Our Executive Team:
Ayesha Lutschini, 25 years old, is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Meri Toksave. Ayesha is of mixed PNG and Australian heritage and was born and raised in Papua New Guinea, which has shaped her passion towards social justice and international development. In November 2014, Ayesha graduated from her Dual Degree: Bachelor of Arts (International Relations & Peace and Conflict) and Bachelor of Social Science (Development) from the University of Queensland.
Ayesha has largely been involved with The Oaktree Foundation – Australia’s first youth led and run aid and development organisation since she was 16 years old. Seeing her in roles such as an ambassador in the 2007 and group leader in the 2010 Make Poverty History Roadtrip’s. In 2010 Ayesha was the QLD Live Below The Line Promotions Manager and the 2013 Roadtrip to End Poverty QLD Route Coordinator. Ayesha has also been a delegate in a various Model United Nations conferences.
Ayesha is particularly passionate about Meri Toksave for two main reasons. Firstly, because of the role Meri Toksave plays in activating and engaging young people as agents for change in Papua New Guinea and Australia. Secondly, because of the work Meri Toksave does to address gender-based violence. Through her work with Meri Toksave, Ayesha is humbled and honored to work with some of the brightest young minds in Australia and Papua New Guinea to bring about social change.
Tasman Bain, 23 years old, is the Co-Founder and Deputy Director of Meri Toksave. He is passionate about gender equality, human rights, and youth empowerment and has 5 years experience across NGOs, social enterprise, and the public sector. Driven by a sense of justice and service, he was recognised as a Queensland State Finalist for the 2016 Young Australian of the Year Award.
He is concurrently the Chair of the Queensland Youth Advisory Committee of the Australian Red Cross, an Emerging Voices Fellow of the Queensland Council of Social Service, a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, a Fellow of the Resolution Project, a senior debating coach at a leading girls high school, and the Co-Founder of the UQ International Development Society. He is also studying a Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology) and a Bachelor of Social Science (Development) at the University of Queensland.
Tasman first visited Papua New Guinea when he was 16 years old in 2009 to hike the Kokoda Track and participate in a community development project with highland villages. Since then he has been passionate about Papua New Guinea and is privileged to be working with Ayesha, Courtney, the brilliant Meri Toksave team, and a range of courageous and important PNG organisations and communities to end to gender-based violence.
Courtney Price graduated from The University of Queensland majoring in International Relations. With an interest in language and culture, Courtney is also studying her second language in Spanish. Travelling has inspired her interest in culture and her passion to help the worlds struggling nations. At age 21, she is the Co-Founder and Advocacy and Communications Manager of Meri Toksave which was born out of her passion for social justice and her commitment to address gender based violence in Papua New Guinea.
Courtney was inspired to become an advocate for women’s rights, equality and empowerment, particularly in PNG, after learning the staggering statistics of family and sexual violence in the country. The stories told by women enduring horrific violence quickly captured her heart, inspired her to create change and made her more determined in her role with Meri Toksave.
Courtney is passionate about the United Nations and its efforts to end poverty and human rights abuses around the world. With the desire to work for the United Nations, Courtney has participated in a number of Model United Nations Conferences around the world. In 2014 she organized and was appointed Head Delegate for the first University of Queensland delegation to the Harvard National Model United Nations in Boston. Courtney is involved in numerous volunteering programs, including having been a mentor for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience and coordinator for the Amnesty International School’s Conference.