Entrepreneur and University Lecturer
Founder of Research Centre
Forbes 30 under 30
As Seen In
Olga Oleinikova is a Ukrainian-born entrepreneur and university lecturer. She holds PhD in sociology and social policy from University of Sydney. She has lived and worked in Switzerland, Ukraine, Germany, UK, US and now lives in Australia.

Olga is Co-Founder & CEO at HeyLink.me, award-winning SaaS platforms offering tools for social media monetisation, servicing 5M+ clients and generating 220M+ monthly website visits.

Olga is also a Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. She teaches politics and communication. In 2016 she founded SITADHub (Social Impact Technologies and Democracy Research Hub) - a dynamic networked research centre with 170 associates across 16 countries actively researching and writing about the future of democracy, human computer interaction and global mobility.

Olga is the author of "Achievers vs. Survivors: Life Strategies of Migrants" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and "New Eastern European Migration to Australia: From Czech Republic, Hungary and Ukraine to Sydney and beyond" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023). Books explore the lives of modern migrants leaving a crisis-torn homeland and re-establishing themselves in a new country.

Olga holds numerous awards, including Forbes 30 Under 30, Forbes Top 40 Global Ukrainians, Anthill Hot Young Australian Entrepreneurs and is the face of VISA’s global female empowerment campaign. Olga delivered 40+ international talks and keynote speeches, including at the University of Oxford, WZB Berlin Social Science Research Centre, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.
In Press
Persollo - the world's 1st instant checkout platform!
Growth of their Social Media Microsite Platform during COVID
The rise of shopping through social media
4 Ukrainian Girls Told About Life And Work Abroad
Olga Oleinikova, Kyrylo Medvediev & Serg Metelin, 2017 Anthill 30 under 30 Winner
Olga Oleinikova: Persollo
Persollo: Bringing Converstion To E-Sellers & Making Sure They Never Part Again
"Do not be afraid to take risks and say "Yes" to every opportunity!"
Olga Oleynikova, director of the center "Ukrainian Democratic Initiative" (Sidney): "We will respect the Australians to the situation in Ukraine"
Top 40 Global Ukrainians
Australian story
Дневник Эмигранта: Как живется Украинке в Сиднее
Martial law declared for 30 days in Ukraine
52 Top Sydney Startups To Watch
Olga Oleinikova Bio
There are a bunch of millennials building startups in Sydney
Innovating and educating
for a better world

Olga is proudly Co-Founder and CEO of the following commercial and social projects, supported by Australian Government's Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; City of Sydney, NSW Government, Ukrainian Studies Research Foundation, Global VCs and private investors.

Books & Opinions
Book: Palgrave Macmillan Publishing House
This book offers a profoundly new examination of life strategies of migrants from regimes in crisis. By focusing on the unique paired comparison of two opposing life strategies―the dynamic, risk-taking and future-oriented ‘achievement life strategy’ and the conservative, risk-minimizing and survival-oriented ‘survival life strategy’―this volume takes migration from post-independence Ukraine to Australia as a central case study to show how people shape their lives in response to regime transitions and crises; what life strategies individuals pursue to cope with social change; and why these individuals chose migration to Australia.
Book: Palgrave Macmillan Publishing House
This book identifies and examines new forms and paths of Eastern European migration to Australia since the 2000s, and provides updated trends of contemporary migration movements of Ukrainians, Hungarians and Czechs to Australia. With chapters highlighting the diversities and complexities of these new accelerated waves of Eastern European migration to Asia-Pacific, this book offers novel insights to enrich our understanding of East European mobility in the 21st century. The book will appeal to students, scholars and policymakers in the fields of migration, sociology, political science and international relations.
Book: Routledge Publishing House
This volume offers a profoundly new interpretation of the impact of modern diasporas on democracy, challenging the orthodox understanding that ties these two concepts to a bounded form of territory. Considering democracy and diaspora through a deterritorialised lens, it takes the post-Euromaidan Ukraine as a central case study to show how modern diasporas are actively involved in shaping democracy from a distance, and through their political activity are becoming increasingly democratised themselves.
Book: Springer VS
Neue osteuropäische Migration nach Australien:
Von Tschechien, Ungarn und der Ukraine bis nach Sydney und darüber hinaus
Politico: Opinion
Eight years after its annexation from Ukraine, disillusionment is setting in.
TV Interview
Host: Kathryn Robinson; Panel: Olga Oleinikova, Jess Scully, Ian Kemish and Austin Evans.
The panel discusses the National party's stance on the Voice to Parliament, Russia's targeting of Ukraine's energy infrastructure, rental crisis, the incomes of authors and socialising after hours with work colleagues.
TV Show
This week, Q+A throws the focus to global issues with a panel of big thinkers. In a world of competing interests, wars and fractured international relationships – is democracy in a fight for its very survival?

In a year of crucial elections around the world, the existential threat of climate change and increasing global volatility – what does it all mean for Australia? Where do we fit into the broader international picture? And how much can we really control our own destiny?
TV Interview
Host: John Barron
Panel: Olga Oleinikova, Jenna Price, Gus McLachlan, Shalailah Medhora
The panel discusses the reactions of the federal budget, the transitioning process from primary to high school, the recent developments around the conflict in Ukraine and the 80th anniversary of Dambuster raids.
TV Interview
Host: John Barron
Panel: Peter Hartcher, Olga Oleinikova, Melanie Tait and James Blackwell.
TV Interview
It's been six months since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, and after more than 5,000 deaths, there still seems to be no end in sight.  Dr Olga Oleinikova (@UTSEngage) assesses the shape of the conflict half a year on, with Russia expected to ramp up its assault. #9News.
TV Interview
Host: Ellen Fanning; Panel: Adam Carrel, Olga Oleinikova, Topaz McAuliffe and Ian Henshchke
Guest: Anthony Galloway. The panel discusses six months on since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, skills and labour shortage in Australia, dealing with the construction industry and use-by dates.
TV Interview
Director of The Ukraine Democracy Initiative Dr Olga Oleinikova says the situation for Ukrainians is dire as the country heads into the colder months of Winter
TV Interview
We thought we'd beaten COVID, until war and economic strife, protest and authoritarianism reminded us how rapidly things can change in a connected world. War, inflation and an unfolding climate crisis sets the scene for 2023.
The Conversation: Opinion
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t only devastating the lives of ordinary Ukrainians, it is already creating economic disruption and increasing poverty, food insecurity and inflation far beyond Eastern Europe.
TV Interview
UTS professor Dr Olga Oleinikova says Russia's latest missile test is a "show off" to the world, as the May 9 Victory Day looms.
Special Panel
Join the Lowy Institute for a special panel to discuss the unfolding war in Ukraine. From the brutal invasion to the imposition of crippling economic sanctions – where are we now? What are Putin’s goals? How is Europe responding? What should we read into China’s reaction, and what are the implications for the Indo-Pacific?

Dr Olga Oleinikova is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. Zoya Sheftalovich is a contributing editor at Politico and editor of Politico’s Brussels and London Playbooks. Dr Maria Repnikova is an Assistant Professor in Global Communication at Georgia State University and a Wilson Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

The Quicky speak to an expert in Ukrainian society and politics to find out who this man is, and whether he really will be able to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and bring an end to the violence before it escalates further.
TV Interview

The Ukraine Democracy Initiative Research Centre’s Dr Olga Oleinikova says President Volodymyr Zelensky is showing leadership by not fleeing. “He will be praised by Ukrainians that he did not give up or leave the country,” Dr Oleinikova told Sky News Australia. “He’s showing good leadership.”

TV Interview
Channel News Asia (CAN): Is this a war Putin cannot afford to lose?”
Radio Interview

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has claimed that Russia did not attack Ukraine, two weeks after Russia began its invasion. The Russian Defence Ministry has also denied responsibility for hitting a maternity hospital in Mariupol, saying that the attack was staged to smear Russia. ABC NewsRadio's Glen Bartholomew spoke to Olga Oleinikova, Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Sciences University of Technology Sydney.

TV Interview
Host: Jeremy Fernandez Panel: Mariam Veiszadeh, Macolm Farr, Olga Oleinikova and Colin Barnett Guest: Frank Jotzo The panel discusses the government under fire for appointing former Liberal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, offering enough places to Ukrainian and Afghan refugees, IPCC findings and wages boom in northern Australia.
TV Interview
Host: Ellen Fanning Panel: Craig Emerson, Olga Oleinikova and Greg Sheridan Guest: Bermet Talant The panel discusses the government's decision to stop and limit Sydney's train network, a third of Australian men who killed their female partners are high functioning and increasing tensions in Ukraine.

What does it mean to be Ukrainian today?

Modern Ukrainian identity today goes beyond mere history, ethnicity or language. Increasingly, it has come to revolve around a set of shared pro-Western values — values that are growing stronger with each blast of Russian artillery.

TV Interview

Olga Oleinikova, Director of the Ukraine Democracy Initiative at the University of Technology Sydney, says Ukraine is on war footing as a state of emergency is declared.

The Conversation
This article is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative with the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century.
The Conversation
This article is part of the Revolutions and Counter Revolutions series, curated by Democracy Futures as a joint global initiative between the Sydney Democracy Network and The Conversation. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century.
The Conversation
Country profile for The Conversation.
Book Chapter
A number of issues are delaying visible results of modernization efforts and decentralization reform. These are Ukraine’s de-industrialization, the conflict in and around Ukraine, centralization of administrative tasks, an absence of well-defined responsibilities, lack of the organizational, technical and financial resources of local authorities, duplication of structures, and in some cases the resulting weakness and incompetence of local authorities. This chapter examines the link between decentralization and modernization. Considering decentralization reform as a vehicle for modernization, the chapter shows how it can be an effective strategy to promote modernization, and focuses on key obstacles and solutions to improve local governance and public sector performance and to strengthen the economy in ways that enhance citizen wellbeing and democracy. It concludes with a discussion of necessary conditions for the successful modernization of post-Euromaidan Ukraine within the decentralization reform framework.
Shima Journal of Island Studies
Drawing on recent debates about expanded concepts of islands and of Island Studies, this article suggests that Crimea can be regarded as “almost an island” in sociocultural, political and infra-structural terms. The article discusses Crimean historical moments and events, socio-cultural encounters and autonomies as important dimensions in the establishment of an “islandness” that extends beyond the geographical into the imaginative space. Crimean “almost-islandness” is argued to be created by a combination of the diverse marine spaces that border substantial parts of its terrain, the history of tensions and conflicts between its ethnic groups and the current historical transition from one social and political practice to another
East /West Journal
This paper is the first of its kind to provide a comparative overview of Western (Western European and North American) and post-Soviet East European transition theories and literature that can be used to understand specifics of post-Soviet transition in Eastern Europe. Bridging the two broad theoretical traditions of East and West, and taking Ukraine as a case study, this literature review adds to the transition literature a discussion that relates to the emergence and interplay of structure and agency theories since the 1950s. 
The Wire
The new HBO miniseries Chernobyl has proved a hit with viewers and new reports suggest that the blockbuster show has contributed to a 30-40% rise in tourism to the still radioactive area. Joining Victor Petrovic to discuss this rise in disaster tourism is Director of the Ukraine Democracy Initiative Dr. Olga Oleinikova. 
ABC News
30 days of martial law have been declared in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko argued that the measure was necessary in order to fight what he described as "growing aggression from Russia".
It comes amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia, in the wake of an incident where Russia fired on Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea.
A comedian whose only political experience consists of playing a president on television appears headed for a landslide victory in Ukraine's real-life presidential election.
Channel 10: The Project
Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy leading Ukraine's presidential race

A comedian with a popular anti-corruption message but no political experience has taken the lead in the first round of Ukraine's presidential election.