Emerging Practitioners

Current Interns

Tissa Riani

Tissa is in her final semester studying the Master of Development Studies at the University of Melbourne. During her study, Tissa has strengthened her understanding of the relationship between conflict security, development issues, and humanitarian aid. Prior to starting her internship in Humanitarian Advisory Group, she worked on a community development project in Indonesia focussing on youth unemployment and women empowerment. Tissa was an intern at UNDP Indonesia, and was involved in preparing the release of  the Human Development Report 2014 and Being LGBT in Asia Pacific, Indonesia Country Report.

Previous Interns

Pip Henty

Pip Henty is completing her last semester in a Master’s of International Development at La Trobe University. Whilst completing her internship at HAG, Pip is conducting research on women’s role in countering violent extremism and concerns about militarisation of the WPS agenda.

Pip has specialised practice and project-based experience in community health and services, international development, women’s advocacy and corporate education. Pip has previously interned at International Women’s Development Agency, and has recently started as the Programs Administrator at IWDA, supporting and enhancing gender equality in the Pacific and Asia. Pip has a strong interest in women peace and security, gender equality in the Pacific and Middle East region, women’s participation in disaster relief, and gendered violence in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

Monica Keily

Monica Keily is in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations and International Development, at La Trobe University. During her internship with Humanitarian Advisory Group, Monica’s primary research project focused on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by United Nations peacekeepers. This included investigating policy prevention strategies and responses, as well as structural, normative and environmental factors that contribute to sexual exploitation and abusive behaviours in the fragile contexts where peacekeepers are deployed, within the UN hierarchy, and within State security cultures.

Prior to starting her HAG internship, Monica worked as a Policy and Research Intern for Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG). She shares a strong interest in issues affecting human security, specifically peacebuilding, refugee protection and gender equality. Monica has also volunteered with Amnesty International La Trobe, The Melbourne Free University for Refugees, Project Respect, and is a Qualified Chef.

Alejandro E. Asela

Alejandro is pursuing a Masters in International Development Practice at Monash University. He is particularly interested in development issues related to humanitarian assistance within the context of civil-military interaction. Alejandro is a Naval Officer (LCDR) in the Colombian Navy where he has mainly served as a helicopter pilot conducting operations against drug trafficking, combat support, humanitarian assistance and SAR. His military decorations include the Naval Aviation Meritorious Service Medal, Order of Naval Merit Admiral Padilla, Order of Military Merit Antonio Nariño and Academic Excellence Medal (two).
Alejandro has a Bachelor’s degree in Naval Sciences and a graduate diploma in Politics and Maritime Strategy from Colombian Naval Academy, a BBA from Nueva Granada Military University (cum laude) and a MBA with a major in Strategic Planning from Bolivar Technological University.

Ayla Black

Ayla Black has recently completed a Master of Gender and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne with First-Class Honours. The final component of which was an internship with Humanitarian Advisory Group. Ayla has also studied Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po in Paris, and has field experiences in India and Timor-Leste, where she worked on the development of gender policy and the implementation of human rights and sexual and gender-based violence programs.

During her time with HAG, Ayla conducted research on the localisation of humanitarian aid in the Pacific, undertook the International Humanitarian Protection Training and assisted with facilitation of the industry engagement program with the University of Melbourne, including authoring the SDGs Workshop Outcomes report.


Emma Jidinger

Emma is a graduate in security politics and crisis management from the Swedish Defence University. As part of her degree she studied international diplomacy, intercultural communications and international human rights law as an exchange student at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency she conducted her bachelor thesis on the field in Vanuatu, studying women’s rights and gender issues. Following her intership with the Humanitarian Advisory Group, Emma worked as a consultant for the International Organization for Migration in Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, evaluating disaster preparedness and response programmes. Currently she is supporting the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) in Geneva.

Alex Lia

Alex completed an eight month placement as a research intern with the Humanitarian Advisory Group in 2015 as part of a Bachelor of Laws and Arts (International Relations) at Monash University. She worked on the Interim Review of Australia’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security among other projects, and participated in the International Humanitarian Protection Training course. Her favourite component of the internship was having the opportunity to attend numerous sector related forums and events, and the exposure to projects on a wide range of thematic areas.

In 2016, Alex volunteered as a research assistant at the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in Florence, Italy on the Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children. In 2015 she completed a Law and Human Rights internship in Cape Town, South Africa.

Zoe Fawcett Enticott

During her internship, Zoe conducted research and drafted reports that developed the strategic linkages initiative, strengthening connections between University of Melbourne students and professionals working in the development industry. She also prepared promotional materials and helped organise and manage a series of professional engagement seminars and a careers event for students and staff. Zoe found working with HAG to be a rewarding experience both professionally and personally. It provided valuable opportunities to engage with contemporary challenges facing development and humanitarian operations.

Zoe is a postgraduate student completing the Master of Development Studies program at the University of Melbourne. She has experience working in community development and early childhood education in Australia, India and Nepal.

Catherine Holden

Catherine was the Humanitarian Advisory Group’s first intern, joining the team as the group formed in 2012. Catherine provided policy and research support across the Group’s thematic areas of expertise, including contributing to the co-authoring of a comparative study on humanitarian financing mechanisms; a report which was later disseminated globally and used for policy purposes by various sector actors.

A Canadian national, after two years in Australia Catherine returned to Canada taking up a position as a Policy Advisor in the International Operations department of the Canadian Red Cross. Catherine is currently a Project Manager with Precio Fishbone, providing project and grant management software solutions for international development and humanitarian NGOs. Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography, a Master of Arts in International Affairs and has varied experience across the sector having worked in a multilateral funding agency, government, NGOs and in the field.