BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), DEA (Master’s equivalent), PhD International Law
Mary has over 25 years' professional experience. During the past ten years, she has focussed on the legal and policy aspects of humanitarian action, disaster resilience and sustainable development.
Mary has been at the forefront of the development of disaster law. While working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), she undertook ground-breaking global research on disaster risk reduction legislation, and was co-developer of a model national law on the facilitation of international disaster response. She has published numerous reports and papers, including detailed national case studies, and has delivered presentations and workshops for governments and humanitarian organisations, regional and global conferences, taking her to more than a dozen countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and Central America.
Mary’s work as a consultant has been wide-ranging, with clients including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Health Organisation, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the IFRC, American Red Cross and The Sphere Project, among others. She has worked on projects relating to the legal and policy frameworks for urban resilience, and for disaster resilience of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia, fire risk in informal settlements in South Africa, gender equality and protection from sexual-and-gender-based-violence (SGBV) in disasters, and aspects of comparative international law, international humanitarian law, anti-discrimination, and human rights.
Mary combines rigorous research methodology with clear analysis, plain-English report writing and a practical approach to recommendations. She is adept at cross-cultural communication, working with teams from different language and cultural backgrounds, and can also read and research in French and Spanish.
After practising law in Melbourne, Australia, in the field of employment and anti-discrimination law, Mary undertook postgraduate study in Geneva, Switzerland, where she obtained her DEA (Masters equivalent) and doctorate in public international law.
BA, LLB (Hons), LLM International Law
Victoria has worked in the humanitarian and development sectors for nearly 20 years, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, in a range of roles spanning international law and policy, emergency operations, community development and institutional capacity building.
Victoria has extensive operational experience in humanitarian coordination and program management, having held senior positions with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). She has developed and managed programs in areas of disaster preparedness and risk reduction, climate change adaptation, health, WASH, shelter, migration and settlement, and community development. Victoria has also been deployed to numerous international disaster operations including the Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004), Pakistan Earthquake (2005), Myanmar Cyclone Nargis (2008), Marshall Islands Drought (2013) North Pacific Typhoons Haiyan (2013) and Maysak (2015) and as Shelter Cluster Coordinator for the Nepal Earthquake (2015).
With a background in international law and policy, Victoria was one of the initial founders of the world’s first program on International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) and was a key contributor to the development of a set of international guidelines for the facilitation of international disaster response. She later worked in the Asia Pacific region supporting national governments and regional bodies in the Asia Pacific region to strengthen legal and policy frameworks for responding to disasters, and conducted numerous research projects, case studies and other published work.
Victoria has also provided coaching, mentoring and capacity building for Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies and NGOs in the areas of legal base and governance, strategic planning, leadership development, human resources, project management and stakeholder communications.
BA, MES (Masters of the Environment & Sustainability)
Rosanna joined HDC in 2019, and has supported a number of projects for agencies such as UNDRR, UN Women, ADB and IFRC. This has given her a range of international experience in gender-responsive disaster risk reduction (DRR), women’s leadership and gender equality in DRR, and international disaster law and policy research. Rosanna has conducted gender and DRR country research on all of the SAARC Member States, as well as Fiji, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Vanuatu, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.
Offering strong research, writing and coordination skills, Rosanna has worked on a number of publications, including the UNDRR Global Assessment Report (GAR) 2022, UN Joint Study on the Status of Gender Equality and Women’s Leadership in DRR, UNDRR Study on Women-led Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS) 2021, and IFRC South Asia IDRL Mapping 2021.
With a Masters in the Environment and Sustainability, and Bachelor of Biology, Rosanna offers strong analytical skills, with a sound understanding of the interconnections between policy, institutions, and the social and environmental impacts on the ground. Rosanna then acted as the Partnerships Manager with an INGO working to break down the barriers women and girls face in accessing a quality education, where she communicated purpose and impact to a range of stakeholders, as well as drafting communications and facilitated networking events. In this role, Rosanna also provided technical review and inputs for programming, in particular, assessing alignment with global standards such as the SDGs and Sendai Framework indicators.
In her post-graduate facilitation at Monash University on Corporate Sustainability, Rosanna is experienced in preparing engaging learning material that communicates complex information in digestible ways – as well as grading of assessments in a meticulous fashion. This ability and eye for detail, is an asset in preparing documents, communications or conducting research.