Lindsay brings a valuable combination of business acumen and innovative leadership gained across a wide variety roles including large scale transformations, interpretation and implementation of government policy and services, small business consulting, program management and people leadership.
She has held senior leadership roles transitioning back and forth between government health, financial services, not for profit, and technology organisations in both a local and International context. Previously Lindsay has worked and lived in New Zealand, Canada, the UK and China. Most recently Lindsay led virtual COVID19 digital and telehealth services on behalf of Federal and State governments.
Having also established, run and sold her own business, Lindsay is poignantly aware of the challenges involved in entrepreneurship, and is focused on supporting new Ignite business owners who may experience additional barriers in their start up journey.
“The power and potential of the Ignite program resonated with me, and I had initially connected around joining the Resource Team as a volunteer to the program. I am thrilled to bring my own passion and experience across business management for social impact and growing marketplaces to Ignite and to help this amazing enterprise scale access and empowerment in small business communities around Australia and the world.”
Lindsay joined Ignite in July 2022.
Jenny-Jane (JJ) joined Ignite in mid-2021 and is a true entrepreneur and business woman with passion...
Jenny-Jane joined Ignite as a facilitator in mid-2021 and is a true entrepreneur and businesswoman with over 30 years of real-world experience launching and running businesses from inception to multi-million dollar ventures. Over and over again!
Before joining Ignite, JJ had a long and successful career in fashion. She started her first business at age 22 selling designer clothing to retailers on behalf of local manufacturers. The business took off and she never looked back – at a time when banks wouldn’t lend money to women-led businesses, JJ managed to survive and thrive.
Her career evolved after successfully selling her first business and moving into the corporate world. She worked under a contract with the team at Gazal Apparel, designing & marketing leading lingerie brands, Yves St Laurent and Lovable lingerie. She was the only female divisional manager in a management team of 30 – a great training ground for developing business know-how and resilience.
JJ went on to start a new company in 2002, this time with full bank backing, growing this startup to over $12 million turnover with a team of 10 staff.
By 2013, JJ began to appreciate the damage that the fashion industry is doing to the environment and decided to sell her business and follow her passion to pursue university study in politics, social justice and environmental sustainability.
After graduating in 2021, JJ immediately commenced working as an Ignite facilitator: “It’s my dream job, combining my years of business with my university study and passion for supporting others to pursue their dream and achieve financial independence.”
Alex has launched the Ignite program in Victoria in 2022. With a background in helping refugee seek employment...
Alex joined the IGNITE team to develop the program in Victoria. Already familiar with the program due to his work in the employment services space with Settlement Services International, Alex jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the IGNITE program. Alex brings a combination of practical and innovative approaches to problem solving learned from a career starting in IT and data management, through to program management in the employment space. Coming from a family with entrepreneurial ventures, Alex brings a clear understanding of the pillars required to support new businesses. He has volunteered with the Persian Cultural Association of South Australia for over a decade and is looking forward to bringing all of his skills in business and volunteering to help IGNITE clients in Victoria.
With more than 15 years of experience, Alexis is passionate about social justice, particularly within...
With more than 15 years of experience, Alexis is passionate about social justice, particularly within the refugee and disability spaces.
Wanting to learn more about disabilities, Alexis volunteered for two years at the Shepard Centre, running a playgroup for young children with hearing loss and their siblings. Following this, she spent time in Peru supporting local communities.
Upon returning to Australia, Alexis became a vocational trainer for people with disabilities, helping people train, adapt to and retain employment in the workplace. Alexis then went on to become an employment consultant and then case manager.
In 2013, Alexis joined SSI as a case manager, supporting the settlement of people seeking asylum as they were released from detention. She transitioned to the Ignite program as a facilitator in 2017.
Since working with Ignite, Alexis has supported so many inspiring entrepreneurs to explore and realise their dreams, launching businesses from Tibetan traditional massage to online directories.
Jemma Gilligan joined the Ignite team as Admin Officer at the beginning of 2021. She is completing a double degree...
Jemma Gilligan joined the Ignite team as Admin Officer at the beginning of 2021. She is currently completing a double degree at UTS in Business (Economics) and Creative Intelligence & Innovation. She provides all kinds of support to the Ignite team and program, keeps the office running, arranges the Fundamentals of Business workshops and assists clients wherever she can in their pursuit for entrepreneurship.
This is Jemma’s first ‘real’ job and she’s loving the diverse clients and business ideas; learning from the Ignite team and putting some of her business degree learnings into practice in the real world!
Gabriela Hernandez has experience across project and change management in the health sector, and joins....
Gabriela has a mix of project and change management skills with a strong background in data, process improvement, and customer service. She has worked in health services implementing systems and processes for leading pathology service provider, Healius, and also worked at Healthdirect Australia where she lead operations for the National Health Service Directory.
As operations lead, Gabriela will ensure operational capability for Ignite including process, systems, training and office operations. Gabriela has a strong interest in migrant integration and loves helping others.
Vanessa joined the Ignite team in May 2022. Vanessa Campbell is a business manager with a demonstrated...
Vanessa Campbell is an experienced business manager with a demonstrated history of working across a diverse range of industries while always delivering strong commercial outcomes. With over 30 years’ experience in arts, media, events and operations, she has highly developed skills in the fields of place management, planning, stakeholder engagement and management, sponsorship, negotiation, event management, compliance management, policy writing, and project management.
For businesses and individuals, Vanessa has proven to be a skilled and supportive mentor with the ability to navigate what sometimes appear to be hopeless situations to get individuals and operators back on track. This has included mentor guided grant funding, council approvals, business planning, compliance, product development and distribution channels.
At the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Vanessa transitioned from managing The Rocks Market to the role of Place Manager spanning The Rocks and Circular Quay. Vanessa was part of the team responsible for revitalising this historically important area of Sydney and ensuring the sensitive heritage values aligned to a sustainable future vision for this culturally valuable and unique place in Sydney.
Vanessa has delivered many strategies and recommendations to areas and regions across Australia, being particularly skilled in combining elements of expertise in operations, programming, approval processes, infrastructure, as well as organisational structure for compliance, delivery, and commercial success.
Vanessa joined the Ignite team in May 2022.
Reda AL Haddadeh
Reda has over 13 years of experience in Corporate Finance and Corporate Strategy. He joined Ignite Program...
Reda has over 13 years of experience in corporate finance and corporate strategy. He joined Ignite to work with small and medium businesses which seek to start a business in NSW or Australia.
Prior to joining the team, Reda was part of international consulting firms such as EY, KPMG and BDO International under Transaction and Management Advisory Services based in the United Kingdom, France and the challenging and vibrant EMEIA region (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa).
His experience includes a wide array of projects in education, energy, utilities, real estate, petrochemicals, healthcare, manufacturing and financial services.
Reda holds an accounting degree and pursued a postgraduate degree in Finance from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. At the moment, Reda is pursuing an Executive MBA from AGSM and expected to graduate in 2023.
Rebecca has joined Ignite with a background in NFP, government health sector and is studying social work...
Rebecca has joined Ignite with a background in NFP, government health sector and is currently supporting both Ignite and the SSI Commercial and Strategic Ventures division in a support capacity.
Rebecca (Bec) is passionate about working in an environment that fosters empowerment and inclusiveness. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Social Work and has a Master of Arts in History and International relations.
Maggie Cairns is passionate about helping people. Her journey started over 25 years ago as a health and wellness...
Maggie Cairns is passionate about helping people. Her journey started over 25 years ago as a health and wellness industry professional.
Maggie’s unique array of skills and a wealth of experience as a consultant, counsellor, educator, director, and a practitioner, led her to the Ignite Small Business Start-ups team in November 2020 where she took on the role of the first Regional Ignite Facilitator in the small city of Armidale. Since then, she has established a strong and trusted relationship with the local Aboriginal people supporting individuals, families, and the community in moving towards self-determination through the journey of entrepreneurship and small business.
Maggie is looking forward to being able to take further steps in supporting this community towards new horizons.
Tim is a business strategy specialist with a strong social and environmental conscience and real-world experience in...
Tim is a business strategy specialist with a strong social and environmental conscience and real-world experience in establishing and managing innovative enterprises. His background in market research and strategic planning has honed his strategic thinking. He has provided consulting services to many top 500 Australian and international companies covering a wide range of industry sectors and markets.
This wide experience has given him a solid understanding of what makes an enterprise succeed and what makes it fail in the face of rapid technology change and increasing competition. He applied these insights to his own successful business (Endless Solar) established in 2001. That company licensed its innovative solar hot water technology to Hills Industries (ASX:HIL) in 2004 and was listed on the National Stock Exchange in 2008 (NSX:ESCL).
More recently he decided to work in the not-for-profit sector and work towards addressing disadvantage. He has had the honour of working with Aboriginal communities in remote northern Australia and migrant and refugee communities in Sydney, as well as people with a disability in the Coffs Harbour region to develop employment opportunities and improved social outcomes.
Tim joined the Ignite team in May 2022.
Adam is a Gomeroi man who started as an Ignite client before becoming a facilitator in 2022. He began working...
Adam is a Gomeroi man who started as an Ignite client before becoming a facilitator in 2022. He began working with Ignite in 2021 to establish his art business, Bunuwa Designs. He is now working as a facilitator to help people in his community to reach their entrepreneurial goals. Adam also has experience working at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place in Armidale as the resident artist.
Our Founders and Contributors
From community development in Northern Thailand to working for the Solomon Islands Prison Service, Dina's...
From community development in Northern Thailand to working as an adviser for the Solomon Islands Prison Service, Dina’s diverse career in social justice led her to SSI.
As the inaugural facilitator trained by Dr Ernesto Sirolli, she was charged with the task of establishing Ignite in Australia. Seeing first-hand the challenges facing migrants and refugees hoping to start businesses, Dina led the development of a customised and culturally appropriate model that provides targeted support to entrepreneurs building a new life in a new country.
Since its inception in 2012, with Dina at the helm, SSI’s Ignite Small Business Start Ups program has gone from strength to strength. As a founding member and the Ignite Global Manager, Dina was instrumental in supporting the expansion and customisation of the model, to assist other host countries meet the challenges of refugee and newcomer settlement.
Although no longer at the helm of the program, Dina remains involved externally as a master trainer for new and existing staff.
SSI CEO, Violet, recognised early the need for a unique approach to supporting refugee entrepreneurship.
SSI CEO, Violet Roumeliotis, recognised early the need for a unique approach to supporting refugee entrepreneurship. Her extensive knowledge, experience and leadership of large not-for-profit organisations providing services to CALD and refugee communities, and a fortuitous meeting with Dr Ernesto Sirolli, provided the catalyst for the creation of Ignite Small Business Start Ups.
Violet Roumeliotis AM is a social entrepreneur who champions the strengths of our diverse communities and is committed to take a leadership and pioneering role to elevate reconciliation. Through her C-suite and board roles, Violet uses innovation and collective impact to promote social justice and inclusion.
Violet is committed to achieving equity, and advancing diversity and inclusion in all forms. In 2020, she was made a member of the Order of Australia for outstanding service to the community. Violet is also a former Telstra Australia Business Woman of the Year, has been named one of AFR’s Top 100 Women of Influence for 2018 in the category of Diversity & Inclusion, In Style Magazine’s Community Champion, and was awarded the title of Community Fellow from Western Sydney University for outstanding service to the community.
Violet sits on the board of the Australian Council of Social Service as the Deputy President and sits on the NSW Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Council. Her other appointments include Deputy Chair for the SBS Community Advisory Committee, she sits on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Expert Advisory Group for the ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign, the NSW Council for Women’s Economic Empowerment, teh University of Sydney’s Open Society, Common Purpose taskforce, the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity, the UTS Business MBA Advisory Group, the Council on Economic Participation for Refugees, the International Metropolis Steering Committee, the Australian Defence Force’s Chiefs of Service Committee’s diversity and inclusion panel, and the NSW Government’s join partnership working group overseeing refugee resettlement.
“My parents instilled in me a deep belief that every person should have the right to meet their full potential, to live the life they want to live, and to be treated fairly and with dignity.” –Violet Roumeliotis, October 2018
Dr. Ernesto Sirolli is a community iron man. In 1971 he began working in the field of international aid in Africa.
“There is no geography to passion and there is no geography to intelligence”
Dr. Ernesto Sirolli is a community iron man. In 1971 he began working in the field of international aid in Africa.That experience inspired him to develop Enterprise Facilitation®. The EF model and Trinity of Management® tool trains communities, NGO’s and corporations in how to capture the passion, energy and imagination of people. Dr. Sirolli lives in the USA and founded the Sirolli Institute.
Dr. Sirolli received a Laurea di Dottore in Political Sciences from Rome University, a Ph.D in Local Enterprise Facilitation from Murdoch University, and is the author of two books: “Ripples from the Zambezi” and “How to Start a Business and Ignite your Life”. In 2012, Dr. Sirolli gave a TEDx talk, “Shut up and Listen”, and that has been translated into 35 languages and downloaded three million times.
Jacqui has over 25 years of commercial, program management and human services experience...
Jacqui has over 25 years of commercial, program management and human services experience, having begun her career in professional services consulting, leading large transformation programs across various industries. She transitioned into social enterprise leadership in 2012, working for over seven years as founder and CEO of an Indigenous social enterprise based in far western NSW.
Jacqui has run programs for entrepreneurial women in Myanmar and established a consultancy within the University of Sydney Business School’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship program to support rural and remote social enterprises to establish and scale.
Jacqui joined SSI in early 2020. She brings strategic and operational capability that aligns with her passion for supporting those most vulnerable to reach their potential through entrepreneurship and self-employment.
Address: Hut 6, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204
We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this Land. We pay respect to Elders past, present and future, and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Ancestors have walked this country, and we acknowledge their special and unique place in our nation’s historical, cultural and linguistic identity. This was and always will be Aboriginal land.