Executive Committee / Advisory Members

Executive Members
jamuna
Jamuna Parajuli
President- Founding / Executive committee of DBSV

Jamuna Parajuli | RN,MWH,MSA,PhD
Founder and President of Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria (DBSV)
Awards: Honouring Women in Moreland 2017, Multicultural Award for Excellence 2017,
Ashwarya Bidhya Padak -1998
Works for Refugees and Asylum seekers at Your Community Health
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A feminist and strong advocate for women’s rights and gender equality with excellence in
women’s health, women empowerment and women’s participation in leadership, Jamuna gives
her best-self to support women from multicultural communities. Influenced by the feminist
principle, she puts a high value on women’s strength and recognises the difficulties that women
face to exceed their true potentials in their new country . Being a President of a successful,
proactive and powerful women’s organisation in Victoria run by a group of amazing, talented,
multi-skilled group of women, she urges all women ‘to value strength within’ to take up inspired
actions. Migrated into Australia 18 years ago and mother of three kids, she continuously craving
to see the ‘attitude shift’ in our society to value women’s abilities unconditionally.

Prabha Shrestha
Vice President

Health professional, working as a community health nurse and rehabilitation nurse in public sector, Victoria and highly committed and passionate about working towards health and wellbeing as well as family relationship building through working together as a team within a specific culturally and linguistically diversified community. Respect everyone’s views and culture that doesn’t harm to others and believe every one is a potential to support each other to enhance the physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual.

Winner of Gender and Equity award of city of Melton council 2021, Honoured by Aishworya Bidhya Padak’ (Gold Medallist, Bachelor of Nursing) and prizes for the excellence achievement in SLC.

Shova
Shova Lamsal
Secretary (DBSV) / Specialist Family Violence

I am highly committed and passionate about working towards gender equality through empowerment. I believe understanding individual rights, awareness of supports available and sense of belongingness to the community are vital to foster identity with high self-esteem. After the completion of Master of Social Work from Monash University, I have been working as a Family Violence Practitioner with a family violence service and Community Engagement Worker at the Northern Community Legal Centre respectively for about two years. Prior to having been employed in these roles, I worked as the Head of the English Department/ Senior English Lecturer in an institution affiliated to the Tribhuvan University, Nepal for seven years and  I also hold a one-year master’s degree in education from the Latrobe University.

My association with DBSV commenced about 2 years ago with the commitment to working together with our communities aiming to address emerging issues like family violence, mental health issues and increasing isolation through various programs and positive engagement with an intense focus on awareness raising. If you would like further information, please contact me via: shovalamsal@gmail.com

smriti
Smriti Ghimire
Co-Secretary

A researcher by profession, I have been active in my PhD life, as a student representative in various university committees, and as a councilor of the Graduate Student Association, The University of Melbourne. I have also led the Nepalese student’s society at The University of Melbourne, and believe that the experience gained from these leadership roles has prepared me for the Executive position of Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria.

I have been associated with this organization since 2015, and the warmth, kindness, and support of the sisters are what I love about Didibahini Samaj.

Find me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/smriti-ghimire-4b0581140/

Benju Gnawali Nepal
Treasurer (DBSV)

I am registered nurse by profession, passionate in learning new skills and sharing knowledge. I have strong inclination towards social work working towards women’s wellbeing. Being a mother, wife, daughter and a professional, I aspire to bring changes in people’s lives by creating example and breaking ceiling.

Sanjana Shrestha
Executive member/expert library partnership program

Sanjana has been with READ Nepal for fourteen years and has served as Nepal Country Director from January 2009 – Feb 2018. She is currently holding the position as Senior Program Specialist of READ Global and overseeing program in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Cote d’Ivoire. Prior to READ, Sanjana was a Project Coordinator and Researcher with the Manushi for Sustainable Development organisation in Nepal.

Sanjana was also involved in project evaluation work in various organisations such as Save the Children US, Winrock International and German Technical Cooperation. Sanjana’s expertise and facilitation skills have been critical in expanding the READ model to India and Bhutan. Sanjana serves as the READ Global representative for Beyond Access, a joint initiative of organizations working to raise awareness of the powerful role that libraries can serve as hubs for economic and social change.

Sanjana received a Nomura Centre CONFINTEA scholarship from the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL) and had an article based on empirical research showing the impact of sustainable community libraries. Sanjana was also appointed an advisory board member of Association of International Non- Government Organizations in Nepal (AIN) and has served as an International Advisory Board Member for the Access to Learning Award of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in humanities and Social Science from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. She is currently pursuing PhD at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

Jharana Bhattarai
Executive member

Jharana is a fun-loving, extrovert, blunt humanoid,  feminist,  activist, urbanists and mother who believes in making a positive impact on people’s lives through her professional and social exertions. She is beholden to be part of the DBSV which unbolts the access to and in their various stimulating goings-on. Jharana does not believe in fame and statuses and finds happiness in giving than takings. A researcher of sustainable urban planning and University Academic by profession, She has been a part of the Australian community for ten years. Want to know more about her experiences and share yours, please contact her via this email. bjharana@gmail.com

Anjana Nepal
Executive and Founding member of DBSV/library liaison coordinator

DBSV founder secretary & current executive member. Anjana takes self-initiative to create new program ideas and activities that are targeted for social inclusion and that embrace social cohesion. Her leadership style as a young woman and her approach to work in the group had been highly appreciated by the team members. In actual sense, she is a ‘role model’ for many other young women to take leadership and to speak up for their own rights and benefits.

Overall, her passion to work for women in general, creativity and ‘can do attitude’ weigh up significantly high to broaden our (DBSV) value to work for women in need

geeta
Geeta Thapa Chhetri
Executive Member/ Learning support officer

As women, we are all beautiful, strong and are capable of uplifting other women instead of tearing them down. I try to cultivate positivity among others with my optimistic attitude and with an open heart, on top of my work life. I have faith  in myself so that I can continue to rise up and pursue my future goals. I value equality and teamwork. I believe that a strong team involves dignity, respect and equal opportunities to all. Together we can change the whole world!

Kamala Chalise Humagain
Executive Member of DBSV

RN, Postgraduate in clinical Nursing, BN, B Ed, Cert IV Training and Assessment
Registered Nurse in Coronary care Unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital
Achievement: Aishrya Bidya Padak 2008 and Nepal Bidya Bhusan 2008 (Educational gold medal from
President of Nepal).
Advocates for women’s empowerment, and gender equality.
Keen interest in community and socialization activities for social and cultural integration.Firmly believe in integrity, openness and positivity.
Script writing: Short movie on Domestic Violence -“Aba Ta Ma Bolchhu” meaning (I will Speak now)
Research: Satisfaction of Elderly with family care at Chitwan, Nepal, Tribhuvan university, 2007
Willing to further expand in clinical education and public health research

Barsha KC Raj Bhandari
Executive member (DBSV)

As the eighth child of my parents and pampered sibling of 3 sisters and 4 brothers , my childhood was super cool. But I was always determined and focused on my passion for  advocating against injustice, discrimination and family violence. I often
voiced and acted on behalf of the vulnerable regardless of my age, ability or knowledge on the matter because that urge and energy to act for justice was / is within my blood. The peace and
happiness I find in people’s eyes when I manage to provide them any emotional, spiritual, financial or technical support empowers them and I get stronger in my vow to work for the community.
My association with  Nepalese and Multicultural communities started from my childhood and has further enhanced as Executive Team member of Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria ( DBSV) and Coordinator of Western Suburb( Melton Unit).
I did schooling  from St.Mary’s High School and Diploma in Architectural Engineering from Pulchowk Engineering College, worked in Nepal, Europe and Australia in various engineering, customer service and marketing services but my passion is being the voice of the vulnerables and empowering them to
fight against all odds with self dignity and values.
Hence ,my motto in life is:

“Listen to your inner voice and act in good faith to help anyone in need. The journey may be hard but not impossible. Do not hesitate to stand alone if need be for truth rather than be in crowd for lies.”

Nirmala Neupane
Executive member of DBSV

Nirmala Nyaupane is Director of Nursing/Facility Manager at Homestyle Aged Care Services. She has previously worked in Southern Africa for 9 years. Has liaised with various community members and stakeholders. Passionate to work in social work and community work.

Lina Gubhaju
Executive Member

Lina Gubhaju is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her research interest is in the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young people.

Lina has been an executive committee member of Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria for the past couple of years and is keen to help support the health and wellbeing of Nepalese people here in Australia. She is also actively involved as a committee member of ‘Hamro Nepali Pathshala’ a
Nepalese language school to teach children Nepalese language and traditions.

Anju Adhikari
Executive member of DBSV

Education:
Bachelor in journalism, T.U
Diploma in community service, C.d.u

Interests:
passionate about women empowerment, and gender equality.

Keen to learn and share knowledge with others.

Ruchee Bansal Gautam
Executive member of DBSV

Executive Committee
2017 - 2019

  1. Jamuna Parajuli (President)
  2. Jharana Bhattarai (Vice – President)
  3. Shova Lamsal (Secretary)
  4. Kabita Neupane (Co-secretary)
  5. Prabha Shrestha (Treasurer)
  6. Benju Gnawali (Co-Treasurer)
  7. Barsha KC Rajbhandary (member)
  8. Kamala Chalise (member)
  9. Sanjana Shrestha (member)
  10. Smriti Ghimire (member)
  11. Sabita Bhattarai (member)
  12. Kalpana Sapkota (member)
  13. Raj Shrestha (member)
  14. Nirmala Neupane (member)
  15. Geeta Nayak Chhetri(member)
  16. Anjana Panta (member)

Advisory Committee
Dr. Ann Marie Diggins
Advisor

Dr Ann Marie Diggins: Adviser DBSV
General Practitioner [GP]: Working in Melbourne, very analytical with a strong argument, detail in organisational policy, law and rules. A true believer, in women’s power.

Tina Lyndon
Advisor

I was admitted to practise as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1980 and practised as a solicitor until 2006 in a variety of capacities including having my own practice and management. I was ordained as a minister in the Uniting church in 2011 and have served as a minister in Eltham Montmorency Uniting and Glenroy Pascoe Vale Uniting Churches.

I’ve travelled widely and love Australia’s multicultural community. I’m been involved with interfaith dialogue over the years. As a writer and photographer I’m interested in people’s spiritual journeys and I’m in the process of setting up a website exploring those journeys called Heartfelt Journeys and have set up a group Facebook called Heartfelt Journeys.

I’ve travelled to Nepal four times visiting Lang Tang, Annapurna and Everest regions and have spent twenty-one days in silence learning Vipassana insight meditation from Burmese monks, including Saradaw Pandita and have experienced kindness from many people in Nepal. I will keep on returning to Nepal with its beautiful people and country.

I have a commitment to supporting charities and organisations who work towards improving education in Nepal and rebuilding schools after the devastating earthquake in 2015.

I’m honoured to be a member of Didi Bahini Samaj’s Advisory Committee.

Colleen Rolls
RN; RM; Child Health Cert; BAppsSc(AdvNurs); GradDipChildDev; MEdStudies; PhD.

Colleen has a long history of involvement with Nepal after receiving a Rotary International Scholarship enabling her to spend seven months as a visiting university lecturer at Tribhuvan University, Institute of Medicine, Nursing Campus, Maharjgunj in 1995. Whilst in Nepal Colleen developed an interest in the social and cultural situation of Nepalese women particularly related to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting and for some women following migration to Australia. The time in Nepal led to her PhD study at University of Sydney titled Women of Nepal: Childbearing and early parenting experiences in their mother country and Australia.

The professional development of nursing in Nepal is another of her interests particularly encouraging competency based midwifery education. Many discussions occurred with nursing colleagues supportive of the advancement of professional nursing and midwifery practice in Nepal. Resources such as textbooks, professional contacts and websites were provided to Nepal Nursing Association colleagues. From these activities links with Nepali nurse migrants to Melbourne has occurred, supporting many nurses to successfully obtain higher education qualifications and employment.

A commitment to support Nepalese women and children in Nepal and Australia is paramount for Colleen. That is why she is a loyal member of DBSV assisting the management committee in any way she can. DBSV values of women’s empowerment and children’s education through fund raising, lobbying and community participation are so worthy of support. For Colleen involvement with the vibrant and growing Nepalese community in Victoria is such a rewarding experience.

Laxmi Yonzon
Advisor

A warm hearted, kind, and supportive person with lots of insights, Laxmi continues to ignite us to grow and spread above and beyond. She always creates a very conducive environment and provides lots of support in various aspects. Her unconditional support is invincible for DBSV.

Roshan Bhandari
Roshan Bhandari
Advisor

Roshan Bhandary is the Executive Manager –Capacity Building and Projects at InTouch. She has worked in the area of violence against women, social justice and community development for over 20 years. She worked closely with marginalised women in her home country Nepal before pursuing her Master’s degree in the United States where she worked in the area of family violence and human trafficking. Being a migrant woman and from a CALD background herself, she brings a lot of experience and expertise in working with multicultural communities. At inTouch, she has played a central role in the development and implementation of approximately 30 innovative projects including few award winning projects across the continuum of family violence. She continues her passion for supporting, encouraging and inspiring women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. In August 2012, Roshan received the Empowering Monash Women Award. In 2015 she was inducted into Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll for her exemplary contribution to multicultural communities in Victoria . She has been an advisory member of Didi Bahini Samaj since 2017

Founding Members
Founding
Group (2012)

  1. Jamuna Parajuli (Founding president)
  2. Prabha Devi Shrestha (Founding member)
  3. Durga Parajuli (Founding member)
  4. Anjana Nepal(Founding member)
  5. Sabitra Kaphle (Founding member)
  6. Suman Shah (Founding member)
  7. Roshani Shrestha (Founding member)

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