Our Team

Magdalene Konneh - Finding Safety Project Officer

I was fortunate enough to come across JRS Australia when I sought asylum in 2018, and I am proud to have joined as a leader in their leadership and advocacy team in 2021. I continue to share my lived experiences as an asylum seeker through public speaking at schools, churches, and community organisations, hoping to raise awareness and support for those seeking asylum.

In 2023, I started working as a Project Support Worker in the Finding Safety Project at the Women Space. Before this, I had worked in the disability support sector with various services like Beyond Care, Home Instead, and Nobility Care. I have also been working with the Sydney Alliance as part of my advocacy drive, advocating for the rights of people on Temporary Visas. I use my voice to talk about issues such as homelessness and the struggles they face navigating the system.

In Sierra Leone, I worked as a sportswriter, broadcaster, and photojournalist in print and electronic media. As a sports journalist, I covered major world sports competitions, such as the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016, the Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, in 2015, and the North-West Africa Women’s Cricket Tournament in 2014, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as other sporting activities like soccer, beach volleyball, and athletics across Africa.

During this time, I was also actively involved in advocating for the rights of women and girls and positioned myself as a strong and vocal opponent against Female Genital Cutting/Circumcision. I am still involved in the campaign to eradicate the practice in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

Women’s Space:

My current role at the Women’s Space involves assisting in developing, delivering and coordinating community information sessions, group activities, training and workshops, leadership and advocacy training, and assisting in developing internal training for staff and volunteers by State and National Plans for the elimination of violence against women.

I also assist in coordinating and delivering specialist training for professionals in the refugee and women’s sectors, forming and supporting peer-to-peer and leadership groups of women through the Community Mobilisers project, organising sector advisory groups and refugee women’s reference group meetings, attending regular inter-agency conferences relevant to the project and target group, advocating for the rights and support needs of people seeking asylum – particularly women seeking asylum – and undertaking other pertinent activities as required by the Project Coordinator.

I am passionate about working in line with the JRS Finding Safety project, which aims to support asylum-seeking and refugee women in increasing their understanding of domestic and family violence, its drivers, and their rights. We also provide information and referrals to assist refugee women experiencing violence or at risk of violence to access appropriate support.

Your help matters:

If you happen to witness or notice that someone is being subjected to any form of violence due to their gender, it is essential to know that you can play a crucial role in supporting them. Start by actively listening to their experiences and offering non-judgmental support. Be empathetic and understanding towards their situation.

Additionally, it is essential to provide them with information on helplines and social support services that can offer them the necessary assistance and guidance. These support services can help them overcome the trauma and move towards a better and safer future.

Let’s protect our girls and women because they are the future!