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Advisory Board Members

Our Advisory Board is an independent body that draws on the cultural diversity, skills and experience of its members to maintain and build our multicultural society

Dr G.K (HARI) Harinath OAM, Chairperson

Chairperson, Multicultural NSW
Chairman, Parramasala
Member NSW Centenary of ANZAC Advisory Council

Former achievements include Chairman and Board Member of Cricket NSW, Board Member of Cricket Australia, Board Member of the South East Area Health Board and President Sydney Cricket Club.

Dr Harinath was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours for service to cricket through executive roles at state and national level, and to the community. Dr Harinath was also awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Medal) by the President of India in 2017, the highest honour conferred to Indians living overseas.

Dr G.K (HARI) Harinath OAM, Chairperson

Mr Joseph La Posta

CEO, Multicultural NSW
Former Chairperson, Sport NSW
NSW Advisory Board Member, The Reach Foundation
Former State Manager of Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs at AFL NSW/ACT
B App Sci (Town Planning) RMIT

Mr Joseph La Posta

Mr Simon Chan

Simon Chan is a practising architect (SCA Architects) and a passionate art collector. He sees art as the window to social dialogue and an expression of our future possibilities. He has been the Director of an art gallery exhibiting contemporary Australian and Indigenous art – Art Atrium - since 2009.

Simon is also a Community Ambassador at Art Gallery of NSW and Director on its Board of VisAsia, a Council member of the Power Institute Foundation for Art and Visual Culture at The University of Sydney, an Executive Committee Member of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, and a Director for Parramasala festival. He is also a member of Sydney Boys High School Ethel Killip Memorial Trust Art Advisory Committee.

He is President of the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce, Director of Aboriginal Benefits Foundation, and a Committee Member of the NSW Government Chinese Garden of Friendship Advisory Committee, the Woollhara Council Cultural Committee, the Sydney Water Customer Council, and the City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival Advisory Committee.

Simon was the recipient of the inaugural NSW Premier’s Multicultural Award for Arts & Culture in 2013.

Mr Simon Chan

Ms Sonia Sadiq Gandhi

Sonia Sadiq Gandhi is an 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 also founded Fashions of Multicultural Australia, a sustainable platform that showcases couture of Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse and refugee designers.

Sonia is also the founder of the India Australia Business and Community Awards. She is an ICC T20 World Cup Australia 2020 Champion, an Australia Day Ambassador and a jury member for virtual incubator for women, Womennovator 2020.

Sonia was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 2014 and continues her charity work with organisations such as Alzheimer’s Australia, Beyond Blue and National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Ms Sonia Sadiq Gandhi

Prof Sandra Hale, B.A., Dip.Ed., M.App.Ling., PhD, NAATI

Sandra Hale is Professor of Interpreting & Translation at the University of New South Wales, where she teaches and researches Interpreting.

Her qualifications include a BA in Interpreting & Translation, a Dip. Ed. in Spanish and Italian, a Master of Applied Linguistics, and a PhD in court interpreting/forensic linguistics. She also a NAATI accredited Spanish interpreter and translator with over thirty years’ experience.

She is an internationally recognised authority on Community and Legal Interpreting pedagogy and research and was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Antwerp in 2014. She was made Fellow of AUSIT in 2013 and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2016. She was AUSIT National President from 2014-2017. She played a key role in the development of the Australian Recommended National Standards for Interpreting in Courts and Tribunals and led the NAATI review in 2011-2012.

She is the author of multiple books and articles and is regularly invited as keynote speaker at international conferences and has been training the judiciary for many years on how to work with interpreters.

Prof Sandra Hale, B.A., Dip.Ed., M.App.Ling., PhD, NAATI

Mr Kyung Il (Kenneth) Hong

Ken has more than 15 years of experience providing legal services to private and public companies and government agencies. He is an active member of the Korean and Australian community in Sydney.

Currently, Ken is a Principal Lawyer for H & H Lawyers and the Korean Community Pro Bono Legal Services. He is also a member of the Law Society of NSW’s Professional Conduct and Diversity and Inclusion Committees.

In the past, he held roles with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Herbert Smith Freehills, alongside being a Council Member for the Medical Council of NSW, a Committee Member for the NSW Branch of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA), and President of the Korean Australian Young Leaders (KAY Leaders) and Korean Australian Lawyers Association (KALA).

Ken first came to Australian in 1994 as an overseas student from Seoul, before completing a law degree through Bond University and being admitted as a lawyer in 2004.

Mr Kyung Il (Kenneth) Hong

Ms Dai Le

Dai Le’s mission is to help build an inclusive society where mainstream institutions and organisations genuinely reflect diverse communities. With over 20 years of change-making experience, she is a strong believer in the use of storytelling to inspire, educate and inform.

Born in Vietnam, Dai spent years in refugee camps in South East Asia before being accepted for resettlement in Australia, experiences which made her a passionate advocate for refugees and migrant communities.

She is the founder of DAWN, a platform that gives voice to diverse talent shaping today’s society, and the South West Entrepreneurial Hub (SWEH), a networking platform for business owners and entrepreneurs living in Sydney’s South West. Dai is also elected to Fairfield City Council, one of the most culturally diverse Councils in Australia; she's a member of the Local Government NSW (LGNSW) board and Host International.

A former award-winning journalist, Dai was named one of AFR-Westpac's Top 100 Influential Women in Australia in 2014.

Ms Dai Le

Cav. Felice Montrone OAM

Felice Montrone is the CEO of an Australian ASX listed public company and serves on a range of committees and boards, including the Geographical Names Board of NSW and as Chairperson of Multicultural NSW East Sydney Regional Advisory Council.

He is also the Chairperson of the Father Atanasio Gonelli Charitable Fund, the Trustee in Australia for the John Paul II Foundation for Youth, Secretary General for Australia of the Confederation of Italians in the World, Chairperson of the Apulian Business Association of Australia, and an Executive Council Member in Australia for the Knights of the Order of St Sylvester Association. In 2006, the President of the Italian Republic awarded Felice the title Knight of the Order of the Italian Republic ("Cavaliere"), for services to the Italian Australian community. In 2013, on the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Felice was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia ("OAM"), for service to the Italian Australian Community.

Cav. Felice Montrone OAM

Ms Margaret Piper AM

Margaret Piper has over 30 years experience in the refugee sector. The focus of her work currently relates to research and capacity building, as well as policy advice and program planning.

She is an Adjunct Fellow at Western Sydney University, a member of the Advisory Board of Multicultural NSW and vice chair of MYAN NSW. After serving as a member of the Board of the Australian Red Cross from 2012 – 2018, she continues to chair its Service Committee and sit on its Migration Policy Advisory Committee.

Since 2015, Margaret has been a member of the joint committee supporting the NSW Coordinator General for Refugee Resettlement to identify and implement reforms in refugee settlement and in 2019 was a member of the Task Force that conducted the Review into Integration, Employment and Settlement Outcomes for Refugees and Humanitarian Entrants in Australia (the Shergold Inquiry).

In 2018, Margaret was awarded the Red Cross’ Distinguished Service Medal. She also crews on the James Craig, a tall ship built in 1874, where she played an integral role in building/ its youth program.

Ms Margaret Piper AM

Mr Devpaal Singh, Youth Member

Devpaal Singh is a corporate finance lawyer at MinterEllison, the National Volunteers Coordinator for Sikh Youth Australia and a member of the Multicultural Alliance at the Australian Football League.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons I) and Bachelor of Laws from The University of Sydney, where he also co-founded and led the Sydney University Sikh Society and undertook an exchange program to Lunds Universtet in Sweden.

He teaches traditional North Indian dance, Bhangra.

Mr Devpaal Singh, Youth Member

Ms Cristina Talacko

Cristina Talacko is an entrepreneur, owner and founder of SalDoce Fine Foods manufacturing and exporting allergen sensitive foods, and owner of retail organic bulk food stores Naked Foods Northbridge and Indooroopilly promoting zero waste lifestyle. She has a corporate legal background with more than 15 years’ experience in executive boards and management of not-for-profit associations.

She is the Vice-President of the Australia-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, the Chairperson of the environmental NFP Coalition for Conservation, a director on the board of the think tank Beyond Zero Emissions and is involved in community work as a director of One Meal - It Makes a Difference, a charity providing meals to the homeless.

She has won the Highly Commended 2019 Premier’s Award for Women in International Business and completed the Business Program “Women and Power” at Harvard Kennedy Business School. She graduated from the University of London with an LLB - Bachelor of Law, and a Diploma in Corporate Law at the University of Sydney.

Cristina is also the former Vice Chair of the Australia Latin America Business Council and former director of the DFAT Council on Latin America Relations.

Ms Cristina Talacko

Mr Albert Vella OAM

Electrician
Founding member for the Polish School of Sydney
Member of the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools
Current President of NSW Federation of Community Language Schools
Member of the NSW Community Languages Schools Board
Management Committee  of Australian Federation of Ethnic School Association

Mr Albert Vella OAM

Mr Steve Widders

Past-President Armidale AM Rotary Club
External Fellow, Austin College UNE
Past President and member Duval Lions Club Armidale
Member National NAIDOC Committee
Member Disability Council of NSW
Member NSW Police and Justice Advisory Committee on Disability
Member DADHC Aboriginal Advisory Committee
NSW Seniors Week Ambassador
NSW Australia Day Ambassador
Member First Peoples Disability Network
Member Rotary Group Study Exchange to India
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar University of Alaska
Awardee Churchill Fellowship

Mr Steve Widders