FECCA Executive Committee

Carlo Carli

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 AM
Senior Deputy Chair—Women

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.

Mary Patetsos AM
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.

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.

Elijah Buol OAM
ECCQ Chairperson

Since arriving as an unaccompanied minor from South Sudan, Elijah Buol – a Criminologist, former refugee, father of four and Director of Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland – spends much of his time helping young and disadvantaged community members integrate successfully into Australian society.

With qualifications including a Master of Law, Master of Justice in Intelligence, a Bachelor of Human Services and currently studying Juris Doctor at the Australian National University, Elijah has held senior and volunteer positions in community and not-for-profit sectors. Elijah's advocacy work was instrumental in helping remove children under 18 from adult prisons in Queensland. He has held numerous volunteer positions and is recipient of multiple awards for advocacy and community services.

Dr. Edwin Joseph
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.

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.

Aimen Jafri
A/Chair MCOT

Aimen is an impassioned community volunteer and a multicultural advocate, who has been volunteering internationally for the past 16 years in Pakistan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Australia where she moved with her family in 2018.

She holds an MBA in Human Resources and Marketing, and sits on boards, working groups of various organisations across Hobart and is the interim Chair of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania. She won the Awards Australia, Tasmanian Community Outstanding Achieve Award in December 21 and was the finalist of the ABC Radio Hobart Community Spirits Awards and Clarence Council Citizen of the year 2023.

Aimen currently works as Employment Program Officer at Migrant Resource Centre and advocates for community integration. Along with her craft, she enjoys photography, gardening and plays volleyball for the Van Diemen Volleyball Club.

Mamta Kochhar

Mamta is the founder of United in Diversity WA Inc. – a not for profit for social cohesion and integration of migrants. Mamta joined ECCWA board in 2020.

Mamta is a lecturer at South Metropolitan TAFE, Thornlie WA. Her passion is to see that migrants in Western Australia have every opportunity to contribute fully to the Australian community.

She was awarded the 2020 Auspire Community Citizen’s Award from City of Canning and is an alumnus of programs such as Leadership and Governance by Office of Multicultural Interests and CIVAL program by ASeTTS.

Mamta has two sons.

Angela Ljubic
Regional Chair

Angela is bilingual from a Croatian background. She was born and educated in Wollongong a regional area. She has been working in the community since 1999 as a Psychologist and has a passion for supporting migrants, refugees and newly arrived culturally diverse people. To demonstrate her passion for this work, Ken Habak Chairman OAM observed her attendance at many community functions over the years so she was nominated as Regional chair of FECCA. The work with FECCA complements the work she is doing as Director on the Board at the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI) and she is a cross cultural Psychologist.   

Her professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (major in Psychology and Industrial Relations), Master of Science (Psychology), Master of Science (Honours). She is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society and I am endorsed in the Health and Counselling colleges. Also she worked as a sessional clinician with Transcultural Mental Health and NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) so she has an excellent understanding of CALD people who have experienced the immigration process and now participate in Australian society.   


Mary Ann Baquero Geronimo
Chief Executive Officer

Mary Ann has held key leadership positions in the not-for-profit sector and her experience merges significant work in systems thinking and evidence-based policy advocacy that are rooted in people and communities in Australia and in the East and Southeast Asian region.

In her previous role as Director of Policy for Health and Ageing at FECCA, she led a strong representation on access and equity for culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the pandemic response, primary healthcare, and reforms in the aged care sector. Prior to joining FECCA, she led initiatives that informed policies in community-based care and women’s financial security in six countries in the East and Southeast Asian region for a decade. She is co-Founder of the ‘Regional Learning Network on Women’s Financial Security’, a partnership of NGOs, policymakers, and researchers in the region. Her early career in the NGO sector includes leading a post-conflict reconstruction program in Southern Philippines and building multi-stakeholder partnerships for corporate sector investments to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Her management experience involves navigating challenging operating contexts such as financial crises and major shifts in public policy, building sustainable financial strategies, implementing culture change, developing systems to grow people along with the organization, and engendering a credible voice for and with communities.

She has co-authored academic publications on ethnography, bio-psychosocial approaches to ageing, and public health communications in multicultural settings, among others. She co-authored and co-edited the peer-reviewed first cross-country comparative study, Financial Security of Older Women: Perspectives from Southeast Asia.

Mary Ann studied public policy and public administration as a Lee Kuan Yew Scholar and obtained her master’s degree at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy-National University of Singapore.

Beth Hall
Director of Social Policy

Beth joined FECCA as Director of Social Policy in 2022 with a wealth of experience, expertise and commitment to equality and social justice. Before joining FECCA Beth spent over ten years working at the executive level with the Federal Government specialising in strategic policy developing whole of government frameworks, policies and systems reform. Areas of focus have included international relations and representing Australia at international fora on women’s economic participation; developing and coordinating Australia’s implementation of the United Nations Women, Peace and Security Agenda; women’s leadership and developing the strategy to increase women’s representation on government and ASX boards; family, domestic and sexual violence including developing the framework for the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children; and multiple areas in First Nations policy including developing a national strategy for responding to communities in distress, a framework for increased funding for mental health, and strategies for improving outcomes of children and young people including developing the framework for responding to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

Beth has also worked as an academic in the field of sociology and political philosophy, with the not-for-profit sector and as a self-employed artist. Beth majored in sociological theory at University of Canberra, holds a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours in Political Philosophy and was awarded the University Medal for academic excellence. Beth has authored academic publications on the politics of belonging and on postmodern research methodology.

Omar Al-Ani
Director of the Collaborative

Omar had 15 years' experience implementing international humanitarian relief and capacity building programs in areas of health, protection, education, water, sanitation and hygiene in Syria and the Middle East. He worked for Mercy Corps, Relief International and Medecins Sans Frontieres, amongst other humanitarian and relief organisations.

He has a proven track record in sourcing funding, partnering with funding bodies to define project scope and ensuring objectives are met and communicated, negotiations, program evaluation processes, after-action reviews, real-time response evaluation, progress and outcome reporting, stakeholder management and incorporating lived experience into his work.


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.

Hamza Vayani
Lead - Strategy, Stakeholder Engagement and Sector Capacity Building

Hamza is currently the Board Chair of World Wellness Group (WWG) and Director for Strategic Stakeholder Engagement. He is also board member of Carpentaria (a disability organisation in the NT), a member of the AHPRA Community Advisory Council and of the Community Collaboration Committee for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, amongst many other health consultancy and advocacy focused roles.

Before these current roles Hamza was engaged in leadership roles at executive level on national, state, and PHN roles in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia across a diverse range of portfolio areas including aged care, disability, mental health, alcohol and other drugs, suicide prevention with a focus in the areas of child and youth mental health, youth mental health and multicultural mental health.

He has also held non-executive roles as a board member of a PHN and ministerial appointment to the Queensland Mental Health Commission Advisory Council. He recently led stakeholder engagement to promote and build community trust in the Multicultural Connect Line as a telehealth service in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Queensland. In addition, he led on national advocacy which resulted in the pilot Multicultural Health Connect service  (within Health Direct Australia) and a subsequent report on new approaches to support improved multicultural access and navigation to primary care services for the Department of Health & Aged Care which are under current development and consideration.

Hamza previously led and facilitated the development of the Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia. He also led on the development of the spotlight report for the National Mental Health Commission regarding the lack of mental health data collection and analysis in addressing the stigma and discrimination faced by people of multicultural backgrounds being able to access timely and culturally responsive mental health and suicide prevention supports.

Hellen Kibowen
Acting Senior 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.

Januka Gunasena
Acting Senior Policy & Project Officer

Januka joined FECCA in 2022 after having worked in ethical investing and in international development in Sri Lanka and Australia. In his previous roles, Januka worked closely with individual and institutional investors on mobilising private capital to fund social, environmental and economic opportunities, particularly in Sri Lanka.

Januka's areas of work at FECCA include human rights, disaster response and recovery and climate change. Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Januka completed his tertiary education in engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He's a fluent Sinhala speaker and is improving his Tamil to be able to form strong connections with the wider Sri Lankan and South Indian communities.

Thabisa Whittington
Policy & Project Officer

Thabisa brings valuable experience to her role at FECCA. Prior to joining, she worked as an Administrative Services Officer at Shared Services, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD) in the ACT Public Service. In this role, she provided support for strategic priorities and community service delivery outcomes.


As a Policy Analyst at National Treasury, South Africa, she was involved in the development of the ongoing Conduct and Financial Institutions (COFI) Bill, a regulatory framework aimed to protect vulnerable financial customers.


She holds Master of Public Policy with a specialisation in economic policy from the Australian National University (ANU), as well as a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree with specialisation in economics from the University of South Africa (UNISA).


She is driven by a passion for inclusion, equity, and justice. During her leisure, she volunteers at her local church and enjoys traveling.

Carol Araneta
Project & Events Officer

Carol, originally from the Philippines, is a highly accomplished professional who excels in architecture and interior design. She earned a professional license in Architecture, demonstrating her dedication and expertise in the field. In 2007, Carol made the bold decision to relocate to Singapore, where she built a successful career as a Senior Interior Designer, bringing her creative vision to numerous projects. 

Motivated by a sense of adventure and the pursuit of new opportunities, Carol and her husband chose to migrate to Australia. In Australia, Carol showcased her exceptional leadership abilities by swiftly advancing through the ranks of a national retail store chain, eventually attaining the position of Assistant Store Manager in a CBD store. Through her strong work ethic, strategic thinking, and commitment to providing exceptional customer experiences, Carol played a pivotal role in the retail chain's success. 

Having an international background and exposure to diverse cultural and professional environments, Carol has developed adaptability, flexibility, and an appreciation for different perspectives. 

With a solid foundation in architecture, extensive experience in interior design, and a proven track record in management, Carol is a dynamic professional who is prepared to contribute her talents to any organization seeking a versatile, highly skilled, and dedicated individual. 

Due to her extensive background, Carol possesses a unique skill set that makes her an invaluable asset in her current position. 

Christina Ng
EA / Office Manager / Events Lead

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, Chinese and Singlish. She is capable to converse dialects (Cantonese and Hokkien). She has 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.

Hemavarni Doma
Policy and Project Officer

Born in Mauritius, Varni migrated to Australia at a young age. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Public Health from Monash University. She is passionate about effecting change in health policy and practice for people of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Before joining FECCA, she worked on numerous research studies demonstrating the influence that social determinants can have on health and wellbeing, particularly involving migrant communities. Notably, her work has highlighted the insufficient social support that is provided to humanitarian migrants resettled in Australia and how this goes on to negatively impact their mental health years into resettlement. Varni is excited to bring her experience and expertise to FECCA and the Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative.