Meet the Speakers

Dr Akeem Lawal (MBBS, MWACS (Nig), FRACGP)

Dr. Akeem Lawal is a medical doctor with almost 2 decades of medical experience. Akeem graduated from one of the prestigious universities in Nigeria and has background training in surgery. He also has a high level of training in emergency medicine and general practice in Australia.

Dr. Lawal has worked in different countries all over the world. He is also involved in teaching junior doctors and nurses. Due to his passion for teaching, he instructs in different courses for junior doctors with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons and Australia Resuscitation Council.

Akeem also has a passion for telehealth medicine. He believes this may be the future of medicine. He is currently working on ways to advance this emerging trend of delivering medical care in his home country.

He loves traveling, adventures, watching movies, and meeting people. He is a strong believer in the power of positive thinking in all facets of life.

Tommy Adebayo

Tommy is currently the National Chairman of African Professionals of Australia. Tommy immigrated to Australia in 2001 to study as an international student and has remained in Australia since then. Tommy founded APA in 2005 due to his desire in ensuring that other migrants coming behind him does not experience similar challenges he experienced regarding integration into the Australian community and obtaining a job that commensurates to their professional qualification.

Tommy currently works for Total Marine Technology, a subsea engineering company in Perth Australia as a compliance manager. Tommy has over 14 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry managing subsea operation projects in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Mexico, Cuba, Russia and Nigeria.

Tommy has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from University of Ilorin, Master’s degree in information Technology from Griffith University in Queensland, Post Graduate degree in Oil and Gas Engineering from the University of Western Australia and a Post Graduate degree in Occupational Health and Safety Management from Edith Cowan University. He is currently studying an MBA degree at University of Western Australia specialising in leadership management.

Tommy’s dream is to see all African communities in Australia coming together in unity to support each other and to work with other community groups to build a strong Multicultural society. With his quest to continuously contribute to the enrichment of people, he founded Skilled Migrant Professionals Magazine in 2015, which currently has over 13,000 subscribers online.

Tommy is the author of Migrant Success 101 book which has been acknowledged by the migrant community as valuable tools kit for all new arrival to Australia.

Cynthia Musafili Wright

Cynthia Wright is a Social Entrepreneur, Social Care Corporate Manager, Australia Day Ambassador and founder of social enterprise Regions International formerly known as of Africa (RoA). She is currently a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australia National lead for Innovate Africa. Cynthia has written various published articles on Resilience, Migration, International Education and Aged Care.

Cynthia is passionate about making a positive impact in the world through motivating and empowering leaders and changemakers. She is described by her peers as driven, dynamic and professional. Her strong leadership is strengthened by her ability to network with other passionate and focused individuals and build and maintain dynamic collaborations through strong communication and negotiation skills.

She is known as the one who can remain calm under pressure. Her roles include being a Clinical Consultant in corporate Australia, with eleven years’ experience in the aged care industry and five years in business management. Cynthia has also created numerous successful roles for herself: Chief Operating Officer of the Skilled Migrant Professionals Magazine with over 13K subscribers; Editor-in-Chief of Australia’s very first African fashion magazine Face of Africa Australia Magazine: and Creative Director in collaboration with numerous well-known Australian fashion photographers, models and modelling agencies.

Cynthia’s passion in social care has seen her develop community engagement welfare programs such as Education in the Shoes of a Humanitarian Student. She was also the 2016-2017 Chairperson for the Organisation of Zambians Living in Western Australia (OZALIWA) with 4500 Zambians in WA

Mr. Oluwaseun Abimibola BAKARE B.Sc, M.Sc, FCA

Mr. Oluwaseun Abimibola Bakare (‘Bimbo) is currently the Chairman of Moneytronics Microfinance Bank Ltd, and an alternate Director with Agates Agro-Allied Limited amongst other high profile positions he holds in contributing his quota to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

He was, prior to his recent engagements in the economy, the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Cost Engineering for Chevron Corporation in Nigeria, a position he held till he left the company in 2016 as the Cost Engineering & Business Manager. Between 1997 and 2014, he worked as a Senior Project Professional at the highest levels in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria, United States, South Korea and Australia delivering Major Capital Projects, including the Gorgon Project here in Australia where he was the Business Support Manager.

He had been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CEMCS Microfinance Bank with over N2.5bn in assets. In this position he was responsible for providing strategic directions for the bank and oversight of its business affairs in the light of emerging risks and opportunities in the market place.

At different times, he was a Branch Accountant with the Universal Building Society Limited, a mortgage bank, a Bank Inspector with the Merchant Bank of Africa and was the pioneer Internal Auditor of Kakawa Discount House (now First Bank Merchant Bank), all within the Nigerian Financial Sector.

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria since 2007, He is a double Alumnus of the University of Lagos holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting (1990) and a Master’s Degree in Finance (1995). He also holds the Robert Gordon University’s Diplomas in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Though not a Certified Public Accountant, he has passed all sections of the Texas Board Licensing Examinations for the Certified Public Accountants in 2005.

David Doepel

Chair, Africa Research Group at Murdoch University and Chair, Africa Australia Research Forum

David has held a number of positions in research management positions at Murdoch University including Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Development, Interim CEO of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination, and Director, Research Institute for Resource Technology.

Prior to that he served in a variety of roles in the Western Australian Government, including Principal Policy Advisor (Science and the Arts) to the then Premier Alan Carpenter and inaugural Regional Director for the Americas for the Western Australian Trade and Investment Office in Los Angeles.

His current research interests include policy settings for structural transformation in an African context, the nexus between the extractive industries and the agricultural sector and farming system innovations.

David holds degrees from Murdoch University, the Melbourne College of Divinity and Boston University.

Athur Mabiso

Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) at International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Dr. Athur Mabiso received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University in 2010. His PhD dissertation was entitled, “The Economics of Petroleum Fuels, Biofuels and Food in South Africa,” and his research focused on biofuels developments and smallholder farmers in South Africa. The research shed light on the potential effect of biofuels crop production on land displacement from food production in his home country of Zimbabwe. Mabiso completed his Borlaug LEAP Fellowship in 2009 – 2010 and was mentored by Dr. Augustine Langyintuo, formerly with CIMMYT and now with AGRA, Dr. Siwa Msangi at IFPRI and Dr. Dave Weatherspoon. Following graduation, Mabiso accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC, where he works on policy research to support the USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative.

Dr. Mabiso is currently working on a research paper on long-term investment strategies to address food insecurity in the Horn of Africa and his research interests are investments in sustainable agriculture, food security and development strategy. He has worked in his native Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Mozambique, Kenya and Nigeria. His long-term ambition is to start-up a green company in Zimbabwe that would integrate production systems of renewable fuels with waste management and environmental stewardship concepts.

Michael Vines

Michael Vines has more than 16 years’ experience working with one of the major Oil and Gas producers In Australia. He has diverse experience in upstream production, research and development, including operations, engineering, project management, development planning, mega-projects and optimisation. Michael has led various teams for integrity, design input, negotiation of acquisitions and licensing of intellectual property. Michael has degrees in chemical engineering, arts, process design and an MBA in management. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and running.

Professor Kevin Chika Urama

Professor Kevin Chika Urama holds a First Class Honors degree and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, a Master of Philosophy degree with distinction, and a Ph.D. in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. A 2002-3 winner of the James Claydon Prize for the most outstanding PhD thesis in economics or related subjects while studying at St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, Prof. Urama was named the Technology Executive of the Year by the Africa Technology Awards in 2012, adding to many international prizes he has received for academic excellence and science policy leadership.

He is currently Senior Director of the African Development Institute (ADI), and formerly Senior Advisor to the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as the inaugural Managing Director of the Quantum Global Research Lab. Professor Urama is also an Adjunct Professor at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Murdoch University, Western Australia; a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS); and Visiting Professor at the University College London (UCL) until recently. He is also an Expert Partner to the Africa Progress Group (APG) chaired by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He is a member of the Editorial (Advisory) Boards of many international journals, including Science and Public Policy, Ecological Economics; Responsible Innovation, and Environmental Policy and Governance, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, and has over 100 publications in various media. The Lead author for the African Manifesto for Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Urama seeks to foster self-rule and democratic governance of science and innovation policy in Africa.