The faculty team for the Humanitarian Leadership Programme is a diverse mix of people who bring together expertise and experience from the humanitarian sector, academia and leadership development. It will also include representatives from different agencies and speakers and contributors from outside of the sector, ensuring that participants have access to a breadth of perspective that will challenge them and offer a rich learning environment.

Sophie Perreard – Course Director

Sophie is Course Director of the Humanitarian Leadership Programme/Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership and lectures in the Master of Humanitarian Assistance. Her research focuses on leadership, governance and ethics in complex humanitarian emergencies.

Sophie has over 13 years of experience as a humanitarian practitioner, working mainly in emergency and post emergency contexts in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Middle-East. Before joining Deakin, Sophie worked for Save the Children USA as Deputy Director Emergency Response – Team Leader, and in various capacities with Doctors without Borders (MSF), the German Cooperation (GIZ) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Sophie has lectured at Aix-Marseille University in France, in the areas of humanitarian protection and assistance. She has a Humanitarian Logistics and Administration degree, a European Master in Humanitarian Action and a Post Graduate Degree in Protection – Rule of Law – Human Security from Aix-Marseille University.

Deborah Barry – HLP Intensive Learning Lead

Deborah is an experienced trainer working with UN agencies and NGOs. Her key areas of expertise are child protection, development and youth empowerment practitioner with a 22-year track record in the design, implementation and monitoring of programs in both development and emergency settings. She has also spent 18 years based in the field working directly with communities and working with a variety of governments and cultures.

Deb blends a mixture of expertise in high-level strategic planning and direction along with programmatic inputs including the development of curricular materials and staff training. She has directly managed multi-disciplinary teams as well as been invited to serve as an external facilitator in the development of agency wide strategies and national legislation.

Deb has recently established her own NGO with some other consultants called CWTCH international which is primarily focused on helping NGOs develop and implement youth leadership programs and youth led research. At home in Wales, Deb has volunteered as a youth leader for adolescent girls aged 12 – 18 groups for the past 10 years.

Leonie Lonton – HLP Intensive Coaching Lead

Leonie has had the privilege of working with Save the Children for over 35 years – in all kinds of operational and policy orientated HR and learning and development roles. She led the HR Workstream as part of the set-up of Save the Children International and is currently Director of People and Organisation Development at Save the Children UK.  As part of this role, Leonie is working with colleagues and partners to support the Humanitarian and Leadership Academy initiative whose mission is to empower people around the world to prepare for and respond to crises in their own countries.

She has a BSc in Psychology and more recently has qualified as a NLP (Neuro linguistic Programming) Practitioner. Involved with the HLP since the beginning, she is passionate about the field of leadership and the development and support of people.

Sonia Brockington – Unit Chair – AHL701 – The Humanitarian World

Sonia Brockington is a dietitian by background, starting her career in clinical settings in Australia and the UK. She was a lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at Deakin University for five years. Sonia has completed missions as a nutritionist to South Darfur and East Timor. She has also completed a Master Public Health and has a keen interest is in international health.

Sonia has been delighted to be involved in the Humanitarian Leadership Program as faculty staff since 2015, and recently joined the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership as Course Director for the upcoming Graduate Certificate for Humanitarian Health.


For each residential unit of the HLP the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership draws on longstanding partnerships with other international agencies and professionals to form a team of around 20 individuals who support the delivery of the unit.