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Multicultural Advisory Group

​​​​​​​​​Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests' Multicultural Advisory Group

The Multicultural Advisory Group (MAG) provides the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests with direct grassroots feedback and advice on relevant policies, issues and needs of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities of Western Australia.

The role of the MAG is to:

  • be a consultative body to the Minister on issues facing CaLD communities;
  • provide input on Government policy and planning processes that affect CaLD Western Australians;
  • provide advice on emerging issues and trends; and
  • undertake any other activities as requested by the Minister.

The terms of reference for the Ministerial Advisory Group are available here.

Current Multicultural Advisory Group members

Mr Nick Agocs JP 
Nick Agocs has been instrumental in initiating and providing high-level input to multicultural policies and programs at government, community and national levels. He has improved service delivery to all migrant groups over a substantial period of 30 years.
He is the past Senior Deputy Chair and Secretary of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council, past President and Secretary of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA, past Chair of the North Perth Migrant Resource Centre/Multicultural Service Centre of WA

and past Chair of the catholic Migrant Centre amongst other communities organisation in the multicultural sector.​

Mr Surya Ambati

Surya Ambati has more than 30 years of engineering, operational, technical and management of railway infrastructure experience.

Surya is the President of Indian Society of Western Australia (ISWA) and is central to its visibility and success. He leads the ISWA team by example and is always available provide assistance and support. 

He led the development and implementation of the new ISWA Constitution, established ISWA Council, comprising of presidents and representatives of all Indian community association, and is instrumental in ensuring that ISWA successfully operates as the peak umbrella body of all Indian community associations. Surya also played a critical role in acquiring the land for the first Indian Community Centre of Australia in Perth and funding for its building.

​Janine Freeman MLA, Member for Mirrabooka
Janine Freeman was elected to WA State Parliament in 2008. Her current Mirrabooka electorate is known for its diversity and, as the local MP, she enjoys working with a range of communities and attending many cultural and sporting events. 
As a long-standing member and current chair of the parliamentary Education and Health Standing Committee, she has worked on key health policy initiatives, including the Public Health Bill, the Sustainable Health Review, inquiry into Aboriginal Youth Suicides and report on the impact of FIFO work practices.
Janine's other roles include Acting Speaker in the Legislative Assembly, and President of the State Parliamentary Labor Party. She also works to further women's participation in politics as a member of EMILYs List WA.

​​Ms Joan Hillman OAM

Joan Hillman is President of the Jewish Community Council of WA (JCCWA), the umbrella organisation that represents all Jewish community organisations and all Jews to the wider community. 

The JCCWA carries out many roles including representing the Jewish community in its relations with the State Government and other institutions.

It maintains a watch on any potential WA Government legislation that could adversely impact the Jewish community and considers the effects of the legislation.

JCCWA takes responsibility to protect and promote the welfare of the WA Jewish community. It projects a positive image of the community and combats anti-Semitism and discrimination.​

​Mr Abdullah Khan
Abdullah Khan has been leading the Australian Islamic College Perth as Executive Principal and CEO since 2011. He is a Member of the WA Police Muslim Advisory Group and President of the Islamic Schools Association of Australia.
Abdullah was awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leaders - WA Honorary Fellowship in 2016 for his contributions to education in WA. He is committed to the education and empowerment of young people through provision of intellectual, artistic and sporting engagement. 
His contributions in connecting culturally and linguistically diverse communities to the wider community through sport have been acknowledged by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.  

Ms Teresa Kwok 
Theresa Kwok migrated from Hong Kong in the late 1980s with a background in social work and is CEO of Chung Wah Community and Aged Care. ​
For more than 25 years, Theresa has worked to promote access and equity in migrant and aged-care services in Asian and other culturally diverse communities. As the driving force and architect of Chung Wah’s culturally appropriate aged-care services, she is always sensitive to the needs of non-English speaking seniors and constantly reshapes existing ways of delivering aged and community care services to meet changing demands.
Theresa has received many awards including a Multicultural Community Service Award in 2003 for her dedication to the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian communities, and a High Commendation in the 2016 Community Organisation Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Multiculturalism.
Dr Anh Nguyen 
Mr Duncan Ord OAM

Duncan Ord has worked at a senior level in the State Government of Western Australia in the areas of culture and the arts, education, training, planning, Aboriginal affairs and economic development.

Previous roles in private industry include Dean of Performing Arts at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and General Manager of Black Swan State Theatre Company.

Duncan has been the Chairman of the arts, sports and recreation industry training council and served as a member of various boards and committees including the Australia Council for the Arts.

In 2013 Duncan was the recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for his contributions to the arts and community service.

He is currently the Director General of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, which includes the Office of Multicultural Interests.

​Ms Maria Osman

Ms Osman M.Ed GAICD, over 30 years’ experience as a senior policy adviser on the intersections of gender equality, multiculturalism and human rights. She has worked in the government, community and university sectors as an advocate, policy adviser and strategist, speaker and mentor.  Maria has held a diverse range of senior State government positions including Executive Director, Office for Women’s Policy, Executive Director, Executive Director Office of Multicultural Interests and A/Executive Director, Community Building and Services in the Department for Local Government and Communities. In 2015 she was appointed as a delegate to the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women.  She has served on numerous national, state and local boards and currently holds a number of board positions including, Chair of the Humanitarian Group; UWA’s Public Policy Institute’s Advisory Board; the National Harmony Alliance for Migrant and Refugee Women; The National Education Toolkit for FGM/C Awareness Project, Advisory Committee; the W.A. Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Advisory Board and the Somali Women’s Association.  ​​
 Ms Joansy Pegrum 

Joansy Pegrum is the Chief Executive Officer of the Karen Welfare Association of WA and co-founder of the Association. She also has experience as a Senior Case Manager, with the Multicultural Services Centre of WA.
She is  passionate with the work she does within the government, international organizations, and social services industry. Her focus has always been assisting people with complex issues both in Australia and internationally, in which she has been successful together with her team.

Her roles include:
• Advocate for the White Ribbon Australia
• Community Representative with the Western Australia Police Multicultural Women Advisory
• Co-Chairperson of the Australia Karen Social Service Network
• Chairperson of the Karen New Year Celebration Committee Western Australia

Mr Iqbal Samnakay 
Iqbal Samnakay migrated to Australia from Africa in the early 1970s and grew up in the Pilbara.
He has more than 25 years of operational, regulatory and policy experience skills developed through a variety of positions in government agencies and has a strategic outlook focused on improving community outcomes. In addition to his professional career he holds qualifications in science and public health. 
Iqbal has an established record of voluntary work with sports and social organisations, including membership of the Muslim Social and Sports Association where he has held the positions of secretary and Chair. He is currently Chair of the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre.

Mr Ramdas Sankaran OAM
Ramdas Sankaran OAM is a professional social worker with 35+ years’ senior managerial experience in Commonwealth and State public services and the community service sector. 
He has been the CEO of the Multicultural Services Centre of WA and is the current president of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA and Deputy Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council. He co-founded and administrator of the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Association of Social Workers.
Ramdas has extensive experience in public policy developmet, research, evaluation, advocacy and lobbying, as well as planning and implementing a wide range of programs and services. He has served on a variety of Ministerial Committees. 

Ms Sara Shengeb ​
A former refugee from Eritrea, Sara is an advocate for empowering and engaging young people to shape the policies that influence their lives through her work with government and non-government organisations. 
Sara has designed and led programs that bring the voices of refugee and migrant youth directly to Western Australian politicians and policymakers. Having graduated from the University of Western Australia, Sara is currently working for the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Sara continues to work for young Western Australians. She has been recognised as a finalist for the Australian Young People's Human Right Medal, the West Australian Young Achievers Award and for Outstanding African Australian Youth WA.
Mr Enzo Sirna AM 

Dr Casta Tungaraza 

Dr Tungaraza is an Intercultural-Relations Consultant with experience as a member/Chair of National and State Boards including Advisory Committees in Australia. She was a member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council that developed the National Multicultural Policy.

She has a significant academic background in Social Science and has served as a member of the Expert Panel on the Development of A Racial Equality Index for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Geneva), a Resource Person for the Africa's Regional Consultation on the African Women's Voices (Senegal) and facilitator of the African Union's ECOSOCC Conference on promoting inclusion of African Women in all facets of development (Baltimore).

She has been inducted into the WA Women's Hall of Fame for outstanding service for gender equality and economic empowerment of women and also received the WA Multicultural Award.​

Mr Salim Youssef
Salim Youssef works to implement community projects with local government and other community groups. As founder and President of the Australian Arab Association he enjoys both the challenge and inspiration of motivating a range of people and community groups to achieve their goals. 
Salim has worked as Community Advisory Council at Armadale–Kelmscott Memorial Hospital and was a board member of the United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals and Bendigo Bank Gosnells.
Through his extensive community work Salim received the Community Citizen of the Year Awards from the City of Gosnells in 2016 and the Western Australian Multicultural Individual Excellence Award in 2013.
He was appointed a People of Australia Ambassador in 2012 and 2014. 
Dr Edward Zhang JP 

Dr Edward Zhang arrived in Perth in 1994, studying as a PhD student at Curtin University. After graduating, he worked as lecturer and coordinator of the China Desk at Curtin University International Office until 2002. He founded the Australian Chinese Times in 1998 and has been working as chief editor ever since.

He is a life member, founder and former president of the Association of Australian Chinese Mainlanders and Friends (also known as Association of Great China), which operates two Chinese language schools.

He is member of Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests' Multicultural Policy Framework Sub-Committee. He has been a Justice of the Peace since 2008.