THE ASSOCIATION

The Board

Dr. Christin ter Braak-Forstinger, LL.M.

Dr. Christin ter Braak-Forstinger, LL.M.

Co-Founder and Chairwoman | christin.forstinger@braveaurora.com

Christin was born in 1973 in Schärding / Upper Austria and has many years of experience in impact investing, philanthrophy adisory and the financial services sector. Christin has been living and working in Zurich for several years and is the founder of an independent advisory company in the field of philanthropy. In addition to various other stays abroad, Christin lived in America for two years, where she completed a master's program at Duke Law School and her dissertation at Harvard Law School. Christin has been a volunteer board member at PlanInternational Schweiz. Travel, openness to other cultures, and yoga are important in Christin's life. She is a loving mother of two children.

Susanne Gahleitner, B.Sc.

Susanne Gahleitner, B.Sc.

Deputy-Chairlady | susanne.gahleitner@braveaurora.com

Susanne was born in Arnreit/Upper Austria in 1991. After completing an apprenticeship as a media technician and her school leaving examination, she decided to study sociology where she did a semester abroad in Lithuania. She graduated in 2017 and went to Guabuliga as a volunteer for six months, where she got to know and appreciate the BRAVEAURORA team on site. Her commitment in East Africa strengthened her wish to come back to and participate in  the NGO SOS Human Rights in Upper Austria. There she works as a caregiver for minor asylum seekers. Additionally she currently does her master degree in Social Work on a part time basis next to her job. Susannes passion for other cultures and her social commitment take her abroad from time to time to help people in need.

Sarah Kotopulos, M.A.

Sarah Kotopulos, M.A.

Co-Founder and Secretary | sarah.kotopulos@braveaurora.com

Sarah was born in 1987 in Styria/Austria. She finished a master programme in social-work with an emphasis on “Intercultural Competence” at the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria in June 2013. Sarah works as a manager of a human rights organization called “SOS-Menschenrechte” whose prior mission is to advocate for a humane refugee-care and for a human rights education with high quality. Sarah also has completed a training to become a legal advisor in Asylum- and Alien Law at Caritas Austria in Vienna. She likes travelling, acts as a voluntary “buddy” for a Somali family in Austria (Communal integration of refugee families of the Red Cross) and spends time with both of her godchildren. Singing constitutes an important part of her life.

Alea Pleiner, M.Sc.

Alea Pleiner, M.Sc.

Deputy-Secretary | alea.pleiner@braveaurora.com

Alea was born in Wels/Upper Austria in 1991. She finished her bachelor studies "Social Services Management" at the University of Applied Sciences in Linz in 2015 and her master studies "Development and International Relations" with specialization on "Global Refugee Studies" at Aalborg University in Copenhagen in 2017. Amongst others, Alea participated in a sustainable tourism project in Nicaragua and did research on the health circumstances in the bateyes in the Dominican Republic as well as on the living conditions of returnees in a camp at the Haitian-Dominican border. Currently Alea is working at the Caritas for people in need as a coordinator at the ReKI (Regional Centre for Integration and Diversity). In her free time, Alea has a thriving passion in getting to know other cultures, diving and reading.

Julia Obereder, M.A.

Julia Obereder, M.A.

Co-Founder and Treasurer | julia.obereder@braveaurora.com

Julia was born in 1987 in Upper Austria and found her social consciousness from an early age. She started studying “Social Work” with an emphasis on “Intercultural Competence” at the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria, which she finished with a Master-Degree in June 2013. Furthermore, she has completed the training in the area of Asylum- and Alien Law at Caritas Austria. For more than two years, Julia worked at the department of Migrant-Assistance at Caritas Linz and in 2013, she took over the position as director for a refugee-residence in Upper Austria. At the moment Julia works as a social worker with the Department of Social Welfare in Austria. Julia spends her spare-time at her local music-association and in discovering foreign countries and cultures.

Simone Blümel

Simone Blümel

Deputy-Treasurer | simone.bluemel@braveaurora.com

Simone was born in Vienna in 1991. Since 2010 she has been a kindergarten teacher. In 2014 she successfully completed a further kindergarten education to be qualified to work with children with special needs. She considers the uniqueness of each human being as an enrichment which is reflected in her professional and private attitude. For many years Simone has been engaging in her home parish/church-community where she has gained a lot of experience in children- and youth work. Furthermore she undertook a long-term internship in a child hospice and worked as a volunteer for BRAVEAURORA in Guabuliga. In her free time she loves to play music, enjoys sailing and appreciates inspiring conversations.