SSI Board Members
AM MAICD Board Director (Chair)
Voula Messimeri has had a long career in the community and multicultural services sector.
She has had roles as a non-executive Board Director, including as Chair of 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, and Chair of InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence.
She has held appointments on a wide range of ministerial state and federal advisory structures across diverse areas, including health, ageing, income support and media, and as a member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council.
Voula was recognised under the Order of Australia for her contribution to refugees, migrants and women. She is currently serving on the Board of PRONIA and is the Chair of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.
Principal Solicitor, Hijwel Migration Lawyers, and Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, NSW Law Society
Rola is admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia, with over 20 years of experience in immigration law. She is recognised as an Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law by the New South Wales Law Society since 2012.
She is the Principal Solicitor and Director of Hijwel Migration Lawyers, who work with a range of clients from multinationals to individuals and displaced people. Previously working with global immigration law firm.
She has a passion for working with diverse communities’ and advocating for social impact and representation. Currently serving as Board Chair of Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre.
Rola brings extensive experience in law, governance and an understanding of the community sector and the needs of migrants.
Partner at Deloitte Australia and leads Deloitte’s Social Impact Consulting Practice
Tharani is a partner at Deloitte Australia and leads Deloitte’s Social Impact Consulting Practice. Drawing on over 15 years of strategy and transformation experience, combined with a deep passion for social change, Tharani has partnered with many of Australia’s leading social sector organisations and government agencies on their transformation journeys to deliver greater social impact.
Outside her executive role, Tharani has served on a number of boards, including as a Director of UNICEF Australia and the Deloitte Foundation. She is a passionate speaker and strong advocate for social impact, profit with purpose, corporate and social sector collaboration, and diversity and inclusion.
Tharani holds a Bachelor of Business degree from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and is a certified Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australia (ICAA).
Chair of the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Eastern Community Legal Centre
Ms Matton has extensive experience in the IT industry and business management. She spent 34 years with IBM, including as vice president of operations, and 12 years holding key roles in Southeast Asia, the United States, Japan, China and Europe. Ms Matton is Chair of the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Eastern Community Legal Centre. She is on the Board of pitt&sherry (engineers).
In 2010 she was named the Victorian Telstra Business Woman of the Year and was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) in January 2020. She is a member of Chief Executive Women.
CEO and Executive Director of Australia’s peak advocacy group for tech startups, StartupAUS
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
OAM CEO of Yumba-Meta Ltd
Dushy Thangiah migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka over 35 years ago. She qualified as a Management Accountant from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (London), holds a Graduate Certificate in Housing Management and Policy from Swinburne University (Melbourne), and is an Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate.
When Dushy joined Yumba-Meta Ltd in 1995, she held a diverse range of senior corporate accounting roles in Sri Lanka and Australia. She has worked in the community housing and community services sector for over 29 years and is a highly regarded advocate for vulnerable people, particularly First Nations Peoples and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Her achievements and commitments have been recognised through numerous awards, including the 2023 Order of Australia Medal in recognition of services to the community through social welfare organisations.
Chair of SydWest Multicultural Services
Angela is an experienced Executive with a successful record in Australia’s largest water utility, local government, and the not-for-profit sector. Angela has held general management roles in Corporate Public Affairs and Company Secretary, Customer Services, People Leadership and Culture, and Corporate Services. Most recently, Angela was the CEO of Participate Australia.
Angela is passionate about collaborating with colleagues to deliver sustainable business results. She has consistently championed diversity and inclusion and a fairer society for all.
Angela is currently the Chair of SydWest Multicultural Services, a member organisation of SSI. Between 2013 and 2017, Angela represented the water industry on the Board of the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman.
Angela holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Management (Public Sector), is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a certified Gallup Strengths coach. In 2018, Angela was selected as one of the Top 50 NSW Public Sector Women.
Peter van Vliet
Peter van Vliet
CEO of ISS Australia
Peter van Vliet is the CEO of ISS Australia, a not-for-profit specialising in legal, mediation and social work services for children and families across borders. Peter has a background as a senior executive in the Commonwealth and Victorian governments and has also led several other not-for-profits in the community sector, including FECCA and ECCV.
Peter is committed to building an inclusive and harmonious society and has a long career working in social services, social policy and assisting migrant and refugee communities. Peter has a Master of Arts from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia, and a Graduate Diploma in Migration Law from Victoria University.