Leadership Team

The SSI leadership team includes a group of talented and skilled managers who cover a range of strategic and business development roles across the organisation, from humanitarian to disability services to child and family services.


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Chief Executive Officer
Violet Roumeliotis (GAICD)

Violet Roumeliotis is a social entrepreneur with an extensive not-for-profit career characterised by collaboration, growth, adaption and, above all, innovation.

During her seven years as the CEO of SSI, she has overseen prolific growth in revenue, from $9.4m to $115m, taking SSI from a state-based to a national organisation. A passionate believer in lifting up others, Violet takes a non-predatory approach to growth, whereby SSI aims to generate value for its community and peers.

As a leader, Violet’s mixes warmth and compassion with the entrepreneurialism, innovation and curiosity that ensures SSI is constantly adapting in order to maintain a competitive edge. Under her stewardship, SSI has diversified its income streams to ensure its future sustainability. It has also implemented a social business operating model, under which surpluses are reinvested in new initiatives that deliver broader social outcomes for vulnerable communities. In the past five years, SSI has invested more than $5 million in self-funded programs.

Violet is the current Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year ― a unique accolade for a not-for-profit leader as it recognises thriving female leaders who are disrupting the way we do business. Violet was named one of AFR’s Top 100 Women of Influence for 2018 in the category of Diversity & Inclusion and has twice been named on Pro Bono Australia’s list of the 25 most influential people in the not-for-profit sector. She was awarded the title of Community Fellow from Western Sydney University for outstanding service to the community in 2017.

Violet holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with majors in Sociology and History from UNSW, a Masters in Management from UTS and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Violet sits on the Federal Government’s Settlement Services Advisory Council, the board of national migrant and refugee women’s coalition, the Harmony Alliance, and the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity ― a group of leaders committed to improving the representation of cultural diversity in leadership in Australia. She is also a member of the Australian Defence Force's Chiefs of Service Committee's advisory panel.

Violet writes a regular blog here and you can follow her on Twitter @CEO_Roumeliotis.


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Executive General Manager,
Strategy and Corporate Development

Peter Zographakis (GAICD)

Peter has provided leadership to SSI across a range of functions within Corporate Services. His experience traverses strategy, business planning, financial management, corporate governance, sales and marketing and service delivery and he has held a number of senior operational and finance roles in the manufacturing, retail, and service sectors. Peter has also been the owner of a women’s fashion business and managed a multi-site retail business.

Peter has a Master of Professional Accounting, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).


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General Manager,
Public Affairs and Communications

Shannon Kliendienst

Shannon has a diverse background across education and private sector organisations in public affairs, branding and communications. In her most recent role she was the Acting Chief Marketing Officer at Macquarie University leading a team of more than 50 people.

Prior to that, Shannon was the University’s Director of Communications managing a diversified portfolio and team.

 


150px 200px Yamamah

General Manager,
Service Delivery Settlement

Yamamah Agha

Yamamah joined SSI in 2011 as the Manager of the Humanitarian Settlement Program gaining extensive experience in team leadership, program management and stakeholder engagement. 

Yamamah Agha leads all of SSI’s Settlement Programs (HSP), which supports newcomers and other vulnerable Australians to prosper. With over 15 years’ experience assisting new arrivals to settle in Australia, Yamamah has a strong passion for delivering social justice to refugees and vulnerable groups in need. She has a particular interest in women's rights, and supporting and empowering refugee women and their families to reach their potential.


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General Manager,
Service Delivery Community

Karen Bevan

Karen has a strong NFP background. She brings experience as Chief Executive Officer of two organisations, Playgroup NSW and Girl Guides Australia. She has a ten year background in senior leadership roles including Manager, Research and Public Submissions for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and Director of the Social Justice Unit for UnitingCare Children Young People & Families.


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General Manager,
Client Services and Operations

Greg Benson

Greg has led major reform and transformative change across both government and the non-for-profit sectors. He has 18 years of strategic policy and implementation in the social justice sector.

His specific expertise is in Early Intervention, Child Protection, Out of Home Care, Homelessness, Domestic and Family Violence, Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention.


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Chief Executive Officer,
Access Community Services Ltd
Gail Ker OAM

Gail joined the SSI leadership team in December 2018, when Access Community Services Ltd became a subsidiary of SSI in Queensland. She is the CEO of Access, responsible for managing all aspects of client service delivery, business development and growth in Queensland.

Gail has provided leadership for the Access team since 1992 and has vast industry experience and expertise in the Australian multicultural, humanitarian and community sectors. She is recognised as a leader in needs-based community planning, innovative business models, social cohesion, strategic partnerships, employment pathways, funding opportunities and strategic direction.

Gail has received numerous awards and honours for her contribution to refugees, multiculturalism and diversity. These include an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2010, the Queensland Telstra Business Women’s Award in the category For Purpose and Social Enterprise in 2017, and in 2018, a Queensland Greats Award in recognition for her outstanding contribution to development of the state and her role in strengthening and shaping the community in Queensland.

Learn more about Access Community Services Ltd.


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General Manager, 
People and Culture
Xavier Hennekinne

Xavier joined SSI in December 2018 and is passionate about transformative human resources management. He brings to SSI experience in building organisational culture, leadership and staff wellbeing.

French-born Xavier came to Australia as a young man in search of adventure, and began his career in human resources management in the corporate sector, moving to international aid and development in 2005. Xavier was a member of the board of the Mandala Foundation and People and Organisational Development Director at ChildFund Australia. Between 2007 and 2012 Xavier served the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in various roles around the world, notably as the head of its global HR services and Senior HR Advisor.

Xavier has lectured on Forced Migration and has a Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict studies from the University of Sydney.


General Manager, 
Corporate Services
Ram Neupane

Ram has a proven track record of strong strategic thinking, innovation, change management, commercial astuteness and leadership roles across the core disciplines of finance, IT, governance, procurement and risk management in both commercial and NFP organisations in Australia and globally. Ram has led overall operations of a diverse nature of NFP organisations, transformed financial management systems from routine accounting functions to highly valued business partnerships, developed and implemented risk management systems, undertaken value for money and impact assessments, and developed and implemented business processes to scale up organisational capacity to effectively deliver services. He held similar roles in Habitat for Humanity Australia, The Fred Hollows Foundation and Camp Quality Limited, prior to joining SSI.

Ram brings a wealth of experience in international development. Ram has worked in Australia and more than 70 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, South America and Europe in different capacities for UN organisations (such as UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO), bi-lateral organisations (such as DFID, Sida, CIDA, SDC, DFAT), inter-governmental organisations such as Partners in Population & Development (PPD), INGOs (such as International Planned Parenthood Federation, International Federation of Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity International, Marie Stopes International, and Save the Children) in leading the delivery of services and programs, undertaking independent monitoring and evaluation, value for money assessments and developing and assisting in the implementation of Strategic Plan.

Ram is qualified Chartered Accountant trained with Deloitte, a member of CPA Australia, holds PhD degree and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Victorian State Director, 
Sonia Vignjevic

Sonia is an executive manager with over 20 years’ experience, has significant skills and knowledge of, the multicultural sector, migration and resettlement.  She has strong leadership, strategic and stakeholder engagement skills; and a proven track record in developing and maintaining effective partnerships with key stakeholders including all tiers of Government, academia and civil society.

She is currently employed as the Victorian State Director at Settlement Services International, has held the position of Director Partnerships & Community Development at Eastern Community Legal Centre, Acting CEO at South East Community Links, previously she was the Principal Advisor of Operations at Anglicare Victoria, National Manager of Community Migration Programs at Australian Red Cross and before that her role was Manager Settlement & Family Services at Spectrum MRC.

Sonia holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology & Human Movement, a Graduate Diploma in International Law, Post Graduate Certificate in Trauma Counselling & Psychotherapy, is an Australian Registered Migration Agent and currently a Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commissioner.


 

Vision and values

SSI’s vision is to achieve a society that values the diversity of its people and actively provides support to ensure meaningful social and economic participation and to assist individuals and families to reach their potential.

Social Justice

Equity and access to all

Diversity

Respecting diversity and being non-discriminatory

Compassion

Caring, empathy and respect for the dignity of others

Respect

Co-operation and mutual respect

Quality

Dynamic, flexible and responsive service

Ethics

Professional practices and accountability

Innovation

Commitment to partnerships and excellence