious disease control with an emphasis on underserved or marginalised populations, gender, and sexual and reproductive health.  Bridget was the President of Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) from 2015-2018.


“Since 2015, I have co-facilitated the Ally training at UNSW with Clare Ellis. Through this I have learned an enormous amount about the kinds of stigma and discrimination staff and students have experienced because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. I have been particularly struck by the people’s differences can create vulnerabilities. This role is an opportunity to build a culture that has zero tolerance for bigotry of any kind.”


Learn more about Bridget here

More information

For more information on initiatives related to staff visit the UNSW Workplace Diversity site
For information on student equity initiatives visit the UNSW Student Equity support