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About the council

The Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council (the Council) advises the Minister for Multicultural Affairs on opportunities and barriers facing people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and how to promote the Multicultural Queensland Charter to support a unified, harmonious and inclusive community.

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs chairs the 11-member Council, which advises on:

  • the needs, aspirations and contributions of people from diverse backgrounds
  • promoting the principles of the multicultural charter within the Queensland community
  • developing and implementing government policies about multiculturalism
  • how government-funded services and programs can be responsive to the needs of people from diverse backgrounds.

The inaugural Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council members met for the last time on 27 June 2019.

This Council has played an important role in giving a voice to Queenslanders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and helped shape the state’s future for everyone.

During its three-year term, commencing in 2016, the Council met with government departments, local governments and directly with communities across the state.

The new Council members will be announced soon and commence on 1 August 2019 until 31 July 2022.

Nominations for the new Council were open for a six-week period, closing on 15 March 2019. To find out more visit the nominations webpage.

Summary of meetings

Following Council meetings a summary of the discussion will be posted here.





Council members and profiles

The Council members were appointed for a three-year term from 2016 to 2019. Members were:

Dr Nora Amath

Dr Nora Amath works as Statewide Coordinator and Program Supervisor with the Islamic Women’s Association of Queensland (IWAQ). She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University. Nora has strong connections to the community across a number of areas, including youth, women and multi-faith groups, and was a member of the interim Multicultural Community Reference Group. She is the founder and/or chair of a number of different organisations focussed on supporting people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including founding a domestic violence shelter. Nora has a PhD in Sociology of Religion and Community Development from Griffith University.

Ms Kerrin Benson

Ms Kerrin Benson has been the Chief Executive of MDA Ltd, an organisation providing settlement support to newly arrived Queenslanders including refugees, migrants and international students. The organisation has expanded its operations to have a presence throughout metropolitan and regional Queensland, as well as internationally. Kerrin is or has been on a number of Boards and Councils across all levels of Government, including the Minister’s Council on Asylum Seekers in Detention, the Inclusive Brisbane Board and the interim Multicultural Community Reference Group. Kerrin continues to nurture relationships across the multicultural community and service sector, and has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Queensland.

Mr Elijah Buol

Mr Elijah Buol was born in South Sudan and arrived in Australia as an Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minor in 2002. Elijah is or has been on a number of management committees and reference groups and was a member of the interim Multicultural Community Reference Group advising the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. He has also worked with a number of organisations supporting people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. He is currently employed as an Advanced Practitioner at the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) and is Managing Director of Smart Answers Consulting Pty Ltd. Elijah has a unique understanding of refugee issues, particularly those for young people and has strong community links. He is a Criminologist, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and National Accredited Mediator. He holds a master of Law (QUT), master of Justice and Intelligence (QUT), Graduate Diploma of Dispute Resolution (QUT), Graduate Certificate in Intelligence (QUT), Bachelor of Human Services (QUT) and Diploma of Community Welfare and Work.

Ms Gitie House

Ms Gitie House was born in India and has been a founding member of a number of not-for-profit organisations dedicated to creating an inclusive community through social, cultural and educational activities. Gitie has over 35 years’ experience as a project manager in information systems, software development and the IT industry and is an occasional lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland. She is the President of the Toowoomba International Multicultural Society, Chair of the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival, and was a member of the interim Multicultural Community Reference Group. Gitie has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Physics and a Graduate Diploma in Information Processing, and has co-authored two books.

Mr Ali Kadri

Mr Ali Kadri is an Australian Muslim who migrated from India as an International student in 2003, received permanent residency in 2008, and became an Australian Citizen in 2010. Ali is a leader within the Queensland Muslim community and is a spokesperson for the Islamic Council of Queensland, in which role he has sought to build bridges with and understanding amongst the wider community. Ali is the CEO of a Registered Training Organisation and managing partner in an Accounting firm, and has previously worked for various private organisations. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Professional Accounting, and a Graduate Certificate in International Relations. Ali was a member of the interim Multicultural Community Reference Group.

Ms Chammie Kamara

Ms Chammie Kamara was born in Liberia and arrived in Australia in 2009 under the Humanitarian Program with her siblings to start a new life in Australia. Chammie is enrolled in her first year of Bachelor of Social Work at Griffith University. Her goal is to use this qualification to work with young people from refugee backgrounds. Chammie has been an active volunteer in a range of community events and services, including the Brisbane Festival, the French Film Festival, early childhood programs and ANZAC Day Ceremonies. Since 2012, Chammie has been an active member of Youth Voice, an initiative by the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma. Youth Voice is run by young people aged 12-25 years from diverse backgrounds who are keen to explore ideas and educate peers on social justice issues, social policy and government processes impacting on young people.

Ms Joon-Yee Kwok

Ms Joon-Yee (Joon) Kwok, a second generation Chinese Australian, is a Lecturer and Study Area Coordinator with the Creative Industries Faculty of the Queensland University of Technology. She has many years’ experience in the arts; Joon initiated the BrisAsia Festival for Brisbane City Council, and, through the Australia Council for the Arts’ Theatre Diversity Initiative worked to increase engagement with cultural diversity in Queensland theatre. She’s currently collaborating with the City of Gold Coast on a culturally and linguistically diverse Artists Development Program. Joon has developed relationships with a number of organisations working with culturally diverse communities, has a Master of Arts degree and is a PhD candidate at the Queensland University of Technology.

Mr Jason Steinberg

Mr Jason Steinberg is a senior manager with an engineering firm, GHD and has more than 20 years business development and public affairs experience in the energy, resources, government and consumer sectors in Australia and overseas. Jason was a member of the interim Multicultural Community Reference Group and has been involved in Queensland’s Jewish community activities for more than 30 years, including as president of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies. He has a Bachelor of Business Communication degree from the Queensland University of Technology.

Mr Serge Voloschenko OAM

Mr Serge Voloschenko OAM is the immediate past President of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ) and the current President of the Russian Benevolent Association. He was also a member of the interim Multicultural Community Reference Group. Serge has amassed a wealth of understanding around broader community issues through his many years of community work and his membership on many other advisory bodies and committees, including the Healthy Ageing Reference Network, the Police Ethnic Advisory Group, the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Roundtable, the Heritage Advisory Committee, and the Responsible Gambling Advisory Committee. Serge has a Bachelor of Economics degree and a Diploma of Applied Science.

Ms Tracy Watson

Ms Tracy Watson is the Community Director at Aspire AC&C LTD. She has lived in the northern Brisbane/Moreton Bay region since 1991 and is a founding member of several not-for-profit organisations throughout the south east as well as sits on a number of committees and funding panels. Tracy’s voluntary/pro bono work with the New Zealand Maori and Pacific Island communities focuses on increasing capacity, capability, leadership and resilience, and intercultural understanding. Her collaborative work with vulnerable communities has taken her as far as Weipa. Tracy worked as a TV journalist in New Zealand and has extensive project management experience specialising in ICT Organisational Change in Australia. She’s an internationally published bilingual poet and exhibited artist. Tracy has industry qualifications and postgraduate degrees in business and project management, and is currently nearing the completion of a Master of Arts degree with Swinburne University of Technology.

Contact us

Multicultural Affairs Queensland is the secretariat and central point of contact for the Council.

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