Office bearers

  • Natasha Abrahams
    Natasha Abrahams National President

    Having been on the CAPA Executive Committee for the previous two years, I look forward to stepping into the role of National President for 2018. I hope to foster a more engaged and sustainable CAPA over the next year and build on the great work done by previous years’ committees.
    I am a PhD student at the Monash University School of Social Sciences, at which I commenced in 2015. Several years and many student representative roles later, I am now at the tail end of writing my thesis.


  • Rachel Brisbane
    Rachel Brisbane General Secretary

    Hi there!

    I’m Rachel and I’m looking forward to working towards CAPAs goals as General Secretary for the rest of 2018 and contributing at a national level in this role. I’m a doctoral student in business at Vic Uni and currently hold the Vice President role at VUPA on the back of many student representation and committee roles at Vic Uni since 2013. My background spans project management in property; governance and board roles; business strategy and consulting; lecturing and teaching. I adore ideas with a sense of adventure and working in diverse groups.


  • Zoë Tulip
    Zoë Tulip Media Officer

    Hi there! I’m new to CAPA in 2018. My background spans the hard sciences and the fine arts, primarily digital arts and science communication.
    I have a Bachelor of Visual Arts as well as a Bachelor of Science, and am currently studying the Master of Science Communication at the ANU. I am especially interested in diverse thoughts and ideas, and novel interdisciplinary approaches to solving problems.
    I am a huge advocate of mental health and wellbeing, inclusiveness, accessibility, acceptance and transparency. This goes hand-in-hand with being an active college representative for PARSA (the ANU’s postgraduate body), and in being the current president of the ANU Science Communication Society.
    I look forward to working with the CAPA team throughout 2018 to ensure our affiliates have a visible presence and united voice on a national platform.


  • Simon Burnett
    Simon Burnett Policy and Research Advisor

    Hi comrades, I’m Simon and I’m your Policy and Research Advisor for 2018, continuing on in the position from this year.  I previously served on the Tasmanian Postgraduate Council, first as the southern regional representative then as statewide postgrad president in 2016.  I’m studying a Master of Teaching part time.

    I’m passionate about CAPA – not just participating in, but leading the discussion on policy which impacts on higher education, research and students in this county.  This is a crucial time for both domestic and international postgraduate students, and a strong peak body to stand up for them is a requirement now more than ever before.  I am also a strong believer in working together with other organisations with similar coverage and priorities for us, particularly the NTEU and where possible the NUS, to achieve outcomes for everyone involved in research and higher education and to provide a united front for students and workers at Australian universities.  Finally, I see it as vital that small and regional campuses are engaged, and that we do not fall into the all-too-easy trap of simply viewing what happens at campuses in the major capitals as being the entire story for Australian postgraduate students. It’s important that we do not write off students at such campuses, or take them for granted.
    I look forward to working with you over the course of 2018!


  • Mick Fox
    Mick Fox Vice President - Equity

    I have been a student at Griffith University since 2012. In my time at Griffith I have supported and led various groups that aimed at fostering equality for all students.
    In 2016 I began a double masters degree in International Relations and International Business and began again supporting GUPSA as the LGBTQIA+ delegate focusing on bringing about a better student life for LGBTQIA+ students.
    Now as equity officer for GUPSA I am delighted to have the opportunity to represent a number of groups on campusand will strive to make Griffith a more equal and inclusive environment.


  • Dr Sharlene Leroy-Dyer
    Dr Sharlene Leroy-Dyer NATSIPA Liaison Officer

    (interim, pending NATSIPA elections)

    I am an Aboriginal woman, from the Guringai, Gadigal, Wiradjuri and Dhurag peoples of NSW. I have a PhD in the Management at the University of Newcastle, a Bachelor of Business (Hons) from University of Newcastle and a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Research and Leadership from University of Melbourne. I am currently enrolled in a Master of Tertiary Education (Management) through the University of Melbourne. I am appointed by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Postgraduate Association (NATSIPA) to sit on CAPA as a liaison officer advising CAPA on all Indigenous postgraduate representation. I am also a full time academic in at the University of Newcastle. I serve on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Committee of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) as a National Councillor and as Deputy Chair, in the NTEU Women’s Action Committee as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative, and I am also the NTEU Aboriginal representative on campus.
    I am passionate about improving the standard of postgraduate education at universities, for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students.


  • Marguerite Biasatti
    Marguerite Biasatti Disabilities Officer

    Hello my name is Marguerite Biasatti and I am your elected CAPA Disabilities Officer for 2018.

    I am a proud member of multicultural and diverse Australia, with parents from Southern Norway and Northern Italy.

    I am currently enrolled in the Doctor of Social Work program at the University of Sydney where my research explores the experience of postgraduate students from Europe in Australia.

    As a professionally qualified clinical Social Worker (UNSW), my experience in working in University Counselling Units’ has provided up to date knowledge to support postgraduate students who identify with a disability.

    I am currently the Disabilities Officer at SUPRA (Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Assocation).

    In my position at CAPA, I will aim to provide a ‘snapshot’ of information about university based support services for postgraduate students who identify with a disability. At present, we do not have this information and this will provide a basis to review how our universities’ can best support postgraduate students who identify with a disability.


  • Florian Spalthoff
    Florian Spalthoff International Officer

    Hello, my name is Florian Spalthoff and I am the International Officer for 2018. Currently, I am studying a double master’s degree in International Business and International Relations at Griffith University in Brisbane.
    Being an international student myself, I am very excited to be given the opportunity to represent my fellow students on CAPA. As a passionate advocate for the needs and interests of international students who believes in the benefits of cooperation, I will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Council of International Students Australia as well as other representation bodies.
    Experiences that will support me in my role include:

    • National Postgraduate Officer 2017/18 – Council of International Students Australia
    • International Students Officer 2017/18 – Griffith University Postgraduate Students Association
    • Student Advisor 2017/18 – Queensland International Students Advisory Panel

    Please feel free to contact me at any time, if you have any inquiries concerning international students in Australia. I am looking forward to hearing from you!


  • Dylan Styles
    Dylan Styles Queer Officer

    Hello my name is Dylan Styles, and I am the Queer Officer for 2018.

    Currently I am studying a Masters of Teaching (by coursework) at Victoria University. I am very excited to hold this role in CAPA as I love advocacy, campaigns and policy. I am looking forward to the opportunity to support the organisation with ensuring it uses inclusive practices and is an inclusive space for people from different sexes, sexualities and genders.

    I am very passionate about supporting postgraduate students, this role will enable me to support associations with campaigning, supporting them with Queer inclusivity and Queer Advocacy.


  • Sharlene Leroy-Dyer
    Sharlene Leroy-Dyer Women's Officer

    Dr Sharlene Leroy-Dyer

    I am an Aboriginal woman, from the Guringai, Gadigal, Wiradjuri and Dhurag peoples of NSW.  I have a PhD in the Management at the University of Newcastle, a Bachelor of Business (Hons) from University of Newcastle and a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Research and Leadership from University of Melbourne. I am currently enrolled in a Master of Tertiary Education (Management) through the University of Melbourne.

    I am passionate about improving the standard of postgraduate education at Universities, for women and other equity groups.


  • Anish Saini
    Anish Saini Vice President - National Operations Committee

    Hello, my name is Anish Saini. I am an international student from India and am pursuing my PhD in Environmental Remediation at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan. I completed my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in India, and carried out my internship for my Master’s degree at NUS Singapore.

    I have previously represented my class, house (in school) and even my department in the university and been their voice to interact with the staff / university board. The exposure I received by carrying out my research in Singapore helped me understand what varying problems an international student faces and how one comes around to cope with them. Before coming to Newcastle, I worked as Operations Manager for an international airline operating in India. That not only taught me how to manage and work efficiently with a team, but also how to interact with customers with differing backgrounds and mother tongues. All that experience shall help me greatly in my role at CAPA not only to interact with the current affiliates but any future affiliates.

    I am currently the International Representative at NUPSA (Newcastle University Postgraduate Student Association) and being working with NUPSA peaked my interest to work at a more regional and national level. Being an international postgraduate student myself, I not only understand the major problems a postgraduate student faces / may face but also what difficulties an international postgraduate student faces. I also know from experience that most of us are so engrossed in our degrees that we are not able to voice our problems with the same intensity as undergraduate students do, hence I would love to be your voice and raise your issues at the regional and national levels and help find solutions for them. Drop me a mail regarding any issues that you may be having and I will do my best to help you with them.


  • Katt Hatzi
    Katt Hatzi Central Branch President
  • Madhur Chhabra
    Madhur Chhabra Eastern Branch President

    I am the Eastern Branch President for CAPA 2018, and I hope to contribute to the national postgraduate representation with this role. Currently pursuing my Masters in Public Health at the Australian National University (ANU), I am constantly researching ways to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. As a dentist by profession, I have previously been involved in serving as a state director for the Medical and Dental Students Association of India. I am a strong believer in the power of big ideas and their greater impact which CAPA symbolizes.


  • Saira Khan
    Saira Khan Northern Branch President

    Hi everyone! My name is Saira and I am proud to be CAPA’s Northern Branch President for 2018. I’m currently studying a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning at Griffith University, on the Nathan campus in Queensland. I am also currently on the Board of the Griffith University Postgraduate Students Association (GUPSA) as the Coursework Students Officer. I look forward to providing CAPA support and assistance to current affiliate organisations and other postgraduate student associations.
    If you’d like to organise or participate in an event or campaign, or connect with other affiliate organisations in Queensland, please contact me.


  • Maaz Sharieff
    Maaz Sharieff South-Eastern Branch President

    Hello, my name is Maaz Sharieff and I’m one of the two CAPA South East Branch Presidents for 2018. I’m currently pursuing a Masters in IT at Swinburne University in Melbourne. I also have two and a half years of industry experience working with after completing a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Science in India.

    I have been elected as the President of the Swinburne University Postgraduate Association (SUPA) for 2018, and also as the Postgraduate Representative for the Swinburne Student Representative Council in 2018.

    With this position at CAPA I would like to get more universities and postgraduate students from the south-eastern region to get involved with CAPA. Being an international student myself, I know the issues faced by most of them and it would be easier for me to help them out in this current role.
    Contact me to host, organise or participate in any events in the south-eastern region. Also to connect with other campuses in the south-eastern region.


  • Ganesh Reddy
    Ganesh Reddy South-Eastern Branch President

    Hello everyone, I’m Ganesh Reddy, an international student from India studying a Masters of
    Advanced Engineering at Monash University. I also have a bachelor degree in mechanical
    engineering. I’m the international student officer at the Monash Postgraduate Association, and this is my first year with CAPA as an office bearer.
    I am an explorer that likes to interact with new people from different backgrounds. I am also a hobby climber and I love to go backpacking when it comes to exploring new places.


  • Romana-Rea Begicevic
    Romana-Rea Begicevic Western Branch President

    Hi I’m Romana and I’m a higher degree by research PhD student in the School of Biomedical Sciences at Curtin University, Perth, W.A. My research is on pancreatic cancer stem cells and we are looking for ways to expose the vulnerabilities of these highly aggressive cells, so that we can provide a more targeted approach in eliminating them. I am also the President of the Postgraduate Student Committee (PSC) and previously the research Vice President. My research and student representation is something I am passionate about. We’ve got big plans and I’m absolutely honoured and looking forward to working with my team and CAPA to kick goals for all Australian postgraduate students in 2018!


  • Peter Watson
    Peter Watson Western Branch President

    Hi I’m Peter, the president of the UWA Postgraduate Student Association and one of the CAPA WA branch presidents for 2018. I’m currently entering my third year of a PhD studying physical chemistry and spectroscopy and have been involved in our organisation for a year, previously serving as secretary.
    I’m excited to take on the role as one of our branch managers to grow CAPA in WA, and to support the executive team in CAPA’s national campaigns.