The South Australian Multicultural Commission (Commission) is a statutory body that reports to the Hon Zoe Bettison MP.
The Commission plays an important role in raising awareness and understanding of multiculturalism and interculturalism in our South Australian community. It draws on the cultural diversity, skills and experience of its members to provide independent advice to the South Australian government about the advancement of multiculturalism.
The Commission was established under the South Australian Multicultural Act 2021 (the Act), replacing the former South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC). Under the new legislation, the Commission’s functions have been updated and expanded to address changing needs and priorities.
The Commission’s main functions are to:
- advise the Minister on the needs, aspirations and contributions of South Australians from diverse backgrounds.
- advise and consult with State authorities to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to the advancement of multicultural affairs
- advise on the extent to which services and facilities meet the needs of diverse communities
- increase awareness and understanding of the diversity of the South Australian community and the implications of that diversity
- promote unity, understanding and harmony among all communities
- raise awareness and promote understanding of multiculturalism and interculturalism
- raise awareness of the harm that racism and other forms of discriminatory behaviour can do to multiculturalism and interculturalism in South Australia
- promote the South Australian Charter and the advantages of a multicultural and intercultural society
- review and report on the extent to which government funded services and programs are achieving and furthering the purposes of the Act.
All of the former members of SAMEAC transferred to the Multicultural Commission under a transitional provision of the new legislation.
All 15 members of the Multicultural Commission were appointed for a three year period from 1 July 2021 until 30 June 2024, following an expression of interest process.
As the Chair of the Multicultural Commission Adriana brings with her extensive experience in working with diverse communities. This includes her previous term on the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission from July 2018 to 30 June 2021, together with her leadership skills and board experience on the Australia Day Council. Adriana served on the Australia Day Council from 2008 to 2015 and chaired the Council from 2013 to 2015.
A proud and active member of the South Australian Greek community, Adriana understands community needs, issues and challenges faced by our culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. In her professional life, Adriana has undertaken management roles within State and Local Government, predominantly in the areas of policy development, advice, governance and economic development. These valuable qualities will assist the Board in its work. Her ability to work with all levels of government and business demonstrates a coordinated approach, which she will use to ensure the advancement of multiculturalism and interculturalism within the South Australian community.
Adriana has been actively involved with many community groups and continues to represent the community as an elected member for the City of Mitcham and previously for the City of West Torrens.
Anna first came to Australia to study in 1999 and has made South Australia her permanent home since 2003. She was born in Beijing and grew up in Hong Kong. Anna enjoys promoting cross-cultural understanding among Chinese diasporas from different regions. She recognises the challenges faced by many new migrants including learning English and overcoming social and economic barriers for newly arrived migrants from China and other Asian countries. This led her to form the Tong De Association of SA Inc with a group of like-minded community leaders. She is the inaugural and current President of this Association, which was formed in May 2019.
Anna enjoys working with community and arts organisations and is a proud Ambassador of the OzAsia Festival. She was actively involved in the 2019 Chinatown Lunar New Year Street Party and the Gala Dinner and also the Department for the Premier and Cabinet’s Multicultural Festival held in Victoria Square. In February 2021, Anna established the Adelaide Chinese community self-quarantine and volunteers group, which provides a volunteer-based shopping service to support international students, permanent residents and citizens required to self-quarantine upon their return from China to Adelaide during COVID-19.
Anna holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Accountancy from the University of South Australia. She is currently employed in a senior position within the Government of South Australia. She is fluent in English, Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese and would like to apply her cultural and language skills together with her professional experience to serve our diverse communities on the South Australian Multicultural Commission.
George has been a part of the South Australian multicultural community since 1992 when he and his family migrated to Australia from Malaysia. As a small business owner in the Chinatown precinct for more than 25 years, he came to meet people from all walks of life and has been actively involved in social, commercial and community work since 1992. From 2004 to 2019, he rejuvenated the Chinatown precinct as President and Executive Member of the Chinatown Adelaide of SA Inc. His strong leadership role and his ability to work with community leaders and volunteers delivered the successful Lunar New Year Street Party in Chinatown, which has now grown to become one of the major annual multicultural festivals in South Australia attracting more than 30,000 visitors in 2019.
George was a member of the Board of Study Adelaide from 2010 to 2017, and during this period he helped formulate strategies to promote Adelaide as a study destination for international students. Together with members of the local community, he helped organise many festivals and events for, and with, international students to support and promote integration into the South Australian community. He has been an ambassador of the Oz Asia Festival since its inception in 2010, was President of the Malaysia Club of Adelaide Inc. in 2010 and has held the role of honorary advisor to many community associations. George served as a member of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission from July 2018 to 30 June 2021. He is honoured to have been reappointed and continue his service for our multicultural communities.
Bruce has had a long career in professional sport, most recently in the role of Director of Football at the Adelaide United Football Club. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Committee for Adelaide. Bruce is a well-respected sports and cultural ambassador and has a positive and strong public profile both internationally and across South Australia’s diverse communities. He is currently a board member of the Australia Day Council of South Australia and Women Onside, as well as being a member of the national Welcoming Australia’s Sport Advisory Committee and Southern Angels.
Bruce is a highly motivated, team-oriented person who embraces leadership as well as building and maintaining strong effective relationships with all communities. He is a former professional footballer whose career spanned five countries across three continents in addition to representing the Socceroos, Olyroos (Olympic team) and Young Socceroos. Bruce is also a native French-speaker. His strong networks and relationships across sports, government, media, business, diplomats, not-for-profits and community-based organisations make him a valuable member of the South Australian Multicultural Commission.
Carmen is a social entrepreneur with extensive government and community board experience. A proud Filipino-South Australian, she has been a long-term advocate for refugees and social entrepreneurship in South Australia and nationally. She is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the national award-winning diversity and inclusion certified social enterprise, Community Corporate.
In 2021, Community Corporate won National Social Enterprise of the Year at the Australian Small Business Champions Awards. Carmen was jointly awarded the 2019 Governor’s Multicultural Award for Individual Outstanding Achievement and her business was listed as one of South Australia’s Fast Mover companies in 2020. She was also recognised in the InDaily 40 Under 40 Business Leaders Awards in 2018. Carmen is currently the National President of the Filipino Communities Council of Australia. She holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Management (Public Sector) from RMIT University and is completing a Master of Business Administration from the Australian Institute of Business. Carmen is fluent in Italian, Filipino and French.
Manju has lived in Adelaide since 2014 and works closely with the Nepalese migrant community to represent their voices, needs, aspirations and contributions. She is currently the State Women Coordinator of the Non-Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA) South Australia. Manju is also a Founding Principal of the Nepalese Ethnic School (Adelaide Nepali Vidhyalaya) and continues to serve as a volunteer teacher. Other voluntary work undertaken by Manju includes a role as consumer representative at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, advocating on behalf of consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. She was also a member of the CALD Women’s Advisory Committee of PEACE Multicultural Services, Relationships Australia.
Manju is a graduate of the City of Marion’s Community Leadership Program and is actively involved in supporting Nepalese migrant community members to access available services. She also promotes community engagement in the local council’s activities. In 2020, Manju was the recipient of an International Women’s Day Community Quiet Achiever Award, through the Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia.
Born in a passionate Italian family with extended community connections throughout South Australia, Maria brings enthusiasm and vitality to the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC). Always prepared to just get things done, Maria uses her leadership skills to serve as a volunteer on the Molise Associazione Adelaide SA and assist other community and industry associations through advice and sponsorship. She is a current Board member of Radio Italiana 531 and member of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine Tourism Association, including as a board member from 2013 to 2016 and is an advocate for working women in business.
Maria is an accomplished business woman as the Chief Executive Officer of the Maglieri Group, with more than 20 years’ experience in the wine industry. Under her strong leadership and marketing flair, Serafino has been endorsed as a leading iconic wine brand of South Australia and in export markets, as well as a tourism destination in McLaren Vale. Maria’s achievements have been recognised locally and globally: named as South Australian Business Ambassador in 2006; nominated for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 2010; named the 2012 Molisana Business Woman of the World in Italy; and awarded the title “Cavaliere” Order of Merit of the Repubblica Italiana in 2018, for her contribution to the Italian community and women in business. Maria served as a member of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission from November 2018 to 30 June 2021, and is honoured to have been reappointed in 2021 to continue to serve multicultural communities in South Australia.
Rajendra always seeks opportunities to make a difference. He was named ‘Citizen of the year’ by the City of Unley on Australia Day and was acknowledged for his extensive contribution to community. He was humbled to be nominated by members of two organisations, namely St John Ambulance, where he is city east area manager and the World Hindu Council of Australia, where he serves as State President. He also holds the position of Lieutenant in the Army Reserves with the Royal Australian Ordnance Corps, 9th Brigade, South Australia
Since 2015, Rajendra has held the position of State President of the World Hindu Council of Australia (SA). He has longstanding experience as a community leader in the Indian and Hindu communities in South Australia, and he recently founded the Australian Jewish Hindu Alliance Australia, to create a forum for better understanding and cooperation between the Jewish and Hindu communities. In addition to his community leadership role, Rajendra is also actively engaged in supporting the community at grass-roots level, including setting up helplines for women facing domestic violence and also for COVID-19 emergency outreach programs for the Indian community.
He is currently a member of the Community Advisory Council for the Public Health Network, South Australia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia. Rajendra holds several qualifications including Master of Laws and is currently employed within the South Australian Government Department of Education as a Senior Manager, Compliance and Contract Management. With his community leadership and extensive cross-cultural experience, Rajendra is a valuable member of the South Australian Multicultural Commission.
Shaza has held the position of President of the Persian Cultural Association of South Australia since 2019. She has also been a committee member of the Middle Eastern Communities Council of South Australia since 2019. The Persian Cultural Association of South Australia (PCASA) organises many programs for all Persians residing in South Australia regardless of their religion, country of origin or cultural background. Shaza works alongside her board members to provide up to date communication to members in weekly radio, website, Facebook, and other social medias. She regularly hosts the 5EBI Persian radio program. Shaza is passionate about helping her community members to participate in community activities through PCASA. She and her volunteers run four types of workgroups, including arts and culture; sports and recreation; education and information; and events. Through the events workgroup, they organise traditional and national events including “Nowrouz”, “Sizda-Be-Dar”, Australia Day, “Yalda”.
Shaza arrived in South Australia in 2013 as a skilled migrant with her husband and daughter. Since 2015, she has worked as a business owner in the fashion industry and since 2016 has been an active volunteer in the Persian and Middle Eastern communities. Shaza understands the challenges of being a migrant woman. Migrant women often ended up running their own business, sometimes due to the lack of education or employment opportunities available in Australia caused by language issues or family circumstances. She will continue her important work to advocate for women and multicultural communities on the South Australian Multicultural Commission.
Hussain’s story is one of resilience and hard work. Hussain arrived by boat as an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, spending time in immigration detention before securing a temporary protection visa (TPV). From a humble beginning, he has become one of the most respected leaders in the Middle Eastern and wider community of South Australia. Hussain was the joint winner of the 2020 Governor’s Multicultural Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement. He holds a Master of Laws (Applied Migration Law) from the Institute and is a Dari, Persian and Hazaragi accredited interpreter.
His desire to help others and contribute to the community led to his work with government to settle new arrivals and to provide volunteer services to TPV holders across Australia, including those isolated in regional areas. In 2002, Hussain formed the Afghan United Association of South Australia. He is the co-founder of the Wali-e-Asr Centre in Edinburgh North, which supports the Afghan community in South Australia.
For more than 10 years he has worked as Settlement Director of the Middle Eastern Communities Council of South Australia. He is a member of the board of the Australian Hazara Federation and an Australian representative on the World Hazara Council. Hussain works tirelessly within his own community, the broader Australian community, and internationally, to further the interests of human rights and social justice. The South Australian Multicultural s Commission is proud to have Hussain as a valuable board member.
Always full of bright ideas and ready to bring out the best of cultural experience for all to enjoy, Reinhard has been the group leader of the German cultural group “Bund der Bayern” since 2011. He has led the group to incorporation, while ensuring sustainable growth of membership and promoting ongoing community and stakeholder engagement. Through his leadership, he has fostered relationships with many other culturally and linguistically diverse groups including African, Indian and European groups.
In 2014, Reinhard was recognised as a highly commended finalist for his contribution to cultural diversity, social harmony and inclusiveness in South Australia as part of the Governor’s Multicultural Awards. He holds a joint German Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Energy Studies from Murdoch University. Since 2007, Reinhard has been employed with the Office of the Technical Regulator, with the South Australian Government Department for Energy and Mining where he currently holds the position of Manager, Infrastructure. Reinhard has an engaging personality and extensive intercultural experience that will help many multicultural communities to preserve their rich cultural heritage and at the same time broaden their reach to connect with the wider multicultural South Australian community.
Quin arrived in South Australia at the age of three with her family as a refugee fleeing the Vietnam War. For more than 20 years, she has volunteered as a maths and language teacher at two Vietnamese community schools in South Australia. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Ethnic Schools Primary Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the Minister for Education. This Award recognised the portfolio of bilingual teaching resources Quin developed during her time as a volunteer teacher. In 2019, she was appointed Principal of the Vietnamese Community School in South Australia, where she leads a team of 15 maths teachers and 30 Vietnamese teachers who teach more than 570 students.
Quin has 25 years combined industry experience in the financial services sector and academia, holding a Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Master of Marketing. She is currently undertaking postgraduate studies in Education (Digital Learning). For over 10 years, she has been a full time Lecturer at the University of South Australia and UniSA Online. She is passionate about applying her skills, knowledge and experience to support diverse communities to strengthen interculturalism for the benefit of South Australia’s multicultural society.
Eugenia is one of the most outstanding and recognisable multicultural leaders and advocates in South Australia. She has worked for several decades in the forefront of multicultural policy development in education, mental health, the arts and industrial relations. Her recent work has been part of a national leadership team driving change in the settlement of migrants and refugees, including the empowerment of women and young people and building community capacity to welcome new migrants to Australia and into local communities.
For the past 24 years, Eugenia has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC), a leading multicultural service provider that delivers humanitarian and migrant settlement, community engagement and participation services. Eugenia is currently the Deputy Chair of the Settlement Council of Australia Board of Management and the Convenor of the South Australian Refugee Week Committee. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1994 for Services to Multiculturalism in the Arts. In 2012, she won the Governor’s Multicultural Award for Individual Achiever of the Year. Among other awards, Eugenia was recognised by the Asia Pacific Business Council for Women Inc. in 2019 as a Woman of Distinction in Multicultural Services. Her wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of settlement issues along with her strong representation in regional South Australia through AMRC, make her a valuable contributor to serve on the South Australian Multicultural Commission representing refugees and migrant communities.
Denis is the President and Board Chair of the African Communities Council of South Australia and Board Treasurer of the Australian Migrant Resource Centre. He has contributed extensively to the development of various culturally and linguistically diverse community organisations over the past 15 years in the role of board member and treasurer, in particular supporting improved governance and strategies that promote multiculturalism and social cohesion.
Denis was born in the Central Equatoria Region of South Sudan. At the age of seven, Denis and his family fled the civil war in South Sudan and crossed the border into northern Uganda on foot where they spent many years in a refugee camp. He migrated to South Australia 20 years ago, completed Year 12, and received an award for outstanding achievement in education. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Accounting and Finance) and is a Certified Practising Accountant. Denis is currently employed in SA Health.
Ahmed is a respected leader of the Muslim community of South Australia and has been involved with the Islamic Society of South Australia for over a decade. His outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic has been instrumental in creating Al-Salam TV and Social Media to help the Muslim community to stay connected and access the most up-to-date COVID-19 information in multilingual platforms.
Since 2010, Ahmed has been actively involved with the Islamic Society of South Australia where he has held the role of President since 2015. He is currently the Business Manager of the Al-Salam Arabic School and is passionate about helping young Muslim leaders to develop personal and professional skills, including supporting opportunities for them to be involved in the intercultural Port Power football program and motivate young Muslim women to organise Ramadan Carnival. He is the Chairperson and founder of the Al-Salam Festival. The highly successful Al-Salam Festivals purpose is to create awareness of the Muslim community and Islam, through providing entertainment, food and informative activities that allow people to grasp a general perspective of the religion and address any queries they may have.
Ahmed was born and raised in Lebanon and arrived in Australia in 2003. He is the General Director and co-founder of his family business, ZLA Pty Ltd. He holds a Master of Engineering in Telecommunications with the University of South Australia. Ahmed served on the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission from July 2018 to 30 June 2021 and is honoured to have been reappointed in 2021 to continue serving South Australia’s multicultural communities.
Contact the South Australian Multicultural Commission
Phone: (08) 8429 7305
SAMEAC Annual Reports (Archival)
As a statutory authority, the former South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC) produced an Annual Report each year from 2013/14 to 2020/21.
In 2016, SAMEAC also produced two reports on ageing and domestic violence in culturally and linguistically diverse communities in South Australia.