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.

    Surya Ambati

    Mr Surya Ambati — Member

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

    Surya is the past President of the Indian Society of WA (ISWA). He led the development and implementation of the new ISWA Constitution, established the ISWA Council comprising of presidents and representatives of all Indian community associations, and was instrumental in ensuring that ISWA successfully operated 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.

    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 — 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.

    Joansy King

    Ms Joansy King — Member

    Joansy King 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 organisations, 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 White Ribbon Australia
    • Community Representative of the WA Police Multicultural Women's Advisory
    •  Co-Chairperson of the Australian Karen Social Service Network
    • President of the Karen New Year Celebration Committee WA.
    Salim Yousef

    Mr Salim Youssef — Member

    5 May 1969 to 31 August 2022

    Salim Youssef worked to implement community projects with local government and other community groups.

    As Founder and President of the Australian Arab Association he enjoyed both the challenge and inspiration of motivating a range of people and community groups to achieve their goals. 

    Salim worked on the 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 WA Multicultural Individual Excellence Award in 2013. He was appointed a People of Australia Ambassador in 2012 and 2014. 

    Meredith Hammat MLA

    Ms Meredith Hammat MLA, Member for Mirrabooka — Member

    Meredith was elected to the WA Parliament in March 2021. The electorate of Mirrabooka is one of the most diverse in the State and Meredith enjoys working with representatives of the many culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the area.

    Before entering Parliament, Meredith was the Secretary of Unions WA for eight years, from 2012 until 2020 and Assistant Secretary of the Australian Services Union between 1999 and 2006. Meredith has held a number of positions on WA Government boards and advisory committees, including the State Training Board, the Sustainable Health Review, My Leave (the Construction Industry Long Service Leave Fund) and the LNG Jobs Taskforce.

    Meredith has a master’s degree from the University of WA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


    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 Mr Ted Nguyen

    Mr Ted Nguyen — Member

    Ted Nguyen arrived in Perth as a refugee in 1984. He later completed a Bachelor of Engineering degree at the University of Western Australia and now has more than 22 years of experience in the government sector. His work has encompassed planning through to the design, construction and commissioning of large complex infrastructure transport developments in WA.

    Ted also works to connect culturally and linguistically diverse communities to the wider community through sport. He has been President of the Westnam United Soccer Club since 1998, as well as director and coordinator of the Annual Perth Asian Community Soccer Cup.

    As vice-president of the WA Chapter of Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCAWA), and a member of the City of Wanneroo's Multicultural Advisory Group, Ted currently leads the VCAWA in delivering the Vietnamese Cultural Centre in WA project.


    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. 

    Carina pic

    Dr Oanh Oanh Thi (Carina) Hoang, PhD

    Dr Hoang is an award-winning author and publisher, academic, actor and public speaker. 

    Carina has 30 years of international work experience in different organisations, ranging from government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and large corporations, to small businesses.  She has management experience in the areas of human resources, operations, administration, sales and marketing.  

    Carina is a WA Women's Hall of Fame inductee (2011), Special Representative of Australia for UNHCR (2012), and Board Member of Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services.


    Balli Singh

    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

    Maria de Silva

    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

    Naomi Cyrus

    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 27 February 2023