Voula Messimeri AM has been awarded Life Membership of ECCV, a fitting tribute to one of the most influential figures in multicultural Victoria.
The honour was announced at our Annual General Meeting on 30 November 2023 by ECCV Board Member Joe Caputo OAM, who commended Voula’s enormous contributions to our migrant and refugee communities.
Voula has had a distinguished career in the community services sector, having served as the CEO of the Australian Greek Welfare Society for 27 years. She was also the first woman to be elected Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA).
A passionate advocate for the rights of women, refugees and migrants, Voula has contributed to several community organisations. She served on the boards of Women’s Health in the North, the RMIT University Council, and inTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence.
In 2007, Voula was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and recognised under the Order of Australia for her advocacy and leadership.
Voula is the current Chair of the NAATI Board, Chair of the SSI Board and a Director on the Board of PRONIA.
Voula said she is deeply honoured to be considered for Life Membership by ECCV.
“In the late 80’s as a rather youthful and energetic newly appointed CEO at Australian Greek Welfare Society, I was fortunate to be able to work with other like-minded colleagues under the wide and welcoming umbrella of ECCV,” she said.
“We were fuelled by a strong passion for social justice and creating better outcomes for the lives of people newly arrived to Australia either as migrants or refugees: this was matched only by a desire and commitment to work towards a stronger, cohesive and inclusive multicultural Australia. In this, we found a home at ECCV and I like to think that, collectively, we made significant inroads.”
ECCV Life Membership Awards are recognition for outstanding contributions to the values and objectives of the ECCV. Life Membership is an honour bestowed upon individuals to express gratitude for their service to our communities.