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Maria is a first-generation refugee from South Sudan, arriving in Brisbane (Meanjin) in the early 2000s. She graduated from Griffith University with dual qualifications in Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Government and International Relations.

Maria has a deep passion for advocacy in gender equality, immigration and mental health in diaspora youth. She aims to uplift and empower Black Persons of Color (BPOC) and People of Color (POC) and marginalised communities through contributing to inclusive and holistic policy and research.