Farah Al Amin was born and raised in Malaysia before coming to Australia as a student in 2005. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication, she went on to pursue a Master Degree in Film and Television Studies where her true passion lies. Her line of work in producing focuses on co production work with Asia, aside from being involved in organizing several international film festivals in Melbourne.
Farah believes that the medium in which she works with serves as a powerful tool for storytelling and allows for the universal language of love and compassion to be shared across continents. When she was asked to produce the Melbourne leg of the documentary following the journey of the PDI Choir on their “Voices for the Voiceless Tour” in March 2013, little did she know the impact that it was going to have on her life. So strong was the influence that the PDI team had on her that she made her first trip to Swaziland 3 months later in June, which further sealed the love that was already growing rapidly.
Farah believes the amount of love and compassion that stems from each member of PDI and its holistic approach towards dealing with adverse circumstances makes the organization as unique and warm as it is, and strongly feels that the incredible stories within the group needs to be shared with the international community.
Julia Da Rocha is more than a graphic designer. When Julia is not designing for Corporate America, she uses her background in marketing and design to help others achieve their success. She is known for her kindness, positive outlook, generosity and humanitarian nature.
She began her career creating designs for non-profit organizations in her local community such as the YMCA, The Humane Society and other pet rescue organizations. She has taught portfolio and graphic design workshops for graduating students at the University of Florida and local community college.
Julia currently resides in Florida where she works as a senior graphic designer for a marketing firm. She and her sister – Judith, have received Honorable Mention for the 2009 New York Book Festival on their first children’s book titled “I love the World because…” and she is currently illustrating their second children’s book on pet adoption. Her artwork was recently displayed in a New York Art Gallery.
Mandy Hubbard (BSc, MPH, MSc) was born in Swaziland she is of Swazi and Australian descent, and left for Australia over 20yrs ago. Currently employed as a Hospital Scientist, with over 15 years experience, Mandy has a keen interest in Public Health Ethics and Equity. Her passion for her home country and the social issues surrounding the HIV/AIDS are the main reasons for committing to the PDI dream.
Mandy also lectures 4th year medical students in Society and Health for the University of New South Wales, giving them insight to the social issues that are faced in Sub Saharan Africa. Frequent visits to family in Soweto and Swaziland keep her in touch with the social and financial impacts of HIV/AIDS. When she’s not working, Mandy enjoys running, yoga and spending time with family and friends.
Hui Ling is a medical doctor working in Melbourne, Australia. She recently completed an honours research degree studying the effects of HIV and ageing. She was born in Malaysia and immigrated to Australia at a young age.
Hui Ling is passionate about social equity, and end-of-life care. She believes that the strength of Possible Dreams International is its deep respect and love for the people of Swaziland.
One of her most important guiding principles comes from “Vula Bevalile” a collection of stories written by Dr. Maithri about Swaziland: “Healthcare in Africa and around the world is at its best when it addresses a basic primordial human need: the need for someone to look in your eyes and say simply, from the heart ‘My brother, my sister, sawubona, I see you.'”
Nishani is a medical doctor working in Melbourne, Australia. She recently completed an Honours research year exploring perinatal mental health in women of refugee background. She was born in Melbourne to parents who migrated from Sri Lanka. Her past roles include Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) Global Health Education Officer and Recruitment and Training Officer at Embrace Education, a not-for-profit that strives to address educational inequality by offering free tutoring to students from refugee, recent migrant and low SES backgrounds. Nishani is an idealist who feels honoured to join the other dreamers with kind eyes and hearts at PDI. She firmly believes in PDI’s mission to support and work alongside communities in solidarity to create sustainable solutions.
Rob Wood is passionate about giving back to the community and has a wealth of experience working with community organisations. He has been a host at the Australia Pacific Centre for the Initiatives of Change for 28 years with his partner, Cheryl. He is a co-ordinator of the Life Matters life direction and leadership programs for 23 years. He is a board member for Lentil As Anything, and an advisor for the Afghan Australia Initiative.
Rob has travelled and worked extensively in Asia. He is also a talented musician, singer and song-writer, having participated in three international musical shows. He has also undertaken training in centre management and modern languages.
Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke is a medical doctor and the founder of Possible Dreams International. Immigrating to Australia from Sri Lanka at an early age, he studied medicine at the University of Melbourne and has worked throughout Australia and parts of Africa as both a general medical and emergency registrar. In Swaziland, he has been responsible for setting up an organisation which provides emergency medical relief to those living with HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and extreme poverty as well as providing sustainable development solutions such as access to clean water, agriculture, income generation and housing. When not in Swaziland or working in rural Australia he resides in Melbourne, Australia with his family.