Dr Casta Tungaraza is an agent of change, mentor, Intercultural Relations Consultant and an entrepreneur. Casta is known for her advocacy and long-term service for gender equality and empowerment of women.
She was the Gender Equality, Diversity and Social Justice Manager of Murdoch University until December 2014. Her work in promoting better outcomes for African women led to the development of the Dare to Dream-Links (D2D-Links) program for mentoring and coaching African youth in WA, in particular young African women.
In 2006 she founded Miss Africa Australia Perth, a young African women’s leadership development program to harness the cumulative energies of African girls and support their positive transformation in society. This has become one of the most successful and effective mentoring programs for African girls in Australia.
She has been recognised and awarded nationally and internationally for her commitment to the prevention and eradication of violence against women and children through her tireless voluntary work with the new and emerging African community in Australia.
Using the human rights framework, Casta developed and introduced an innovative education and community awareness campaign aimed at preventing and eradicating harmful African traditional practices, beliefs, and stereotypes that legitimise and exacerbate violence (specifically female genital mutilation) against women, young women and girls. The African Girls’ Rite of Passage program sensitises community against harmful practices while endorsing positive elements of African traditions and family values.
Casta is the co-founder and President of the African Women’s Council of Australia (AWCoA), which is a platform for African women’s voices in Australia. Working with young people and their families, she led significant community dialogues on African parents’ engagement with the child protection system in Australia, African youth and crime, the African community’s engagement with the criminal justice system and their relationship with WA Police.
In 2012 Casta was inducted in the WA Women’s Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of a number of national and international awards including:
- the African Union ECOSOCC Global Africa Diaspora Award 2015 for visionary and inspiring leadership in the inclusion of African women in all facets of development
- the WA Multicultural Services Award for her work over many years in empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities, combating racism and promoting human rights
- Mentor of the Year Award
- national Living Legend and Most Influential African in Australia Awards finalist for Murdoch University’s Most Distinguished alumni
- recognition by H.E. Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania for Exceptional Contribution to Australia and Service to Tanzania.
Casta has served on a number of boards and has played an active role in the field of multicultural policy, providing significant input to state, national and international anti-discrimination policy. She was a member of the Federal Government’s Australian Multicultural Advisory Council (AMAC) that provided advice on issues relating to the social and civic participation of migrants in Australian society.
In 2015 Casta was appointed as the inaugural Co-Chair of the newly established Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations (AGAAR) that provides advice to the Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), on enhancing Australia’s institutional, commercial and people-to-people links with African countries. She is also a member of the Minister’s Multicultural Advisory Group in Western Australia.
Casta also works closely with the African Diaspora in Australia and actively supports the integration, participation and empowerment of African-Australians in economic, social, cultural and political spheres in Australia.