New Leadership for Peak Multicultural Agency

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This week marks the start of a new chapter for the Community Relations Commission with prominent Indian community leader and former Cricket NSW Chairman, Dr Hari Harinath, announced as its new Chair.

Dr Harinath has been a medical practitioner in Sydney for nearly 40 years and has served as a senior cricket administrator for 30 years. He is also a current CRC Advisory Board Member, a NSW Centenary of Anzac Ambassador, and the Chairman of Parramasala, the annual South Asian arts festival that was recently held in Parramatta.

These are impressive credentials and I am confident he’ll bring his background and experience to the role to make an outstanding Chair.

His appointment is complemented by the appointment of seven part-time Advisory Board Members who will help guide the direction of the CRC as it makes the transition to Multicultural NSW, its new name under our three year strategic plan, Harmony in Action.

The newly appointed board members are Devpaal Singh, Steven Widders, Ken Hong, Cathy Guo, David Knoll AO, Margaret Piper AM and Dr Eman Sharobeem.

The make-up of the new Advisory Board truly reflects the changing face of multicultural NSW and for the first time includes representatives from across Aboriginal, Anglo-Celtic, Indian, Korean, Chinese, Jewish and Egyptian backgrounds. 

Among them, Mr Hong is a lawyer of Korean background who is the President of the Korean Australian Lawyers Association and the Korean Australian Young Leaders. Mr David Knoll is a barrister and former President of the Jewish Board of Deputies who has been recognised for his work in promoting interfaith understanding through the establishment of the JBD’s Respect, Understanding and Acceptance schools program.

Mr Singh is a Sydney University student of Indian background who has been appointed as one of the board’s youth advisory members and Mr Widders is an Aboriginal Australian who has advised the NSW Disability Council and the First People’s Disability Network.

Ms Guo has qualifications in accounting and economics and migrated to Australia from China and Ms Margaret Piper is a consultant on refugee and asylum-seeker issues to government agencies and identifies herself as being of Anglo-Celtic origin.

Finally, Dr Sharobeem has been reappointed to the board and is the Director of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service and is a member of the Anti-Discrimination Board.

The seven part-time members of the Advisory Board were recruited through a skills-based assessment process and will join five continuing members, all of whom will be led by Dr Harinath.

I am confident the new team will bring the experience and passion needed to be effective advocates for our state’s cultural diversity communities.

On another note, the Australian Multicultural Marketing Awards have been announced at NSW Parliament. The awards are conducted by the CRC and recognise the achievements of government agencies businesses and community groups that successfully implement marketing strategies tailored for culturally diverse communities.

The awards having been running successfully for 25 years and have become a great institution of our multicultural state.

Nominations close on 10 October 2014 and winners will be announced at a gala presentation ceremony to be held at the Sydney Opera House on 25 November 2014.

For further information please visit the AMMA website www.crc.nsw.gov.au/amma.

Published in The Indian Sun

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