Michael van Vliet – Chairperson
Huss Mustafa OAM – Deputy Chairperson
Symon Kohut – Deputy Chairperson
Linda Petrone – Secretary
Bayarkhuu Purevdorj – Treasurer, Public Officer
Carolina Aguilera de Snow
Chidambaram S Srinivasan
Dr Teresa De Fazio
The Hon John Cain
Jason Yeap OAM
The Hon Ted Baillieu
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 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
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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 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 Treasurer: June 2018 Current Tenure: 2016-2018
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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
Fiona Ford is an accomplished Legal Counsel with a love for the arts. Fiona brings legal expertise to the Board with significant experience in commercial litigation, dispute resolution and regulatory matters having worked for over 11 years as a commercial disputes and insolvency lawyer at Mills Oakley Lawyers, Telstra Corporation Ltd and National Australia Bank Ltd. Fiona has deep industry knowledge of complex disputes having acted for some of Australia’s largest corporates. She has worked on large scale customer compensations schemes, regulatory investigations, and litigation and pre-litigation matters with a particular focus on creative solutions to resolve complex commercial and legal problems. Fiona has executive presence and experience in dealing with a range of senior executives on high profile matters and is known for her role in advising senior executives on governance committees.
Passionate about the arts, Fiona is an active supporter of the multicultural arts sector which stems largely from her cultural heritage as a second generation Australian. A former Performing Artist, Fiona has participated in various capacities including 13 years as a former Performer, Manger and Tutor (and current Alumni member) of the Australian Girls Choir, former lead singer of acoustic band “Just Duet”, regular supporter and attendee of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Theatre Company and the Australian Ballet and skilled volunteering in the community through Mock interview workshops at June Consulting, the Salvation Army Hamodava Café, Melbourne and previously at the Monash Oakleigh Legal Service Centre.
Fiona holds a combined Bachelor of Performing Arts / Bachelor of Laws (BPA/LLB) degree at Monash University, Melbourne and has completed the post graduate Insolvency Practitioners Association Education Course, University of Southern Queensland. She is also a member of the Golden Key Society in Recognition of Academic Excellence and is an active member of Women on Boards, the Melbourne Cricket Club, Victoria Racing Club and the Royal Automotive Club of Victoria City Club, Melbourne.
Cultural Background: Australian/Polish-Jewish
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
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
Dr. Teresa De Fazio is of Italian cultural heritage. She is currently the Manager, Cultural Diversity at Victoria University. In 2017 she completed two terms as Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Her work as a Commissioner and academic has provided her with the privilege of working closely with many communities in Australia. She feels strongly about the important roles creative arts and education play in ensuring a positive and healthy sense of social connection for all citizens.
She is a Community Ambassador for Love of Languages and has received a number of awards for her dedication and work to multiculturalism. Teresa has published many articles and books amongst these teaching and learning resources for the Australian Human Rights Commission and Community Languages Australia. Dr. De Fazio is also a Community Ambassador for both the Asian Football Confederation Cup and Melbourne Victory. She is also on Board of the Edmund Rice Community and Refugee Services. She undertook a study program at Ca’ Foscari in Venice though a University of Melbourne scholarship. She is fluent in both English and Italian and is learning Spanish.