The operations team is made up of dedicated staff and volunteers who are passionate about ethnic and multicultural communities.
Acting Executive Officer, Senior Volunteer, e-News Editor, Con Pagonis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Con is currently performing Acting EO duties.
Con’s career focus has primarily been migrant and refugee settlement policy and planning, access & equity, and social cohesion.
Following three decades with the Australian Government, he continued for a further eight years doing multicultural policy development with State and local government.
Retired since 2015, Con also volunteers with Welcoming Cities, Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Australian Jazz Museum and Community Radio PBS 106.7FM.
Senior Policy Officer, Robert Gruhn, email@example.com
For the last 14 years, Robert has passionately worked on policy and social justice related issues for the multicultural and community sector. Robert led multiple projects to address inequities in health, disability and aged care. His work includes research reports, policy papers, submissions and presenting at conferences.
Robert graduated from Leipzig University (Germany) and the University of New South Wales with degrees in history, political science and international relations.
Aged Care Policy Officer, Nikolaus Rittinghausen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in Australia and grew up in Germany. Volunteered and studied in Russia, Ecuador, and Brazil.
Nikolaus has a Master in International Studies from the University of Wollongong.
Since 2012, he has worked for ECCV.
His expertise include policy advice and submissions, grant writing, community liaison, and project management.
He believes in peace and is a founder of the German-Jewish Friendship Group through the Initiatives of Change.
Policy Officer, James Hougton, email@example.com
James is dedicated to influencing governments and changing attitudes for the betterment of multiculturalism and social cohesion.
He is passionate about internationalism, breaking down barriers and emphasising our common humanity.
James has experience working with asylum seekers and refugees at organisations such as Saint Vincent De Paul, World Vision, and Amnesty International.
James has qualifications in commerce and the arts.
He loves cricket, music, science, and snow skiing.
Speak My Language Project Officer & Finance Support, Matisse Yee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matisse was born in Malaysia, from a Chinese Malaysian background.
She studied Chinese Literature and Finance. Matisse has extensive experience in corporate and community sectors specialising in executive administration and project management.
She is passionate about travel, culture, food and photography.
Office Manager, Sonja Krajcar, email@example.com
Sonja has been the Office Manager for 8 years. As a result she has an extensive corporate knowledge that’s second to none. Sonja started working for ECCV in 2012 as the conference coordinator. She is a skilled multi-tasker with attention to detail and builds inclusive working environments.
Prior to roles within ECCV, Sonja had worked within childhood trauma.
She has passion for animal rescue and has fostered many dogs.
Communications & Media Officer, Leenie Fabri, firstname.lastname@example.org
A proud Maltese Australian who was raised in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne.
Leenie has extensive experience at all levels of governance and management which enables her to effectively communicate with all stakeholders.
She has specialty knowledge of the LGBTIQA+ communities and brings more than 10 years’ management experience in staff and volunteers, grants and community radio, in addition to qualifications in communications, cultural competencies, and business and leadership.
Sectoral Development Officer, Gabriele Rukas, email@example.com
Gabriele was born in Lithuania and identifies as a citizen of the world.
Gabriele has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Cultural History and when she called Tasmania home, she worked for the Multicultural Council of Tasmania and Wilderness Society.
During her time in the Sunshine state, Gabriele volunteered at the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane. She passionately believes in community empowerment, sustainability and innovation.
Seniors Project Officer, Elder Abuse Prevention, Ross Buscemi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross’ migrated with his family to Australia from Italy.
He dedicated his career to migrant settlement and aged care services.
A major achievement as the Director of the New Hope Foundation for 15 years was facilitating the merger between New Hope Foundation and DutchCare to form MiCare. This transition provided ethnic seniors and newly arrived migrants including refugees with access to high quality culturally appropriate aged and community support services.
Project Officer, Participation for CALD Seniors Grants, Dimitra Kardaras, email@example.com
Dimitra is a qualified social worker, trainer and innovative service development specialist.
With two decades of expertise, Dimitra has worked in community and government settings across aged, dementia, respite, carer, veteran, health, elder abuse and multicultural service sectors.
Dimitra is inspired by creating unique programs and community development initiatives that have the capacity to raise awareness, build resilience and act as catalysts for personal transformation and growth.
Sucha was born in India and identifies as Tamil.
She migrated to Australia in 2012 and completed postgraduate studies in Public Health from Monash University and Community Development from Victoria University.
Sucha is passionate about gender equality and race relations and social justice.
Project Coordinator, Gambling Harm Prevention, Lyn Dundon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyn is a qualified social worker, who works from a social justice, strengths based perspective.
Her skills are predominately in community engagement, capacity building, and strategic influence. In addition, Lyn uses evidence based qualitative social research and collaborative social action around health inequity and poverty.
Hanaa Grave, NDIS Community Engagement Officer, email@example.com
Hanaa was born and raised in Germany and is of Estonian and Lebanese background.
She migrated to Australia in 2016.
Her academic background is in International Relations, Middle East Studies, Sociology and Anthropology with work experience across three continents in the following fields: refugees and asylum seekers, community engagement, capacity building and cultural consultancy.
Hanaa is passionate about social inclusion and social cohesion.
Volunteer, Proof-reader, John Watts, firstname.lastname@example.org
He started as an English and Literature teacher, before studying journalism at RMIT, and has worked in numerous journalism and journalism-related environments over many years.
John continues to come into ECCV, where, among a number of things, he proof reads and edits written materials when requested.
John was the former Media & Communications Officer at ECCV.
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We are proud to recognise the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, as the first Australians, cultural leaders and traditional custodians of the land from which we advocate for ethnic community groups. We pay our respects to their elders, past & present.
Connect with ECCV
Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria
Suite 101, 398 Sydney Road,
Coburg VIC 3058
Phone: 9354 9555