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Wednesday, Feb 3, 2021

Photo of Diversity Works New Zealand’s new team members, from left, Milica van Leeuwen Bobic, Sonarli Jayaweera and Pete Mercer.

We have three new faces in our office this month - Milica van Leeuwen Bobic and Pete Mercer are taking up roles as Member Success Managers and Sonarli Jayaweera is our new Accounts Assistant.

Milica, originally from Serbia, moved to New Zealand to study and has been immersed academically and professionally in the fields of gender, migration, inclusion, and education in various countries around the world. She has a strong academic background in gender and migration studies with expertise in the social and labour market integration of migrants.

Milica has a bachelor’s degree in Ethnology and Anthropology from the University of Belgrade and two master’s degrees – one in Culturology and Gender Studies from the University of Belgrade and one in Sociology and Gender Studies from the University of Auckland. She spent a year in Sweden, at Lund University, as an Erasmus Scholarship recipient which was her first glimpse into other cultures and ways of living.

Milica is very excited to be part of the social change that contributes to building more inclusive and diverse workplaces across organizations in New Zealand. As someone who has researched and experienced the barriers to workplace integration, she’s looking forward to applying her theoretical knowledge and personal experience in building a more equitable world.

She is also a certified yoga instructor so will be keeping everyone in the Diversity Works New Zealand office flexible and grounded.

Pete has spent the past six years delivering and managing membership programmes and client services for a diversity and inclusion charity in the UK, specifically advising public and private sector organisations alike on LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace.

His most recent role involved brokering partnerships internationally with multinational employers and LGBT+ charities across the world. His postgraduate degree in International Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London focused on the global politics that surround human rights.

Pete recently moved from the UK to Aotearoa New Zealand with his fiancé and is delighted to call Auckland their new home. He loves the outdoors, so can’t wait to explore the sheer natural beauty this country has to offer – and will be taking any opportunity he can to take a dip in the sea! A member of the LGBT+ community, he’s also keen to experience as much queer art and culture as possible.

Sonarli was born in Sri Lanka and moved to New Zealand as a teenager, completing high school in Auckland before studying at Auckland University. As a migrant, Sonarli knows how important it is for people to feel a sense of belonging where they live and work. Sonarli lives with an auto immune condition and her part-time, flexible role at Diversity Works New Zealand allows her to manage that while contributing to the workforce.

She has been working in accounts for almost 15 years in various roles covering different aspects of accounting across her career. She has worked in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors and enjoys liaising with creditors, customers and other stake holders.


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