Over the past 20 years, Gail Ker OAM's vast industry experience and arguably unrivalled expertise in the Australian multicultural, humanitarian and community sectors has seen her change countless lives for the better.
A nationally lauded and award winning visionary, Gail is the CEO of Access Community Services Ltd where, with humility, compassion and a tireless work ethic, she leads her nearly 300 staff in pursuit of their organisational vision; to create social, cultural and economic experiences and opportunities that transform the lives of individuals and communities globally.
Renowned for her expertise in innovative service solutions for newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants, Gail is a recognised thought leader in needs-based community planning, innovative business models, social cohesion, strategic partnerships, employment pathways, funding opportunities and strategic direction. Under her tutelage and leadership, Access has grown from a one room youth employment service in Logan City into one of Australia’s leading organisations in the provision of settlement, employment, training, youth support, housing and social enterprise services for migrants, refugees and Australian born clients with an annual over turn over in excess of twenty million dollars.
Her often quoted mantra is “Every Client Counts”.
Informed and working at the cutting edge of policy and sector engagement, Gail’s knowledge is actively sought by politicians, industry leaders and research bodies alike, both nationally and internationally. For the past eight years she has attended the UNHCR’s annual consultations with NGO’s in Geneva. She has several prestigious board appointments including;
- Settlement Services Advisory Council (SSAC) – Deputy Chair
- SBS – Member Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
- NAATI – Professional Reference Group (PRG) – Chair
- Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA)- Qld Representative on the Executive
- Migration Council Australia (MCA)
- Netball Australia – One Netball Advisory Group
- South Brisbane Primary Health Network (SBPHN) – Community Representative on the Regional Clinical Council (RCC)
- Logan Leadership Team – Community Representative
- Interim Multicultural Community Reference Group – Member
- Humanitarian Settlement Planning and Outcomes Group - Member
Former board appointments have included:
- Australian Multicultural Advisory Council (AMAC)
- Australian Multicultural Council (AMC) – Deputy Chair
- Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) – former roles as Chair, Secretary and Qld Rep
- Ethnic Communities Council of Qld (ECCQ) – Board Member
- Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast (MCCGC) – Deputy Chair
- Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) Logan – Board Member
Her standing has been recognised with the following honours:
- 2008 MAQ Award – Winner of the Individual Category for Community Development
- 2010 Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her work in Multiculturalism in Queensland
- 2012 Paul Harris Fellow -Rotary Foundation of Rotary International “for tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world”
- 2015 Australian Human Resources Institute “CEO Diversity Champion Award”
- 2016 Women’s Federation of World Peace – Ambassador for Peace
- 2016 United Nations Association of Australia – Queensland Community Award for Recognition of Valuable Community Service
- 2017 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards – Winner of the Empowering Women Award
Elisabeth Shaw (BA (Hons) M.Mgt. (Comm) MCFT; MProf Ethics, FAPS (FCCOUNP; FCCLP); GAICD) has been on the Board of SSI since July 2015 and chair since November 2016.
When not working with SSI, she is CEO of Relationships Australia NSW. Her background as a clinical and counselling psychologist, executive and ethics consultant have led her to work in a range of NFP roles, as well as co-owning her own psychology centre in inner west Sydney. As a consultant to frontline services she has provided clinical supervision as well as led service reviews and design; she has been the executive coach for managers and executives across sectors, taught in MBA and clinical masters programs in areas of business, clinical practice and professional ethics, and is a senior consultant at The Ethics Centre.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, having been recognised for her contribution to her profession, and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has published her work on a wide range of topics related to clinical practice in her specialisation of couple and family therapy, best practice in supervision, and professional ethics. This has included a co-authored text entitled Ethical Maturity in the Helping Professions: Managing Life and Work Decisions.
Lucy is Professor and Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, and has been involved in academia since 1990. Lucy has a global academic and research profile and is published in more than 80 monographs, articles, book chapters and national and international conference papers. Lucy’s research interests include migration, migrant employment, equity, diversity, management and organisational processes.
Lucy is the convenor of the Cultural Diversity Research Network within the Department of Marketing and Management at Macquarie University and has collaborated actively with the Ethnic Communities Council NSW as well as being a member of the Ministerial Roundtable on Cultural Diversity in the Workplace. With a strong passion in these areas, Lucy applies her research and strategic capabilities to support the SSI board.
Elfa is the CEO of SydWest Multicultural Services, one of SSI’s member organisations. She has been involved in the community sector for the past 25 years and has an extensive background in developing services for linguistically disadvantaged communities, with a focus on engaging community and stakeholder participation. She has a strong track record in strategic direction and innovation, problem solving and strong leadership skills that support high performance teams.
Elfa has a degree in Sociology and Modern Greek (Honours) from the University of NSW and an Associate Diploma of Applied Management by the AIM. Elfa is passionate about her Greek heritage and is the Treasurer of the Board of the Hellenic Institute of Language and Culture. She also sits on a number of Advisory Committees across the sector.
Frank Zheng is the CEO of Auburn Diversity Services Inc, a SSI member organisation.
He holds a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University Applied Finance Centre, along with significant experience in service delivery, case management, finance, HR, IT and operations at an organisational level.
Frank has been working in a variety of organisations in the community sector including peak bodies, a community research company and front line service providers in different capacities. He has led organisational changes with proven positive outcomes, based on extensive knowledge and thorough understanding of the sector. Frank also has a Cert IV in Training & Assessment.
Scott has extensive experience in the financial services industry including senior leadership roles in strategy, finance, advice and program management functions. More recently he has worked within the fintech industry. At present he is a consultant to a number of organisations in the financial services sector.
Scott holds a Bachelor of Economics, Master of Business Administration, and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment. He is currently the Chair of Metro Assist Limited, a SSI member organisation.
Nathan Hagarty is the Chair of Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre, an SSI member organisation, a Councillor at Liverpool City Council and Chief of Staff to the Federal Member for Werriwa.
He has a Bachelor of International Studies from Western Sydney University and holds numerous accreditation in project management and information and communications technology. Nathan has broad experience across the financial services, tertiary education and public sectors in operations, product management, project management and information technology roles.
Nathan is a proud life long resident of Western Sydney and a passionate advocate for his community.
Voula Messimeri AM MAICD
Voula Messimeri has a combination of operational, governance and leadership skills having had a long career in the community and multicultural services sector.
She has had roles as an non-executive Board Director including as Chair of the peak multicultural national body, the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) Deputy Chair of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, inaugural Chair of Women’s Health in the North, Chair of InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence where she was also until recently, Patron.
Voula was appointed and served two terms on the RMIT University Council and represented the Council as a Board Director on the RMIT Training Board, a controlled entity of the RMIT University. With a strong interest in language services Voula was appointed as a Director on the Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service (VITS) Board, a state owned enterprise, where she served for 15 years and occupied the role of Deputy Chairperson twice in that time.
Major contributions to policy and advocacy roles led to appointments on a wide range Ministerial State and Federal advisory structures across diverse areas, including health, ageing, income support, media and as a member on the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council.
She is a Fellow of the prestigious Williamson Community Leadership Program and has been awarded Honorary life membership for significant contributions and leadership by FECCA and Australian Greek Welfare Society now PRONIA, where she was a long standing CEO. The Greek Government recognised her service to the Australian Greek diaspora in 2009.
Voula was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and recognised under the Order of Australia for her contribution to refugees, migrants and women. Currently serving on the Board of PRONIA and is the Chair of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
Alex is CEO and Executive Director of Australia's peak advocacy group for tech startups, StartupAUS. He has a national and international profile as a leader in innovation and technology policy and has published numerous reports on these subjects. He is Chair of the Startup Advisory Panel for the Department of Home Affairs’ Global Talent Scheme, and has advised policymakers at all levels of government.
Alex spent six years as a member of Australia's foreign service, where he represented Australia as a diplomat in Israel from 2012 to 2015. During his posting, he was responsible for the embassy’s reporting on regional Middle Eastern geopolitical strategy and security. He has degrees in Economics and Social Sciences and Law (Hons) from Sydney University.