Executive Committee

Dr David Mickler is the Founding Director of the UWA Africa Research & Engagement Centre (AfREC) following his initial development of the UWA Africa Research Cluster in 2015. He is a Senior Lecturer in Foreign Policy & International Relations in the School of Social Sciences and also a Fellow of the UWA Public Policy Institute. Dr Mickler was previously a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Melbourne, where he led the Faculty Africa Regional Strategy Group, and he has been a visiting scholar at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and at the African Union Commission. Dr Mickler was the inaugural Co-Chair of the Worldwide Universities Network’s Global Africa Group (2016-18) and he has co-convened at UWA the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) Annual Forum each year since 2016. Dr Mickler also co-convened at UWA the 39th Annual Conference of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP, 2016) and the National African-Australian Diaspora Engagement Conference (NAADEC, 2019). Dr Mickler’s research examines Africa’s regional governance and international relations, including Australia-Africa relations, and his books include New Engagement: Contemporary Australian Foreign Policy Towards Africa (MUP 2013), The African Union: Challenges of Peace, Security and Governance (Routledge 2016) and Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals (Springer 2019). He was also Co-Editor of the AFSAAP journal Australasian Review of African Studies in 2015-16 and he supervises several African and African-Australian PhD candidates. Dr Mickler teaches POLS3334 The International Politics of Africa, POLS5671 Peace and Security in Africa and leads a multi-partner postgraduate education collaboration on the international relations of the Indian Ocean region. For his deep engagement with African communities in Australia, Dr Mickler won the Community Pillar Award at the Western Australian African Community Awards 2018 convened by the Organisation of African Communities in WA.


Dr Dominic Dagbanja

Dr Dominic Npoanlari Dagbanja is a Lecturer in Law at The University of Western Australia Law School. He previously worked at The University of Manchester Law School in the United Kingdom as a Research Associate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at The University of Auckland Law School in New Zealand. He practiced law with the corporate and commercial law firm of Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah and was a Senior Legal Officer at the Public Procurement Authority both in Accra, Ghana. He was also a Senior Intern at International Law Institute in Washington DC. Dr Dagbanja has published extensively on international investment law and public procurement law in peer-review journals and yearbooks, including in: Transnational Legal Theory, The Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, African Journal of International and Comparative Law, Journal of African Law and Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy. Dr Dagbanja is the author of The Law of Public Procurement Law in Ghana (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011).


His teaching and research are into Company Law, International Investment Law and Arbitration, Transnational Business Law and Public Procurement Law and Policy. He holds the degrees of BA (Hons), University of Ghana; LLB (Hons), University of Ghana; Qualifying Certificate and Certificate of Enrolment on the Roll of Lawyers, Ghana School of Law; LLM in Transnational Business Practice, University of the Pacific, USA; LLM in Government Procurement Law, The George Washington University, USA; and PhD in Law, The University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Richard Vokes is Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Development at the University of Western Australia, and an elected Research Associate of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He holds a B.A. Hons. and an M.A. with Distinction in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent, and a D.Phil in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. His research focuses primarily on the African Great Lakes region, especially on the societies of South-western Uganda, where he has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork since 2000.

Richard has published extensively, including on: development (governance, education, and natural resource management), the HIV/AIDS epidemic, new religious movements, and the history of photography, media and social change. He also works with African-Australians, in the digital humanities, and on the Anthropology of Antarctica. His academic research has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Curl Essay Prize, a Finalist Award in the African Studies Association’s Herskovits competition, and the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Sutasoma Prize. He has held the Evans-Pritchard Lectureship and two Visiting Fellowships at All Souls College, Oxford.


Barbara is a Lecturer at the School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, UWA. She has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) from Makerere University (Uganda), an MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London) and a PhD in International Health from Curtin University. Previously she worked at the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (2010-2019) where she was a NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow (2014-2018). Prior to that Barbara worked as a medical doctor and public health researcher for over seven years’ with rural disadvantaged and marginalised populations in post conflict Northern Uganda.

Barbara has experience in curriculum development, teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students and student supervision. She is the unit coordinator and lecturer of Health Program Evaluation RMED4403) and Epidemiology and Control of Communicable Disease (PUBH5761) at UWA. She also teaches into several units in the Undergraduate Medical Major and Doctor of Medicine (MD) course at UWA. Barbara is also an Adjunct Academic at Edith Cowan University.


Professor Mark Jessell

Mark Jessell is a Professor and Western Australian Fellow at the Centre for Exploration Targeting, School of Earth Sciences at The University of Western Australia. He was previously based in Toulouse, France where he was a Research Director with the Institute de Recherche pour le Development. He initially arrived in Australia as a postdoctoral fellow at Monash University, subsequent to his PhD studies in the USA.

His scientific interests in Africa are focused on the tectonics and metallogenesis of the West African Craton, with a particular focus on the integration of geological and geophysical datasets.


Ms Omima Osman Mohammed Osman

Omima Osman is a PhD candidate in astrophysics at the University of Western Australia researching the details of how galaxies form and evolve. Omima firmly believes that data analysis, handling big data, informed decision making, and being fluent in programming languages such as Python are the future skills since we are on the doorstep of a new era of big data science. Through these skills we are able to figure a way to handle data with projects such as the SKA (Square Kilometre Array telescope). Omima holds B.Sc (Honours) in Physics from University of Khartoum (Sudan), ICTP Postgraduate Diploma Programme in General Physics from ICTP: The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy),  M.Sc in Astrophysics and Cosmology form University of Trieste (Italy). She is also the financial secretary of the Sudanese Society for Astronomy and Space Sciences (SSASS) which works on promoting science culture in the Sudanese society by uplifting the public awareness about science research and application, and their importance.


At UWA, Omima's PhD  research project involves analysing simulations of different galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Each of these simulations consists of millions of objects including stars and gas clouds from which stars are formed. All the objects form a dynamical system governed by physical processes and laws that we know they exist, yet there are a lot of details which remain to be uncovered by researchers. Her research is to understand how a tiny fraction of the galaxy called interstellar dust influence the dynamics of the whole galaxy from the theoretical point of view but also taking into account what observations tell us by comparing our results to observational data. This project combines two significant astrophysics fields, each of which is massive on its own. Her goal however is to develop as broad skills as possible and be fluent in the emerging field of data science which combines computer science, statistics and domain knowledge with limitless applications inside and outside astrophysics. She also uses Python language to do the analysis which is one of the future programming languages due to its growing society and its association with machine learning and deep learning.


Mr Adeniyi “Ade” Adegboye

Ade is currently the President of the UWA African Students’ Union (ASU). As someone who strongly believes in serving and contributing to the wider community, Ade has managed to do so in various ways. He has immersed himself in several initiatives with the goal of uniting the people around him to achieve a shared goal. He is also the UWA African Students’ representative of the students’ department of the Organisation of African Communities, African Students in Western Australia (ASIWA). ASIWA provides a platform for African communities in Western Australia to connect and support each other in their respective initiatives.


Dr Muhammad Dan Suleiman

As our Communications Coordinator, Muhammad also edits AfREC's news and analysis blog AfricaNarratives. He researches Africa's state-society relations and security, and international politics. He teaches units in these areas and International Relations more broadly in the UWA School of Social Sciences. Muhammad is also an analyst for some think tanks around the world and has received a few awards including the Australian Commonwealth Parliamentary Library Summer Scholarship (2016) and The Khalifa Al-Falasi Prize in Muslim Studies (2017). He is a 2020 Fellow in the Fellowship Program for People of African Descent coordinated by the United Nation's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva. He is affiliated with the UWA Centre for Muslim States and Societies, the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (Ghana) and is an AfREC resident specialist on jihadism in Western Africa.


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