Veronica Pardo, Chief Executive Officer

Andy Miller, General Manager

Hung Nguyen, Finance and Office Manager

Deshani Berhardt, Administration & Design

Sneha Varma, Marketing & Communications Officer

Anita Larkin, Creative Producer

Freyja Macfarlane, Events Coordinator

Lella Cariddi, Special Projects

Arik Blum, Project Officer, Artist Services

Miriam Abud, Project Officer

Forest Keegel, Emerge Cultural Hubs Coordinator, Bendigo

Con Pagonis, Volunteer

Meg Larkin, Creative Producer (Maternity Leave)

Trinidad Estay, Project Officer (Maternity Leave)

Volunteers & Internships
Adrian Pearce, IT Support
Bianca Winataputri, Project Assistant, 2015-16 What Happened at the Pier #2, Mapping Melbourne 2017
Christian Andrew, IT Support
Con Pagonis
Lella Cariddi, Curator, 2015-16 What Happened at the Pier #2
Madeleine Thorburn, Project Assistant, 2015-16 What Happened at the Pier #2

Veronica Pardo

For the past nine years, Veronica has been Executive Director of Arts Access Victoria, the state’s leading arts and disability organisation. Through her work, she has led an ambitious agenda of social and artistic transformation for people with a disability and the communities in which they live. With a passion for social justice and equity, she has spearheaded campaigns relating to the inclusion of all people in arts and culture, as audiences and cultural innovators. Veronica has a successful history of employment at senior levels in the not for profit sector, with a major focus on policy and advocacy.

Andy Miller
General Manager

Initially trained as a painter at the Canberra School of Art, Andy Miller worked in theatre for a number of years before working to establish arts programs in the community sector. Following a few years as an arts and cultural officer at two local governments, Andy began a career in the state public service in various senior roles at Arts Victoria and Creative Victoria and was seconded for a period with Creative Partnerships Australia, as Senior Programs Manager. As well as a Bachelor in Fine Arts, he has a Masters in Public Policy and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Melbourne.

Anita Larkin
Creative Producer

Anita Larkin has over 20 years experience as a musician and founded many of MAV’s community cultural development and mentoring programs in 2004, providing vital connections and career pathways – stimulating tangible cultural and economic development alongside new eclectic musical genres for Australia’s musical landscape. Anita was awarded the George Fairfax Arts and Entertainment Management Scholarship in 2007 for her successful track record in cross cultural community arts.

Meg Larkin
Creative Producer (Maternity Leave)

Meg Larkin manages Multicultural Arts Victoria’s suite of major events and festivals as part of the organisation’s Artist & Creative Event Brokerage service, this has included the annual live productions for Australia Day (VIC) celebrations, New Year’s Eve at Fed Sq, Viva Victoria Multicultural festival and the Premiers’ Gala Dinner. Since joining Multicultural Arts Victoria in 2005, she has provided thousands of performance opportunities for diverse artists and advocacy for diversity in the arts across sectors and levels. In 2013, Meg became Creative Producer for the inaugural Mapping Melbourne festival – a contemporary arts initiative exploring the impact of Asia on Melbourne’s ever-evolving cultural and artistic identity – that has become a major annual program in the City of Melbourne.

Hung Nguyen
Finance and Office Manager

Hung Nguyen is a CPA with over 15 years experience working in accounts and finance. He joined Multicultural Arts Victoria in late 2006, shortly after migrating to Australia. Previously, Hung was Finance and Supply Chain Manager at Dumex Vietnam, a subsidiary of Danone Global. He also holds many years of experience working in large multinationals overseas. Managing MAV’s finance and office operations, Hung supports the Board and leadership teams with timely provision of financial reports, analysis, effective management and contribution to the successful business operation and financial achievements of MAV. Hung completed a Masters of Accounting from Swinburne University and the CPA Australia program.

Deshani Berhardt
Administration & Design

Originally from Sri Lanka, Deshani performed for over 15 years as a professional ballet and contemporary dancer alongside working as a dance teacher and facilitating art workshops stemming from her passion for working in the community sector. She moved to Australia to complete her Bachelor in Design and has since worked on multiple major projects in photography and graphic design including Multicultural Arts Victoria’s inaugural Mapping Melbourne festival and corporate materials. At MAV, Deshani has also coordinated the Music Deli Concert Series at the Melbourne Recital Centre in addition to providing core administrative support for the organisation.

Sneha Varma
Marketing, Development & Communications Officer

Originally from India, Sneha has previously worked in event management, celebrity management, and social media management.She has also performed and worked for over 5 years as a professional contemporary dancer in an all-girls dance ensemble. She has completed her Bachelors of Science in Visual Communication with a specialization in film production.

Sneha moved to Australia to complete her Masters in Arts and Cultural Management and has simultaneously volunteered at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Indian Film Festival, and Multicultural Arts Victoria as well.
With a strong passion for multicultural arts activities, Sneha has proven skill and ability to develop and implement effective communication strategies to connect and engage with community members from diverse backgrounds.

And now, she continues to be inspired and is looking forward to work with great people in her new home.

Freyja Macfarlane
Events Coordinator

Freyja Macfarlane has worked in the arts, music and event sectors for over 15 years in a variety of roles ranging from event producer and artist liaison to site and logistics manager. Freyja joined the MAV stage management team in 2014 and in 2016 was invited to come on board as a festival and event coordinator working across multiple projects including Piers Festival, Emerge in the West and Mapping Melbourne. She has a BA in Music Business (RMIT) and studied acting, theatre and film at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Arik Blum
Project Officer, Artist Services

Coming from a background as a musician and music producer, Arik has been working in the music industry for over 15 years and has worked alongside many of Melbourne’s amazing musicians as both a multi-instrumentalist and music producer. Over the last 5 years, Arik set up and runs GRID Series, an artist development program that helps emerging artists build capacity and community around their musical projects.
At MAV, Arik helps artists find performance opportunities, works with programmers in creating culturally diverse line-ups for events and links up musicians with both government and commercial sectors. Arik is also soccer fanatic who has a special interest in early 90’s football trivia, particular based around Italia ’90.

Lella Cariddi
Special Projects

Lella Cariddi is a writer, researcher, curator, installation artist, and Community Cultural Development Practitioner, working for the advancement of Cross-cultural Literatures & the Arts. At Multicultural Arts Victoria, Lella drives the pioneering project titled, “What Happened at the Pier”, with the express aim to give voice to the many unrecorded histories of migrants who came to Australia by ship and disembarked at Port Melbourne prior to 1972. The project encompasses extensive research and community consultations and Lella continues to facilitate significant intergenerational and cross-cultural connections.

Miriam Abud
Project Officer

Miriam has worked with multicultural artists since 2001, on events and programs at MAV and elsewhere. She co-presented Africa #1 African music program on PBS radio station for several years, and has played in a range of bands from jazz to folk, rock and soukous. After working in education in both primary and secondary schools, she is enthusiastic about returning to the arts and cultural development realm.

Con Pagonis

Con’s career focus has primarily been migrant and refugee settlement planning, access & equity, and social cohesion.  In the 1980s he managed an old-style migrant hostel in Western Sydney.  Through the 1990s he worked in Canberra and Hobart.  First as a Senior Adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet’s Office of Multicultural Affairs; secondly as a national community programs and humanitarian settlement director for the Immigration Department; and then as the department’s Tasmanian State Director.  2001-‘07 he primarily managed the Immigration Department’s settlement and multicultural affairs branches in NSW and then in Victoria. From 2007-‘15 Con worked as a multicultural policy adviser; first with the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and then with the Municipal Association of Victoria. Now retired, Con also volunteers with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria and Community Radio PBS 106.7FM.

Trinidad Estay
Project Officer (Maternity Leave)

Chilean born visual artist, Trinidad Estay has worked in different Art Organizations in Chile and Australia.  She Migrated from Chile in August 2011. She has three years of experience working in arts education, two at the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Santiago, MAC, (2007-2009) as assistant of the education Department and one year at Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre , GAM, as Teachers Program Coordinator.  She also has experience working in Arts Management: she did an internship in the Programming department at MAC and she worked projects with Audience Development area at GAM.  In 2008 she won a grant from Chilean government to do an internship at the Tate Museum in Liverpool, England on Arts and Education. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Visual Arts at Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago. Trinidad curated the Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize 2013 in partnership with AMES at MAV and has curated exhibitions and events in partnership with our many culturally diverse artists  and communities.

Forest Keegel
Emerge Cultural Hubs Coordinator

Forest Keegel has twenty years experience as a visua artist in Community Cultural Development. She is passionate about creating participatory artworks and engaging people to generate work that expresses their voice and identity and believes in using the arts as a thread that ties people together and weaves joyous communities. She worked collaboratively with diverse young people at the Artful Dodgers Studios, Jesuit Social Services for 11 years and was a member of the Art Central team of artists in the Central Goldfields Shire. She lives and works on Dja Dja Wurrung Country and listens deeply to the stories of the Traditional Owners who continue to share their rich cultural heritage with a generosity which astounds her. As a settler she can trace back roots to Sri Lanka and the UK.