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Miriam Mylvaganam

Miriam Mylvaganam

Miriam Mylvaganam

Academic background: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Development Studies and International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (2012).

Areas of interest: Sustainable Development, Poverty Reduction, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Natural Resource Management, Refugees, Migration, Social Entrepreneurship, Conflict Resolution and Transformation, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Food Security, International Relations, Humanitarian Work, Anticipatory Action.

Languages spoken: English, Te Reo Māori (beginner), Thai (beginner).

Miriam has worked internationally across the not-for-profit sector and for the New Zealand government for the past 11 years.

Most recently, she worked for the government’s immigration department (Immigration New Zealand) in the International Strategy team. As a Senior Advisor, she developed an internal engagement strategy in order for Immigration New Zealand to grow a closer bilateral relationship on immigration topics with its Australian counterparts. A key part of this involved arranging a senior level dialogue visit to Canberra, Australia to grow this relationship and discuss priority immigration topics including system reform, refugees, irregular migration, trafficking, and support to the Pacific. Through this role Miriam also provided strategic guidance for the governance of the Migration Five forum.

During COVID-19 and amidst New Zealand’s nationwide lockdown, Miriam led the operations for Quota Refugees and later Afghanistan Emergency Evacuees to enter New Zealand and have a safe managed isolation and quarantine stay with their language and welfare needs being met. These operations allowed for more than 1,600 Afghanistan Evacuees to safely enter and resettle in New Zealand.

She has previously lived and worked in Thailand and Cambodia where she led the international relocation of the operations for a not-for-profit organisation. She provided continual advice to the Director to ensure the organisation was making decisions that aligned with its vision to support women and children across vulnerable communities.

Miriam is passionate about humanitarianism and poverty alleviation for the world's most vulnerable communities and believes local leaders need to be empowered to enact change within their own communities.

Beyond her professional experience, Miriam has volunteered across New Zealand, Malawi, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Miriam is conducting her Masters studies to deepen her knowledge of sustainable development best practices so this can be contributed to an international organisation.