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CWLA Research Officer

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soniadimezza 200Sonia is a human rights lawyer based in Canberra who has worked in diverse humanitarian contexts including in Pakistan, Lebanon, Sudan, Europe and India.

The daughter of Neapolitans who came to Australia in the 1960s, educated at Monte Sant Angelo and at three Sydney Universities, Di Mezza has wasted no time carving out the path she has chosen to follow. Her tertiary studies began at Sydney University where she studied Spanish, French and Italian by day, and law at UTS by night, graduating BA from Sydney in 1994, and LLB in 1995. Then followed a year’s work with an international accounting firm while in part-time pursuit of studies for a Master’s in Commerce from UNSW.

With the Masters of Commerce completed in 1997, Di Mezza then quit the private commercial sector and responded to an advertisement by a migration agency that was preparing refugee applications as well as standard immigration applications.

Because of the nature of humanitarian work, Sonia’s location was constantly changing and she has gained experience working in the field in multiple countries. Her worked predominately focused on setting up and managing legal aid and human rights projects for local and international non-governmental organisations, as well as working as a Resettlement Consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon. She worked for four years as a human rights lawyer in Australia, representing asylum seekers in the community and in detention centres.

She currently is a member of the International Council (board of directors) of Peace Brigades International, an international human rights NGO headquartered in London. She speaks French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. Sonia is committed to the respect and promotion of human rights, is a committed Christian, and is looking forward to working as a Research Officer for the CWLA to continue this work.