Ministerial Multicultural Advisory Council

The purpose of the Ministerial Multicultural Advisory Council (MMAC) is to provide the government and 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 — in addition to, and independent of, advice from the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) and sector peak body/s. 


The role of the MMAC is to:

  • be a consultative body to Government and Minister on issues facing culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • provide input on government policy, program and planning processes that affect Western Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • provide advice on emerging issues and trends and multiculturalism
  • assist the Minister in reviewing and monitoring of the implementation of the Western Australia Multicultural Policy Framework
  • provide feedback and support to the Supporting Communities Forum on matters under consideration by the Forum, particularly those that impact on the interests and needs of the culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • contribute to consultations with other public sector agencies
  • undertake any other activities as requested by the Minister
  • the Council’s role is separate to that of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the Office of Multicultural Interests.

    Current MMAC members

    Enzo Sirna AM

    Mr Enzo Sirna AM — Co-Chair

    Born in Western Australia of Italian parents, Enzo is President of the Italo-Australian Welfare and Cultural Centre, which offers welfare, cultural, aged and education programs throughout WA.

    Enzo has served on many boards and committees, including the WA Museum of Natural Sciences, the Curriculum Council of WA Syllabus Committees, Australia Remembers Multicultural Committee, the Anti-Racism Strategy Steering Committee and the WA Northbridge History Project. He recently completed a full term as Chair of the Australian Alzheimer's Research Foundation.

    Enzo is currently President of Community Languages WA (formerly the Ethnic Schools Association of WA), Deputy Chair of the Australian Federation of Ethnic Schools Association (Community Languages Australia), and National Coordinator of Italian Educational, Welfare and Cultural State Organisations in Australia.


    Hon Ayor Makur Chuot MLC — Member 

    Hon Ayor Makur Chuot MLC, Member for North Metropolitan Region, is the first African–Australian woman elected to the WA Parliament, and the first person of South Sudanese descent to sit in any Parliament in Australia. 

    Arriving in Perth as a refugee when she was 15, Ayor is passionate about multiculturalism, women's interests, families and youth. She is committed to improving opportunities for refugees and migrants in the workforce having overcome many barriers herself. 

    Her focus is on working towards positive outcomes in her electorate in the key areas of jobs, education, health, infrastructure and local projects. 

    Ting Chen

    Dr Ting Chen — Member

    Dr Ting Chen is the President of the Chung Wah Association, the largest and most established Chinese organisation in WA, founded in 1909.

    Chun Wah serves as the bridge between the Chinese community and mainstream society through promoting harmony, preserving heritage and practising humanity.

    Dr Chen migrated to WA in 1995, and obtained a PhD in Chemistry from Murdoch University in 2003. He has been an active volunteer and community leader since 1997.

    Abdullah Khan

    Mr Abdullah Khan OAM — Member

    Abdullah Khan has been leading the Australian Islamic College Perth as Executive Principal and Chief Executive Officer since 2011.

    He is a Member of the WA Police Muslim Advisory Group and the 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.

    Karla Benitez

    Ms Karla Benitez — Member 

    Karla Benitez is a tireless community advocate, standing for the principles of multiculturalism and its advancement.  

    Her expertise in management, leadership, strategic advice and policy has resulted in more than two decades of experience across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. 

    While actively engaged in the Latin-Australian community, she also works extensively as community sector manager and board member of many community and other organisations in Australia 

    Additionally, Karla has co-authored the book Undefeated, a collection of 118 stories from 90 migrant women, further indicating her dedication to uplifting and empowering communities. 

    Satish Nair

    Mr Satish Nair — Member 

    Satish Nair is President of the Indian Society of WA (ISWA) the peak umbrella body for WA’s Indian communities, which is partnered with 114 community associations. 

    Satish rose through the ranks of ISWA from being a volunteer to becoming management committee member in 2018, secretary in 2020, and president through a popular vote in 2022. 

    He has extensive experience in community service and believes that community is its own reward.  

    Satish originates from India having lived in many regions and understands the country well. He wants to use his experience, common sense and enthusiasm to continue contributing to the wider Australian community.  

    Anh Nguyen resized

    Dr Anh Nguyen — Member 

    Dr Anh Nguyen arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1981. He is medical doctor, and is the principal and proprietor of his own medical practice in Perth.  

    A committed community advocate and leader, Anh is the President of the WA Chapter of Vietnamese Community in Australia, coordinator of the Vietnamese Community School of WA, convener of the Vietnamese radio program on 6-EBA FM, a board member of Girrawheen Senior High School, and also a member of the City of Wanneroo's Multicultural Advisory Group.  

    He has also made significant contributions to the Vietnamese Boat People Monument of Gratitude Project, and the Long Tan Peace Park in Koondoola. 

    Wendy Rose

    Ms Wendy Rose — Member

    Chief Executive Officer of the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC) since 2010, Wendy leads a team that is dedicated to safeguarding the rights of people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) and Aboriginal backgrounds. 

    Wendy has made significant contributions to the multicultural sector through policy development, systemic advocacy and community development. Her extensive contributions to social justice issues in the multicultural sector have been driven by her experience of growing up in South Africa under the Apartheid regime.

    Throughout her decades of community service, Wendy has worked as trainer, project officer, evaluator, community development officer, systemic advocate, policy officer and manager. Her knowledge and practice have been informed by tertiary qualifications in Applied Science (Psychology) and Education, and further studies in management, training, project management, communication and relationship building.

    Portrait of Ms Anna Maria Harrison JP

    Ms Anna Maria Harrison JP — Member

    Anna Harrison has been CEO of Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services since 2000 and has worked in the community care sector for more than four decades.

    She has received many awards for her work, including the Dr Olga Kanitsaki Award for Individual Excellence in 2018, which is awarded for exceptional commitment and initiative in the delivery of services to older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in aged care.

    Anna also received the Lifetime of Achievement Award in the 2018 Aged and Community Services Australia Aged Care State Awards.

    Through her work, Anna has improved the quality of life for many older people. She is committed to helping WA’s culturally and linguistically diverse seniors receive culturally appropriate services that support them to remain in their own homes and to be independent.


    Portrait of Ms Haweya Ismail

    Ms Haweya Ismail — Member

    Haweya Ismail has eight years of experience in the start-up, sustainability and innovation sector, building her own social business supporting farmers in Somaliland as well as helping fellow CaLD entrepreneurs create strong social impact-driven business models, products and services. 

    She has won several awards for her social business, including the national BSchool Ideas Nation Pitch Competition where she was awarded a $20,000 business grant.

    Haweya has also represented youth in international forums including the World Bank & IMF Annual Meetings (Washington) and the World Government Summit (Dubai). She currently works as part of the sustainable industries team at Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management where she works on local and national projects that support a productive and environmentally sustainable agricultural industry.


    Portrait of Geoff Midalia

    Mr Geoff Midalia — Member

    Geoff Midalia is President of the Jewish Community Council of WA, the umbrella group that represents all Jewish community organisations and all Jews to the wider community.

    Geoff was the founder and managing director of Midalia Steel for 36 years, has served on the board of Maurice Zeffert Aged Care for six years, and in operations of the Menora Charity Fund for three years.

    In a voluntary capacity, Geoff continues to mentor small businesses.


    Portrait of Ms Yati Winfield

    Ms Yati Winfield — Member

    Yati Winfield is chair of the Southwest Indonesian Community and secretary for the Indonesia Covid-19 Relief Fund committee.

    Yati settled in Busselton in 2008 and has extensive experience in the hospitality sector and as an event manager. She is inspired by the cultural and linguistic diversity of the area and recognises the importance of sharing knowledge and experience between communities and supporting each other through a range of activities.

    Apart from organising community events, Yati supports victims of domestic violence and people with mental health problems, especially those with Indonesian background.


    Portrait of Morteza Tabatabaee

    Mr Morteza Tabatabaee — Member 

    Morteza is the executive director of Prime IT Solutions Pty Ltd and has around 30 years of experience in the IT industry. He has also more than 18 years of experience in social entrepreneurship, establishing and managing not-for-profit charity and community organisations, managing relationships with multiple stakeholders with competing demands and agendas, creating strategic plans, team development, collaboration management, program management, community engagement and partnership management.

    Morteza is currently chair of the Iranian Association Inc (since 2007), principal of Persian Language School WA and board member of Tabatabaee Charity Foundation for Children.

    He also served on many boards and committees, and was president of Iranian Community of WA for 10 years.

    Portrait of Amit Khullar

    Mr Amit Khullar — Member

    Amit Khullar is a Business Development Manager at the Australian Tertiary Institute, Sheila Baxter Training Centre and Unique Security Services.

    Amit is also deputy chair of the Federation of Indian Associations of WA (FIAWA), an umbrella body of 63 member organisations. FIAWA provides services and facilities for Western Australians with Indian heritage, including community centres, bereavement, student and old age services, and domestic violence assistance.

    Amit is also secretary of the National Kabaddi Federation of Australia and past president of Perth Kabaddi Club. Kabaddi is a popular competitive sport in India.

    Portrait of Dr Casty Nyaga

    Dr Casty Nyaga — Member

    Dr Casty Nyaga CPA is the executive vice president (administration and finance) for the Organisation of African Communities in WA (OACWA), national treasurer of the Federation of African Communities Councils in Australia (FACCA) and a former board member of the Kenyan Community in WA (KCWA).

    Casty mentors accountants and community leaders to help them establish a successful future in WA. In 2019, she was awarded the Australia Day Individual Award by the City of Wanneroo, and named Mentor of the Year in the Women in Finance Awards in December 2021.

    As an active and respected community leader, Casty is committed to using her skills and experience to help migrants make significant contributions to WA’s multicultural community. She is committed to using her skills to put in place systems, procedures, resources and values that promote WA’s communities with African background. 


    Mr Balli Singh — Member 

    Balli Singh is a committed community leader and a Justice of the Peace.

    During the past 12 years he has led and served the Indian communities of Western Australia, including as President of Youth Sikh WA and President of United Perth Indians. 

    Balli Singh volunteers his time to assist others. His volunteer work includes food relief for struggling families and individuals, student assistance, bushfire relief, bereavement services and COVID-19 relief. He supports community members with business continuity and provides information and support on issues such as family and domestic violence, and elder abuse.

    Maria de Silva pic

    Ms Maria de Silva — Member 

    Maria de Silva was born in Western Australia and has strong Dutch and Sri Lankan family ties. 

    Maria has been a nurse for five decades, working in Europe, Sri Lanka and Western Australia, including in remote Aboriginal communities. She still works as a nurse and continues to be a voice for patients with Aboriginal heritage and those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds. 

    Maria is a member of the Reconciliation Working Party at St John of God Hospital in Subiaco, and is committed to increasing understanding, respect and cultural safety for people of diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as to promoting cross-cultural interaction between Aboriginal and CaLD communities. 

    Over the past twenty-five years, Maria has served on several committees including as Women's Vice President of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA, Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services, Jewish Care WA and Reconciliation WA.

    Naomi Cyrus

    Ms Naomi Cyrus — Member

    Naomi Cyrus has a background in public health and has been an active member of the Western Australian community in various capacities, including as an executive committee member of the Kenyan Community in Western Australia (KCWA).  

    She is an elected KCWA women’s representative and past Workers' Union delegate, and is currently a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee of the Shire of Armadale. 

    Naomi has worked as a volunteer and a relief teacher in schools in the Goldfields, as a volunteer in the Leprosy OP shop in Kelmscott, and as a support officer for a multicultural community group in the Goldfields where she was awarded the Best Resource Person for two consecutive years. 

    Naomi has first-hand experience of living in outback communities and has travelled to almost all Aboriginal communities across the State.

    Page reviewed 31 October 2023