Meet new Board Members

Aideen Elliott

Aideen has been active in solidarity movements in Ireland (We’re Not Leaving, Financial Justice Ireland, grassroots gatherings, Independent Workers’ Union, anti-war activism etc.), Morocco (GADEM – Moroccan organisation supporting migrants, Amnesty International), the UK (Justice for Cleaners, 3 Cosas, Save Carpenters Estate) and Greece (City Plaza squat, Refugee Support Europe, ECHO 360 solidarity kitchen). She received her MA in International Development from SOAS  University of London in 2013 and, in 2021, completed her PhD at Maynooth University, during which time she was a research associate at l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB-LAMC) and an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholar. Aideen’s PhD is a study on EU migration and asylum policy making following anthropological fieldwork amongst policy makers in Brussels. Aideen’s academic publications focus on the evolution of Ireland’s refugee and migration policy in an EU context, and she has lectured on the topics of EU policy making and migrant solidarity movements in UCD, UCC and Maynooth University. Aideen works at Oxfam Ireland as Senior Policy and Research Coordinator. She works on supporting the rights of migrants, including refugees, particularly in EU policy and practice and on just economies with a focus on debt. Aideen has begun collaborating with and attending events of Comhlámh since 2005 when as a member of Maynooth University’s Global Awareness Society she invited speakers from Comhlámh to university events on trade justice. This initial contact led Aideen to attend many Comhlámh events and become more interested in the organisation. Working more closely with Comhlámh in the past year as a speaker at a First Wednesday event and then organising three events together has deepened Aideen’s interest in the organisation, which she is looking forward to pursuing in the capacity of Board Member.

Duduzile Faith Simkhumba 

A member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, Duduzile is a strategic and resourceful professional with over 12 years of work experience in the field of marketing and communication within financial services. Key areas of specialisation include strategy development and execution, business administration as well as project management. In her previous roles, Duduzile successfully developed marketing and communication strategies and led various successful campaigns and projects.

Personally, she has a special interest in matters of diversity and inclusion, gender equality and social development.

Her qualifications include a Postgraduate Degree in Business Administration (University of Witwatersrand South Africa) and a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management (Management College of Southern Africa).

Gavin Timlin

Gavin has 18+ years’ experience in finance/data occupying senior roles relating to risk management and data analytics, most latterly as Chief Risk Officer for a fund management company – Crossroads Capital Management/HAL.

He is also the founder of CreateSound, a Social Enterprise delivering mobile music production services and tuition in outreach contexts across 100+ locations in Ireland, and TSLI, a start-up delivering job training and inclusion programmes for people seeking asylum in Ireland. Since March 2022 he has also been working in a consultant role for the Irish Refugee Council, supporting the process improvements, research and hands-on programme delivery for accommodation and employment projects, as well as research pieces, including Empathy Mapping.

He has a strong understanding of the refugee and migrant landscape in Ireland and abroad, having worked closely with multiple support organisations/NGOs on independent support projects in Ireland, Greece & Palestine. He haa also developed public support and resources as part of his participation with Comhlamh’s member group ‘Ireland Says Welcome’, including national mapping of resources, submissions to Oireachtas, and system ‘explainers’.

Karen Jeffares

Karen Jeffares is a human rights activist, educator, mother and farmer who lives in County Monaghan with her husband and two children. She has been a Comhlamh member since doing a “Coming Home” weekend in 2009 on her return from 6 months volunteering in Central America, though she then went on to leave and come home for many years after that! She has been involved in human rights, political advocacy and development education for almost 15 years.  She holds an M.Phil in International Peace Studies from the Irish School of Ecumenics at Trinity College Dublin (2008).  She has experience volunteering alongside communities in contexts affected by violence with experience on the US/Mexico border, in Northern Ireland, in Colombia and in Guatemala (between 2009 and 2013). She volunteered and worked with Peace Brigades International for over 10 years, first in the field projects (Colombia 2010-2012 and Guatemala in 2013) and then as founder and coordinator of the Irish branch of this international NGO (2014 – 2021). From 2014 she also became part of the PBI Strategic Development Committee (a committee on PBI’s international secretariat) and was involved in researching and writing an internal policy document on opening new projects; she also contributed towards the development of a 6 year Global Strategic Plan for PBI (2018-2023).  Her time with Peace Brigades in particular gave her the opportunity to work with an international organisation whose actions and mandate are led by the explicit needs of local partners.  She also learned a great deal about NGO management and Governance in the Irish context while setting up PBI Ireland – including engagement with the  Comhláh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies to which it became a signatory.

On return to Ireland in 2014 she also began working part-time as a DevEd facilitator with a variety of Irish NGOs (Afri, LASC, Comhlamh, PBI Ireland, Spiritan Education Trust, etc), which she continues to do today.  In recent years she has co-founded a new organization in Co. Monaghan called Siolta Chroi (Seeds of the Heart), whose mission is to restore Ireland’s ecosystems and communities – they run workshops and other educational activities and projects that help people reconnect with the land and each other.  She is currently home-schooling her 6-year-old daughter and setting up an independent Waldorf school for County Monaghan with a collective of parents in the county.  She continues to believe that we can change the world for the better and is excited at the prospect of connecting with the work of Comhlamh and its member groups as a Board Member.

Lola Ade-Onojobi

Lola currently works as Chief People Officer at i3PT Certification Limited – a multi-disciplinary ESG, compliance and digitalisation consultancy with expertise in the real estate, property and construction sectors.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and two master’s degrees in Business Administration and International Human Resources, respectively.  She has over 25 years of experience working as HR Consultant, HR Practitioner, and SME Co-Founder/Director in consulting, start-up, and multinational environments.

She has worked in both Africa and Europe in the professional services, telecoms, oil and gas, financial services, media/advertising, international trade and development, and construction sectors.  Her HR experience lies in HR Strategy, organisation design and development, HR policy, process and system development, reward and recognition, competency-based performance management, succession planning, organisation culture, change management and enterprise solutions implementation.  She is passionate about equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging, and currently serves on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Advisory Board for Trocaire Ireland.