Jaya migrated to Australia as a young child in 1970, during the tail end of the White Australia Policy. She has first-hand experience of the detrimental effects of discrimination, exclusion and power imbalances. Jaya has worked across a range of not-for-profit organisations, local and state governments in Victoria for the last three decades. She has a Master’s Degree in International and Community Development and is undertaking a PhD at Victoria University, investigating the link between community development and sustainable development. Jaya received the 2021 Victorian Volunteer Champion and Leadership Awards for her work setting up IndianCare and was inducted into the inaugural Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll in 2022.