Ondru Team

desh Balasubramaniam

desh Balasubramaniam

Founder & CEO

e desh@ondru.org

“Ondru means one - the place where people and ideas come together and where diversity unites. It began with humble beginnings in a backyard with the ambition to use art as a language to connect and to amplify our five senses to provoke thought and evoke change. We were driven by the desire to create an equitable and humane society through the art of storytelling. Ondru may have been founded because of my own conflict over identity while being poised between a number of languages, cultural traditions and countries, but it continues to exist and grow ever so lively because it’s shared and shaped by many who come together as one to inspire positive social change; to provide a voice through art to many of our human conditions”.

desh is a remnant of war. He was born in Sri Lanka and raised in both the war-torn Northern and Eastern provinces. At the age of thirteen, he fled to New Zealand with his family on humanitarian asylum. Continually suppressing his heart and accepting his head, he completed his Law degree at Victoria University in Wellington and a degree in Management Studies at the University of Waikato. He then sought an alternative path to answer many of his persistent questions by travelling at length on shoestring budgets through number of countries often by hitchhiking and working various jobs. His continuous journeys have further evoked his passion for expressive art and embarked him on the endless quest in search of identity.

Helen Mayers

Helen Mayers

Arts Manager

e helen.mayers@ondru.org

 Helen has a background in Arts Management. She currently coordinates a range of arts events at La Trobe University, including festivals, theatre seasons, film events and art exhibitions. Helen works casually in promotions for a range of venues and arts groups over Melbourne. She is currently completing her Master of Arts and Cultural Management at Melbourne University and hopes to someday take her skills to project manage arts groups across Asia.  

 

 

Vineela Nalluri

Vineela Nalluri

Human Resources Manager

e vineela.nalluri@ondru.org

"I'm deeply inspired by the work of Ondru and its leadership team in using creativity and art to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people. Bringing people together from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, seeing people united by their compassion and desire to make a positive social contribution and empower others - this gives me a great deal of fulfilment.”

Vineela is passionate and driven HR professional with extensive experience in the private healthcare and hospitality industries. She plays a key role in helping bring Ondru’s vision to life, providing board and executive level HR advice, developing and implementing our HR policies and helping build our team of passionate and like-minded professionals and volunteers. Vineela's key achievements include implementing sustainable work practices and building local community partnerships across the healthcare industry. She's workes with executive teams across Australia and Singapore and has extensive experience in building capable and vibrant organisational cultures. She speaks three languages and holds a Masters of International Hospitality Management (HR Major) as well as Bachelor in Science (Honours) in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She’s lived in India, the U.K. and Uganda, and is very proud to have become an Australian citizen last year.

Luke Maguire

Luke Maguire

Art Projects Manager, New Zealand

e luke.maguire@ondru.org

"I'm passionate about providing a voice for those in our society whose stories are the most important, but are rarely heard".

Luke is a Senior Economist with the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. While his art skills haven’t progressed beyond stick figures, he more than makes up for it with his knowledge of finance, strategy and project management. Luke holds a Master of Business Economics from Monash University and has extensive experience working for across various levels of government and the private sector, presenting on topical economic matters around Australia and in developing countries. Luke provides strategic direction around Ondru’s major projects.


Rebecca Calleja

Rebecca Calleja

Ondru Support Officer

e rebecca.calleja@ondru.org

“I'm a part of Ondru because I believe that the voices most worth hearing are the ones that are often in silence. Art has the power to speak through silence and to celebrate the rich diversity of culture."

With a passion for all things of culture and art, Rebecca comes to Ondru with a keen-eye and plenty of vigour. Currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy and Human Rights) at Monash University, Ondru offers an opportunity for Rebecca to engage with the community and not-for-profit sector while setting her up on her mission to give a voice to minority groups. It is one of the several volunteering projects she has done, which she hopes will help lead her into policy.


Photography by Shane Lam; background painting by John Bartlett - Variation on a Theme on Sacred Places 7 (original in colour)