Chairperson – George Lekakis AO
Deputy Chairperson- Miriam Suss OAM
Deputy Chairperson- Huss Mustafa OAM
Treasurer, Public Officer- Bayarkhuu Purevedorj
Secretary – Michael Van Vliet
Huss Mustafa OAM
Carolina Aguilera De Snow
The Hon John Cain
Jason Yeap OAM
The Hon Ted Baillieu
Finance, Risk & Audit Subcommittee
Jill Morgan AM
Philanthropy & Fundraising Subcommittee
Miriam Suss OAM (Chair)
Michael Van Vliet
George Lekakis AO
Jill Morgan AM
George Lekakis (Chair)
Jill Morgan AM
House of World Cultures Subcommittee
David Wright (Chair)
Miriam Suss OAM
Jill Morgan AM
GEORGE LEKAKIS AO
Chair: May 2016 Current
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
MIRIAM SUSS OAM
Secretary: 2015-2016 Current Tenure: 2013-2017
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
MICHAEL VAN VLIET
Secretary: May 2016
Current Tenure: 2016-2017
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
Current Tenure: 2013-2017
Katie McLeish is an internationally experienced CEO in the non-profit Arts sector. Her passion is melding mission integrity and business imperatives to deliver successful outcomes. With over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Katie has held CEO and Senior Leadership roles including at the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, New York City Center, the Sydney Festival and The Australian Ballet. Career highlights include staging a highly successful $75M capital campaign and building a $10M program endowment for the Fall for Dance Festival in New York City and leading the team to achieve a record breaking 2015 Melbourne Festival. Katie is an active member of the CEW (Chief Executive Women) network and the AICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors). She is the mother of 2 teens, loves languages and travel and is a recent yoga convert! Katie is proud to serve on the board of Multicultural Arts Victoria, reflecting her deep commitment to diversity in the Arts.
Katie McLeish is an internationally experienced CEO in the non-profit Arts sector. Her passion is melding mission integrity and business imperatives to deliver successful outcomes. With over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Katie has held CEO and Senior Leadership roles including at the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, New York City Center, the Sydney Festival and The Australian Ballet. Career highlights include staging a highly successful $75M capital campaign and building a $10M program endowment for the Fall for Dance Festival in New York City and leading the team to achieve a record breaking 2015 Melbourne Festival. Katie is an active member of the CEW (Chief Executive Women) network and the AICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors). She is the mother of 2 teens, loves languages and travel and is a recent yoga convert! Katie is proud to serve on the board of Multicultural Arts Victoria, reflecting her deep commitment to diversity in the Arts. Katie is proud to serve on the board of Multicultural Arts Victoria, reflecting her deep commitment to diversity in the Arts. Cultural Background: Australian/Scottish
Current Tenure: 2014-2017
David is Managing Director of Wright Management Consultants, working as a facilitator of strategy, organisation development and large project design.
Following a career in IBM, David returned from New York to establish his consultancy in New Zealand and Australia. He has worked internationally, undertaking projects in the private sector covering transport, IT and energy. In the public sector David has managed significant projects for Governments in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and the USA. He has been involved in the NZ Maori Treaty settlements and facilitated the development of Creative New Zealand. He played a leadership role in the establishment of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa. David is a graduate of Auckland University in Mathematics and Physics. In 1980 he was assigned briefly to the Brookings Institution. He is a Psychodramatist and NLP Master Practitioner. David has six children and eleven grandchildren. Cultural background Australian/British
Current Tenure: 2012-2017
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
Current Tenure: 2016-2017
Judith is currently the President of Inner South Community Health Service, and chairs its Strategic Policy and Planning Committee. Judith served two terms as Councillor for the City of Port Phillip, chaired its Planning Committee for 6 years and served on many other CoPP committees, including South Melbourne Market, Audit and Multicultural, and also on the Gasworks Arts Board.
Judith worked at ECCV as its first Policy & Regional Development officer from 2001 to 2004, and is a former ECCV committee member and is a former member of the Victorian Adult, Community and Further Education Board. Judith holds a BA, Dip Ed and a Graduate Diploma in Multicultural Studies and Education. She is a Graduate member of the Institute of Company Directors and a qualified Mediator. Cultural background: Australian/European/Jewish
HUSS MUSTAFA OAM
Current Tenure: 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
Treasurer: May 2017
Current Tenure: 2016-2017
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
CAROLINA AGUILERA DE SNOW
Current Tenure: 2017
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
Current Tenure: 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