About Us

Who We Are

Board Members

The Board of Management is made up of highly qualified business people from the Sunraysia area as well as members of different cultural groups who are a vital part of the Mildura community.

Ian Japp

President

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Bio to come.

Nina Smart

Vice President

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Bio to come.

Daniel Whitford

Secretary

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Bio to come.

Charles Albanese

Committee Member

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I was born and raised in Robinvale on a fruit block. I attended the local schools in Robinvale where I completed my VCE. After completing my VCE, I spent some time travelling and working on the family vineyard. I became a manager and partner at Freshbest Vineyards (the family business) where I completed my first degree, a Bachelor of Business Agriculture.

I started my career with Ambulance Victoria in Robinvale as an Ambulance Community Officer (Volunteer/Paid position) in 2011 whilst working on the farm. This piqued my interest in a career change to paramedicine. I completed my Bachelor of Paramedic Science through Flinders University Adelaide at the age of 35. I have been based in the region, working as a paramedic for the last 8 years.

In my time working for Ambulance Victoria, I have performed a number of different roles, one of which brought me in contact with SMECC in the form of a community engagement liaison. Many of the patients that I attend do come from many different cultures and have English as a second language which I find a rewarding challenge.

Outside of my work, I have a passion for community engagement and inclusion. I thrive on and actively seek out different ways be involved in the local community. I have a wide range of experience, working with boards and committees. In the past I have held senior committee positions with The Robinvale/Euston Suicide Prevention Network, Mildura Base Hospital Community Consultation Committee, Robinvale Lawn Tennis Club, and Robinvale Ambulance Auxiliary.

Charmaine Calis

Committee Member

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Born in Melbourne, I moved to Mildura as a young teenager and finished school at Mildura Senior College.  At 17 years old, I started an administration traineeship with the Mildura Rural City Council, where I was employed for 22 years.  I recently commenced a senior management position with Mallee Accommodation and Support Program (MASP).

I have a strong understanding of organisational governance and successful board management and I look forward to bringing these skills to the SMECC Board. 

My husband was born in Turkey and migrated to Mildura as a young child with his mother.  Through my mother-in-law, I have an appreciation of the challenges faced by the CALD community such as language barriers, access to services, employment and social networks.

Being part of the SMECC Board and community provides me with the opportunity to support and advocate for the CALD community, and apply my governance experience and knowledge to ensure a high functioning board and organisation into the future.

Claire Kelly

Committee Member

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It has been the privilege of my life to have worked with CALD families for the past 23 years as a teacher in the EAL New Arrivals Program. Witnessing refugee and immigrant families enter Australia to start their new lives is a blessing.

Over the years I have worked and been adopted by the Ethiopian, Sudanese, Bosnian, Serbian, Karen, and Tibetan communities. Although my only language is English, I attempt to learn a few words in each of the languages at my school.

Moving to Mildura in 2019 to take up the position of Assistant Principal of the Mildura English Language Centre (MELC) has been an amazing opportunity. Although I have travelled, I’ve spent my life in Victoria, growing up in Mallacoota, then working in Melbourne, and now Mildura.

As a member of the SMECC Board I am hoping to offer insight into working with non-English speaking peoples and assist in planning programs and processes which keep SMECC a strong and reliable support to the Mildura CALD community.

Staff Members

Corey Iredale

Interim Executive Officer

(Australia)

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My name is Corey. I am the Regional Migration Coordinator for the Loddon Mallee Region. The program I manage is Try, Test and Learn: A Bridge to Regional Employment & Opportunities. I began working for SMECC in November 2019 when the TTL Program was launched. My great great grandfather was the first Doctor in Mildura, Dr. Otto Louis Moritz Abrowmowski. His family origins were Russian and German. The remainder of my family heritage is primarily British and German. I have been very fortunate to travel to many parts of the world, however the only language I speak is English.

Joelle Brown

Programs Manager

 

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My name is Jo and I am the Programs Manager. My cultural heritage in English and Irish. My ancestors came to Australia in the late 1800’s and settled into Victorian and South Australian colonies. My role here at SMECC is extremely varied and provides me with a great feeling of pride.

Julyn Chan

Finance & Administration Officer

(Sri Lanka)

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My name is Juls. I started working at SMECC in March 2013. I am an Australian, however, my parents are from Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. I speak English and Sinhala fluently, but do speak a little Thai. I am the Finance Officer at SMECC.

Ratna Dwi Savitri

Administration Officer

(Indonesia)

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My name is Ratna and I started work at SMECC in January 2019 as Executive Assistant. I am an Indonesian. I am able to speak Indonesian and English.

Juvelina Guterres

Community Programs Coordinator

(Timor Leste)

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My name is Juvelina, I have been working at SMECC since 2010 and my role is Community Programs Coordinator. These programs include, Playgroup, Driving Program, Client employment services, and Youth support (Supervisor). I am originally from East Timor and I am fluent in 4 Languages these include, Tetum, Indonesian, Malay, and English. I also speak some Portuguese.

Walaa Sabri

Client Services Worker 

(Iraq)

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My Name is Walaa and I have been working at SMECC since October 2017. I am originally from Iraq, which is an Arabic speaking background and have been living in Australia since 2002. My Role at SMECC is- Client services case worker for the following programs- Settlement Engagement and Transition support, Aged Care Systems Navigator and Family Strengthening project.

Samia Fox

Client Services Worker (Swan Hill)

(Morocco)

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Bio to come.

Danielle Hren

Training Program Lead

(Australia)

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My name is Dani and I started work at SMECC in November 2016. I am an Australian but my father and grandparents were refugees from Poland and arrived in the 1950s. I have been a Japanese teacher and I try to speak a little Dari and Swahili. I coordinate the English EAL education programs and the Cultural competency and awareness programs at SMECC.

Rebeca Remku

Receptionist

(Myanmar)

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My name is Rebeca and I come from Burma. I arrived in Australia in March 2018. I can speak Hakha/Chin (my mother tongue), English and Mizo. I am at SMECC reception every Thursday and Friday.

Corey Iredale

Pastoral Care Coordinator

(Australia)

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My name is Corey. I am the Regional Migration Coordinator for the Loddon Mallee Region. The program I manage is Try, Test and Learn: A Bridge to Regional Employment & Opportunities. I began working for SMECC in November 2019 when the TTL Program was launched. My great great grandfather was the first Doctor in Mildura, Dr. Otto Louis Moritz Abrowmowski. His family origins were Russian and German. The remainder of my family heritage is primarily British and German. I have been very fortunate to travel to many parts of the world, however the only language I speak is English.

Kunnika Powell

Client Services Worker

(Thailand)

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My name is Kunnika and I started work at SMECC September 2020. I am from Thailand. I also speak Cambodian and Lao too. I am a full time Pastoral Care Worker at SMECC. I love to talk with people and help the community to be strong with a happy life in Australia.

Viliami Vea

Pastoral Care Worker

(Tonga)

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My name is Viliami, I am originally from the island kingdom of Tonga. I’ve started at SMECC in September 2020. My role is Pastoral Care Worker. I speak fluent in English, Tongan and a little bit of Samoan. I came to Australia in 1987. My parents were both Tongan.

Emmie Dowling

Strategic Engagement Coordinator

(Australia)

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My name is Emmie and I started work at SMECC in September 2020. I am an Australian and I speak French and English. My position at SMECC is Outreach Worker.

Sharon Pastore

Volunteer Coordinator

(Australia)

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Bio to come.

Karina Nolan

Pastoral Care Worker (Swan Hill)

(Australia)

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My Name is Karina and I start working at SMECC in October 2020. I’m an Australian and my role is Pastoral Care worker in Swan Hill and surrounding areas.

Evelyn Cowling

ACFE Educator

(Australia)

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My name is Evelyn, I am the ACFE teacher and I returned to SMECC in February 2021 (I previously worked as the ACFE teacher from 2015 to 2017). I am an Australian, but my father and grandmother were migrants from England who arrived during the 1940s. I only speak English! I am a qualified ESL teacher (TESOL qualification and Cert IV TAE) who loves to teach and help students from all over the world to achieve their learning goals! Currently I am teaching SMECC ACFE courses. I love my job!

Jackson Mugenzi

Pastoral Care Worker

(Congo)

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Bio to come.

Lynda Zuriani

Playgroups Assistant

(Malaysia)

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Bio to come.

Shahida hussaini

Outreach Worker

(Afghanistan)

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Bio to come.

Mitchell Rayson

Youth Worker

(Congo)

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Bio to come.

Mannfred Payen

Food Hub Worker

(Mauritius)

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Bio to come.

Miranda Lamattina

Outreach Worker

(Greece)

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Bio to come.

Abida Elahi

Community Engagement Worker

(Pakistan)

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Bio to come.

Frank Piscioneri

Consultant

(Italy)

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Bio to come.

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