Our Board

ECCV is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board sets our strategic direction and monitors our ongoing performance. The Board consists of 10 non-executive directors, including the Chairperson. The Board meets monthly and hosts an Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year for ECCV members.

The Board is elected every two years at the AGM, in accordance with the ECCV Constitution. Eligible ECCV members have the opportunity to nominate and vote for their preferred candidates. Board members can also be co-opted based on specific areas of expertise and experience.

Office Bearers

Eddie Micallef


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.

Jill Morgan AM

Deputy Chairperson

Jill has worked extensively in multicultural and indigenous arts in Australia for over the past 25 years. She is currently a Director of the Australian Art Orchestra. She is the former CEO of Multicultural Arts Victoria and Executive Director of Kulcha, Multicultural Arts of Western Australia.

She is an active cultural and community development worker and has worked extensively with many diverse communities to ensure they have a voice. Jill has contributed significantly to cultural policy development and strategies locally and nationally to promote diversity, human rights, and inclusion.

She has received an Order of Australia for significant service to the promotion of multicultural and indigenous art through leadership roles in arts organisations. Jill has been awarded the prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award facilitators prize which pays tribute to outstanding excellence in the Arts in Australia.

Jenny Semple

Deputy Chairperson

Jenny has worked in the multicultural sector as the CEO of the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre for 20 years. Currently, she is serving as a Board member of ECCV, and a non-Executive Director on the WorkWays Australia Ltd, Employment agency board. She has many years’ experience serving on the following boards, Refugee Council of Australia Board, Chisholm TAFE, Darebin Community Health Centre, a Founding member of the Settlement Council of Australia (Chair, Vice-Chair)

She was also nominated on a Ministerial Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council (RRAC) for over 5 years. Jenny has many networks in the community sector and also the multicultural sector with agencies and community leaders and a demonstrated understanding of finance, budgets, HR and OHS.

She received an award from the State government for meritorious services to the community, as part of Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2016.

Mohammed Yassin


Mohammed Yassin is former refugee from Iraq who has been living in Australia for 16 years. As a passionate young person, he has worked in and led many youth and community organisations in Melbourne’ s northern suburbs, as well as being part of many advisory and advocacy boards to multiple government and NFP organisations.

With tertiary qualifications in biomedicine and cancer research, he has a passion for helping young people and migrant/refugee communities face their current challenges and prosper in this society.

Jenny Matic


Hailing from a Croatian migrant background, Jenny has a passion for community service, advocacy and empowerment. It is a passion undiminished to this day.

Professionally, she is a partner in a small business, and has served at senior levels in the public service – as a Senior Ministerial adviser, and at Executive and CEO levels with a national peak body. She has over 15 years’ experience as a non-executive director (not-for-profit) and has well-developed governance and financial skills.

She is a former Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and has received awards from the Migrant Resource Centre – North West, the VMC and the Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia for many years of community service.

Board of Directors

Abiola Akinbiyi

Abiola (Abi) has over 17 years’ experience working in the health sector and with different CALD communities and not-for-profit organisations in Australia. She has been a commissioner with the Victorian Multicultural Commission since September 2021.

She is a registered nurse, a clinical Nurse Educator, IT professional and an entrepreneur with a great passion for community development and social justice. She advocates for people from CALD communities, aged care, women and youth, including mentoring African youth. Abi has contributed significantly to educating, training and empowering people from the CALD group in aged care, nursing and mental health.

Joe Caputo OAM

Joe has been involved in advocating for ethnic minorities since arriving in Australia in the 1960s. As a founding member of the Ethnic Community Council of Victoria (ECCV), he has seen this organisation grow. He has also served on the ECCV Board and as Chairperson between 2011 and 2013 and as 

Joe has been an active member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) and he has served as its Chairperson from 2013-2017.

He has also served as Councilor and Mayor in the former City of Brunswick and Councilor and Mayor in the City of Moreland.

Monica Forson

Monica has extensive experience liaising with both government and community, and is well-versed in anti-racism work and community engagement, especially with young people from new and emerging communities. She is currently a Senior Advisor at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), and has previously worked for Victoria Police and Brimbank City Council across community engagement, youth development and policy roles.

She was recently appointed Deputy Co-Chair of the Victorian African Communities Committee, which reports to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Monica holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Development Studies and a Master of Social Work from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Assistance from Deakin University.

Dr Medha Gunawardana

Medha is passionate about helping seniors from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and is interested in developing a culturally tailored approach to addressing issues such as social isolation and elder abuse while promoting a positive view of ageing. She joined Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS) in 2018 and is the current Community Strengthening Manager. Prior to this role, she completed a PhD (Community Development and Planning) at La Trobe University in 2016.

She has more than 15 years of international experience as a lecturer and researcher, as well as experience in project management encompassing management consultation, team building, professional development, strategic implementation, and partnership development.

Gabrielle Marchetti

Gabrielle has been Principal Lawyer at JobWatch since 2006. She also has experience as a sessional lecturer at the Australian Catholic University and was previously a Board member at the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health. She is currently Deputy President of ComItEs (Committee of Italians Abroad) Victoria & Tasmania, and has been an active member of ECCV’s Policy Advisory Committee on Employment, Entrepreneurship, Education & Training since March 2022.

Additionally, she is the Convenor of the National Employment Law Network and Co-convenor of the Victorian Employment Law Working Group. Gabrielle holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Melbourne. She was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2000, and in the High Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia in 2004.

Dr Sundram Sivamalai JP

Sundram was born in Malaysia, he maintains his conversational language interests in Tamil and Malay. He was the Foundation Chair of the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council. He completed two terms as Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and been on the Ministerial Advisory Council for Responsible Gambling in Victoria and maintains his interest and passion for advocating for CALD communities.

Sundram has held senior academic positions including Adjunct Professor with University of Manipal, India and Associate Professor at James Cook University in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Sundram was awarded the Centenary Medal from the Commonwealth Government for his work with migrants.

Past Chairs


Kris PAVLIDIS 2017 – 2019
Eddie MICALLEF 2013 – 2017
Joe CAPUTO OAM JP 2011 – 2013
Sam AFRA JP 2007 – 2011
Phong NGUYEN OAM 2003 – 2007
Marion LAU OAM JP (Acting Chair, then elected Chair) 2001 – 2003
George LEKAKIS AO 1997 – 2001
Victor BORG AM  1991 – 1997
Maurice CAUCHI 1989 – 1991
Anne ECKSTEIN (Acting Co-chair) 1988 – 1989
Wellington LEE OAM, OBE (Acting Co-chair) 1988 – 1989
Anthony BONNICI 1983 – 1988
Walter LIPPMANN 1975 – 1983