Dr Zhiyan Basharati is an activist, advocate, champion and academic. She was born and raised in a Kurdish refugee camp. Since she arrived in New Zealand has established and managed many advocacy and support groups for migrants and refugees in her home town of Christchurch. She was a founder and advisor of the New Zealand National Refugee Youth Council (NZNRYC); recently Zhiyan and her colleagues have established the Refugee Research Centre (RRC), “Research by Refugees for Refugees”.
She is currently working with Christchurch Victims Organising Committee (CVOC), the Depression Support Network and Te Puna Oranga and is an individual consultant researcher working in collaboration with University of Canterbury on refugee entrepreneurship research.