SafeGround National Committee

SafeGround is run by a National Committee made up of entirely of dedicated volunteers with diverse skills and experience. We are a team of researchers, photographers, educators, nobel prize winners, finance specialists, writers, students, and activists.  Our researchers are experts, who have decades of experience researching landmines, cluster munitions, and other explosive remnants of war.

Our team is based in locations across Australia and internationally. We meet once a month by Skype or teleconference and conduct the majority of our day-to-day communication by email. Each year we hold a 2 day residential conference to plan campaign actions for the year ahead. Sometimes sub-committees work on a particular issue, always reporting to the National Committee where final decisions are made.

 

Committee Members

Kimberley McCosker

Kimberley McCosker is a photographer and journalist based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She became involved in SafeGround in early 2014 after investigating the impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war in Cambodia and Laos by photographically documenting the work of humanitarian mine action organisations in the region. Kimberley’s work at SafeGround has been focused on communications, assisting with funding proposals and contributing to field and desk research. She is co-editor of the research publication In Search of Safe Ground: Explosive Remnants of World War II in the Solomon Islands.

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Thanh Truc Quach

Treasurer

Biography coming soon

Mette Eliseussen

National Committee member

Mette began work in mine action in 1989. She co-founded and was part of the Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines when she was a member of the 1997 ICBL Nobel Peace Prize winning team. In 1997 she received the ‘Barn av Jorden’ award for her work with children in Kabul during war.

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John Rodsted

National Committee member

John has over 25 years’ experience working in mine action. He has worked in many countries around the world documenting the legacies of war. The photos he took of cluster bomb strikes in Lebanon in2006, which he took to the Norwegian Government, were the catalyst for action which led to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. John is a member and official photographer to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). His photographic skills were recognised world wide when he was a member of the 1997 ICBL Nobel Peace Prize winning team.

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Helen Stanger

Public Officer and South Australian Co-ordinator

Helen Stanger has a background in Primary School teaching long ago in England, and studied Teacher-Librarianship after coming to Adelaide. As a volunteer she has taught remedial readers, and has taught conversational English to speakers of other languages.

As Public Officer Helen is the human link between SafeGround, the government authorities and the general public, aiming to ensure the smooth running of our association.

As South Australian Coordinator she organises local events and liaises between the SA Group and the National Committee. She has organised poetry competitions in South Australia to raise awareness of the problems of landmines and cluster munitions.

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John Heathers

National Committee Member

Having had a lifelong interest in the use of explosives and weapons John retired in 2003 after a 30 year engineering career with Telstra and joined SafeGround (formally the Australian Network to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions) in Sydney in 2004. Wishing to do something practical in retirement he worked with an NGO interested in ridding the world of landmines for 11 years, while over that time visiting minefields in a number of Asian countries.

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Lorel Thomas

National Committee member

Lorel has been a member of SafeGround (formerly the Australian Network to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions) since 1999. She was the newsletter editor from 1999–2010 and also held the role of National Secretary from 2008–2010. She was the National Coordinator from February 2010 to October 2015. In all of these roles Lorel has been involved in research and documentation on a wide range of issues. She was a co-editor of the publications ‘In Search of Safe Ground-Cluster Bombs and ERW in Eastern Cambodia’ and -Explosive Remnants of War in the Solomon Islands.

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Matilda Byrne

Sanjeewani Pathirage

Communications Manager

Sanjeewani has a background in political and campaign communications, and has consulted for NGOs such as Amnesty International Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation. She has volunteered with a range of organisations such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and the Victorian Greens. Her interest in legacy weapons and the the ongoing impacts of war stem from her studies in global politics, history, and the enduring effects of imperialism.

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Matilda Byrne

Matilda Byrne

Communications Officer

In her final few months of a Bachelor of International Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne, Matilda’s areas of interest throughout her studies has included weapons and security issues. Having researched international regimes relating to small arms and light weapons (SALW) as part of her university coursework her enthusiasm to contribute to the reduction of the presence of these weapons has led her to joining the SafeGround committee as part of the communications team in December.

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