People

FECCA Executive Committee

Carlo Carli
Chairperson

Carlo has  a strong commitment to public policy, health provision, human rights and empowerment.  He has been a Board member of several not for profit boards. He is currently a part-time university lecturer in public policy at Victoria University and continues with the odd consultancy work. 

Carlo was a member of the Parliament of the Victoria for over 16 years. He understands the complexity of Government and how to pursue changes to public policy. He is aware of legislation, regulation and public policy initiatives in Australia and overseas. He was actively involved in the preparation of significant Government policy documents. 

Carlo is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish with conversational French.   

Jill Morgan
Senior Deputy Chair

Jill Morgan AM has worked extensively in multicultural and indigenous arts in Australia for over the past 25 years. She is a  current Board member of  the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. She was recently the acting Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria and is the former Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural Arts Victoria and Executive Director of Kulcha, Multicultural Arts of Western Australia. She is an active cultural and community development worker and leader in multiculturalism and the arts.  Jill has contributed significantly to cultural policy development and strategies locally and nationally to promote diversity, human rights and inclusion. She is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all Australians, including newly emerged individuals and communities and the right of all Australians to express and share their cultural heritage through the arts.

Peter Doukas OAM
Senior Deputy Chair & ECCNSW Chair

Peter Doukas has been Chair of ECCNSW since 2013. Prior to this, he served as secretary for two terms while the organisation undertook its largest change to its constitution since its incorporation. He has worked in the Greek community for over ten years as a member of the Board of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW. Peter is the Managing Partner of law firm Denison Toyer based in Sydney and has a strong commitment to promoting Australia as a pluralistic, just and open society through the success of multiculturalism.

Emanuel Valageorgiou
Hon. Treasurer

Emanuel is an experienced not-for-profit (NFP) board director and was formerly a senior executive with TransGrid. Until recently he provided human resources and change management consulting services to not-for-profits and small businesses.

He has extensive experience in voluntary organisations dealing with multicultural issues, aged and disability care, youth, and sport. Emanuel has been a Director of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW since 2005, serving as Secretary and Chair and is currently its Treasurer.

He serves as a member of Multicultural NSW’s Western Sydney Regional Advisory Council. Emanuel is also President of the Samian Brotherhood of NSW and a Founding Director of Riverwood Glory Football Club.

Dr Edwin Joseph JP
Hon. Secretary & MCNT President

Edwin is passionate about serving the community. He has a multidisciplinary education, including a doctoral degree. He has worked for private and public sectors; in higher education, project management, research and policy. As an adult migrant, Edwin understands the problems faced by CALD people in Australia. He is active in the refugee space, volunteering with Red Cross, Melaleucca Refugee Centre and DASSAN (Darwin Asylum Seeker and Advocacy Network). Edwin has also been volunteering for community groups, not-for-profit organisations and professional associations, often with leadership positions. He serves on the NT division boards of United Nations Association of Australia, DASSAN, Institution of Public Administration Australia, Australian Computer Society and Australia Day Council.

Miriam Cocking
MCCSA President

Miriam migrated to Australia in the late 70’. Her tertiary education includes Bachelor of Education and Master in Public Education and Administration in the Philippines. Her professional career includes teaching, project and case management and community education. With her bilingual, bi cultural background and with a very strong commitment to community empowerment it led her to a number of volunteering opportunities and community leadership roles. Miriam is the current Chairperson of the Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia (MCCSA). She has been involved with the Council for over 30 years. She has also played an active role on many other committees including being the current President of the Filipino Community Council of South Australia Inc. Miriam is a very passionate and strong advocate on Women’s issues and social justice.

Alton Budd
ECCQ Chair

Alton is a Quantity Surveyor and Construction Manager/Administrator of 30 years, now retired. Alton serves as the President of the Gateway Community Group at Cannon Hill and founded the Australian South Sea Islander Research Association. Alton also founded the FOP Australia Ltd, in 2015 to help to raise funds for medical research and patient support for Australians living with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP). He founded the Hope for Jarvis Association Inc in 2018, to raise awareness of FOP. Alton is also a past Board Member of the Mater Hospital Ethics Committee.

Yaso Ponnuthurai
ECCWA President

Yaso has lived in Western Australia for over 25 years in the area she now represents. She has extensive experience in both the Public and Private Sector, and has a deep connection to the Arts.

Yaso has championed the interests of women and local multicultural communities. She has been a tireless advocate for investment in services that empower with a focus on tackling inequality and supporting programs which empower marginalised groups.

She has a track record in Resources and Health, Capital Projects, Governance, Multicultural Community, Tourism, the Arts, and local Government as well as expertise in financial management, problem solving, stakeholder engagement and organisational governance.

Andrew Ng
ACT MC President

As Chair of ACT Multicultural Council, Andrew Ng is a strong advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the responsibilities of healthcare organisations to better serve the ethnic communities of Canberra.  Besides ACTMC, he is also on the board of Migrants and Refugees Settlement Services, and a former board member of the Australia Chinese Business Council.

Datta Mahambrey
MCOT Chair

Dattaraj Mahambrey is the Chair of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania, the founder of the Coronation Music and Arts Festival group, and a founding member of the multicultural cricket club. Datta is CPA qualified and has worked in Tasmania’s energy industry for more than a decade, and is currently a senior commercial analyst at Hydro Tasmania. 

Eddie Micallef
ECCV Chair

Eddie has a professional background in Occupational Health and extensive experience in Community Health, where he supported policy and programs enabling culturally diverse communities to respond to drug and alcohol challenges. He is a former Director of Inner South Community (STAR) Health Service and William Angliss Institute.

Eddie has previously served as Chairperson of the ECCV Board and is active on ECCV’s Health Policy Committee. He has also been actively representing the ECCV on external organisations such as with Hepatitis Victoria. He served as a Member of the Victorian Parliament from 1983 – 1999, during which he held numerous portfolios covering Health, Industrial Relations, Work Cover & Multicultural Affairs.

Mary Patetsos
Hon. President (Immediate past Chair)

Mary Patetsos is a professional Board Director, serving on both National and South Australian Boards with a rare blend of academic qualifications and expertise. Her skills and experience combined with an extensive national network enable her to add significant value to organisations at many levels. In particular, her commitment to achieve positive change drives her ambition. She contends that a strong belief in the worthiness of learning and work have become her key motivator.

FECCA Staff

Mohammad Al-Khafaji
Chief Executive Officer

Born in Iraq, Mohammad came to Australia, via Syria, as a refugee  at the age of 13 in 2003. Mohammad lived in Iran and Syria and speaks Arabic and Farsi. He completed a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Adelaide in 2012.

After University, Mohammad worked as an IT Business Analyst for several years while volunteering for various organisations. In September 2015 he was appointed as the inaugural CEO of Welcome to Australia, an organisation dedicated to cultivating a culture of welcome towards refugees and migrants in our nation.

Mohammad has held positions at FECCA Executive Board, first as the Youth Chair and later as the Hon. Secretary.

In 2017 Mohammad participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), sponsored by the Department of State (US), to share knowledge and strengthen the Aus.-US relations into the future.

Through his refugee journey to Australia, Mohammad has become passionate about the success of Australia’s Multiculturalism. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role with FECCA. Mohammad believes cultural diversity makes us richer as a society and he is passionate about ensuring the voices of new and emerging communities are heard and are represented.

Mohammad was awarded the South Australian Governor’s Multicultural Award for Youth Achievement in 2012 and was a finalist in the 2018 SA Young Australian of the Year Awards.

Daniel Coase
Senior Advisor

Daniel was born in Zambia. He has a Master of Arts from Oxford University in the UK where he studied languages, and a post-graduate certificate in Education (Teaching and Youth Work). He came to Australia in 1978 and worked as a teacher for some years before moving into the community sector. He worked with Arthritis Victoria where he coordinated the development of a multicultural access strategy. In the 1990s he was involved in the response to HIV/AIDS, including a period as General Manager of the AIDS Action Council of the ACT.

Daniel has joined FECCA after 17 years as a Senior Policy Manager with ACT Health, where he contributed to strategic policy on a range of issues, including reproductive and sexual health, blood and blood products, organ and tissue donation, gene technology, the health impacts of climate change, the social determinants of health, and most recently, on the intersection between health services and the NDIS.

From 2013 he established and led a team within ACT Health set up to improve the organisation’s response to diversity. The initial focus was on consumers and staff from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The team was then expanded to include work on the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, and people living with disabilities, noting that these groups are not exclusive and often overlap.

After a considerable time working in government, Daniel is excited about returning to the community sector.

Mary Ann Geronimo
Director of Policy - Health & Ageing

Mary Ann is passionate about evidence-based and ground-up policymaking. She has extensive experience working with people from diverse backgrounds in understanding policies, interacting with policy systems and building their capabilities to be their own best advocates. For over a decade, she has been leading initiatives that connect policy, research and practice on ageing, health, gender, financial security, participation, and community development in the East and Southeast Asian region, previously and currently, in Australia.

In her previous work at the International Longevity Centre Singapore, she co-developed a leading-edge model of community-based care ecosystem and studied the ageing trajectory of women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. She managed a randomised controlled trial on health literacy, chronic disease management and self-care; a financial literacy program for women; and an experimental study on matched savings all of which produced key policy references in the region.

Mary Ann has co-authored academic publications on ethnography and bio-psychosocial approaches to ageing in multicultural community settings, among others. She also co-authored the book ‘Financial Security of Older Women: Perspectives from Southeast Asia’, a ground-breaking comprehensive overview of women’s old age financial security prospects catalysing calls for policy changes among the countries involved.

She studied public policy and public administration as a Lee Kuan Yew Scholar at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy-National University of Singapore.

Alexandra Raphael
Director of Policy & Advocacy

Alexandra has over a decade of experience working alongside refugees and migrants in Australia and internationally. She has worked across a broad range of areas including research, policy development, protection programming, government advocacy and grassroots mobilisation.

For the past seven years, Alexandra has worked internationally on refugee and migrant humanitarian responses with Oxfam in Greece and the UNHCR in Bangladesh. She led diverse teams to design and implement complex programmes that have addressed issues such as access to basic services, sexual and gender-based violence, cohesion with host communities, and access to justice.

Within this work, Alexandra has developed a strong interest and expertise in community engagement and has created consultation, complaint and feedback frameworks that are innovative, robust, and effective. She has especially prioritised the input of women and other marginalised groups, and successfully worked alongside them to offer support and resources for them to advocate for their own rights and issues.

Before moving overseas, Alexandra spent five years working with Amnesty International Australia working on projects to increase the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia and the Asia Pacific. She developed and led campaigns that combined community organising with research and policy development, media engagement and government advocacy.

Alexandra’s strong professional commitment to safe and dignified migration, multiculturalism, and inclusion, originated in her own family’s migration experience to Australia from Lebanon and Italy.

Alexandra holds a Bachelor of International Studies from the University of Adelaide.

Lauren Stark
Senior Policy & Project Officer

Lauren has experience working across the private, government and not-for-profit sectors with people at the centre of all of her work.

Whilst living in Nairobi, completing an internship with the Gender Equality Unit at UN Habitat, she worked within a globally diverse office to mainstream gender equality and women’s empowerment. The time spent discovering the similarities and admiring the differences between herself and her colleagues furthered Lauren's appreciation of diversity.

Lauren has led a local group alongside a national network to campaign on economic and climate justice for women in mining affected communities. Through this experience she has further developed skills in facilitation, communication and group coordination and an understanding in the importance of strong messages informed through community consultation.

Lauren brings her passion for equality and a fair multicultural society as well as her broad experience in working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse background to her position with FECCA.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Anthropology) from the Australian National University.

Anushe Khan
Policy & Project Officer

Anushe brings 4 years of experience, working with organisations to design and deliver services and policies that are equitable and evidence based. Anushe started her career in community organising and advocacy, working with organisations including Amnesty International Australia, Islamic Council of Victoria and the Refugee Migrant Children’s Centre to deliver policies and programs for diverse communities.

In her most recent role, Anushe joined the SDGs Secretariat, via UNICEF Pakistan, in the National Assembly of Pakistan to conduct evaluations on the progress of Pakistan in achieving key goal markers against the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

With research interests in the civil participation and experiences of refugee communities, Anushe has contributed various research projects including a study mapping sentiment towards the inter-generational Hazara community in Pakistan and understanding the applicability of naturalisation processes from other regions.

Anushe holds a Bachelor of Arts (Politics, International Studies and Islamic Studies) from the University of Melbourne, completing her undergraduate honours thesis on the use of religious rhetoric and ordinances as a political mechanism in Pakistan in the 1980's under the Zia-ul-Haq regime.

Passionate about arts and culture, Anushe is also the project manager for SalamFest, Melbourne’s biggest Muslim arts and culture festival.

Hellen Kibowen
Policy & Project Officer

Hellen joined FECCA in 2021 and brings extensive experience in international program management in complex settings. Hellen has always wanted a career in which she could make a difference in people’s lives by providing hope, encouragement, and the knowledge that they are valued.

Prior to coming to FECCA, Hellen worked as a Project Officer with Burnet Institute supporting the Tuberculosis Elimination and Implementation Science Group on the RID-TB (Reducing the Impact of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis) program in Papua New Guinea. She also supported Burnet Institute’s Optimise Study during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, Hellen was a Programs Associate at Ipas Africa Alliance (Kenya) and supported projects focusing on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Policy & Advocacy, Health Systems Strengthening, Health Education, and Community Engagement and Empowerment.

Hellen holds a Master’s degree in International Development, a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, along with significant additional trainings in Project Management. She speaks Swahili and English and enjoys cooking, traveling, and dancing.

Jennifer Kim
Policy & Project Officer

Jen is the Policy and Project officer in the Health and Ageing team.

Jen has worked in the community and interpreting sector in the last 8 years, with a strong interest in intercultural communication and community development.

Prior to joining FECCA, Jen worked as a Cultural Insight Coordinator at the Southern Migrant Refugee Centre in Melbourne, developing a new micro social enterprise at SMRC, focusing on delivering tailored cultural competency trainings and consultancy to various local government, non-for-profit, and corporate organisations, with a goal of improving their engagement and inclusion of the CALD communities. She enjoyed sharing the ‘light bulb’ moments with her stakeholders during the consultancy and training.

Jen is also a certified NAATI Interpreter in Korean, having worked across various sectors in Victoria, including health, police, education, and community services.

Jen endeavours to put all her experience into work that brings positive change and empowers the community she serves.

Jen holds Master of Social Work from the University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Commerce from Griffith University and Advanced Diploma of Interpreting from RMIT. Outsides of work, Jen loves skiing, exploring the nature and good coffee in Canberra.

Christina Ng
Office manager

Christina has vast experience in business administration. With a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Oklahoma City University, she has over 10 years’ experience in media business development. Her involvement in numerous advertising campaigns and events for media such as TV, on-air, print and online research were well-received.

Christina speaks fluent English and Chinese and is capable to converse dialects (Cantonese and Hokkien). She recently obtained a Diploma in Translation and Interpretation (English/Chinese).

As an Office Manager in Singapore, Christina led a distribution team that managed industry-leading brands. She provided support and oversaw the daily operations: budgeting, monitoring sales progress and ensuring co-workers complied with workplace safety. Christina has long admired Australia’s multicultural environment. Coming from a similar multicultural Singapore, she understands the importance of promoting multiculturalism and providing communities a voice to facilitate integration into society.

Her contribution and supportive role with FECCA in overseeing the daily operations and ensuring co-workers’ and stakeholders’ interests are well in place.