MEET OUR TEAM

MAV TEAM
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ANDY MILLER
General Manager (Interim Co-CEO)

Initially trained as a painter at the Canberra School of Art, Andy Miller worked in theatre for a number of years before working to establish arts programs in the community sector. Following a few years as an arts and cultural officer at two local governments, Andy began a career in the state public service in various senior roles at Arts Victoria and Creative Victoria and was seconded for a period with Creative Partnerships Australia, as Senior Programs Manager. As well as a Bachelor in Fine Arts, he has a Masters in Public Policy and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Melbourne.

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Hung Nguyen
Finance & Office Manager

Hung Nguyen is a CPA with over 15 years experience working in accounts and finance. He joined Multicultural Arts Victoria in late 2006, shortly after migrating to Australia. Previously, Hung was Finance and Supply Chain Manager at Dumex Vietnam, a subsidiary of Danone Global. He also holds many years of experience working in large multinationals overseas. Managing MAV’s finance and IT operations, Hung supports the Board and leadership teams with timely provision of financial reports, analysis, effective management and contribution to the successful business operation and financial achievements of MAV. Hung completed a Masters of Accounting from Swinburne University and the CPA Australia program.

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Sneha Varma
Marketing & Communications

Sneha has an extensive background working in the arts, as an artist, performer, and an arts worker. She has a Masters in Arts and Cultural Management, with a professional history in event production, digital media marketing and as a dancer in India. Since 2017, Sneha has been the Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator with MAV where she is responsible for the organization’s public engagement, campaigning and brand management. During her studies, Sneha volunteered in various capacities with the Indian Film Festival Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe Festival and MAV.

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Anita Larkin
Creative Producer

Anita Larkin has over 20 years experience as a musician and founded many of MAV’s community cultural development and mentoring programs in 2004, providing vital connections and career pathways – stimulating tangible cultural and economic development alongside new eclectic musical genres for Australia’s musical landscape. Anita was awarded the George Fairfax Arts and Entertainment Management Scholarship in 2007 for her successful track record in cross cultural community arts.

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Miriam Abud
Sector Development Coordinator

Miriam has worked in arts, communication and education. She was born, lives and works on Wurundjeri Country. She has been a musician most of her life, and is inspired by the power of art and community to transform lives and places. She has held a variety of roles at MAV, from administration to project officer, community engagement coordinator to festival programmer, and has elsewhere produced events, radio programs and established a catering business. She has a Graduate Diploma of Education, a Diploma of Music Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Forest Keegel
Creative Producer - Bendigo

Forest Keegel has twenty years experience as a visual artist in Community Cultural Development. She is passionate about creating participatory artworks and engaging people to generate work that expresses their voice and identity and believes in using the arts as a thread that ties people together and weaves joyous communities. She worked collaboratively with diverse young people at the Artful Dodgers Studios, Jesuit Social Services for 11 years and was a member of the Art Central team of artists in the Central Goldfields Shire. ;

She lives and works on Dja Dja Wurrung Country and listens deeply to the stories of the Traditional Owners who continue to share their rich cultural heritage with a generosity which astounds her. As a settler she can trace back roots to Sri Lanka and the UK.

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Oscar Jimenez
Music Projects Officer

Oscar Jimenez is a Colombian born musician and music producer with a passion for social and cultural development. Oscar has a Multimedia Production degree with a focus on Recording Arts (SAE College) and more than 16 years of experience in the music industry. As a self-managed artist and performer (Watussi, Amaru Tribe, ChibCha) he has performed and toured in major Festivals around the world. Oscar also runs Vibrating Planet, a music production and events company through which he has recorded and produced various culturally diverse artists and projects creating new collaborations and increasing community engagement in cultural experiences. Oscar has worked with MAV on various projects and events as mentor, producer and project officer and now officially joins the team to support our vibrant local community with all his skills and knowledge.

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Dorcas Maphakela
Producer

In her role as the Producer of Talking Back Project, Dorcas will engage with womxn of colour to oversee the development and artistic process of the project with an outcome at the 2021 FUSE festival.

As a South African born who has called Melbourne home for 13 years, Dorcas brings with her lived experience and a wealth of community engagement.

Dorcas is a TV presenter, public speaker and  founder of the Antenna Award winning OZ AFRICAN TV (OATV); a digital platform that celebrates people of African diaspora in Australia.

Alongside her role with MAV, Dorcas is the Community Engagement Manager at C31 Melbourne & Geelong where she facilitates the development of outreach programs to better engage multicultural and under-represented communities on TV and has received a Media Award from the Victorian Multicultural Commission for her work.⠀

She recently worked for AIME Mentoring where she led the African Australian Stream as Program Manager.  AIME is a platform that works to bridge the gap of inequality through education.

She studied Fine Art in South Africa and completed a Master of Arts in Writing through Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

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James Emmanuel Mckinnon
Creative Producer

James Emmanuel Mckinnon is a Filipino Australian producer who grew up on Wathuarong country in Western Victoria, and now lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne. James is deeply passionate about arts education and its ability to empower individuals, artists, and communities. His artistic and educational practices centre cultural safety and intelligence, decolonisation, and social justice.

James graduated with honours in Ethnomusicology where he completed protest music in prisons during the Marcos regime in the Philippines. James has just completed his Masters in Arts and Cultural Management and tutors in Music Entrepreneurship at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. James has produced, stage managed and designed for independent, student, and community art. He is a freelance composer, podcaster and musician, and outside of work they are a photographer keen on telling visual stories of people, wildlife, and land.

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Jess Ibacache
Creative Producer

Driven by a passion for social justice, intersectionality and community-lead practice, Jess’s work interrogates and challenges systems of oppression and elitism in the arts. She believes the arts play a vital role in building community identity and social inclusion. A multidisciplinary artist, her creative practice is inspired by her culture, community, family and lived experience of being a Latinx woman of colour in the diaspora.

A multi-skilled arts professional with many years of experience providing event production, project and communications services, Jess strives to use her communications and community organising skills to support artists and communities to advocate for themselves, harness creative expression and tell their stories their way. She is passionate about curating experiences that break barriers and lead the Melbourne arts scene toward becoming more inclusive, diverse, and accessible.

Jess is the co-founder of Yo Soy, a collective for Melbourne based Latinx creatives. Since establishing in 2018, Yo Soy has worked with Emerging Writers Festival, One Night in Footscray, Immigration Museum, City of Melbourne and Australian Multilingual Writing Project. Jess has previously worked for Footscray Community Arts Centre, Arts Access Victoria, PHOTO 2020 and Music Victoria.

www.jessibacache.com

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Annie Thiering
Women’s Business Mentor - Bendigo

Annie has facilitated workshops in dyeing fabrics doing batik, printing, drawing, painting, and community murals. Whether as a teacher, conservationist or artist she has always worked/ lived, learnt/taught amongst Aboriginal people-Dunghatti people near Kempsey, Gumbaynggirr people near Coffs Harbour, and Bundjalung people near Lismore. She has also lived in the APY lands with the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunjtatjarra people working for the land’s council. Recently, Annie completed a Diploma in Wayapa Wuurrks which combines all her three passions. Wayapa is an Earth Connection practice that is based on ancient Indigenous wisdom which focuses on taking care of the Earth, as the starting point for creating Earth Mind Body Spirit well-being.  

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Ayuen Bol
South Sudanese Cultural Facilitator - Bendigo

On parental leave.

Creator of the fashion label, Freaka Kid Club, Ayuen is a fashion and textile artist based in Bendigo. Ayuen integrates the cultural traditions of her South Sudanese and Kenyan upbringing into her art, incorporating beading and weaving techniques passed down through generations.  

“I am looking forward to seeing different faces and energies from our connections and engagements. To share together different ideas on to how we can make changes and what those collective changes will be.” 

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Laila Hashimi
Hazara Cultural Facilitator - Bendigo

Filmmaker, henna tattoo artist and fashionista, Laila is a Hazara woman living in Bendigo. As a cultural facilitator for Duniya Behter, she interprets, translates and engages Afghan and Hazara people for activities in the arts. She also works for Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services as a community development officer, where she has been busy creating videos explaining COVID restrictions every time they have change. She speaks Dari, Hazaragi, Farsi and English. 

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Po Tu Tu
Karen Cultural facilitator - Bendigo

A visual artist, performer and storyteller, Po is a Karen man born in Burma, who grew up in a refugee camp. Po first connected with MAV in Bendigo by exhibiting in Chrysalis at Dudley House and went on to create a story from the perspective of a tree in Once Upon a Tree. He performed in the TerryandTheCuz production of Sk!n and recorded an audio story for Punctum Inc’s. Public Cooling House. Po uses live performance as an opportunity to mix the Karen language and English to express themes about his homeland and life, as a person of colour in Australia. Being a cultural facilitator with Duniya Behter is a way for him to strengthen capacity, connection and engagement with the Karen community in Bendigo.  

“I’m so excited to be part of the Duniya Behter team working with women developing businesses and young people of colour. It is very exciting for the young people joining this program. They will learn so many things and they will interact with other community members, sharing their stories with other people, they will have lots of fun, and they will make friends while developing creative digital skills.” 

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Larra Juab
Producer - In Situ

Larra Juab is a queer Filipino immigrant, multidisciplinary artist who goes by the name TAGA BARRIO, has been residing and creating work in the land of the Kulin Nation for 10 years. As an immigrant, she has found solace and a feeling of belonging here in the SE Suburbs of Melbourne and is continually working hard to create, and discuss topics such as; Identity, Belonging, Post-colonialism and Community through the use of arts through different forms and mediums.

Larra also prides herself for being a Community Arts Leader, as she is the Director of Connection Arts Space (CAS). Which is a non-for-profit community-centred arts organisation based in the City of Greater Dandenong. Run by a diverse team of passionate volunteers who share a belief in the power of art and community connection. Based in the most diverse municipality in Australia, CAS prioritises artists from under-represented communities such as; BIPOC, Immigrants, Refugees, Linguistically and Culturally diverse backgrounds, LGBTQIA+ and Disabled to have more space and opportunity in the arts and community. Through exhibitions, art workshops, and collaborative projects, CAS provides opportunities for local artists and art lovers to share story, create connections, and challenge traditional ways of thinking.

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Bridgette Le
Social Media Assistant

Bridgette Le comes from a musical background and has been working as a professional musician for over 10 years. With a Bachelor’s Degree specialising in Music Industry, she has worked as a music teacher and DJ in Japan — as well as an on set design assistant in New York for culture publications such as Wonderland Magazine and I-D. Prior to Multicultural Arts Victoria, Bridgette worked within the tech start-up sector as the Content Designer where she showcased artists’ stories from across the world and most recently, at Regional Arts Victoria assisting in the grants rollout to artists. Growing up in Melbourne’s inner west suburbs to Vietnamese parents, she is passionate about providing support for artists from diverse backgrounds and empathises with the challenges that come with working as a creative.

MAV BOARD

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MICHAEL VAN VLIET
Chair

Michael has extensive experience in the multicultural sector. In 2001 he was employed by the Victorian Government in the Multicultural Affairs portfolio. He was the grant manager at the Victorian Multicultural Commission from 2003-2011. After two years as communications manager at Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, he now works in local government as the City of Yarra’s grants manager.

Michael comes from an immigrant family and realises the importance of maintaining cultural heritage through creative cultural expression. The stories of immigrants not only tell us where they have come from, but point to where Australia as a nation is going.

He has strong affiliation with the migrant communities of Victoria, especially the new arrived and refugee communities, and has worked closely with many migrant communities, helping them to develop and realise their projects. He has worked as a journalist and has a wide experience of government grants. He studied visual arts at Monash University and has a BA in Journalism from RMIT and plays piano and guitar.

Cultural Background: Australian/ Dutch/ Irish

Current Tenure: 2016-2019

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SYMON KOHUT
Deputy Chair

Symon is the grandchild of the postwar Ukrainian refugee migration to Australia.  His grandparents were from a richly cultured tradition and his grandmother became an internationally recognised poet of the Ukrainian diaspora.

He grew up bilingually and now raises his three young children bilingually in the multicultural soil of Melbourne’s inner west. Symon had an active childhood in the Ukrainian community in Melbourne. He went on to study Arts and Law and completed part of his studies in Ukraine. He has pursued a range of artistic projects as a musician and devoted his time to numerous leadership roles in the Ukrainian community including as editor of its national newspaper for eight years. He works in human resources for the Victorian government with expertise ranging from dispute resolution to conflict of interest management. He also writes, arranges and conducts music for choirs, specialising in East Slavic sacred music.

Cultural Background: Australian/Ukrainian

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SABRINA KAHRIC
Treasurer

Sabrina migrated to Australia as a young refugee, escaping from war–torn Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a strong aspiration to succeed in her career, Sabrina completed a Bachelor of Business, major in Accounting. She continued her studies by completing the CPA program and becoming a registered certified accountant also successfully finished a Corporate Governance Diploma. For the last fifteen years, Sabrina has held a senior finance position in the large multinational company, Caterpillar. Dealing with clients from diverse backgrounds, she is able to experience many different cultures in the Asian Pacific Region.

Sabrina was first introduced to multiculturalism at her English language school, where she fell in love with a bevy different cultures and backgrounds. This was a driving factor in her strong desire to promote multiculturalism within her community.

Sabrina had an active role in the Bosnian community in the western suburbs of Melbourne. She devoted her time in a leadership role in the ‘Kud Dukat folk group’. Mother of two teenage boys and is striving to raise her boys with a strong sense of community. She is hoping to pass her passion for diversity and acceptance to the next generation.

Cultural Background: Australian/Bosnian

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Neda Rahmani

Over a 20 year history, Neda has established herself as a cultural leader whose practice embodies inclusion, equity and justice. Whether it is through her directorial experiences bringing to life critical performances and events, her investment in capacity building with diverse young people to build the next generation of culture makers or her skilled facilitation of intercultural dialogue, Neda’s work is the nexus of transformation.

Neda’s work is the site of resistance, artfully presented to engage audiences in a profound conversation about what it means to live in a multicultural society. By virtue of commanding the stage in concert with artists of colour from across our diverse community Neda challenges preconceptions of who is an artist and what is art, demanding from audiences a deep appreciation of our pluralism. Through courageous artistic risk-taking Neda enables participation that transcends barriers and builds new forms of engagement.

An entrepreneur, one half of Goodworthy, a social impact media company putting people and planet first. She is an artist, composer, director, story teller, facilitator, mentor, media commentator and all round raconteur.

Drumming culture, collaboration and costuming are integral to her expressions as an artist. With a passion for body art, body extension, audience interaction, fashion and costume design, Neda draws on her university studies of performance to deliver some of the most decadent concerts and roving musical entrances.  Her practice is a melding of contemporary and hereditary cultural practices that are 1000s of years old.

Cultural background: Australian / Persian Born / Mauritian

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Zii Nzira

Having migrated to Australia from Zimbabwe in pursuit of an education in I.T, Zii has been able to evolve and establish a creative practice, under the name ZIIMUSIC. Through this he has not only managed to launch a multidisciplinary practice, but has also been able to create platforms and opportunities for individuals within his community. Zii’s expertise as an I.T. Consultant coupled with his creative ambitions has allowed him to become a strategic thinker and future thought leader with a wide range of skills and experience.

Zii’s recent accomplishments include: Consulting on APRA AMCOS and MAV’s Neoteric Program who’s aim was to address disparities between Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) creatives and mainstream creatives; Designing and Facilitation of 6 day workshops that brought together 3 CALD Co-Designers with the aim of developing a program that would form pathways for groundswell songwriters and musicians within the CALD communities; Partnering with Footscray Community Arts Centre and MPAVILION as a curator for Afrocentric Reflections. This concert’s aim was to bring members of his community together and celebrate having made it through 2020’s year of the pandemic, only to list a few.

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Chidambaram Srinivasan

Chidambaram Srinivasan (Srini) has been a longstanding supporter of cultural activities in the communities in Melbourne for over 3 decades. As Commissioner at Victorian Multicultural Commission, for 6 years, he has had extensive community engagement and consultation. He is a passionate advocate for expanding the opportunities and platforms for performing arts groups and artists from multicultural communities. With his experience, he is able to provide cultural leadership to promote inclusive diversity and productive community and arts collaborations.

Srini has had a successful career spanning 32 years in the IT industry, having worked for IBM Corporation in Australia, India, U.S.A. and Japan in senior Management roles. He brings a variety of management skills, empathy, knowledge and experience in the areas of technology, business and community engagement. He has also been working in a voluntary capacity for over 12 years in areas of governance, policy review and fundraising.

Cultural Background: Australian/Indian

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Fiona Ford

Fiona Ford is an accomplished lawyer with a love for the arts. Fiona brings legal expertise to the Board with significant experience in general commercial matters, litigation, dispute resolution, ​governance and regulatory matters having worked for over 15 years as a Senior Associate lawyer at Mills Oakley Lawyers, Telstra Corporation Ltd, National Australia Bank Ltd, dōTERRA, ​and currently as General Counsel for the City of Stonnington.​

Passionate about the arts, Fiona is an active supporter of the multicultural arts sector which stems largely from her cultural heritage as a second generation Australian. A former Performing Artist, Fiona has participated in various capacities including 13 years as a former Performer, Manger and Tutor (and current Alumni member) of the Australian Girls Choir, former lead singer of acoustic band “Just Duet”, regular supporter and attendee of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Theatre Company and the Australian Ballet and skilled volunteering in the community through Mock interview workshops at June Consulting, the Salvation Army Hamodava Café, Melbourne and previously at the Monash Oakleigh Legal Service Centre.

Fiona holds a combined Bachelor of Performing Arts / Bachelor of Laws (BPA/LLB) degree at Monash University, Melbourne and has completed the post graduate Insolvency Practitioners Association Education Course, University of Southern Queensland. She is also a member of the Golden Key Society in Recognition of Academic Excellence and is an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia, the Melbourne Cricket Club, Victoria Racing Club and the Royal Automotive Club of Victoria City Club, Melbourne.

Cultural Background: Australian/Polish-Jewish

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Marcus Wong

Marcus Wong is the founder and Executive Director of Time of Art, who develops and manages cross-cultural artistic projects. With over 10 years of experience in project management, Marcus aims to provide a platform for artists to exchange and express ideas through creative integrations and educational implementations. Some successful ongoing projects such as Paper Culture and Bluestonia: Paperhood, have reached over 3 millions of audience locally and internationally. Before starting Time of Art, Marcus was a COO at an international finance company, developing and managing the operational procedures to support over AU$200 millions of mortgage funds for clients across Asia Pacific Region.

Born in Hong Kong SAR, China
Spoken Language: Cantonese (native), Mandarin, English
Written Language: Chinese, English

EMERITUS CIRCLE

George Lekakis AO

Mike Zafiropoulos AM

Luciano Bini AM

Wellington Lee OAM

Jill Morgan AM

Hass Dellal AO

George Papadopoulos AM

John Boglis

Stefan Romaniw OAM

John Pandazopoulos

Prof Ruth Rentschler OAM

Marcello D’Amico

Natalia Moravski

PATRONS

Jason Yeap OAM
(appointed June 2014)

“It is a great privilege and honour to advocate for MAV because of its mission to reach out to the new arrivals to this country through innovative cultural engagements. It has brought better understanding and respect for all in Australia. Any advocacy for MAV that advances its mission is very essential and personally satisfying.
– Jason Yeap OAM

“Jason is an inspiration and mentor in striving to bring diverse art forms to the broader Australian community. He has a passion and walks the talk.”
– Stefan Romaniw OAM, MAV Board Chairman (2001-2016)

“As we move towards an election it is important that our Patron’s lead the campaign charge to garner support from both sides of government to ensure commitments of increased support for MAV, the only organisation of its kind in Victoria to support work specifically by culturally and linguistically divers artists and communities. It must be nurtured and valued.”
– Jill Morgan AM, MAV CEO

Ted Baillieu
(appointed March 2016)

The history and essence of Victoria is steeped in cultures drawn from across the world.  Since the days of Victoria’s Gold Rush, the contribution of the arts has been treasured and nurtured.  Multicultural Arts Victoria continues to draw out the magic, music, minds and passion of our most multicultural and most creative State.  I am delighted to join other MAV Patrons in encouraging the growth of Multicultural Arts Victoria.
– Ted Baillieu

MAV is pleased to have another high profile and committed advocate for the Arts in a Multicultural Victoria  in Ted Baillieu. Ted will bring further strength to MAV as an advocate, mentor and visionary.”
– Stefan Romaniw OAM, MAV Board Chairman (2001-2016)

“Ted Baillieu has championed the arts as former Premier and Minster of the Arts and is passionate about our diversity contributing to the State of Victoria. It is an honour to have his support in the development and future of MAV.”
– Jill Morgan AM, MAV CEO

MAV acknowledges our past patron:

The Late Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL PC, former Prime Minister of Australia (1975-1983)
(appointed June 2011 – March 2015)

“We should be proud of our record as a migrant nation and we will be made stronger by diversity. I want to support the outstanding and important work of Multicultural Arts Victoria, a vibrant organisation working in the arts to foster acceptance and understanding of our cultural diversity both locally and internationally through the arts.
– Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL PC

“It was an honour to have Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser’s support – his reforms on refugees, multiculturalism, services to immigrants, and human rights are the things he was most passionate about.”
– Stefan Romaniw OAM, MAV Board Chairman (2001-2016)

“Malcolm Fraser has been a strong advocate for social justice in Australia and internationally. We are thankful for his contribution to strengthening our community and Multicultural Arts Victoria. Australia has lost a great leader, ambassador and upholder of human rights. He will be missed by many. It was a privilege to have his support. Vale!”
– Jill Morgan AM, MAV CEO

The Late Hon John Cain, former Premier of Victoria (1982-1990)
(appointed May 2010 – Dec 2019)

“I want to congratulate MAV’s efforts and honour these three decades of hard work by supporting Multicultural Arts Victoria, a vibrant organisation working arduously to foster acceptance and understanding of our cultural diversity both locally and internationally.
– Hon John Cain

“Multicultural Arts Victoria is committed to pursuing social justice for minorities and disadvantaged communities, it’s an honour to have Hon John Cain’s support for our future and strategic development.”
– Stefan Romaniw OAM, MAV Board Chairman (2001-2016)

Multicultural Arts Victoria is saddened by the passing of John Cain, former Victoria Premier and patron of our organization since 2010.

John was a tremendous supporter of culturally diverse artists and their role in our unique multicultural society. Our condolences to his wife Nancy and children.

His legacy in helping shape a fair and egalitarian society in which everyone has a valued role to play lives on in our work and that of countless others.
– Veronica Pardo, MAV CEO

VOLUNTEERS & INTERNSHIPS

MAV would like to acknowledge and thank its volunteers and interns for their tireless and passionate contribution.