Graphic: APF secretariat
The APF secretariat manages the day-to-day operations of the APF and implements the decisions of the Forum Council. The main functions of the secretariat are to:
- Help strengthen APF members by organising training programs and capacity assessments or facilitating professional networks
- Provide advice and support to APF members seeking accreditation or re-accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions
- Provide advice and support to governments and NGOs in the region regarding the establishment of national human rights institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles
- Organise programs and initiatives that promote regional and international cooperation on human rights issues
- Organise and coordinate the APF Annual Meeting and Biennial Conference
- Compile and disseminate information to APF members and stakeholders.
SECRETARIAT STAFF MEMBERS
Ms Fasoha Aishath, Manager of Capacity Development
Faso is currently the Manager of Capacity Development and previously managed the APF’s work in the Pacific region to support the establishment of NHRIs and support existing NHRIs to strengthen their institutional capacity. She also leads the delivery of the APF Gender Strategy as the APF’s Gender Focal Point and has co-facilitated national trainings on women’s and girls’ human rights.
Before joining the APF, Faso was Director of Advocacy at the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) where she oversaw the development of human rights awareness projects and advocacy efforts of the institution.
In addition to her training and advocacy experience, Faso has developed academic and professional expertise through two human rights fellowships. In 2013, she was the recipient of a three-month NHRI Fellowship with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden, and in 2014 she took up a place in the year-long Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program in Minnesota, United States.
Ms Pip Dargan, Principal Advisor on Capacity Assessments and International Engagement
Pip has served the APF since its establishment in 1996 in various capacities, including Deputy Director, and now as Principal Adviser, Capacity Assessments and International Engagement.
In this role, Pip directs the capacity assessment, capacity assessment review, high-level dialogues (HLD) and leadership outreach programmes that deliver expert advisory services to APF’s members and prospective members.
Pip Dargan has had 30 years’ experience working in human rights and with NHRIs. Prior to the APF, she held positions within the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in the areas of corporate services, investigation and conciliation, public education and human rights policy. Prior to the AHRC, Pip worked at the Federal Special Minister of State and at various independent Commissions, including the Constitutional Commission.
Ms Dargan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Politics and History, from the University of Sydney.
Ms Thuy Doan-Smith, Development Manager
Thuy is the APF’s Development Manager, with responsibility for donor development, fundraising and strategic partnerships. With over 19 years-experience working with NHRIs, with a focus in the Asia-Pacific region, Thuy is committed to seeking and enabling collaboration, and fostering partnerships to enhance the role and impact of the APF.
Thuy holds bachelor’s degrees in social sciences and international relations, both from the University of Technology, Sydney. Having endured five years of her young life as a refugee, Thuy values the inherent diversity of all human beings and is ardently dedicated to seeking equality and fairness.
If she could have one superpower, it would be to understand and speak all the languages of the world.
Mr Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director
For the past 25 years, Kieren has overseen the strategic direction of the APF, which has grown from six founding members to 25 NHRIs across the Asia Pacific. An experienced senior leader, Kieren works closely with the APF Chairperson, member institutions, and secretariat staff to achieve the APF’s objectives of supporting its members to protect and promote human rights.
Prior to the APF Kieren worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission and in the university sector and trade union movement.
Kieren has a passion for justice and equality and is a strong advocate and believer in the role of NHRIs. He has qualifications in law, philosophy and social science.
Kieren’s hobby is music, and he plays guitar.
Ms Amy Janowski, Communications and Networking Officer
As Communications and Networking Officer, Amy’s role involves sharing and promoting the work of NHRIs and contributing to strategic communications for the APF. She also facilitates and collaborates with members of the APF Communications Network.
Amy has a strong commitment to social justice, with a background in current affairs journalism, international development and community engagement. She believes that communicating consistently with communities, with the media, with government and with partner organisations is critical for promoting and protecting human rights at the national level.
Amy holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism, communications and international development. In her spare time, she can be found pursuing her passions for photography, writing, yoga and dance.
Mr Kwame Owusu-Akyeampong, Finance Manager
As the APF’s Finance Manager, Kwame is responsible for ensuring that the APF has systems in place to support and manage its finances effectively, efficiently and responsibly. He works collaboratively with colleagues in the secretariat to support their work and achieve the mandate given to it by the APF Forum Councillors and to support APF members to carry out their work. A key part of his role is to provide relevant, timely and accurate financial reports to key stakeholders.
Prior to working at the APF, Kwame worked in the non-profit sector with an employment agency and aged-care organisation and prior to this worked in the commercial sector.
He has a strong commitment to human rights, as it encompasses dignity and respect for people, and supporting them as individuals: “Being able to contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights is a real privilege”.
Ms Huong Tran, IGM Project Manager
Huong is the APF’s Project Manager for the EU-funded action to strengthen collaboration between NHRIs and the inter-governmental mechanisms (IGMs) in South-East Asia and the Pacific sub-regions.
With a background in law and international development, Huong has previously worked on access to justice and human rights projects in the Asia Pacific. Her past roles include advocating for women's human rights and the protection of human rights defenders and refugees. She has also advised and supported capacity development programs on environmental rights and climate change.
Before joining the APF, Huong worked as a community lawyer to provide therapeutic and trauma-informed legal services.
Huong holds a Master of Laws (LLM), Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Bachelor of Science (Bsc) degree. She also holds a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) and was admitted as a lawyer in Australia.
Mr Phillip Wardle, Legal and Policy Manager
Phillip oversees the APF’s program on international accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights institutions (GANHRI) and represents the APF as the regional network observer on GANHRI’s subcommittee on accreditation. Phillip also leads the APF’s advisory program on national legislation to establish NHRIs. In this capacity, he provides technical support and policy advice to NHRIs and governments across the Asia Pacific region.
Prior to joining the APF, Phillip worked in headquarters and field roles with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and held legal and other senior advisory positions at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, and the State Department of Justice in New South Wales (Australia).
Phillip holds a Bachelor of Arts and Laws (with first-class honours) from Macquarie University, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, and an Asia Pacific Master of Human Rights and Democratisation from the University of Sydney, where he was a European Union Scholar and an Australian Endeavour Research Fellow at the Centre of the Study for Human Rights at the University of Colombo.
Phillip is passionate about protecting the natural environment and inspired by the beauty of the Australian bush. When not working for the APF, he spends as much time as possible in his cabin on Wiradjuri country in the mountains west of Sydney, where he bushwalks, makes cheese, and volunteers with his local Landcare association.
- Fasoha Aishath - APF
- Pip Dargan - APF
- Thuy Doan-Smith - APF
- Kieren Fitzpatrick - APF
- Amy Janowski - APF
- Kwame Owusu-Akyeampong - APF
- Huong Tran - APF
- Phillip Wardle - APF