Founding Executive Director
Lynelle is the founder of InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV), beginning in 1998. She is a Vietnamese adoptee residing in Australia (Sydney). She has built ICAV into an extensive worldwide network amongst the intercountry adoptee community and provided one of the first and now oldest platforms worldwide for intercountry adoptee led organisations and individuals to collaborate, share, and encourage one another, regardless of sending or adoptive country.
In the first decade, Lynelle focused locally and built strong and positive relationships with the Australian Federal Government responsible for intercountry adoption (DSS & AGD) and most State Central Authorities in Australia. She also built lasting relationships with the majority of Australian NGO post adoption support organisations who provide intercountry adoption services to adoptees. This advocacy at government level in Australia, resulted in free psychological counselling to all intercountry adoptees in Australia from Relationship Matters, now Relationships Australia, access to a free Hotline for all intercountry adoptees for visa, passport, birth country queries; and a free Search & Reunification Service to all intercountry adoptees via International Social Services, Australia for 2 years, which sadly, despite much advocacy, ended mid 2018 after helping over 200 adoptees and families. Lynelle continues to lead the adoptee representation in advocacy in Australia to the government and continues to provide consultation and educational resources.
Within the Australian context, she has written, edited and collaborated to publish extensively on the experiences of intercountry adoptees. The book The Colour of Time was her brain child which she edited, compiled, and published in June 2017 in collaboration with ISS Australia, funded by the Australian federal government. Her second project funded by the Australian government is a series of Educational Videos for Professionals, which she directed and launched in October 2021. She was also responsible for commissioning the adoptee artwork in a 2021 project that reviewed the research in Adoption and Suicide funded by the Australian government and a global first to look into this aspect of intercountry adoption.
Today, Lynelle’s work has extended to include international networking and relationship building with other Central Authorities and organisations globally who work in or are connected to intercountry adoption. She has been a guest speaker at many seminars, conferences, symposiums to governments and related organisations internationally.
In 2019, Lynelle was invited to represent ICAV at The Hague Working Group to Prevent & Address Illicit Practices in Intercountry Adoption and brought together a group of leaders from around the world to contribute to this important forum. Yearly she represented intercountry adoptee interests as an Observer at these Hague meetings. In 2022, she brought together a global team of leaders to represent the intercountry adoptee community at the July 2022 Special Commission Hague Convention Meetings. This was the first time a broad number of adoptive countries and birth countries had representation from adoptees at the Hague Special Commission meetings. Previously, IKAA (Korean) and BBA (Brazilian) were the only other adoptee led organisations to be represented.
In 2019, Lynelle was also guest speaker at the US Department of State Intercountry Adoption Symposium, bringing with her a group of 10 American intercountry adoptee leaders to have a say and become visible in American intercountry adoption policy and practice. Lynelle continues to elevate the intercountry adoptee voice around the world and encourages adoptee leaders to do likewise. Other countries like Quebec, the Philippines, and New Zealand have invited her to bring adoptee leaders to be consulted with or to provide education to their teams.
In 2021, Lynelle was invited to join Child Identity Protection as a Special Advisor. This international organisation has a mission to uphold the child’s right to know their origins.
In March 2022, Lynelle was invited to represent a collaboration of intercountry adoptee groups named Voices Against Illegal Adoption (VAIA) to the United Nations on illegal adoptions. On 29 Sept 2022, the UN released their Joint Statement on Illegal Intercountry Adoptions, to which our collaborative VAIA had provided lived experience input.
Lynelle has an IT and business background, having worked at large corporations, IBM and PwC. Her various roles have included managing large contracts, delivering outsourced services, sales and client management, crisis and problem management, managing high functioning IT specialist teams around the world, and bringing people together to deliver a complete IT service.
This website is funded and provided by Lynelle as a volunteer in her spare time.
List of blogs, media, books and resources that Lynelle has written and contributed to over the years.