Chairperson – Michael van Vliet Deputy Chairperson- Huss Mustafa OAM Deputy Chairperson- Symon Kohut Secretary – Linda Petrone Treasurer –  Bayarkin Purevdorj


George Lekakis AO Miriam Suss OAM Hilary Bucumi Carolina Aguilera de Snow Chidambaram Srinivasan


The Hon John Cain Jason Yeap OAM The Hon Ted Baillieu

Finance, Risk & Audit 

Philanthropy & Fundraising


House of World Cultures

Michael Van Vliet - 4cm square MICHAEL VAN VLIET Chair: June 2018 Secretary: 2016 – 2018 

Michael has extensive experience in the multicultural sector. In 2001 he was employed by the Victorian Government in the Multicultural Affairs portfolio. He was the grant manager at the Victorian Multicultural Commission from 2003-2011. After two years as communications manager at Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, he now works in local government as the City of Yarra’s grants manager. Michael comes from an immigrant family and realises the importance of maintaining cultural heritage through creative cultural expression. The stories of immigrants not only tell us where they have come from, but point to where Australia as a nation is going. He has strong affiliation with the migrant communities of Victoria, especially the new arrived and refugee communities, and has worked closely with many migrant communities, helping them to develop and realise their projects. He has worked as a journalist and has a wide experience of government grants. He studied visual arts at Monash University and has a BA in Journalism from RMIT and plays piano and guitar. Cultural Background: Australian/ Dutch/ Irish
 Huss Mustafa_07 HUSS MUSTAFA OAM Deputy Chair: June 2018 Board Member: 2017  

Huss Mustafa OAM has a Turkish Cypriot heritage with very humble beginnings who migrated to Australia with his family at the age of 10 and is currently a Senior Executive at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with over 43 years of service. Within 6 years of arriving in Australia in 1968, with no knowledge of the English language  he passed all his grades, and in 1974 obtained a position at the then State Bank Of Victoria, which merged with The Commonwealth Bank in 1991. Huss after 10 years at the bank, and at the ripe old age of 27 seeking to fulfil his career aspirations, applied and was granted a bursary from his employer to undertake further studies on a part time basis to complete his undergraduate studies majoring in Accounting, which he completed in 1989. Huss in 2011 was appointed as a Commissioner at The Victorian Multicultural Commission for a 4 year term and is currently a member of the Small Business Minister’s Multicultural Business Ministerial Council. He is a founding member of the Australian Turkish Business Council and is currently the President in his 10th term. Huss has also served three terms on the Australian of the Year judging panel. Huss has been a role model citizen within our Community and he continues to mentor a large number of professionals and Business owners and in 2014 he was included on the Queen’s Birthday Honors list and received the Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to Multiculturalism and Business. Cultural Background: Australian/Turkish/Cypriot 
Symon Kohut SYMON KOHUT Deputy Chair: June 2018 Board Member: 2016 – 2017 

 Symon is the grandchild of the postwar Ukrainian refugee migration to Australia.  His grandparents were from a richly cultured tradition and his grandmother became an internationally recognised poet of the Ukrainian diaspora. [pane title=”” background_image=”undefined”] He grew up bilingually and now raises his three young children bilingually in the multicultural soil of Melbourne’s inner west. Symon had an active childhood in the Ukrainian community in Melbourne. He went on to study Arts and Law and completed part of his studies in Ukraine. He has pursued a range of artistic projects as a musician and devoted his time to numerous leadership roles in the Ukrainian community including as editor of its national newspaper for eight years. He works in human resources for the Victorian government with expertise ranging from dispute resolution to conflict of interest management. He also writes, arranges and conducts music for choirs, specialising in East Slavic sacred music. Cultural Background: Australian/Ukrainian 
 Linda sq LINDA PETRONE Secretary: June 2018 Current Tenure: 2018 

Linda Petrone brings to the board twenty-five years of professional experience working across the community, government and private sector, to promote diversity, human rights and inclusion.  Linda has held senior management roles in grants management, policy and research at the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) organisational governance, financial and operational responsibilities at Court Services, Department of Justice and is currently the business development manager at Oxfam. Linda’s work brings together her expertise and strong knowledge of working with multicultural communities, refugees, migrants – including these in the arts sector – as well as its champions and advocates.  Linda has worked with Multicultural Arts Victoria while at the VMC, helping to support the important role arts have played as a key pillar in celebrating diverting and creating an inclusive society. This includes important community and whole of state initiatives such as Viva Victoria, Emerge and the Anti-hate Campaign. Linda comes from an Italian migrant family and celebrates the importance of cultural expression as a part of our collective and individual identities. She has also worked in with local refugee migrant communities supporting their resettlement in in the inner Melbourne area. She holds a Master of Human Rights Law and Master of International Development. Cultural Background: Australian/Italian 
Bayarkhuu Purevdorj - 4cm square BAYARKHUU PUREVDORJ Treasurer: June 2018 Current Tenure: 2016-2018 

Bayar has worked in diverse industries such as tourism, mining, franchising and retail. He has always had a desire to be more active in the community. For the past 7 years he has been the Director of the Mongolian community association and he is intimately aware of the challenges that are faced by not-for-profit organisations. [pane title=”” background_image=”undefined”] He has extensive knowledge and experience in business analysis and management. It is his desire to contribute to the promotion of multiculturalism, the culture and history of all the communities that reside in Melbourne. He is also the Honorary Consul of Mongolia in Melbourne (since 2015). Cultural Background: Australian/Mongolian 
 George Lekakis AO GEORGE LEKAKIS AO Board Member: 2018 Chair: 2016-2018 

George Lekakis AO brings to the position over three decades of knowledge and experience in organisational governance, policy development, financial and program administration and a long standing experience of delivering complex community and health services.George was the longest serving Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission from 2001 to 2011. He had key responsibilities in coordinating a whole of government approach to support the cultural diversity of the Victorian population. George managed the expansion of the Commission’s work to include the development and implementation of the Victorian Multicultural Act 2004, the Community Grants program, the Cultural Precincts and Community Infrastructure Enhancement Fund, Celebrate Diversity Week, the Awards for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs, Interfaith Initiatives, the Refugee Communities Support Program and the Interpreting and Translation policy initiatives program in Victoria. George has previously served as the Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria in a voluntary capacity. He has also served on many government and community-based boards and committees of management and was a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. He is currently the chairperson of the Victorian Interpreting and Translating service. In 2010 George was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community through leadership roles in multicultural organisations and to the development and implementation of services to support those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. George has formal qualifications in social work and nursing. Cultural Background: Australian / Greek 
 Miraim Suss MIRIAM SUSS OAM Board Member: 2017 – 2018 

Miriam is a social worker by profession who served as the Director of Social Work and Community Development Services at Jewish Care, headed up the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, and held the position of Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Miriam has participated in several Ministerial Advisory Committees in the areas of Health, Community Services and Multicultural Affairs. Miriam is a Board Member of Alfred Health, and is the Deputy Chair of the Victorian Interpreter and Translation Service (VITS). She was the Director of Social Work and Community Development Services at Jewish Care, the Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, and has participated in several Ministerial Advisory Committees in Health, Community Services and Multicultural Affairs. In 2013 Miriam was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for Service to the Jewish Community. After many years of work in the area of community service provision, Miriam’s recent professional involvements have focused on fundraising, marketing and communications in the NFP sector.  She held the position of General Manager Development, Communications and Marketing at Jewish Care 2010 – 2012. Miriam is a Board Member of Alfred Health, and is the Deputy Chair of the Victorian Interpreter and Translation Service (VITS). In June 2013 Miriam was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for Service to the Jewish Community. Cultural Background: Australian/Jewish 
Hilary Bucumi HILARY BUCUMI Board Member: 2012-2018 

Hilary is currently the Community Guides and Volunteers Administrator at AMES Settlement – HSS and also a Member of the Australian Burundian Community in Victoria. He completed Bachelor of Arts at University of Bujumbura (Burundi), Department of French Language and Literature. In 2008 he was a Senior Community Guide for Burundian entrants,  Case Coordination Support Worker at AMES-IHSS. Hilary has worked as a Kirundi and French Radio Programs Producer for at Radio Kwizera-Ngara Tanzania. Hilary has also worked as a Kirundi & French teacher in Burundi for 15 years and as a Head Teacher at Mtabila Primary School, Kasulu (Tanzania) in 1994. He is fluent in Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Kiswahili, French and English languages. Cultural Background: Australian/Burundian 
Bio CAROLINA AGUILERA DE SNOW Current Tenure: 2018 

Carolina grew up in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and migrated to Australia in 1997. She is currently the Frankston City Council Arts Project Officer at the Cultural Development and Communities Department. She has produced and curated the annual intercultural Ventana Fiesta project since 2009. She is a qualified architect and teacher with interest and experience in social and sustainable outcomes. She has engaged in a variety of grass roots programs with communities of different cultural ethnic and religious backgrounds in partnership with a range of stakeholders including business, organisations, government, non government and foreign entities to address social cohesion and cross cultural awareness. Cultural background: Australian/Argentinian 
 Srini-Dec2015-IMG_0203 sqCHIDAMBARAM SRINIVASAN Board Member: 2018 

Chidambaram Srinivasan (Srini) has been a longstanding supporter of cultural activities in the communities in Melbourne for over 3 decades.  As Commissioner at Victorian Multicultural Commission, for 6 years, he has had extensive community engagement and consultation. He is a passionate advocate for expanding the opportunities and platforms for performing arts groups and artists from multicultural communities. For many years, he has been a keen supporter of MAV and its activities such as Mapping Melbourne, Emerge Festival programs in Metro & Regional Victoria.  He is familiar with the issues facing the artists from diverse communities especially the South Asian and Indian music and dance community.  This knowledge places Srini in an excellent position to provide cultural leadership to promote inclusive diversity and productive community and arts collaborations to make MAV a viable force for multicultural arts and artistes to flourish in Victoria. Srini migrated to Australia in 1980. He has had a successful career spanning 32 years in the IT industry, having worked for IBM Corporation in Australia, India, U.S.A. and Japan in senior Management roles. Srini graduated in Electrical Engineering from Madras University, India and had specialised training in Japan under the Colombo Plan. He brings a variety of management skills, empathy, knowledge and experience in the areas of technology, business and community engagement. For over 12 years, he has been providing business advice as a Mentor with Small Business Mentoring Service. He has also been working in a voluntary capacity for over 12 years in areas of governance, policy review and fundraising for a Melbourne based charity, The East West Overseas Aid Foundation, providing childcare, healthcare and community development in rural India. He is currently a Member of its Management Committee (Board). He has successfully worked in cross-cultural business and social contexts, thanks to his proficiency in multiple languages including English, Tamil, Japanese, Hindi, Bengali and Sanskrit. Cultural Background: Australian/Indian