We are delighted to announce the appointment of five new thematically focused Regional Coordinators who we look forward to working with over the next few years to improve the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens.
Regional Coordinator for Asia (Community) – Anoka Abeyrathne Anoka Abeyrathne is a social entrepreneur, advocate and community builder. Her work revolves around community, equity, conservation, justice, and youth empowerment. Her work in the community sector has resulted in over 20,000 people especially to empower women and vulnerable communities across the Asia-Pacific region gaining additional income as well the ability to gain upskilling through digital training and development. With a keen interest in technology and ensuring that no one is left behind, her work through the Active Citizens program as well as organizations to campaign for social causes has enabled Anoka to build strong communities which are united in their mission to support and create long-term impact for the good. A graduate of the University of Cambridge with a background in law and biology, Anoka is a Forbes 30 under 30, Asia21 Fellow, Sri Lanka’s first female World Economic Forum New Champion, Zonta Award for Environment recipient, Cosmopolitan 35 under 35 and a British Council International Climate Champion.
Regional Coordinator for Africa (Literacy) – Nikita Nkese
Nikita Nkese is the Founder/Creative Director of Sweetest Kiddies Empire. Having worked with children and young people, for thirteen (13) years now, she understands their psychology and how to spur them to greatness. A renowned Child’s Rights Activist, Teens' counsellor, author of a bestselling children's book that has been adopted in schools across Nigeria, a seasoned educationist and philantropreneur.
She holds a PGD in Education from National Teachers' Institute, Kaduna and B.Sc. in Sociology from University of Calabar, Nigeria. She is a detailed oriented wide-read proofreader of international and national books in any study field.
Nikita has been a judge for The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) since 2019, and has made self-sponsored travels and publicity to promote the QCEC and literacy in Nigeria all borne out of passion to ensure the Nigerian Child is exposed to educational opportunities beyond Nigeria.
She is a member of Advisory Council of Africa Asia Scholars Global Network (AASGON). She is recognized internationally and nationally for her educational contributions in the lives of the Nigerian Child. Nikita was interviewed live by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on 19th September, 2022 and 6th May, 2023.
An arm of her Empire - Sweetest Kiddies Spelling Bee (SKSB), an annual spelling challenge has impacted 25,000 documented children between 2017 - 2023. SKSB helps children’s spelling, vocabulary and public speaking abilities. Her brand has distributed 31,500 textbooks, 1000 sandals and 750 school bags to vulnerable school children in Nigeria, within 2012 – 2023. 25 students are on Sweetest Kiddies Scholarship Scheme.
Nikita was a two-time national queen, Miss Niger Delta 2011 and Miss University of Calabar 2009. She loves helping youths to grow into better versions of themselves. She collaborates with several NGOs and companies like LadyCare Nigeria, Flour Mills Nigeria, Champions Beverages Nigeria, etc, in projects promoting children’s education.
Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean and the Americas (Equality) – Timothy Thompson Tim Thompson was raised in Quispamsis, New Brunswick Canada by a single mother of five. Tim currently resides in the Provincial Capital of Fredericton and serves as a full-time reservist working with the Canadian Cadet Organization. He is a graduate of the New Brunswick Community College in Miramichi and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Thomas University in 2011. Tim is a member of the Cadet Instructor Cadre branch of the Canadian Armed Forces. He has dedicated over 17 years to working in Canadian communities and providing our youth with better opportunities. His leadership skills with the Canadian Armed Forces have provided him an opportunity to live and work in various locations across Canada and to visit other countries. In an effort to spread cultural awareness and to bring communities together, Tim helped to organize a Cultural Awareness Weekend and Powwow for cadets across the Maritime Provinces. He is also the Positive Space Ambassador and ensures a safe and inclusive space within his office. Tim has also volunteered to work as a civilian alongside Canadian military members in Afghanistan and Dubai. He was deployed on 3 assignments overseas to aid in the support of our troops in their missions. Tim believes that Canada and the Commonwealth of Nations have the opportunity to take the lead in renewable energy, Human Rights, literacy rates and diversity. He believes that by working together we will be able to create a more inclusive and greener society for the next generations. When Tim is not working he spends his time outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of Canada, with his partner Travis Simms, and their rescue animals. Tim enjoys travelling and learning about new cultures. Tim can often be found planning his next adventure.
Regional Coordinator for Europe – Keiran Healy Having first joined the Royal Commonwealth Society as an intern in 2015, I’ve been able to see how the Commonwealth offers a platform for global connection and collaboration on key issues such as sustainability and democracy – it is this that I feel makes the organization and its potential so exciting. The Commonwealth heavily focuses on youth empowerment as a mechanism to achieve and deliver change and this is something that I am equally passionate about – in particular on key issues facing both mine and future generations across the Commonwealth such as climate change and education for all. Since 2015, I’ve continued to volunteer for the RCS including annually at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey, as a judge for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition and as an Associate Fellow - I’m now really excited to be taking on this new role as the RCS Regional Coordinator for Europe. I’m looking forward to the have the chance to support the delivery of some of the Society’s key programmes over the coming years, with a particular focus on the Environment. Having visited a number of Commonwealth counties and seen first-hand their natural beauty, I’m keen to play my part in building on the incredible work the RCS has already undertaken on issues such as The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and preventing ocean plastic.
Regional Coordinator for the Pacific (Environment) – Wilfred Luiramo My name is Wilfred Luiramo and I am an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society from Rarumana in Western Province, part Fataleka and Kwara'ae in Malaita Province in Solomon Islands. I am passionate to see an improved society where young and old are engaged in leadership, climate change, governance and improving lives of rural citizens. I hold a few roles at the moment and they include Chairman of Special Olympics Solomon Islands, Founder and Executive Member of Ocean Servant Foundation and also the Owner of Haleta Seaweed. My previous experience includes acting as the USPSA Regional Representative to the USP Council (2014-2016), Interim Chair of the Forum Solomon Islands International (2017-2018), Outreach Director Special Olympics Solomon Islands (2018-2021) and Prime Minister to the National Youth Parliament (2018).