MHFA - Top Arrow

Patricia Whitelaw

Leader

I was born in Mexico, I migrated to Australia in September 2008, I have lived in Adelaide all this time. In Mexico I was working in outdoor advertising, but in Adelaide started working with people with disabilities in the community. I then progressed to study a Diploma in Enrolled Nursing and worked in a rehabilitation centre, particularly with people with acquired brain injuries. In 2020 I completed a Master Degree in Occupational Therapy and I secured a job in the Mental Health graduate program.

Rashmi Watel

Leader

Rashmi immigrated to Australia, eight years ago. She has a technical background, an Electronics & Telecommunications Engineer, a Project manager (PMI) and have an MBA from Curtin Graduate School of Business. After having worked in the corporate, government, not-for-profit and Energy sector for close to two decades. She has become a entrepreneur. 

Her passions are public speaking, helping others speak confidently in public, Meditation, Yoga, Empowering women from Culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD). She has been a mentor with the Ishar-A multicultural women health organisation.

Having faced postnatal depression and mental health issues myself she has chosen to volunteer Mental Health Foundation Australia. She volunteered in my daughters school P & C committee. 

Pushpa Vaghela

Leader

As a leading expert in innovation, creativity & leadership, Pushpa inspires audiences to shift their thinking about how to succeed in today's fast-moving society. She has delivered presentations around the world, to diverse audiences for personal, business, organisational and long-term sustainable growth to increasing the bottom line. Pushpa commends her expertise further afield in understanding human behaviour and is dedicated to developing others. The driving force of her work is the liberation of human potential that too often is ignored.

Joy Rahab Sinclair

Leader

Joy is a 42 year old Kenyan born woman with 3 children. She came to Australia as a student in 2005. She holds two degrees in Law obtained in India, an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality and Event Management from TAFE, a Cert IV in Human Resources, as well as a Diploma in Community Services and currently studying a Diploma in Mental Health. Joy has worked in aged care, palliative care, and disability over the past 15 years.

Joy is a member of The African Women's Group Sydney, the Multicultural Women's Mental Health Panel, the Board of Central Coast ARAFMI, the Central Coast Council Disability Inclusion Access Reference Group, and a committee member of "Happiness habits" as a CALD and Mental Health representative. She also volunteers with the Red Cross and the Central Coast Environmental Council.

Joy brings with her a passion for recognition of Human Rights, equality and inclusion. This passion stems from her 8 years lived experience of mental health issues, and her experiences within service provision. Joy is driven to employ her skills and knowledge to advocate for her community to combat stigma and educate service providers and the public.

Rosetta Smith

Leader

I am a local Indigenous women with family ties to the (Larrikia, Wadjigan, Numbrididi) clan groups in the NT. I have completed a Bachelor of Behavioural Science Degree in Darwin and have worked in various departments, services, and organisation in roles as a Counsellor, Case-manager, Facilitator and Advocacy. In my roles I have engaged with indigenous people from different age groups, genders and communities in the NT and Interstate. I specialise in Indigenous Mental Health and have advance knowledge of Indigenous Culture and Indigenous Affairs. And have strongly advocate for better health outcomes for Indigenous peoples.

Esra Gunyel

Leader

Hayriye Uluca

Leader

Philip Tan

Deputy Leader

Philip Tan is the Chief Operations Officer of Auswell Group International, Australia.

Singapore business entrepreneur before migrating to Australia, he was also an active community activist for social enterprise activities, volunteer for drug rehabilation programmes and served with the Singapore Jesult refugee services for internally displayed people from Burma and Sri Lanka.

A passionate believer in the creed to do one's best in all endevour entrusted upon, he serves the community through his involvement as:

President - Australia Asia Business Council

Vice President - The Chinese Professional and Business Association

Advisor - Singapore Australia Association

Advisor - Cambodia of Victoria Association (Student)

Regional Advisory Council - VMC

Councillor Candidate 2016 & 2020 for City of Whitehorse

 

In addition to his career's successes, he is actively involved in the State of Victoria at his current position; Regional Advisory Council (RAC) under the Victorial Multicultural Commission.

The RAC's role is to provide critical on-the-ground insights and potential solutions into issues such as migrant and refugee settlement, mental well-being, youth education and employment services, housing, citizenship, family violence and other community concerns.

Laia Juan Mendoza

Deputy Leader

Having achieved exceptional academic results as a driven professional, I am actively pursuing a challenging opportunity as a Multicultural Ambassador within the MHFA Multicultural Ambassador Program 2021. Eager to make a positive addition to the MHFA team, I have demonstrated experience in managing the implementation of policy, coupled with strong analytical and synthesising skills, demonstrating agility and innovation and the capacity to deal with complexity. Consistently meeting and exceeding expectations, I have demonstrated a track record of achievement throughout my volunteer and work life with a solution focused approach and the energy to drive education, change and transformation. I am confident I would make a positive contribution to the MHFA Team acting and championing as an advocate of the highest ethical behaviour standards, driving a culture of integrity and respect for human rights.

Christina Chia

Deputy Leader

Christina is an award-winning C-suite executive who sees joy in serving and leading to advance her community, locally & globally. She is the Chief Operating Officer & Principal (VIC) of North Shore Coaching College, a national education business across 70 Campuses in Australia & Hong Kong. Christina is the recipient of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) highly commended awards for Business Excellence in 2020. Christina has over 20 years’ experiences in education, aged-care & NFP sectors in Australia & South East Asia region. As a business leader, Christina thrives in creating capabilities to generate sustainable value to advance her community, especially in Covid economy.

Karan Gandhok

Deputy Leader

Nicole Perez

Deputy Leader

I am Nicole and I want to advocate mental health awareness. To encourage the community to come forward and break the stigma. To remove fear for the vulnerable people who needs professional help. As a pharmacy assistant / technician, this is something that I would love to give importance in the pharmacy aspect. MENTAL HEALTH IS ESSENTIAL TO OVERALL WELL-BEING.

Ashish Kumar

Deputy Leader

I am a Pharmaceutical professional and an Entrepreneur. I have been involved in various community programs run by SES, Red Cross, Marine Rescue. I also organise my own events to support community. Serving community is what we have learnt in our family since I was a child. It gives me peace and pleasure to give something back to community.

Ania Svorad

Deputy Leader

I have moved to Australia on the year 2002 from Poland. I am happily settled in canberra from past 12 years. Raising two beautiful children. I am coordinating and helping my husband small business. I am active in my Polish community. I would like to read books when I get free time.

I am activeon facebook with various groups which helps yo understand the current requirements.i am member of polish and slovakian groups. As i am mother two beautiful angels hence i am active on kids groups as well. Social network is quite large and reaches much faster in the current situation.

I have been community of polish , slovakian and moms group for better of my kids. Understanding the regular updates from social media based on the community space. Being mom i have to consciously check the community and understanding for the betterment for the children which is very and most important.

Narasimhan Ravi

Deputy Leader

Narasimhan Ravi is a highly self-motivated, focused and hardworking individual, passionate about health, fitness and sports – currently pursuing a double bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Business (Sports Management) at Griffith University - Gold Coast, Australia. As Career choice stems from one’s deep-rooted interests, he is exploring sport from the angle of science and management at Griffith University with the prestigious Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Academic Scholarship (100%) (only International student awarded).

Sport has always been part of Ravi’s life since the age of 5. He has won over 83 trophies and 45 medals (and counting) in a wide range of sports including Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Basketball, Cricket, Chess, Cross Country, Football, Squash, Swimming and Table tennis to name a few. He honed his public speaking and leadership skills by serving as the President of two gavel clubs under Toastmasters International and held multiple leadership positions within Griffith University’s student representative committees. 

In January 2019, he was fortunate to go on an official visit to high schools in India as the International Student Ambassador sponsored by Study Queensland and Trade & Investment Queensland to strengthen International relations and promote tertiary education in Queensland. He is extremely grateful to be part of the Multicultural Ambassadors program and his area of interest lies in elite athlete mental health.

Evia Aringo

Junior Leader

Dharuv Kumar

Deputy Leader

Satya Srija Allam

Deputy Leader

I am currently a student doing MBA in International Trade and Development with coursework in Marketing, Accounting, finance, Trade and Etc. I am currently working on a project as a business consultant for a client based in Adelaide and have also worked as a software tester for few years before.

Ramkrishna Bansal

Deputy Leader

As a past member of Minister for Multicultural Interests' Multicultural Advisory Group (WA) and past President of Indian Society of WA, Bansal feels it has given him perspective working with various cultural / ethnic groups. He rejoined the Australian Multicultural Ambassadors Program this year.

Prakruthi Mysore Gururaj

Deputy Leader

Prakruthi Mysore Gururaj strongly believes in serving the community to make a difference in people’s life; to bring changes that will encourage people to overcome their challenges. Through her servicing around Queensland, she has earned the respect from people in the community for her contribution to multiculturalism, hence seen as an integral part of the Brisbane community. 

Prakruthi has served at Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland as Vice President in term 2016-2018 and as PRO in term 2014-2016; President of Kannada Sangha Queensland Inc., 2017-2018, Executive Committee Member of Damini Woman’s Association, part of Fiji Senior Citizens Association and support other multicultural community.

To expand on her community involvement, she currently serve as the Multicultural Ambassador for Red Carpet Functions; and is considered as one of the Community leaders in Queensland who works alongside many multicultural communities. She is currently the Membership Coordinator of the Queensland Multicultural Ambassadors Program, MHFA.

Madhavi Patil

Deputy Leaders

Please use my application and short bio from the previous year 2020. I have already spoken with Project Officer Aneka Srinivasan regarding this requirement to be eased as we have already worked in the ambassador capacity for 2020. It will be a privilege if we have been given another chance to volunteer for 2021 where we can achieve great outcomes in the mental health support sector.

Hayfa Bakour

Deputy Leader

Hayfa is a 24 year old and ethnically Lebanese. She graduated in 2020 with Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of Sydney. She is completing her honours in Psychology this year with the hope of pursuing a career in pre-marital relationship counselling.

 

Hayfa has worked as a project officer for a mental health clinic at a local community organisation. She is currently a project officer at My Foster Family – a non-profit organisation hoping to represent and meet the needs of Muslim children in care.

 

Hayfa is currently volunteering as the representative of her honours cohort and is a senior guide leader in training for Girl Guides NSW/ACT/NT. She is extremely passionate about student wellbeing and mentoring. Driven by her own struggles in the pursuit of tertiary qualifications, she often mentors students in the hope of making their own navigation through academia easier.  

Edwin Lourdes Joseph

Multicultural Ambassador

I am the President of the Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory and I have been an ambassador in 2019. Edwin is passionate about serving the community and being active in public life. He has got multidisciplinary education, including a doctoral degree. His experience is multifaceted, working for private and public sectors, including roles in education, HR, project management, community engagement, research, policy, etc. Having migrated to Australia as an adult, Edwin understands the problems faced by CALD people in Australia. He is also active in the migrant/refugee space, volunteering with Red Cross, Melaleucca Refugee Centre and DASSAN (Darwin Asylum Seeker and Advocacy Network). Throughout his life, Edwin has been volunteering for community groups, not-for-profit organisations and professional associations, often with leadership positions. He is the President of Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory, Deputy Chair of Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia and a board member of DASSAN (as Treasurer and Social Media Admin). He also serves on the NT division boards of Institution of Public Administration Australia, Australian Computer Society and Australia Day Council (as the Deputy Chair). He is the independent member for the Finance, Risk and Governance Committee of Carpentaria Disability Services.

Mathews David

Multicultural Ambassador

Mathews David MSW, DipCBCYP, GCert Aus Migration Law & Practice

Mathews brings 14 years of professional experience in working in mental health sector and worked with International organisations such as International Trade Union Confederation; the world's largest trade union federation. He also held senior positions in Therapeutic services under Department of Territory Families and Department of Health, Northern Territory Government of Australia.

Job Profile

• Team Leader of Social & Emotional Wellbeing Team, Danila Dilba Health Service – current job

• Former Child and Youth Therapist at Department of children & families,

• Former Acting senior clinician at NT Government - Department of Health

• Former Case Manager at Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services Inc. (CAAPS)

• Former Project Coordinator at International Trade Union Confederation

• Former Visiting Lecturer for Counselling studies at St. Theresa's College, India

• Former Lecturer at MMNSS College

• Former Mental Health Social Worker & Project lead at shalom Care N Cure

• Former Mental Health Social Worker at Chaitanya Institute for Mental Health, Pune

 

Education

• Master of social Work, Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India

• Diploma in challenging behaviour in child and young people

• Cert-4 – Alcohol & other Drugs; Cert 3 – community Services

• Certificate Course in Aboriginal Cultural Education, TAFE

• Foundation course in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence

• GCert Migration Law at Griffith Law School

 

Professional Memberships

• Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, AASW -Membership No- 436822

• Associate member; Indigenous Allied Australia

• Silver Member of IANLPC (International Association of NLP & Coaching)

• Silver Member of IAHT (International Alliance of Holistic Therapists)

Veronica Eva Zarzycki Hogan

General Committee

Irena Bauer

General Committee

Aruna Sampath Hewagama

General Committee

Dimitrios Karagiannis

General Committee

Born in Greece 1973 Relocated in Melbourne 2015 Bachelor of science in animal livestock production and management Greek, English, French, German language 14 yrs as store manager 15 yrs as HACCP team leader 29 yrs as Scout leader (23 yrs youths leader, 6 yrs adults leader) Took part in the Petra project of the European community 1990 in N Ireland Participated in major events with Scouts from different countries and backgrounds

Stephanie Panagopoulos

General Committee

I am the oldest child from parents who migrated from Greece in 1964. I have an immense passion for the Greek community and the elderly. I am a volunteer at the Broadmeadows Greek elderly citizens club as the president a position that gives me great enjoyment and fulfilment. I would like to help our community by removing the stigma and shame which is getting in the way of our elderly accessing our mental health system.

Ashok Sherwal

General Committee

Abinaya Srinivasan

General Committee

Abi Srinivasan worked in the Pharmacy industry in Rural, Regional, and Metropolitan Victoria over the last decade. She has worked as a pharmacist both within community and hospital pharmacy . These are all experiences she has greatly developed her skill set from. She currently works as a Clinical Advisor for pharmacy related matters at EML, whilst continuing to work as a Clinical Pharmacist in the Emergency Department at Cabrini Health. Abi is also the Managing Director for Bollywood Dance School Australia. Besides this, Abi is a Multicultural Ambassador of Mental Health Foundation Australia, for which she has served as the Secretary of the Victorian Chapter and CoChair of the ACT Chapter. Abi is also trained in South Indian classical music, is an avid traveler and enjoys all things food related. 

Sharn Bedi

General Committee

With more than three decades of work experience across Global markets, and broad range of industries, I have previously succeeded in roles as Vice President APAC and Managing Director APAC, before deciding to change my career to follow my purpose - ‘to give back’, through supporting the 'whole self' personal development of people to lead happier, healthier and more meaningful life. I am an executive coach, life coach, and am currently studying Cert IV Mental Health. I also has extensive experience supporting women in leadership positions and supporting individuals to advance their careers with career development and career transition support. I have also anchored three TV program series in Hindi and English.

Chun Weng YIN (Stephen)

General Committee

Ma Cristina Magbojos

Multicultural Ambassador

Sai Paravastu

Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator

Chittibabu Divi

Deputy Leader

Shona Leppanen-Gibson

Membership Coordinator

Over many years, Shona has been highly active in the local and international community, and lead and advise numerous business and industry groups, multilateral bodies and community organisations, including as President of the Australia Malaysia Business Council Qld Inc and co-founder of the Nordic Forum of Australia.

In her work, she specialises in training and vocational education, leadership and executive development, as well as international business relations. Across many communities, as well as business and government sectors, she has seen the impact of mental health issues on individuals and families. As a person of multicultural background, a mother of four children and a business person and professional, she hopes to contribute to destigmatising mental health and encourage others to speak more openly about mental health issues.

Aida Garcia

Membership Coordinator

Retired lawyer (Philippines and Australia) and Registered Migration Agent. Been community leader since arriving Australia in 1978. Founding Chair of the Filipino Settlement Coordinating Council of SA; Founding Chair of Filipina Network of SA; President of national Filipino peak body, Filipino Communities Council of Australia; and Adviser to Sto Nino de Filipinas, a charitable organisation supporting 8 orphanages in the Philippines.

Subrata Saha

Membership Coordinator

Subrata is a Chartered Engineer, moved to Australia 8 years ago. He is a founder and past president of Probashi Bengali WA Inc and in the management committee of Gurukul WA Inc which has been instrumental to promote multiculturism through showcasing performing arts in different events. His passions include social activities, helping people in their difficult time, mentioning and to create opportunities for the whole community to come together as a means of enhancing community connection, strengthening social connection, and encouraging community.

Narasimhan Viswanathan

Social Media Coordinator

Vish Viswanathan – Brief Profile

Community Engagement: Well known in the Australian Indian community in NSW, Vish Viswanathan is a Director of Syd West Multicultural Services, Blacktown Sydney an organisation established to support refugees and multicultural migrant communities. Vish has served in executive roles in many community organisations over 25 years such as President of United Indian Associations (UIA), President of Federation of Australian Indian Associations (FAIA) and Secretary of SRI OM Foundation for Indian Seniors, Founding Director of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Sydney Tamil Manram, Hindu Council of Australia etc. Vish was a member of the Indian Consulate Committee for Student Affairs and the NSW Premier’s Community Consultative Committee and actively worked with various State and Federal Government agencies in identifying resolutions to complex student issues. Vish is also involved in many community charity initiatives and has organised the NDTV Greenathon event in Sydney for supporting rural villages in India. Vish was a key note speaker on Racism by Diversity Council of Australia. Vish won the “Multicultural Champion Award” – NSW Government Department of Planning & Environment in 2017.

Journalistic experience: Vish Viswanathan has journalistic experience over 12 years in Australia writing community columns and articles in popular Indian community journals in Sydney such as Indian Down Under, India Post and currently a senior writer and Editor for Indian Telegraph, Sydney.

Vish Viswanathan is a Winner of Premier's Multicultural Media Award 2015 & Finalist in “Journalist of the Year” Award 2016 – Multicultural & Indigenous Media Awards Vish

Viswanathan as the first Indian journalist participated in the Australian journalist mission to Israel and Palestine during November 2016.

Professional: An electronic engineer by profession Vish has 48 years of experience (17 years with leading Indian business groups such as the TATAs and KELTRON, Government of Kerala and over 30 years with NSW Government as senior procurement specialist roles managing high value and sensitive procurements in many industry categories and contract management.

Vish Viswanathan (Vish) is a long-standing member of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC) and serving as a Management committee member of AIBC NSW . Vish is passionate and committed to promote the Australia India Business and Trade and participated in many AIBC initiatives. Currently Vish is the national Chair of the Make in India Chapter for AIBC.

As Country Manager of International Business Division of the Department of Public Works & Services, NSW Government Vish was involved in transfer of Water & Waste Water treatment technology to Government of Karnataka in Bangalore India.

Subramanian Kannan

Social Media Coordinator

Bernard Reffaut

Social Media/Community Engagement Coordinator

Bernie bring fresh perspectives and out of the box thinking to automotive, caravan and camping businesses as Account Director at a Brisbane-based marketing firm. A bridge builder for people of different cultures as Vice President of the Multicultural Association of Caboolture and Surrounds Inc.

Passionately, Bernard bring emotional intelligence and allow individuals freedom to laugh, cry, and vent; as an accredited Mental Health First Aider and is committed to actively reducing the stigma surrounding mental health in the community and in the workplace. Major achievement: successfully showcasing my culture to communities in Greater Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast via a quarterly dinner dance and touring a 17 member traditional dance troupe across South East QLD at various public and private events.

Razia Osmani

Social Media/Community Engagement Coordinator

Razia Osmani, born in Afghanistan has a double major in Journalism and Politics & International Relations. She is currently doing my Master’s in International Relations and National Security. She has been a carer of a loved who suffers from mental health issues for the last 7 years, she has advocated for them and understands how the system works and what needs to be done in order to improve it and provide better outcomes for vulnerable people.

Varshini Viswanath

Community Engagement Coordinator

Paul Machuki

Multicultural Ambassador

Jeewanthi Harshika Puleekutti Ralalage

Multicultural Ambassador

Enthusiastic Support Worker with financial background, eager to contribute for service through hard work, friendly manner with excellent communicational skills, clear understanding of tasks and training in social services. Motivated to learn, grow and excel in community service.
Dedicated to serving individuals with special needs with utmost respect and consideration. Deep passion to help to clients with full potential and motivate people to participate in appropriate activities as noted within plan of care.

Ratheepa Fernando

Multicultural Ambassador

I'm following diploma in community studies. I have completed Dementia training for direct care workers. I am passionate about improving people's lives and making sure that every person under my supervision receives the highest level of care and attention. I have a caring and friendly approach to work and is easily able to relate to people from a variety of backgrounds.

Yoshoda Pattem

Community Engagement Coordinator

I am a mum of two kids and an entrepreneur and actively engaged in charity works in and outside Australia. Currently I own and run a restaurant in Canberra. Along with that I closely work with few charity and research organisations like Jeans for Genes, Starlight children’s Foundation etc and one of which is very close to my heart that is Helpchild foundation. We are group of three who sponsor and adopt kids in Phillipines and look after their daily needs.

Indranil Halder

Social Media Coordinator

Indranil Halder is a Corporate Consultant, global heritage tourist and former Ambassador of Fabrics of Multicultural Australia. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his multicultural family and travels between India and USA for his transnational family. He has degree in BioMedical Science and MBA. He loves to keep fit and healthy. He is a social influencer who celebrates the India and Australia bilateral relationship with his updates to bring the two nation closer together. He has written his international student memoir: Warrior in The Sanctuary to promote high quality Australian education. He also founded the Halder Chowdhury Prize to award the merited archaeology, finance and medical students at the prestigious Macquarie University.

Bindiya Manchanda

Multicultural Ambassador

A sincere, enthusiastic and pleasant person with a positive and balanced outlook towards life. Have strong communication skills in verbal and written forms and successfully interact with people of various ages, backgrounds and cultures. With the knowledge and command over three languages - English, Hindi and Punjabi and a natural flair for public interaction Bindiya is a confident public speaker. 

Dr Ram Mohan

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr Ram Mohan is among those Indians in Australia who have not only excelled in diverse fields but even made their mark in serving those in need. A marine scientist and an academic, now a businessman living in Australia, Dr Ram Mohan, who was born in India, has been living in Australia since 1998.  

Dr Ram Mohan has been in leadership roles all through his adult life, besides volunteering and serving the Indian and multicultural community. He has been instrumental in inspiring many youngsters to excel in fields such as education, sports and community work. In his illustrious career he has served as the president of the Indian Cultural Society in Darwin. He has been the vice president of the Tamil Association of Queensland, and has also served as the president and vice president roles of the Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland (FICQ). Currently, he is serving as the adviser to FICQ.

As the president of FICQ, he worked hard to strengthen FICQ member organisations and wants to foster multiculturalism in Australia. He is also running the community newspaper for the Indian community, India News and Indian News Queensland, successfully with a view to bringing together the Indians living in Australia.  He is currently the Chair of Queensland Multicultural Ambassadors Program, MHFA.

Tatiana Martelo

Social Media Coordinator

My name is Tatiana Martelo and I am originally from Bogota, Colombia. I’m currently working for the South Australian Government as a Community Engagement Officer at the Department for Infrastructure and Transport. Additionally, my passion for community work has been further developed due to my involvement with the Hispanic Women’s Association of South Australia, Colombian Community Adelaide and my volunteering role at the Australia Red Cross.

Penny Antonopoulos

Multicultural Ambassador

Penny has over 20 years’ experience working in the health and community sector with vulnerable and marginalised communities, whilst managing diverse teams and services. Her experience includes capacity building, developing innovative service models, community development, and research. Penny also works in private practice as Director and therapist. Social justice principles underpin all her endeavours.

Estela Fuentes

Multicultural Ambassador

I have worked in the human services field for a number of years, my strength is in community development and community education. I have experience as a broadcaster in community radio. I have worked as a trainer at TAFESA as well as with Northern Volunteering and more recently with Carers SA in the wellbeing team as a team leader.

Dr Sudipto Roy

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr. Sudipto Roy is a successful researcher, academic and trans-disciplinary consultant working across Australia and Asia. Evidence-based decision-making principle and agile approach inform his holistic vision for a resilient future that is achieved by improving the outcomes of ‘coupled human-natural systems’, including green and social infrastructure.

Dr. Sudipto Roy is well connected and active across multiple network platforms that enables him to regularly reach large number of people from diverse social, cultural, economic and professional background and deliver a positive impact by improving mental health, wellbeing and quality of life through practice of mental stillness and resilience. 

Hanin Abboud

Multicultural Ambassador

Hanin Abboud has an Arab background, originally from Iraq but grew up in Lebanon and started calling Australia home in 2005. With an Architecture and Project Management background, Hanin has always aspired to make an impact on the Construction industry through my work. I am also on the WA Chapter of NAWIC – National Association of Women in Construction. The non for profit organisation is focused on minorities in the Construction industry. My passion lies in advocating for women and minorities of different backgrounds.

Councillor Nige Jones

Multicultural Ambassador

Cr Jones was a Multicultural Ambassador with the Foundation last year and was proactive organising and promoting the fun walk. As a local Councillor he interacts with key stakeholders in the community on daily basis. In 2008, he was an Australian of the Year Finalist for the good work done in his community. He had worked in over a hundred schools, sports clubs and prisons delivering a healthy living message. The last 5 years he is been working as a Councillor with the City of Joondalup serving the community.

Vipul Verma

Multicultural Ambassador

Norma Falconer

Multicultural Ambassador

Norma Falconer has career of over 30 years in the Financial Services Industry. Norma is passionate about converting complexity into simplicity and uncertainty into empowerment. With experience in advising on regulated investments, business insurance, personal insurance, estate and retirement planning; her focus is on helping clients achieve their investment and retirement goals within their estate planning and business succession liquidity strategy, leaving them with more time to enjoy life. Norma founded and operated her own successful financial planning business for several years, worked in portfolio management, and built and lead teams at established banks and financial planning practices in South Africa. She has been a spokesperson for investment planning and wealth management, has been a guest on CNBC Africa television, a radio presenter covering daily economic news and done many client presentations in her career.

Preetham Krishnappa

Multicultural Ambassador

Preetham Krishnappa has completed his Master of Information Systems from Central Queensland University and Master of Business in Sports Management from Griffith University. And has been an active member of various community organisations offering my services towards community well-being. At present, he is serving Federation of Indian communities of Queensland as Festivals and Events Manager and in Kannada Sangha Queensland Inc (KSQ) as Vice President. In addition, he was past Secretary and Vice president of KSQ 2015-16 and 2016-2017, respectively.

Hira Aftab Rao

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a Registered social worker with experience in disability, mental health and hospitals. I am passionate to work with people from CALD community to educate and empower them by building resilience through education and networking. I believe in empowering self and others. In this difficult times when isolation and social connections have affected, it's a time to reachout and help each other in day to day life. Physical and psychosocial safety is paramount to functional health. Only way to achieve is through promoting mental health to achieve healthy minds and body.

Kalyan Pant

Multicultural Ambassador

Kalyan Ballav Pant Job role: Health care worker Experience: 5 years Qualifications: certificate III in aged care Certificate IV in Ageing Support Diploma in Nursing Job role : 6 years in kitchen support Skills: typing, event management, translation, computer knowledge, Ms office, Language: Hindi, Nepalese, English Sports : soccer, basketball, cricket, swimming. Snooker etc.

Cara Ng

Social Media Coordinator

I am an enthusiastic psychology undergraduate at ANU with a positive attitude. Seeking to harness my passion for mental health and deep love for creating a safe space for others to spread the message of compassion and the importance of meaningful connections. Having studied psychology, it has also taught me how critical compassion and active listening is when attempting to offer assistance. It is the corner stone to building rapport, creating a connection that has the potential to empower. I also studied development studies for two years in my academic career, which revealed to me the complexities and intersectionality within social issues. It has shown me that social justice requires persistence, constant reevaluation and the willingness to be flexible on the methods of execution when attempting to implement a new plan.

Hema Mangad

Social Media Coordinator

Hema is a Communications Professional, with over 11 years of experience working with multicultural and multilingual audiences.

Before moving to Australia, Hema was not familiar with mental health illnesses and conditions, having lived in a culture where mental health remains a taboo.

As a Mental Health Ambassador, she hopes to use her experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse audiences and her own struggles with mental health to create awareness and break stigmas associated to mental health within different communities.

Kush Shrestha

Multicultural Ambassador

Qualified Orthopaedic Surgeon General Secretary: ANMDA Founding Chairman: AussieMed foundation Very active in Nepalese Community health issues in Australia and New Zealand. Been advisor to NT Clinical Senate advising on health policies Professional Achievement: Director of training, Vice President of Royal College of Surgeons NT branch. Member of Australian Orthopaedic Association committee: Asia Pacific Committee NT clinical Senator: 2015-2019 Head of Unit, Department of Orthopaedics RDH: 2015-2017 Current Deputy Director.

Feda Moussa

Multicultural Ambassador

Feda is a Careers Adviser & high school teacher with over 14 years of teaching experience. She strives to connect with people from all backgrounds and cultures. Feda love challenges and always raises her hand for a new one. She also runs Mindful workshops within Sydney, where she helps parents from diverse backgrounds to strengthen their relationship with their children. She wants to help make a positive impact in different communities and will always find a way to connect with others.

Isabella Ambrose

Multicultural Ambassador

Isabella Ambrose is an experienced Project Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organisation management industry. Skilled in Health Promotion, Research, Data Collection, and Public Health. Strong community and social services professional with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science Honours focused in Rural Sri Lankan respiratory Health from University of Melbourne.

Mitika Bajwa

Multicultural Ambassador

A mom to 2 teenage boys and a 4 months old Fur Baby. Migrated to Australia from India in 1998 and lived in Canada and USA as well. Passionate about giving to the community and helping other. Life Coach and Real Estate COnsultant on the side along with working full time in IT. Over 20 years IT experience as Project/ Program Manager, CRM, Data warehousing and BI as solution architect, analyst, technical lead, and team lead. Results focused, highly accomplished and experienced Leader delivering complex technology solutions aligned with business strategy in complex organisations.

Reena Augustine

Multicultural Ambassador

Miss Reena Augustine, had a dream, a long-held belief to unite people from all walks of life. To remove racial barriers and replace them with a sense of belonging. This dream of Reena’s was as simple as it was beautiful. She wanted to create Australia’s first multicultural fashion show, but not just a little gathering of close friends, she wanted to do it in style and make it memorable—and did she ever achieve it.The winner of the 2018 young community achiever of the year at India Australia community and business awards, Queen’s Baton bearer 2018 CWG and 2016 Brisbane Women in Business Award for Community Dedication she has continued to blaze a trail in her quest for equality. From a shy and reticent public speaker to event MC, to fashion show coordinator, Reena has overcome her fears in spectacular style to do what she loves most and in the process offer hope and inspiration to thousands of people as she does so.One vision, one goal and one dynamic young lady behind it, to unite the multicultural community of Australia.

Irene Mutune

Multicultural Ambassador

Irene is a fun loving, well educated Kenyan lady with a Social Work background, willing to tackle and take issues surrounding Mental health in CALD communities to another level. Mental health issues especially withing CALD communities largely go undetected and eventually untreated, leading to premature deaths attributed to drug or alcohol abuse. Improper reporting structures and support systems exacerbate these issues, making it a key issue that needs to be addressed.

Irfan Yusuf

Multicultural Ambassador

Irfan is a lawyer and award-winning author. He has worked as a lawyer in 5 different states in private, government, legal aid and community legal practices. Apart from a book, Irfan has been published on a range of subjects (politics, books, culture, the law and religion) in various publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Crikey, The Drum and 10Daily. He has also been interviewed on RN Breakfast, The Project and Triple J's The Hack.

Christopher Luong

Multicultural Ambassador

Christopher Luong is a young and energetic entrepreneur, operating a multi-faceted business consultancy in Adelaide, SA. Growing up in a CALD environment, Chris had to endure many hurdles (societal, familial and cultural) in order to achieve the success he has had to date. From working with multicultural youth in community programs, to volunteering with local CALD communities to enhance skillsets in business, Chris has made sure to leave a lasting impact wherever he goes.

Dawn Mbogo

Membership Coordinator

Dawn is a mental health ambassador because she believes that every individual has the potential to live their best life by learning to think the right way. As someone who experienced post natal depression Dawn has the empathy for people with mental health illness. She wants to come alongside such people as a friend and let them know that she understands what they are going through. She can say with confidence that they can learn the right skills to deal with stressful life events and live their best life. Dawn loves travelling and spending time with family. She runs a personal blog to encourage healthy mental attitudes.

Justine Muller

Membership Coordinator

Born in France, my background is in social policy and international development. I worked in various countries and teams including India, Algeria, Germany, Norway, and USA where I supported women empowerment and child labour eradication and respect of human rights. Until recently I worked in responsible finance where I assessed the sustainability performance of publicly listed companies. I now work with the Australia Red Cross as part of the humanitarian settlement program. Strategic thinker, my skills and experience include leading teams, monitoring and evaluating program implementation, training and supporting professional development.

Usufono Filipo

Multicultural Ambassador

Usufono Filipo is a content Senior Capability Development Support for Sydney Trains Customer Operations team in Burwood NSW. Usufono develops staff capability through training, coaching, mentoring, assessment and learning skills at an optimum level. These people are empowered and encouraged by Usufono to serve the greater NSW community on the frontline. As local resident to the Campbelltown Area Usufono proactively attends events and supports the community. Usufono strongly believes everyone is important with a purpose and deserves a future. She is passionate about people growing, overcoming obstacles and being part of the journey in any platform of support and guidance. She aims to to simply leave a lasting impression on kindness and care for all people. Usufono enjoys working with people and advocates trust amongst any team she joins. On a day off Usufono is exploring different routes and tracks in NSW to explore with her family to encourage exercise, health and relationships. Her strengths are empathy, emotional intelligence and honesty.

Vinodhram Rangaswamy

Multicultural Ambassador

Paul Peulich

Multicultural Ambassador

Jan Noya

Multicultural Ambassador

Ronald Perera

Multicultural Ambassador

Ronald Perera is a Strata Consultant and runs his own practice in St Kilda, he has more than 28  years of working experience in the field of Owners Corporation in Melbourne, New South Wales, and Singapore

 

Some of his accolades include being appointed a Community Mediator, a Town Councillor, and recipient of a Medal from the President of Singapore and bestowed with a title “PBM “equivalent of OAM in Australia for more than  20 years of dedicated service to the community and for serving on several government agencies and grassroots organizations in Singapore.

 

He has also received the Strata Manager of the Year Award from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria

 

He currently seats on several community associations in Melbourne in various capacities and is currently the President of the Singapore Australia Association and the Vice President of Owners Community Association of Australia. He is also a Freemason

 

He was also recently featured on FM 97.5 sharing some nuggets of advice on Strata Living and has presented on a number of speaking panels for various organizations

 

He is a Multi-linguist speaking 4 languages including Mandarin

 

He is a Magician and performs magic as a Hobby for friends, clients, and for volunteer organizations as a community service.

Arlene Lucas

Multicultural Ambassador

Arlene Lucas is a Filipino/Australian, mother of two, and passionate about removing stigma around mental health condition. She’s the founder and President of Skylark Foundation Australia, a non profit charitable organisation promoting women’s wellbeing and disadvantaged school children. She’d like to encourage others to be brave and inspire everyone to strive for the best. She would like to share her story about post natal depression and other challenges. In sharing her story and experiences with others, she believe that this could raise awareness about mental health issue, offer hope, encourage empathy and enable others to seek help.

Yogen Lakshman

Multicultural Ambassador

Construction professional with over 35 years of experience in the Construction Industry working in 3 counties and in 4 states in Australia. Outside construction, have spent all my time in Community activities, currently sitting on the board of 4 community associations in Melbourne. Key points include extensive event management roles throughout Melbourne in organising mega events and festivals.

Josie Swaray

Multicultural Ambassador

Hirukshi Bennett-Rathnayake

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a Medical graduate who is currently studying Master of Public Health in Torrens University Melbourne. I have two diplomas in psychology, and I am passionate about mental wellbeing and its impacts on day to day life. I also have experience with caring for developmentally challenged children. I have personally struggled with anxiety with has challenged my daily life in the past, and I am currently working with a therapist to have a better understanding and perspective.

Flic Manning

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Flic Manning. I have invisible illnesses and live every day with chronic pain and mental health issues. For a long time I felt failed by the healthcare industry. Instead of giving up I worked my way towards a quality of life that was inclusive of my many conditions. I decided not to live the stigmatised, silent life society provided for me. Instead I became a dancer, eventually got my qualifications as a PT, Wellness Coach, Neuroplastician and have a Certificate in Advanced Neurobiology; started my own business to help those of us tackling these issues called Corethentic, and have my first book coming out within the next year. I use my voice to shed a light on the realities that so many of us face because it is essential to see ourselves represented within the world and it is the only way to begin conversations in our homes and communities that eradicate outdated thinking that mental health makes us "less than", "weak" or "not to be trusted". I have ended up spending most of my life in front of cameras, on stages or with a microphone in my hands a public speaker and MC. So I believe I would make a good ambassador as I can communicate well and I am not intimidated by the experience of talking to people with diverse backgrounds. As a Wellness Coach, and as someone with a lived experience of trauma, I also know how top navigate difficult conversations well. I am currently an Ambassador for Crohn's & Colitis Australia and would like to shed more of a light on mental health. I believe we must start talking about Mental Health urgently, and to people of all ages if we as a society wish to move forward with compassion and wellbeing at the forefront of our lives.

Dario Juric

Multicultural Ambassador

Dorothy Mak

Multicultural Ambassador

Karthick Thanigaimani

Multicultural Ambassador

I would like to be a part MHFA multicultural ambassador program so that I can take the importance of the Mental Health to different people. Being a community support person, I know the importance of Mental Health and wellbeing. Through my connections and skills, I would like to help improve mental health for our multicultural communities.

Yvette Elaine Medina

Multicultural Ambassador

Mayur Meshram

Multicultural Ambassador

I have been an active MHFA certified member proudly supporting my community, the NGO I dearly server (Indian Australian Community Cooperative), and the neighbourhood I live in. I have had multiple Mental Wellbeing related seminars organised especially during COVID lockdown to help the community members keep a check on their mental state and help promote the kindness act by showing how grateful we are towards each other to our community to the luxuries in life we are entitled with and most importantly being kind to ourselves. You can check IACC's Facebook page for Mental Health webinars I led the team to host to generate awareness. I am also an active member of VIC SES from Pakenham Unit and have the opportunity to work with my fellow SES Volunteers in promoting the importance of the impact a road rescue or tough SES jobs have on member's mental well-being. I am a current member of certified Mental Health First Aider network and through the network I am fortunate to learn new ways of dealing with tough use cases, supporting and learning tools to have facilitate complex conversations. Last but not the least, I am a recent graduate of Cardinia Community Leadership Program (2019 batch) and my passionate contribution to the Mental Health CLAN resulted in the Cardinia Shire Council offering MHFA training courses in subsidised pricing to the local community leaders. This is the very first step towards normalising the Mental Health and breaking through the stigma associated to it. Mental illness and Mental health, the difference is curable vs manageable and the thin line doesn't take long to diminish if we lose focus in the on-going battle with the stigma!

Matthew Keisoglu

Multicultural Ambassador

Gary Keisoglu

Multicultural Ambassador

Emma Stobie

Multicultural Ambassador

I am verry passionate about helping others especially when it comes to mental health matters. I, myself, has had to overcome some mental health struggles, and I am so grateful for the support I was given. It is now my time to give back to others to show that nobody is alone, ever.

Karishma Singh

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr. Suresh Marcandan

Multicultural Ambassador

I have been a very active Rotarian and Freemason for the past 30 years. More recently, I have taken a very keen interest in mental ill-health and have recently presented before the Productivity Commission at their public hearings on Mental Health in Melbourne on the 19th November 2019. On the 19th January 2020, I have made a formal submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry on mental Health suggesting a 'generational change' in strategies for tackling mental health issues in Australia.

Sury Soni

Multicultural Ambassador

Lyn Richardson

Multicultural Ambassador

I am originally from Singapore and migrated to Australia 20 years ago. I have a very mixed background. My mum is a filipino-chinese and Dad is portugese -chinese. I am very passionate with my culture specially our foods. I love cooking, baking and travelling. I do believe that i have obsession when it comes to food no matter what cuisine.

Khin Soe

Multicultural Ambassador

Caroline Soe is a dedicated high school senior student passionate about mental health and the wellbeing of multicultural communities. She previously resided in Myanmar before migrating to Malaysia as a student and eventually arriving in Australia for further studies. She has volunteered in Matthew Flinders home and had a substantial experience with Headspace, a non-profit organisation for the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Luul Ibrahim

Multicultural Ambassador

As a community activist,community leader and cald background, she stands up for mental health awareness, to break the stigma through survival, hope and resilient, as it can create a powerful force that can inspire others.

Ron Deng

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a carer consultant in Perth, WA. Passionate advocate for improving services in mental health/AOD in hospitals and community. Promoting a co-design model of lived experience equitable engagement and funding. Participated in numerous international conferences, workshops, forums and advisory committees. Facilitate support groups and conduct mental health literacy and wellness courses. A board member (NGO), Children’s Home in Kenya and volunteer in local church community support programs. Originally migrated from Singapore, has three adult children and two granddaughters. Take leisure in art, painting, mindfulness activities and bush walking.

Krishneel Maharaj

Queensland Ambassador

Krishneel is a Registered Psychologist with a special interest in Anxiety Disorders, Well-Being and Performance. He has close to a decade of experience in the Mental Health field, working with clients experiencing a range of difficulties across school, government and community settings. 

He brings an eclectic mix of experiences, including as a former athlete, sports coach and Psychologist. He has a particular interest in working with high-performers, including athletes, teams and businesses. Krishneel is from the Island nation of Fiji (Paradise!), and was the Performance Psychologist for Team Fiji's best athlete's competing in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Krishneel works predominantly from a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) framework, but also incorporates components of Solution Focused Therapy and Mindfulness based interventions. He is currently part of the Queensland Multicultural Ambassadors Program of Mental Health Foundation Australia.

Krishneel is an avid traveller and counts climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, as one of many highlights. 

Taidanyasha Mabel Chigogora

Multicultural Ambassador

Bwe Thay

Multicultural Ambassador

Anil Advaney

Multicultural Ambassador

Helen Li

Multicultural Ambassador

Will Fei

Multicultural Ambassador

Kapil Thakkar

Multicultural Ambassador

Lucia Hou

Multicultural Ambassador

Dheepa Awtani

Multicultural Ambassador

Richard Stockman

Multicultural Ambassador

Charles Walker

Multicultural Ambassador

Jackie Vanzuyden

Multicultural Ambassador

Nail Aykan

Multicultural Ambassador

Ali Riza Kasapgil

Multicultural Ambassador

I am Ali Riza Kasapgil current treating therapist at Doctors of Lalor Plus, LALOR VIC, and Somerton Road Medical Centre, ROXBURGH PARK VIC. I am an accredited Mental Health Practitioner and Counsellor holding BSW and MSW degrees in Social Work. I am a member of AASW. I have eighteen-year experience as a Senior Clinician with North East Mental Health Services, North East Crises Assessment and Treatment Team and North East Primary Mental Health Team (Austin Hospital, Heidelberg VIC) and with Inner East Mental Health Services (Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville VIC). I also have five-year experience as a Mental Health Senior Clinician with Mental Health Services at Gulhane Hospital in Turkiye.

I have been practising privately since 2010. I have been providing “assessment” including mental stateexamination and psychological intervention such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Problem Solving, Stress Management and Relaxation.

Alex Sy

Multicultural Ambassador

Sunny Duggal

Multicultural Ambassador

Sunny Duggal is recognised for his inspiring efforts in supporting communities across Melbourne and East Gippsland during the Victorial bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Through his incredible work delivering over seven tonnes of food and other essential items to frontline healthcare and emmergency service workers, residents of aged care, international students, and other communities in need, Sunny has demonstrated how much impact one person can have on so many. Sunny's passion and drive to serve the community throughout 2020 has motivated individuals and organisations to follow his lead, as an exemplary model of what support of multicultural communities in Victoria should look like.

Jagesh Panchal

Multicultural Ambassador

Sang Lian

Multicultural Ambassador

Sonia Di Mezza

Multicultural Ambassador

Halime Duzen

Multicultural Ambassador

Prathiti Shah

Multicultural Ambassador

Mental Health Practitioner and Educator 

Counselor (Feeling and Healing)

Santi Whiteside

Multicultural Ambassador

Muradiye Marie Selvi

Multicultural Ambassador

Muradiye Selvi is a Consultant Psychologist with over 30 years of experience working in the mental health field and was the first Turkish–speaking Psychologist in private practice who developed multilingual psychology practice in Coburg. Her earlier jobs involved working at Royal Park Hospital and the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, extensively studying the prevalence of mental health disorders within ethnic communities. She is also experienced as a health and welfare officer, disability worker, and a trainer and supervisor of telephone counsellors for Melbourne Life-Line.

Muradiye has continued to develop her skills in psychology and pursued interest in the areas of cross-cultural counselling, counselling victims of crime and trauma, counselling traffic accident victims, rehabilitation of injured workers, and chronic depression in migrant/ethnic women.

She is a trained relationship, marriage and family educator and has more recently been working with families and youth in the problem areas of drug and alcohol abuse and mental health.

She works extensively with adults, youth, adolescents, couples and families and along with Cognitive – Behavioural strategies, uses a variety of therapeutic modalities as she strives to meet the individual needs of her patients.

Muradiye is a non-judgemental, ethical, supportive and sensitive therapist who has gained the respect of her colleagues and patients and remains an invaluable asset to the community.

She is also an avid volunteer within the Turkish Community as a regular speaker on community ethnic radios and television and provides seminars, lectures and workshops on psychological issues with-in the Community.

She currently runs a dynamic and comprehensive multicultural and multilingual clinical private practice as the principal senior psychologist providing extensive psychological services and Total Psychological Care to members of our culturally and linguistically diverse community.

Muradiye Selvi is also active in the business community and was the first female to be asked to join the Australian Turkish Business Council ATBC. She served as the Vice president for 4 years and in April 2017 was elected as the first female President of the Australian Turkish Business, a role which she served until April 2021.

 

Madhavee Hetti Arachchige Dona

Multicultural Ambassador

Mayumi Polgahage Dona

Multicultural Ambassador

Nildhara Gadani

Multicultural Ambassador

Krina Shah

Multicultural Ambassador

Vasundhara Kulkarni

Multicultural Ambassador

Poonam Arora

Multicultural Ambassador

Sylvia Coombe

Multicultural Ambassador

My role as President of the Fijian Community Association Victoria is to inspire and nurture my Leadership Team and members towards the shared vison of the Association, without losing sight of cultural values and traditions from Fiji.  I believe that strong support networks of diversified enablers is key to improving the quality of life for Fijians in Melbourne.

I am a senior management professional in the Public Rail Transportation industry and in her current workplace, I  volunteer as a Peer Supporter, Mental First Aider, First Aider, and a Health and Safety Representative.

Passionate for the welfare of others and the broader community, I also volunteer as a firefighter for my local fire brigade in the South Eastern suburbs of Victoria.

Lillie Giang

Multicultural Ambassador

Smriti Jhunjhunwala

Multicultural Ambassador

Smriti Jhunjhunwala is a serial entrepreneur with a soft spot for all things related to Human Resource. She has a total of 18 yrs of experience in dealing with people. Her stints with stalwarts like Microsoft, Accenture, Citbank, NewGenIT and Cholamandalam Insurance have helped her define a professional philosophy of collaboration and commitment that she carries with her to both clients as well as colleagues. She is the co-founder of both, HumanAce and ViRu (AI product automating recruitment). She is currently in the business of training individuals for employability in the Industry 4.0, getting them interned for practical experience and help them recruit in their dream jobs. She is very high on empathy and believes in working for a larger good.

Resika KC

Multicultural Ambassador

Masters of Social Work 2014, Worked in Community Mental health for over 6 years in mental health and coaching roles and management roles, knowledge and skills in current mental health service provision, therapeutic support and community supports. Active member of Nepalese community in Victoria and an advocate for international student's mental health and wellbeing.

Thao Hoang

Multicultural Ambassador

I am working at the Australian Vietnamese Women's Association as the Vietnamese Gambler's Help's Program Coordinator and Gambling Counsellor. I provide one-on-one counselling to the Vietnamese speaking community in the Western and Northern Metropolitan Regions who experience gambling problems and/or gambling harms. I also provide community education sessions to the Vietnamese community to raise awareness about gambling and gambling harms, as well as available supporting services.

Evan Bichara

Multicultural Ambassador

As a Hard Working Mental Health Advocate serving many years through Mainstream / Multicultural communities I have served on many occasions on the College of Psychiatry (RANZCP)..the College of General Practitioners (RACGP)..the Private domain of Mental Health as the Multicultural Advisor (& still going strong). I have done many "gigs" throughout our wide Community...Mental Health and beyond...spoken to almost every Public /Private school in Victoria..other Sporting, Church / Social Groups, also to Academia Staff, Health Professionals and other Community orientated groups. I am on many Committees at the moment.And continue addressing the Greek & Arabic communities on Mental Health.

Helena Pekar

Multicultural Ambassador

I am 35 years old. I was born in Russia, lived in Israel, and moved to Australia in 2010. I am divorced with no children and I work in Business Consulting. My hobbies include Wood Carving, Painting, Writing, and photography. I love spending time helping and volunteering with the community.

Helena is a HSEQ and HR professional with a strong passion for Mental Health and Wellness.
Helena loves supporting the community, spreading awareness, and making a difference in people's lives.

Reshman Tabassum

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a scholar and an academic in organizational psychology. I have experience in teaching, publishing academic and policy papers, and developing student as well as staff management procedures at the tertiary level. I have published papers in the areas of organizational psychology and information and communication technologies in journals such as Bulletin of the World Health Organization and Globalization and Health.

Sudharma Hiremath

Multicultural Ambassador

Sudharma Hiremath is a Corporate Governance Professional, Consultant, and Ayurveda Practitioner who values dedication, service, and excellence. He is an accomplished professional who has worked across many sectors, including, Health Care, Hospitality, Government, and Not For Profit across three continents. Sudharma brings unique global perspectives gained from his Consulting, Employment, Global Travel, and Education. His experience and life lessons empower the youth to unleash the tapped potential they have within.

Keith Bhebhe

Multicultural Ambassador

Peter Cinzah

Multicultural Ambassador

Jagan Rao

Multicultural Ambassador

Deepak Joshi

Multicultural Ambassador

Kwabena Ansah

Multicultural Ambassador

Bina Shah

Multicultural Ambassador

Sara Lee

Multicultural Ambassador

Senior Social Worker, Clinical Supervisor, Gender Equality and Anti-Slavery Advocate, Multicultural Service Specialist.

Pursued my career as a human right advocate with integrating theories and values from over 10 years of social work experiences in mental health and women support service.

Harlin Gandhok

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a qualified counsellor who has been working with youth for over 5 years in a range of settings. I have experience working with those from refugee, asylum seeker and trauma backgrounds, those with family and peer issues, those with a range of mental health concerns and those with high risk behaviour. I spent a significant amount of time at Lifeline, responding to and supporting crisis callers and those in high levels of distress. I have also worked extensively with women and children experiencing family violence and worked in a 'first responder' organisation. My currently role is working with young people from 12-18 years old in an education setting, where a high number of students are newly arrived to Australia with high and complex needs.

Abegail Juson

Multicultural Ambassador

Valentino Akec

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr Titus S. Olorunnisola

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr Titus S. Olorunnisola is the founder and CEO of Action Research Centre Ltd - an organisation that conducts high-level evidence-based action research that influences policy dialogue and social change. The organisation conducts research that addresses the problems of domestic violence, homelessness, and refugee/asylum seekers in need of resettlement. It also explores the intersection between mental health and domestic violence. The organisation also engages in advocacy in collaboration with industry partners to achieve its vision of social change. Titus designs ARC research and leads the organisation in implementing its research agenda. Titus also serves as the Lead Pastor of BethelLife Church, a multicultural congregation in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Meyassar Ablat

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an Uyghur Australian who migrated to Australia in 1985 at the age of 5. Since my youth I have always been actively involved in our the Uyghur Community. I have served as the Treasurer for the Uyghur Language School of SA (from 2018-2020) & as the Vice President of the East Turkistan Australian Association (2019/2020) & also as the head of the ETAA Women's Group. I am very passionate about working with CALD communities & am also a proud Uyghur Human Rights Activist.

Charles Beng H Loh

Multicultural Ambassador

Sharad Limaye

Multicultural Ambassador

Sharad Limaye MBA (Melbourne Business school), MAICD, Post Grad Computing, B.E. Mechanical. Executive Profile: Sharad is a highly experienced Executive (worked in various roles as VP sales, Director, Account Executive, BDM, Program/ Project Manager) having undertaken a variety of senior and influential roles in Australia and USA. His diversity of experience covers industry sectors such as Oil & Gas, Mining, Manufacturing, and High-tech manufacturing, Finance (Banking, Insurance), Telecommunications, Retail, and Logistic Service. He is highly motivated, outcome focused IT Executive with a reputation for outstanding Customer Relationship Management and Advocacy at all levels (CXO and below). S Sharad brings rich experience in working with large consulting firms such as Nagarro, L&T Infotech, IBM, Deloitte Consulting, Accenture, Fujitsu and Satyam. Sharad is a Certified Yoga teacher and has been practicing Yoga for more than 40 years.

Vaishali Budige

Multicultural Ambassador

Vaishali is a Physiotherapist, Yoga Teacher and Sound Healer with over two decades of corporate wellbeing and injury management experience. After tragically losing her husband to a chronic mental illness, she has made it her mission to raise awareness of this potentially debilitating illness. Her vision is a community of empowered citizens that actively engage in proven wellness practices such as meditation and exercise, to act as a buffer against life's challenges.

Maria Christofilopoulos

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Maria Christofilopoulos and I currently work in the Financial Services industry within the Superannuation sector as a Family Law specialist and Benefits/Pensions administrator. I am passionate about bringing awareness for mental health and overcome the stigma that is associated with mental health. I want to work with the community to be able to bring a safehaven to everyone but also to ensure that people that do suffer from mental health issues are also listened to and cared for within the community.

Yuichi Eguchi

Multicultural Ambassador

I imigrated from Japan in 2008 and I have lived in Australia since then. I have been working in educational industry more than 10 years. During the covid pandemic, I have witnessed many international students have suffered from mental illness and I thought it would be beneficial to support these students. This made me to decide to study Mental Health.

Maria Perera

Multicultural Ambassador

Dharmesh Chudasama

Multicultural Ambassador

What i have i want to pass something to the community and as specially not to many people coming forward for this role so i am happy to raise my hand for this generous cause and would love to become share my experience what i have and what i can.

Shivali Chatley

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an active community member been working in a local Community business I.e. my post office and am coordinated a multiple community organisation's. I was appointed as Ex Vice president and at various roles in Loddon Compaspe Multicultural Services Bendigo which had resulted in great success of networking and establishing relationships with various communities and gave me great opportunity to serve the Community at various capacities.

Sakshi Sahni

Multicultural Ambassador

I have years of personal and professional experience in helping people with mental health concerns. Living with mental health conditions is hard for any person and I believe that it can be converted into their greatest life strengths if the right support is provided. I am a skilled communicator and a strong leader with a passion for empowering individuals and driving them to keep going towards greater goals.

Christine Teo

Multicultural Ambassador

Christine Teo is a Senior Government Advisor, a social worker, an entrepreneur, human rights advocate, policy writer, educator, visionary and public speaker.

Christine is currently a Senior Advisor at the Mental Health Division in the Department of Health. She is also the founder of Generation 414, a social enterprise that provides dignified employment to survivors of human trafficking through the sale of their handmade products.

The business concept for Generation 414 was birthed out of a tour through South East Asia, one summer break, Christine was brutally confronted with the way the local women were callously treated by male tourists. At night, streets were lined with school aged girls selling their bodies for cash. Christine was often approached by male tourists and mistaken to be a prostitute during her visit because of her Asian descent. This infuriated her and it was this anguish that led her to create Generation 414 to address the issue of sexual exploitation.

Christine is currently helping to roll-out the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and the mental health initiatives due to the covid-19 pandemic. When Christine is not working, she is baking cupcakes to fundraise for various causes or organising community events.

Christine often guest lectures in Victorian Universities to social work students to inspire them to be the change they wish to see in their world and she is also a board member of one the key anti-trafficking organisations in Victoria, Project Respect.

Ikampreet Kaur Gill

Multicultural Ambassador

I am born and brought up in India. I came to Australia in 2017 to pursue my Masters's degree in Business Information Systems. I completed my master's with Distinction and now pursuing a Master of Teaching (Secondary) in Ballarat. I am a Business Analyst by profession but I am looking forward to becoming a business studies teacher in the future.

Dr. Jayani Abeykoon

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a Sri Lankan medical officer, compassionate about treating people in need. I am mainly interested in peadiatric treatments because I find treating children is much more exiting as they are.. I have hope to improve anyone's quality of life. I worked in rural hospitals so that I know how to address anything in pressured conditions and to understand anyone who is under stress and other issues. I want to help people more and help them in their every aspect of life.

Ashima Soni

Multicultural Ambassador

Chethana Mudunna

Multicultural Ambassador

Stacey Mendes

Multicultural Ambassador

I migrated to Australia when I was 8, and have had first-hand experience of the loss of my home and self-identity, enduring the challenges of integration in a new country. ?

I am a strong advocate for challenging and changing the narrative of stigmas associated with mental health in our ethnic minority communities, to allow young people and communities to feel empowered and thrive from positive mental health outcomes, based on trusted relationships with communities. I strive to be a learner in the process, where the voices of communities are the focus.

Linda Teng

Multicultural Ambassador

Veronica Shalini Charles

Multicultural Ambassador

Emily Unity

Multicultural Ambassador

Emily is a mental health advocate who is particularly passionate about minority and marginalised community, particularly CALD, youth, and LGBTIQA+ intersectionality. She's currently a Peer Support Worker for Orygen and lived experience advocate for headspace, ReachOut, Beyond Blue, the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Black Dog Institute, and the Mental Health Foundation of Australia. With degrees in computer science and psychology, she intends on exploring the future of combining technology and mental health.

Shashini Pramodya

Multicultural Ambassador

Varsha Devi Balakrishnan

Multicultural Ambassador

“Any positive change is better than no change”. Living by that motto, Varsha has served as both a vocal advocate and a changemaker in a diversity of social causes. Coming from Singapore, a cultural and racial melting pot, Varsha’s advocacy and volunteering work are framed by her own identity as a female that is part of a minority race. She taps into her personal, educational and professional experiences to highlight the societal gaps that demand greater awareness and action. From championing the rights of international students across Australia, to supporting asylum seekers and people seeking refugees and presently, counselling at-risk youth at headspace, Varsha has been heavily invested in building up various communities. With service at the heart of each cause, she believes that even the smallest changes count towards progress and she actively partners with organizations to enact tangible positive change.

With the strong belief of education and research as a gateway to reducing social inequality, Varsha’s educational background is one that is multidisciplinary. From doing a double major in international relations and communications studies, to her honors thesis analyzing terrorist recruitment via social media, a Master of International Development focusing on Gender, Peace and Security and a Master of Counselling. Coming from Singapore, a cultural and racial melting pot, Varsha’s drive and work are framed by her own identity as a female that is part of a minority race. She taps into her personal, educational, and professional experiences to highlight the societal gaps that demand greater awareness and action for international students and marginalized communities.

 

Upneet Jagota

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a Qualified Counsellor. I am an active member of ACA ( Australian Counselling Association). I chose Counselling as my career because of my own truly lived experiences of many of my life's difficulties which I am able to relate to the clients concerns and make them feel cared and understood for. I always wanted to help those who are going through the crisis and mental health issues. I allow clients the time they need to express their concerns at "The Gratitude Counselling". I am proud mother of three beautiful children and happily married.

Longinus Onyechesi

Multicultural Ambassador

Longinus Onyechesi has 18 years’ experience providing pastoral/spiritual care and counselling at faith communities, hospitals and schools. His years of experience as an Honorary Hospital Chaplain at various hospitals and nursing homes, in addition to his experience as a School Teacher, Parish Administrator, Community Leader, Pastoral Care Coordinator, and student Counsellor, both nationally and internationally, have equipped him with professional and organizational skills. He works creatively and collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team. He conveys information clearly and concisely in oral and written communications.

Sandeep Kaur

Multicultural Ambassador

Community support worker ,Career consultant, Curriculum Developer. Self-employed with S.B. Consultancy supporting women , men with Career changes and referral process involved as per the need of the clients . I have good communication skills, understand the VAK style of people , Networking skills, Reporting skills .

Shereen Hauke

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Shereen Hauke. I work as a bookkeeper in Operation Mobilisation Australia. I possess strong administration and marketing experience of more than 15 years dealing with both business and individual clients.I am a fit, healthy and active person and I have always strived to achieve outstanding results for the positions I have held. I have always placed safety of myself, my fellow colleagues, equipment and the environment as the highest priority in every instance.I have Certificates III in Early Childhood Education and Care. I studied First Aid and CPR.I did volunteer work with different organisations like Operation Mobilisation Australian and Donvale Christian College. My volunteer work gave the chance to interact with different cultures and to be more open minded.

Anupa Koli

Multicultural Ambassador

Anupa Koli identifies as a person of colour who is passionate about the rights and wellbeing of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She works in community engagement and mental health promotion. She is a mental health advocate and is passionate about social justice. In her free time, she loves exploring new cafes and going for strolls on the beach.

Georgia Khyabani

Multicultural Ambassador

Georgia was born in Italy, Rome where she was raised and completed her formal Education in Performing Arts. At the age of 28 Georgia moved to London, United Kingdom where she acquired work experience working with clients presenting various issues including mental health and homelessness. In 2016 Georgia moved to Australia where she became an Accredited Alcohol and Drug Worker and volunteered across various Mental Health Organisations. Georgia is currently studying Mental Health with an Australian Training Provider whilst working in Aged Care and with clients presenting psycho-social disabilities. Georgia has been practicing Soka Gakkai Buddhism since 2011 and has been nominated young women leader in Rome, London and currently in Melbourne. Georgia's hobbies are: Art, painting, walking in nature and practicing meditation and Yoga. Georgia is proud to be part of MHFA to promote Mental Health awareness across Italian CALD Communities and in particular amongst International Students who have struggled during the pandemic and have been far from their families for a long time.

Jennifer Rapada

Multicultural Ambassador

I’m Jennifer B Rapada,RPm 44 years old, annulled born in the Philippines with 4 children currently in Australia and who were australian citizens and permanent resident in in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I’m a Registered Psychometrician and a Mental Health Crisis Responder in National Center For Mental Health. I have been to Australia for the first time last March 2018 holding a tourist visa then after applied again for a longer visa and fly to Australia for the second time in November 2018 and stayed for a about 12 months in Victoria with my 4 children. Currently in the Philippines working.

Marnie Higgs

Multicultural Ambassador

Catherine Macharia

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Catherine Macharia. I was born and raised in Central Kenya and there after lived in Capetown South Africa for 10 years where I completed a BS degree in Psychological Counseling and Criminology and worked as a Victim Support Officer with the South African Police Services before migrating to Australia three years ago. My passion for mental health and well-being was birthed 9 years ago during my journey to recovery after I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I am currently completing an honors degree in Psychology. My goal is to specialize in Clinical psychology and then establish and run a private clinic with the aim of providing accessible psychological services to people of all walks of life and especially those of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. I previously served for one year as the vice president of a multicultural women's Association "It Takes Courage", and currently working within the multicultural sector as an "Equality for All" advocate with Women's Health Grampians and as a Family Violence Peer educator with Ballarat Community Health. I am looking forward to working with the other ambassadors to promote mental health awareness in the community to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health issues and hopefully help reduce the burden of mental health illnesses. I am an active member of Ballarat African Association

Gaurab Gurung

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an international student and being an international student it has always been a challenging time to adjust to a new country along with a few different narratives towards international students who have been toxic. Having lived mental health experiences due to parental relationship breakdown and leaving a house with my mom, I have immeasurable interest in mental health. I have taken Mental Health First Aid training and attended several mental health workshops including a series of webinars of Mental Health Foundation Australia during the lockdown. I am committed to working in my community for mental health awareness since there are a lot of stigmas. Similarly, I always stress the importance of mental health wellbeing of international students in Australia and other parts of the globe.

Imaan Imaan Toor

Multicultural Ambassador

Cr Prue Cutts

Multicultural Ambassador

Elvah Velasco

Multicultural Ambassador

Dabessa Gemelal

Multicultural Ambassador

Miss Kameri

Multicultural Ambassador

Ljiljana Ristevski

Multicultural Ambassador

Karthik Arasu

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr. Saranbeer Kaur

Multicultural Ambassador

Nitesh Vyas

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr Bruno D'Aprano

Multicultural Ambassador

As a Rotarian of 40 years service, i have also served on the Australian Research Health, (Men's Mental Health), I have spent the last 20 years speaking to conferences, clubs & individuals about Mental Health Issues. I have personal experience in the field as well. I have also been an MHFA Ambassador in 2020, a very challenging year due to Covid 19.

Michelle Kleinert

Multicultural Ambassador

Mental health affects 1 in 4 therefore we are engaging with people everyday who are affected by mental health. As leaders in our communities, shedding light on these issues is most important. Having access to multicultural communities that trust me, there is opportunity to talk about these issues and open the doors to conversation and provide access and information. I have seen the devastating effects of mental health. It's with this story, I want to be part of something positive. I focused my year as Mayor to fundraise to start a youth service in Manningham for mental health. I have a Mental health First Aid certificate and am committed to being an effective Ambassador

Kamini Saberwal

Multicultural Ambassador

Kamini is a working mother by the day and an actor/ Emcee/ Pageant winner by the night. In 2016, she won Mrs.India Australia, and since then has been a part of numerous large social and community events in Australia as volunteer, Emcee of big Bollywood shows and modelling for many national campaigns and TV shows. In her day job, she works as Human Resources Manager dealing with People a lot, where she also got accredited as a Mental Health First Aider. She has two young sons and a very caring partner, who are all her support system.

Lily Sarkar

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an overseas lawyer and practising in Victoria since 2017. Volunteering in Penninsula and Monash Legal at present. Previously volunteered for Westjustice and Asylum Seekers Centre. In my uni days in Perth volunteered for Salvos,Vinnies and Redcross. Worked as a lawyer for Community Legal Centres in WA for 2 years. Lived in Tasmania and than moved to Perth in 2008 before relocating to Victoria in 2017. I am an Australian Citizen. Was a Rotary Club President in India in 1999-2000.

Adam Goh

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an immigrant of Chinese Malaysian background living in Australia today who is a graduate of Master of Architecture from Monash University. My personal interest shares a concern for the people of today who are experiencing mental distress as a product of cultural & future shock, particularly in the unprecedented environment in which we live today. Currently, I am preparing myself to participate in a research platform that challenges and examines modern society, particularly concerning the unanticipated consequences of the progressive rise of newer and more advanced technology. I hope to drive this passion towards the right direction in the respect of mental health awareness and promoting it at the intersection of Technology, Architecture, and Social Services in the near future.

Major Kevin Walsh

Multicultural Ambassador

Councilor and Mayor Greater Dandenong. Successfully lobbied for EASTLINK and better Public Transport Services. Infantry Major, lead the RVR Guard to Villers Brettonneux 1983. Lead Support Company 5/6 RVR during the large Kangaroo 92 Exercise. Lectured in Financial Risk Management at Monash University. Lectured in Accounting for Latrobe University program for Chisholm TAFE.

Dr Priyanka Gahlot

Multicultural Ambassador

She was born and raised in India, studied in Singapore and now calls Australia home. Professionally, she is a full time radiologist and Clinical Director at Healthscreen. Mental Health is a commonly ignored in our society with a lot of taboo associated with it. She is therefore involved with MHFA to help increase awareness on importance of good mental health.

Sharan Velauthan

Multicultural Ambassador

Sharan Velauthan is from Sri Lanka and recently graduated with a Masters in Marketing in Melbourne Australia. He is an advocate and activist, standing up for many social issues. A few of note is mental health, sustainability, and domestic abuse prevention. His work led him to become the youngest Sri Lankan to do an international TEDx. He currently lives a private life, focusing on expanding his marketing experience, and working on his grass-root level mental health project, Samana.

Judy Kameri

Multicultural Ambassador

I'm a student in mental health course.. Passionate about my well-being and that of others. I'm a believer of being true to one self and realizing that our struggles are a part of life except we dont have to be slaves to our own feelings. I love to volunteer and share information online as a way of creating awareness to the general public.

Dot Haynes

Multicultural Ambassador

I have been connected and putting events together for over 25 years here locally and over the past ten been doing them for many faiths and cultures. My books help many as well as my love to help people one on one as they come to me with needs, as I guide them through the challenges and needs to be able to see results. I am a results based person who is straight and clear with all.

Ellie Serour

Multicultural Ambassador

I have resources and knowledge in this area. My background is Nursing and then moved to Disability Employment Services and from there I now work for a Youth Center under the Transition to work Program supporting young people in Education, Employment, Alcohol and other drug support, housing & Centrelink support.

M Shane Jackman

Multicultural Ambassador

I am currently a Training Coordinator, within a Registered Training Organisation that assists members of our community gain the knowledge skills and behaviours to further themselves in industry sectors such as Disability, Community Services and Mental Health at Certificate IV level. My work allows people from culturally and language diverse backgrounds to add value to themselves and their community, further their own efforts and importantly, enjoy the present moment in class, by learning and experiencing other cultures, practicing new skills and growing in pride and happiness due to positive experiences and optimism for the future.

Thanuda Nagodavithana

Multicultural Ambassador

I’m Thanuda, mother of 2 grown up children working in the Public Health system for the last 6 years. I’m passionate in serving community as a multicultural ambassador for MHFA as I strongly feel that everyone should be included in a diverse environment. It’s a great opportunity to join hands with other communities celebrate their cultures while serving the community. I’ve seen the effectiveness during the Pandemic while working as a volunteer and consider this as a great opportunity to extend my services in a formal way.

Matt Seckin

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Matt Seçkin, 20 years old working as a full time banking specialist at Commonwealth Bank. Satisfying customers financial well-being is the focus of everything I do on a daily basis. I play a big part in Turkish community here in Shepparton Victoria. A member of the GV Islamic Youth. I enjoy playing soccer semi professional as a hobby.

Vivek Kumar

Multicultural Ambassador

Short films production on mental health. 'I AM Sorry' (2018), 30 minutes duration and 'Queen' (2019), 15 minutes duration. Both the films, made in Melbourne with local artists, in Hindi with English subtitles, both award winning/nominated film in several international film festivals. I performed the Writer, Director, Editor and Actor in both the films. Also, I am broadcaster with 92.3FM Melbourne for Indian segment for over 11 years. Apart from entertainment we cover issues such mental health regularly and provide positive life style themes to our community.

Neeraj Nanda

Multicultural Ambassador

A media professional with 38 + years of experience in print, TV, radio, and online. Can do stories on all subjects including health/mental health and all related subjects. Active in Indian/South Asian community organizations for 20 plus years in Australia (Melbourne). Actively engage with people to support those in need. Have many hobbies and interests in reading and movies.

Vinay Nair

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a hands-on facilitator with a passion to develop future leaders and empower individuals to manage their learning trajectories. I am a strategic thinker who facilitates learning that will inspire attitude and behaviour change with the goal of creating a positive approach to mental health and wellbeing. My impact goal is to empower and support international students, recent migrants and young people from culturally diverse families to seek out opportunities to help shape their future. I believe that all of us have a story to tell and it is nothing to be ashamed of especially if you have been through hard times. People with mental health challenges should have the same opportunities to be healthy and participate but too often they dont. Certain groups also face greater challenges to mental health. My mission is to reduce the inequality between different groups and within communities and make this a fair and inclusive society. My vision is to improve customer learning experiences across a range of sectors, platforms and approaches including online, in person, with adolescents and adults and within schools and workplaces by bringing clarity and real world approaches to learning strategies. https://www.linkedin.com/in/vinaymnair/

Sarah Sikder

Multicultural Ambassador

As a migrant in Australia myself, I understand the importance of mental wellbeing when put into a situation that is unknown to one. I have always believed in giving back to the community, which I do in my personal and professional life and will continue to do so through MHFA.

Anju Duggal

Multicultural Ambassador

Jasmin (Minnie) Dhillon

Multicultural Ambassador

Jenny Matic

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr Rama Rao

Multicultural Ambassador

Lucy Laurita

Multicultural Ambassador

Lucy is one of Australia's most reputable boutique designers, focusing on simple, classic, couture beauty.
It was her mother's introduction into the fashion world that taught the designer a great deal about dressmaking and sewing, before going on to study fashion at RMIT. Lucy's big break was landing the Assistant role to Jenny Bannister straight out of fashion school. This demanding role, lasting eight years further fueled her love of a fast paced career between runways and performing arts. An early highlight was working on Kissing Frogs with Christine Anu.
In 2005, Lucy started her own fashion label, Leiela (now known as Lucy Laurita). The collection has been stocked at exclusive boutiques SANA, Momento Dezigns and Frockaholics since 2005 which in itself is a testament of high quality in fit and uniqueness.

Lucy’s reputation for glamorous high fashion and exceptional personal service has continued to grow, designing gowns for many known Australian artists like Amanda Harrison, Lucy Maunder, Lisa Marie Parker, Maggie Mckenna, Marina Prior, Mirusia Louwerse, Silvie Paladino, Verity Hunt-Ballard, just to name a few. With gowns gracing the stage of Sondheim on Sondheim, The Helpmann Awards, Carols by Candlelight, The Logies and Michael Bolton Australian Concert Tour.
Other recent career moments, In 2016 Lucy was the Costume Designer for TITANIC The Musical and in July 2018 created gowns for the classic hit production Funny Girl – The Musical in Concert by The Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, 2019 designed the gowns for Mirusia for her National Tour with The Seekers.
Australian born, Italian heritage, Lucy Laurita has a strong focus on community wellbeing and is involved in fundraising for several charitable organisations as well as supporting events with emphasis on mentoring and nurturing young people to achieve their full potential.
Proudly inducted as a Multicultural Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation Australia in August 2019.

Ashveen Chand

Multicultural Ambassador

James Seow

Multicultural Ambassador

Tony Fretton

Multicultural Ambassador

Tony K. Fretton is the Founder of PacifiqueX - an Australian Pacific Island LGBTIQA+ community organization, Board Member of the Victoria Samoa Advisory Council, Multicultural Ambassador

for the Mental Health Foundation Australia and member of the Pacific Youth Workers Collective. He is passionate about Community Development, Mental Health and Pacific Island Story Telling (through all mediums). Lives in Naarm, on the lands of the Wurunjeri Woi-Wurrung. (So-called Melbourne).

Upul Chandana

Multicultural Ambassador

Upul Chandana has achieved many job-related skills through his university achievements. He achieved Master of Business Enterprise Resource Planning Systems in 2005 at Victoria University and a Bachelor of Business (International Trade) at Swinburne University of Technology and he has recently, in 2019, achieved a Gradate Diploma in Migration Law.

He has also taken interest in many other activities as well. Since 2018, He has been a member of the SES Craigieburn Unit and also a member of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VCM) Regional Advisory Council North West, since 2019. For over ten years he was the Secretary of Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Association Campbellfield. And the Secretary for North Victoria Sri Lankan Welfare & Cultural Association for nine years as well. He is very happy with these achievements as it helps build his teamwork and strive forward to continue achieve his personal goals.

In his spare time Upul loves travelling to new places with his family and playing sport. In his current employment at Sealed Air Australia he has used his long time in experience there to improve especially on his project management skills. This means to work effectively to manage / delegating work to holding individuals accountable. Developing an organizational system, and setting goals, evaluating performance, and encouraging collaboration.

Upul has been jubilant to be also announced as the Multicultural Ambassador for Mental Health Foundation Australia. This an important issue he believes in as many Australians are currently facing these issues and it’s a very topic close to many Australians so it feels right for him to get behind it.

Sam Hewagama

Multicultural Ambassador

Hyein (Ellen) Cho

Multicultural Ambassador

John Gulzari

Multicultural Ambassador

Julie Furlong

Multicultural Ambassador

Jalpa Dattani

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr Pathik Mehta

Multicultural Ambassador

Zahrah Atchia

Multicultural Ambassador

Zahrah is doctor by profession, with 2.5 + years experience. She recently completed a Master of Public Health at LaTrobe University and Australian Catholic University and passed AMC Part 1 exam and studying for the part 2 so that in the aftermath of these exams, I can practise medicine in Australia. Likes to keep updated to new medical research including those that concerns mental health. Indeed, her MPH thesis was on mental health of Indigenous Australian Adults.

Kasma Elvi Godfrey

Multicultural Ambassador

Kasma used to be a sales of technology industries (AP GREEN REFRACTORY - American products) while she was in my country (Indonesia). Moved here in 2002 to Australia, Kasma was working as a purchasing officer at Roche Mining company who dealt with Rio Tinto Projects, etc. Now she is working for Real Estate as a sales representative in Perth WA.

Zulfiya Abdulla

Multicultural Ambassador

Zulfiya Abdulla is a social worker and mother to five children. She works with the Uyghur community and a principle of an Uyghur Language School. She is a social person who loves working with people of all ages. Zulfiya speaks 6 languages including English, Uyghur, Uzbek, Tatar, Kazak and Turkish. Zulfiya hobbies are spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading and going for walks.

Josephine Alama

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a survivor and experienced mental health issues at a young age to mid adult years and recovering through counselling & my faith in Jesus Christ. I have a lot of experience dealing with family members & friends that have mental health issues diagnosed with PTSD, DID, Borderline Personality, Depression etc which stems from sexual abuse, domestic violence, suicide, abandonment etc and continue to support and help them through their healing journey.

Tanya Sharma

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Tanya Sharma. I am currently perusing psychology hons at Australian National University. I am also a Mum to a 4yrs old. I have been living in Australia from past 11 yrs out of which my first 7yrs were spent in Perth where I worked at a pathology lab for 6yrs. I worked there as team lead in the results dept. After moving to Canberra in 2018 Feb I have worked with few different organisations which include Diabetes Australia and NSW Teachers Federation.

Ramakrishna Kavuri

Multicultural Ambassador

Rajan Walia

Multicultural Ambassador

I have gone through mental health issues myself very intensely. Still struggling and trying to get better every single day. I deeply understand how it feels and what kind of need people need to improve their mental health. I am also a certified yoga teacher and a meditator, which can also be a big help in order to help people suffering from mental health and most importantly I am 100% dedicated to give that help to others which I couldn’t ever get myself.

Ommar Sint

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an international post graduate medical doctor specializing in Family Medicine, and I have had several years of experience in general health and the mental health field and provided help to many patients with Cognitive Behavior Therapy and counselling as required in my GP clinic. I am keen to share best of my knowledge to our community as well as various multicultural communities.

Loretta Ho

Multicultural Ambassador

Loretta Ho is a migrant from Hong Kong who came to Australia on scholarship. She graduated from UWA.  She values many things (e.g. freedom of speech and clean air) Australia offers me. She speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and French.

Vera R Pottinger

Multicultural Ambassador

Vera rejoined the Australian Multicultural Ambassadors Program this year. Vera is very passionate about community engagement and as leader, she always wants to bring people together. She is doing the best in establishing Indonesian Australian community well accepted within the society and commit to build stronger society in supporting multiculturalism Queensland. Vera is also passionate about Mental Health and Wellbeing. Since she works for an NGO focusing in Mental Health matters, Vera has an extensive knowledge on Mental Health networks, Mental Health matters and programs. This is very beneficial in return to promote the the importance of Mental Health and Wellbeing to her community and diverse community in Brisbane.

Nancy Wines

Multicultural Ambassador

Nancy has been a teacher and mentor in Nottingham, London, Dubai, Sydney and Northern NSW. With a continued interest in mentoring young people Nancy mentored at a Social Assistance school on the Gold Coast. Nancy currently studies psychology with an interest in Animal assisted therapy with the hope of becoming a psychologist one day soon.

Emma Wilson

Multicultural Ambassador

Hello I'm Emma, I see myself as being fun and bubbly on my best days but also being moody and quiet on my low days. I understand mental health is something we all struggle with but through my own lived experience and professional qualifications as a Counsellor, I believe I can use my voice to change how individuals feel about asking for help and to normalise mental health.

Jane chimungeni-brassington

Multicultural Ambassador

My professional background is in marine ecology and international law and I currently work as a senior policy officer with the federal government. I am passionate about community development and belong to several community groups locally and I also volunteer for a global service organisation where I have served as a president. My work in these positions as my way of giving back to society and also opens avenues for me to better understand the issues that need to be addressed in the various communities. I play the role of a parent for many young people from the CALD community.

Rea Singh

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Rea Singh and I am a 25 year old, Fijian-Indian woman. I travelled to Australia with my family when I was 2 years old and have grown up with a supportive network. I am currently working as a Consultant for a multicultural communications, engagement and research Agency that seeks to connect and strengthen CALD communities. Having worked in this sector for 3 years, and apart of the CALD community, I recognise the lack of awareness and acceptance of mental health. The topic remains a taboo and I believe, along with so many others, that we are at an important point of starting conversations, no matter how difficult and uncomfortable they may be. Everyone's mental health is important and everyone should be speaking about it.

Ana Garcia

Multicultural Ambassador

Rajinder Singh

Multicultural Ambassador

Sahithi Paturi

Multicultural Ambassador

I migrated to Australia as a skilled migrant and have been living in Canberra. I am currently in the women's Coordinator role in Federation of Indian Associations Canberra and a member of Navya Andhra Telugu Association. As a migrant from Andhra Pradesh - India , I believe I have reasonable understanding of cultural barriers that are stopping our community reporting health issues or seeking help. I can assist Government to reach out the community and advising the programs in place to educate, report and address the mental health issues.

Sarah Ingram

Multicultural Ambassador

Sarah has previously worked with Polynesian Communities, including New Zealand citizens on the Gold Coast for the past 15 years as an event manger deliver arts, cultural and community wellbeing initiatives. Have managed events for all ages that range from Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Prevention for youth, youth outreach, suicide prevention, social and emotional wellbeing, crime prevention to name a few. She is a trained Deadly Thinking and Lovebites programs facilitator. Her local area on the northern Cold Coast, where hold my free community events has the largest population of New Zealand citizens in the entire state of Queensland. She also works closely with Indigenous community members on the Gold Coast.

Vidhu Sharma

Multicultural Ambassador

Vidhu Sharma is a Lecturer in the field of Mental Health, Age Care and Community Services. She is engaged with the CALD Community working on social causes like Mental Health, Health and Wellbeing, Domestic Violence, promoting Ayurveda, the cultural heritage of India to the wider community in Australia. She is well qualified in the field of Ageing Support, Community Services, and Mental Health, and is well known in the Community for her philanthropic work.

Dr Layla Al

Multicultural Ambassador

She is a passionate women, understands the complexity of living in new environment and call it Home. Her background in academia and research helped her in analysing this problem into its elements, and identify some of the root causes hence the possible solutions. Recently, she managed a project of a program using a grant awarded from Lotterywest for refugee women about mental health. The outcomes were amazing. When it come to mental health, she believes addressing the problem is a big part of the solution.

Pushpinder Oberoi

Multicultural Ambassador

Launched GOPIO Gold Coast inc in 1917 and have been appointed President since 2018. Was awarded “The Outstanding Contribution Award” as an appreciation of the contribution to the gold coast Indian Community As the President of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, Gold Coast Chapter and member of the Australia India Business Council and Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland.

Pushpinder was appointed Honorary Ambassador Community for Indian delegates and As Hon. Indian hockey captain to overseas in promoting of Hockey game in GC 2018 and involved in direct sales of where Team India was participating. Pushpinder is also a member of Chambers of Commerce Gold Coast, AIBC Queensland, and a Rotarian.

Saimaharaj Chowdari Kolla

Multicultural Ambassador

Arshdeep Singh Ishar

Multicultural Ambassador

Wenise Kim

Multicultural Ambassador

Wenise Kim is a proud Korean Australian, whose professional background lies in the field of human rights and international development. She has served in the domain of foreign services in countries such as Sri Lanka and Sudan previously. Having been personally affected by trauma and weak mental health due to working with vulnerable groups, as well as being a family carer, she believes there is no better time than now to make meaningful contributions back in home-soil in the domain of mental health advocacy and early prevention, including crisis counselling. She lives in Sydney.

Pele Ramdhani

Multicultural Ambassador

PELE RAMDHANI, SENIOR LEADERSHIP COACH AND GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
Pele Ramdhani is an international leader whose achievements include pioneering the global health and wellbeing brand Fitness First in Queensland making it not only a powerhouse brand but also building a statewide and national influence.

Pele is now the National Sales and Community Executive for Goodlife Healthclubs and the multi-cultural ambassador for the Gold Coast Suns AFL team and Brisbane Bullets Basketball Team.

He serves on the board of MDA - Multicultural Development Australia and is an influential and trusted voice when creating convergence between corporate, community and local and federal government initiatives.

Shrey Baluja

Multicultural Ambassador

Hi I am Shrey, Marketing Specialist and the founder of Australian Indian Events Co. from the city of Gold Coast.
I am a passionate marketer and a young professional graduate from Bond University. I am the former President of Indian Student Association at Bond University where I’ve done various multicultural events. I am is actively involved in many cultural city events with a vision is to help and bring the different multicultural communities together.

Ree Ali

Multicultural Ambassador

I came to Australia 14 years ago and since have worked in a variety of Community Development roles on the Gold Coast. I belong to many committees including the Multifaith Advisory & Action Group, Charter for Compassion, Womensspace, Islamic Multicultural Association of Gold Coast, and Gold Coast Muslim Sisters Association. I am proud that I have successfully organized the Eid in the Park event for the last 7 years on the Gold Coast.

Pradip Gorasia

Multicultural Ambassador

Seema Chauhan

Multicultural Ambassador

Seema is a Super Connector, Registered Migration Agent, Multicultural Champion, Polygot and a full-time mom to teenage twin girls. Seema was appointed as Multicultural Ambassador for Commonwealth Games in 2018 and for Gold Coast Titans in 2020. Seema runs her own Migration business and is a Featured Migration Expert for SBS Radio - Hindi.

Shraddha Gurjar

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an individual who’s trying hard to get somewhere in life just like everyone is. I work in a full time job and do many other activities only to ensure that I keep myself engaged appropriately. I am responsible for myself and would keep it that way. I do not classify a human based on men or women or any other categories. Everyone has their own battle to fight and needs to be very strong mentally to be able to do that.

Jitendra Deo

Multicultural Ambassador

Sonia Sadiq Gandhi

Multicultural Ambassador

Sonia Sadiq Gandhi is a serial entrepreneur and champion of diversity and inclusion.

She is the founder and CEO of multi award-winning marketing and event management company Gandhi Creations Pty Ltd, and has over a decade of experience in strategic marketing, public relations and end-to-end event management. Her work directly promotes a more diverse Australia by engaging with multicultural communities. Sonia was appointed to the board of the Multicultural NSW, (2017) the peak government agency whose purpose is to build and maintain a cohesive and harmonious multicultural society that enriches the lives of all the people of NSW.

Sonia was appointed an Australia Day Ambassador in 2018 (Ryde Council) I 2019 (Glen Innes Severn Council) I 2020 (Campbelltown Council) and in 2021 (Warrumbungle Shire Council – Coonabarabran).

Sridivya Naidu

Multicultural Ambassador

I am Sridivya worked in Dubai and moved to Australia in 2013. I worked in education industry as an Academic coordinator in Sydney. I have liaise with students from different nationality and various background to ensure smooth transition with the academic operation. I enjoying cooking, baking and travel country side.

Lourdes Maria Gomez

Multicultural Ambassador

Lourdes Maria Gomez is a policy, research and strategic planning professional. She arrived to Australia from El Salvador at a young age and is passionate about social justice, peacebuilding, mental health and wellbeing, sustainability and human rights. She has completed a Bachelor of International Relations from Griffith University, Graduate Certificate in International Studies and Master of Development Practice from the University of Queensland. Her professional experience includes working at the Australian Red Cross, Queensland Government, Beyond Blue and the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health.

Morgan Daly

Multicultural Ambassador

Morgan is a 35 year old American Girl, have been acting and singing since the age of five and currently work within the health and fitness industry. She loves being the one to brighten people's days and would love to bring this cheer to the Ambassadors Program.

Mary Kanyingi

Multicultural Ambassador

As a mental health nurse, Mary has experienced first hand people from culturally diverse backgrounds struggling with mental health. From lack of awareness of available services and organizations to falling through the cracks of the health system as other priorities take precedence as people try to set up their life.

Santosh Malla

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Santosh Malla. I am originally from Nepal. I have been living in Australia since 2009 and I came to Australia in a Student Visa. I have been working in a various job in Australia but my passion job is as a Chef and community work. I have been involved in different communication work specially my own Nepali community. I also work in Aged Care. I Enjoy my job, helping dementia residents.

Rakesh Gupta

Multicultural Ambassador

Tamar Howard

Multicultural Ambassador

Swarnali Sikder

Multicultural Ambassador

I am an Indian by origin but a human by heart . I believe in Diversity . I am a recruiter working for the NSW Chamber of Business and i am a featured model and stylist , having my own social media site with more than 20 k followers . I am involved with UNICEF and do a lot of charities especially in this trying times . I Run my startup in Sydney with my business partner as well . I am a positive happy and positive person and I believe in treating people with respect and expects the same.

Kylie Pearsall

Multicultural Ambassador

Kylie is a FIFO physiotherapist and wellbeing coordinator offshore, using her various qualifications in sports medicine, rehabilitation, injury prevention and management, fitness, yoga and mindfulness to holistically support the workforce on site. Her interest in human performance and leadership has seen her return to further study, currently adding a post graduate in psychology to her list of credentials. She is especially interested in the intersection of mindfulness and mental health and how we can harness ancient wisdom for modern lives.

Habib Jamal

Queensland Ambassador

Born in South Africa and graduated as a teacher of Accounting and Business Economics at the end of 1974. Taught for 14 years in South Africa before migrating to New Zealand with his wife and 2 children. Lived in New Zealand for 10 years before moving to the Gold Coast, Australia, purely for climatic reasons.

Worked in the Accounting sector for a few years before purchasing a medical centre which he currently manages, with his wife being one of the doctors working in the practice. Graduated at SCU in 2012 with the Master of Business Administration degree. In terms of community work, Habib is a Qualified Justice of the Peace. I serve as a Trustee of the Gold Coast Mosque Trust.

He is also currently the Treasurer of the Islamic Society of the Gold Coast, a position which I have held for the last 19 years. In February of last year, he was elected as the President of the Islamic Council of Queensland. ICQ is an umbrella body made of 23 organisations from the Gold Coast in the South to Rockhampton in the North and Toowoomba out West representing approximately 55,000 people.

Committed to working in the best interests of those in our community that are less fortunate or are need of assistance in some form or the other. Currently undergoing COVID19 Community leaders Mental Health Training with QPASST. Habib is currently a member of Queensland Multicultural Ambassadors Program.

Brianna Leake

Multicultural Ambassador

I am a motivated and driven young Australian professional with a passion for all things mental health. I currently work as a Senior Project Administrator working on the Karratha Life Expansion for Woodside with Worley. Whilst working for Worley I have completed Mental Health First Aid training becoming a Mental Health Champion 2 years ago. I am part of the Worley Life Mental Health Network and the WA Mental Health Focal Point. I have a passion for fitness, running a small fitness business instructing group fitness classes. I completed my Certificate III in Fitness in 2020 and am currently studying my Certificate IV in Fitness online. I am a Bookings Manager and Dance Instructor for a small Perth dance business and I coach multi-sport programs for children aged 2-6. In 2018 I completed my Certificate IV in Youth Work and attended a junior youth camp through the Salvation Army as a Youth Leader. In 2019 I travelled to New York, USA and combined my passion for Fitness and Youth Work working as a Fitness Instructor at a summer camp. I joined the Multicultural Ambassadors program because I want to expand my knowledge and skills in the youth and mental health sectors and am very excited to be a part of the MAC and YAP committee.

Anthea Balfour

Multicultural Ambassador

Speaking to international audiences on Love, Sex &  leadership, Anthea is captivating, informative and inspiring in her message and her mission to empower humanity through the reclamation of our sexual sovereignty. As a trauma informed Sexological BodyWorker & Somatic Psychotherapist, Anthea offers men, women & couples a new way to honour their human experience and to become embodied creators of their lives. Anthea's areas of specialisation include: Energy Healing, Human Sexual & Social Behaviour, Subconscious reconditioning, Orgonomy and Psycholinguistics; using these resources to empower, strengthen & build long lasting emotional & intellectual resilience in organisations & individuals alike.    Sought after for her refreshingly unconventional approach to corporate & personal leadership training, Anthea teaches focus, alignment and harmony as the new paradigm in innovative organisational culture and trains high performing teams and executives to go beyond great to full potential Leadership, that empowers companies and connects communities. her playfully functional style is underpinned by her reverent & seamless implementation of the ancient spiritual, physical and psychological wisdom of the Tantric & Taoist arts. 
 

Maria Batnag

Multicultural Ambassador

Gurprit Ganda

Multicultural Ambassador

Claire Gil-Munoz

Multicultural Ambassador

Soelily consen-lynch

Multicultural Ambassador

I'm a 43 yr old believer of equality of the sexes in all aspects of life. Advocacy has been my passion since my university years and besides my job as an assistant Director in ACT Government I'm a member of the Multicultural Advisory Council for the minister of Multicultural Affairs in Canberra and I'm involved in various women's organisations and engage with a broad spectrum of people in the ACT.

Helen Berry

Multicultural Ambassador

Cr Sara Saberi - WA

Multicultural Ambassador

I am Originally from Iran and was elected as a councillor for  the City of Canning in 2017. With a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, my passions are environmental matters, sustainability and health & well-being. Outside of my role as a councillor, I work as an Environmental Health officer and enjoy helping  people in both my roles!
I have had the privilege of and enjoyed working and volunteering with various not for profits such as humanitarian groups as well as local natural resource management groups.

Cr Isabel Strutt - NSW

Ambassador

I am a retiree.  My working life has been as a private secretary/bookeeper in private businesses; small business owner/operator with my husband; my husband and I served as Salvation Army Corps Officers for over 9 years and retired in June 2000 when my husband reached mandatory retirement age. It was as Corps Officers that we came to Uralla in 1995.  
I am a Councillor of the Uralla Shire Council since 2004.  I have always been involved in community organisations, and in retirement am a member of Red Cross Uralla Branch, Secretary of the Uralla Lions Club, and significantly involved in my church, the Anglican Church in Uralla.  My leaning is always towards community support and welfare.  
My childhood was spent on grazing properties in Queensland so I have a heart for the country.
My parents and wider family advocated love, acceptance, loyal friendships, honesty, hard work and the willingness to help others.

Girish Menon

Multicultural Ambassador

Girish has been in Townsville for over a decade and during this period he has gained a strong and credible reputation in the market for my honesty, integrity and high level of service.

Being in the real estate industry he has been able to grow my network extensively within the community. As a result, he has a wide network of doctors and nurses both within the General and Private Hospitals who have become good friends of mine. He believes he also do have a good relationship with the community service providers of Mental Health in Townsville.

Mary Cheng

Multicultural Ambassador

Mary enjoys writing and she is curious about the societal issues that we live in today. Discrimination and mental health are two big topics that she is interested in and in which she wants to make a difference. She is part of the "Wellbeingness" committee at her workplace. She strives to make a difference in this world.

Avijit Bose

Multicultural Ambassador

I relocated to Australia in 2009 with my family. I am Mental Health professional working as a Senior Neurophysiology Scientist in a public hospital and responsible for providing treatments for people suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD, Auditory & Visual Hallucinations, EUPD and other mental illness. Before relocating to Australia I have worked in superspeciality hospitals in India and in the NHS, UK.

In addition to my job, I won a business in Tele Radiology and Medical Transcription. I love working with people and am keen to address the mental health issues and remove the stigma and myths associated with it thereby increasing networking opportunities within diverse communities in WA.

Councillor Gus Balloot

Multicultural Ambassador

Claire Gil-Munoz

Multicultural Ambassador

Steve Novak

Multicultural Ambassador

Michelle Jenkins

Multicultural Ambassador

I have extensive Senior Leadership experience having worked in Corporate and NGO executive roles for over 20 years. I am a Justice of the Peace, have a Master of Business Leadership, Diploma of Management (Governance) and currently studying for a Master of Leadership in WA and training to be a Heart Math Practitioner. I work closely with the WA Community in my role as the CEO of the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care program in WA and with many ATSI organisations across the community.

Tara Lord

Multicultural Ambassador

Nasrin Sadegh-Vaziri

Multicultural Ambassador

Migrated from Iran in 7th July 1990. Starting community connection and involvement in 1993, Joining to the field of academic in 1996. Holding Bachelor Degree in Communication and Master Degree in Sociology, completed number of major and smaller community projects, Centenary Federation Medal Holder from Commonwealth Australia and Ambassador for Peace from Australian Peace Foundation. Key achievement in community connections, community relationship and engagement, initiating and completing community cultural projects and activities, utilising arts as a communication tool in the done projects, contributing to multicultural communities as a member of Medicare Community Advisory Committee and Gold Coast Cultural Advisory Committee.

Dr Esther Bganya

Multicultural Ambassador

Dr Esther Bganya is psychiatrist of African descent, with 20 years of experience and have previously worked with CALD communities in South Africa and New Zealand. She also has special interest in Addiction and Lifestyle Medicine & Spirituality .Qualifications include MBCHB; Masters in Psychiatry; Postgrad Diploma(Addiction); Postgrad Diploma ( Theology); Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

Simone Nind

Multicultural Ambassador

During her social work studies and employment, Simone gained extensive experience and skills that has assisted her to work with people of all ages in therapeutic and high risk settings. As a social worker, she strives to empower an individual’s development to reach their full potential and have their best interests advocated for. She conducts this through a person centred and a strength based approach which ultimately supports recovery. She has also been fortunate enough to experience this work within both metropolitan regional contexts and voluntarily overseas in developing countries.

Mary Gurgone

Multicultural Ambassador

Mary Gurgone was the Director of the WA Partners In Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC-2016-2020) and founded the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services. She was appointed to the NAATI Board in 2014, contributing to NAATI's expansion and global recognition in interpreting and translating certification, particularly relating to quality, application of technology and Aboriginal languages. She is the Director of the Centre for Capability and Culture with extensive executive experience in Government, private sector and community organisations. She is a founding member, Fellow and former National President of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators. 

Hannah Dube

Multicultural Ambassador

Hannah moved from Zimbabwe 12 years ago. She is passionate about the mental health of immigrants and refugees in Australia.

Hannah works as Suicide Prevention Officer for the Great Southern with Palmerston Association were she works on initiatives, program and project towards a mentally safe community.
Hannah takes pride in her Mental Health First Aid training, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training and SafeTalk training which enables her to provides support to people in crises within her community.

In her free time Hannah likes to read and explore Western Australia’s beautiful country side.

Ching-Hsin Chou

Multicultural Ambassador

Ching is a migrant from Taiwan who have live in Brisbane for more than 10 years. She was a working holiday maker, international student who experienced isolation, discrimination, unfair work environment. Therefore, she understand the difficulties for people from CALD backgrounds to settle in Brisbane. Moreover, the mental health impacts on people who move to a new country, such as lost of sense of belonging and family/friends connections, language barriers. She overcame these difficulties by the support of her community and further study. Hence, she wants to support people from CALD background who experience mental health issue and raise the awareness.

Deepa Golani

Multicultural Ambassador

Over 11 years of experience in working as a consultant and now a senior GM for a national disability employment service and also implemented operations for our NDIS employment supports in 2020. Currently heading the Vic Operations for an organisation named Jobfind/Angus Knight Group. You can also see my bio on jobfind.com.au NDIS section in meet the team.

Sonia Minniecon

Multicultural Ambassador

Sonia is an Australian born South Sea Islander with heritage from Vanuatu. A Descendant of the Kabbi Kabbi people of South East Qld. She currently is the co-founder of Saltwater Club and General Manager Of Cape York Employment. She is passionate about helping people find out about their family and tell their story to help them understand their value to this country. She is passionate about how education, training and employment is crucial to supporting people, and would like to use her skills to support in this area.

Sarah Bass

Multicultural Ambassador

Sarah Yip

Multicultural Ambassador

Sarah Yip is the Managing Director of the KEASE International Group Of companies,  specialises in providing Leadership development acceleration and support programs and involved across a diverse range of industries and are passionate about teaching others to apply emotional intelligence to boost wellbeing. Mental wellness is a key driver for her.

Sarah is a mother of two young children who both have autism. She was born in Australia, with both my parents originating from HK. A foodie, love to travel and follows the rugby.

Surendra Prasad

Multicultural Ambassador

Surendra has been working with the communities for last 59 years. Served in many organisation in Queensland and he is now the President of Fiji Senior Citizens Association of Queensland Inc have 80 members about 15 of them over 80 years old. He is also the director of Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland and the Former President of Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland, Director and he now advices the Hindu Council of Australia, and World Art Multi-Culture Inc.

Miley Nguyen

Multicultural Ambassador

Miley is a community ambassador for mental health, NDIS and AOD support to deliver useful information and provide help to someone in need in her community. By sharing the helpful resources, she assists the residents in getting mental health care plan to improve their health and wellbeing, cope with challenges and build resilience. She is also working on Community Capacity Building to empower a strong community and improve personal well-being of community members through meaningful activities to create a sense of belonging for all members especially in the event of COVID-19 and social isolation. She created activities to show that society care for children, people love each other and no one left behind.

Amiel Nubaha

Multicultural Ambassador

Born and raised up in a refugee camp, Amiel is based now working in Cherbourg, former Aboriginal Mission Settlement.  At such a young age, he found his passion and his calling to empower but most importantly support people from multicultural community share their story. 

Actively involved through organizing youth events, cultural events, educational programs. He currently sit on many advisory committee including Youth Advisory Committee for Hon Shannon, and also active member of the Queensland Multicultural Youth Council where we advocate for the need of young people from refugee/CALD background throughout queensland. Focus on youth empowerment.

Dona Halahakone

Multicultural Ambassador

Dona Halahakone is from Sri Lanka and currently pursuing a Master of Health Management at QUT. Dona has completed her medical education in 2018 from Tver State Medical University in Russia where she spent nearly six years of my life. While in medical school, she won the 62nd All Russia Intercollegiate Students Scientific Conference 2016 – Category Disaster Medicine- “Psychological Effects of Terrorism”- Conference presentation and poster. She has previously worked as a junior doctor and was mainly involved with migrant workers seeking employment in the middle-east. The role involved counselling individuals on how to cope up in new working environments and educating them about their previously unknown medical conditions.

Chaminga Dhanapala

Multicultural Ambassador

Chaminga Dhanapala is a Senior Psychologist at Evolve Mindfully Today. 

Amit Mehta

Multicultural Ambassador

Amit Mehta is a Quality Assurance Professional, working with the community more than 25 years. He teaches language and culture to younger generation. His articles and talks are published on SBS.

He served as the President and Trustee of Gujaati Samaj of Western Australia. He is also working with Mast Cultural and Language Association. 

Kavita Chabra

Multicultural Ambassador

I am Kavita Chabra , originally born from Malaysia and been in Australia for the last 17years

I am Professional Senior Facilitator & Assessor In Business , Communication Design, Event Management, Graphic Design, Marketing Management & Leadership over 19 years of graphic, multimedia, computer based training development.

Creative Principle Of Urban Vegas Melbourne Since 2010 .Dedicated professional who enjoys creating, monitoring the progress of the planning and orginisation of event tasks, designing and animating new projects and deliver within the baselined time scales.

Highly Creative and Talented In Event Management ,Graphic Communication , Personal Brand , Brand Ambassador, Delivering, Social Digital Media and Education Consultancy with Intensive experience in planning and oversee training and resources that required to organise in a workplace
eg: Seminar, Exhibition & Workshop :Exceptional Collaborative and Interpersonal Skills, Dynamic Team Player with Well Developed In Written , Verbal Communication and Presentation Skills.

Ability and long time experienced working under extremely tight deadlines.

Leyla Adan

Multicultural Ambassador

Very extroverted person, full of life and bubbly.

Good with breaking the ice, confident, loves simple things and living the best life.

Talented in many ways, can work with anyone, easily likeable and work great with groups

Empathetic and experienced mental illness as a first hand so I would understand everything.

Jasleen Kaur

Multicultural Ambassador

My name is Jasleen Kaur, I am working as a local laws officer with city of Moonie Valley, got more than 5 Years experience In local Government, President at non profit organisation OESS Incorporated, been a Community Ambassador for AIFAV Organisation, Been nominated for inclusion and Leader award with Melton city council, safe advisory committee member with Melton city council , representing community from Watts Ward, a team leader ,a community supporter, raised $20,000 at a fundraiser dinner to help people in India during Covid-19 pandemic.

Ritu Kukreja

Multicultural Ambassador

I am Ritu Kukreja, Full time technology professional.
Multicultural ambassador at AFL, Miss South Asia paegant winner and a proud active member of the South Asian Community in Victoria.

Having suffered from Mental Health myself, it is a topic so many people still misunderstand, misread and misinterpret, let alone understand the ways to help someone in need. I want to change that perspective and bring awareness to this especially in South Asian Community as the only thing in my hand is myself and my actions for others.

Arnab Ghosh Roy

Multicultural Ambassador

Legal Aspect of Counter Terrorism -Hebrew University Jerusalem | Legal Research Assistant- International Commission Jurist Victoria (Volunteer) | Penultimate Law Student

Success Story :
Received Award: Outstanding Student “Highly Commended” from Victoria University; 2020

Participation in Global Victoria Talent Program ( https://api.practera.com/portfolio/984/arnab.ghoshroy%40live.vu.edu.au)

Received Scholarship : Australian Friends of Hebrew University - Jerusalem

Social Commitment :
https://www.vu.edu.au/study-at-vu/success-stories/vu-student-becomes-bengali-media-star

Rincy Mehanas

Multicultural Ambassador

Rincy Mehanas is an experienced qualified social worker in private practice who is a registered member of the Australian Association of Social workers (AASW).

Rincy completed her Masters in Social work from Queensland University of Technology and has over 5 years clinical experience working in government hospital and community fields with diverse populations in an inpatient and outpatient treatment settings.

Rincy has lived and healed experiences in the many aspects and traumas of life and understands the difficulties faced by each individual which impact their mental and emotional wellbeing. Rincy has the knowledge of systems in Australia and will be able to navigate you with the right services while upholding human rights.

Smiley Sandhu

Multicultural Ambassador

This is Smiley Sandhu , I am a really estate agent and project manager.
Apart from this I am very active community member running my own Non profit organisation EWIA.
I am a part of Hume change makeover program running by Hume city council
I am also an authorised member to facilitate the dowry abuse workshop with Dr Manjula O corner.
In free time I would like to get social in different women groups.
I am also a volunteer for Hume bombers sports club.

Bhawna Gupta

Multicultural Ambassador

I worked as manager in Mcdonalds
And presently I work as a hindu priest (only female hindu priest in Australia)
I am a president of Kali Mata temple craigieburn.
I am very punctual and very dedicated about community work. As a priest community people always share their situation with me to get solution.

Xabisa Ntoni

Multicultural Ambassador

Xabisa is a Sociologist & Community Development Practitioner from South Africa. She is a highly self motivated and hard working individual, passionate about community development and mental health. She strongly believe that our society’s mental health stigma is the basis for why countless of people do not receive the needed help, even as their lives begin to crumble. She has experience in working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and different age groups. She is passionate about helping people overcome barriers in their life so that they can be happy and enjoy their life.

Muneet Narang

Multicultural Ambassador

I have been a dedicated physiotherapist and worked as Early childhood Trainer and accessor in Melbourne .
And now expanding her responsibilities (as well as the organisation)with consistent enthusiasm and inspiring leadership.
Having proven my aptitude for successfully managing and maintaining my professionalism throughout my career here, I would well take care of my ambassador position in the community. I have proven to be indispensable in my own ways and will be here to help everyone.

Navpreet Kaur

Multicultural Ambassador

I am secretary of OESS, we recently fundraising 20,000 for India. I am transport workers, I meet hundreds of new faces every day . I have Drivng school , I encourage my clients to boost their self confidence so that they can driver well and become self sufficient n independent.

Vidya Shankar Sagar

Multicultural Ambassador

Am a good natured, positive, peaceful individual with a lot of determination, strength and motivation to deliver health and wellbeing programs to my community to achieve mental peace and complete wellbeing. My motivation to work incessantly in this area has further been strengthened due to the current COVID situation. Further, the rate of people taking their own lives in our communities have increased so much that the only way we can combat this is by bringing people to find peace, balance and clarity within themselves. To this end, I am and intend to work tirelessly to create an atmosphere within ourselves that will make us live more meaningfully and content with our lives.

Maria Jocelyn Goodridge

Multicultural Ambassador

Dhanalakshmi Rajan

Multicultural Ambassador

An experienced Project Management and IT professional with 8.5 years of work experience. I have honed problem-solving, leadership, and critical thinking skills from managing teams and stakeholder relations. Currently pursuing my post-graduation at the University of Adelaide. I love volunteering with organisation which are inline with my interest and I believe its the best way to give back to society.

Safia Farsana Shabeer

Multicultural Ambassador

Safia Farsana Shabeer studies at James Cook University. She was previously a youth ambassador at Mental Health Foundation Australia.

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The Mental Health Foundation Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to their elders both past and present.

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