Media Releases

Settlement Services International is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Sonia Vignjevic as its Victorian State Director – Strategy, Growth and Partnerships.

In this new position Ms Vignjevic will investigate opportunities for SSI to develop partnerships in Victoria.

sonia4Ms Vignjevic, most recently the Director – Partnerships & Community Development at Eastern Community Legal Centre, is an executive manager with over 18 years’ experience and significant skills and knowledge of the multicultural sector, migration and resettlement.

She 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 Victorian Multicultural Commissioner.

SSI Chief Operations Officer Stephen O'Neill welcomed Ms Vignjevic’s appointment.

“Sonia has strong leadership, strategic and stakeholder engagement skills, and a proven track record in developing and maintaining effective partnerships,” he said.

“She has driven service innovation to address needs and service gaps and to enhance the wellbeing and integration of vulnerable people.

“She has extensive experience in advocating for supportive and inclusive national policies, in particular around diversity, migration, refugee, asylum seeker and resettlement, which makes her a perfect fit for SSI.”

SSI is opening offices in Victoria following its appointment as contract manager for the Advice and Application Assistance Scheme (IAAAS), which provides professional migration advice and visa application assistance to people in need of protection who have arrived lawfully in Australia and who meet specific eligibility criteria. Historically, Victoria has the highest intake of IAAAS clients.

SSI will work with an established network of refugee legal agencies to oversee the delivery of IAAAS services across Australia.

It is anticipated that Ms Vignjevic will be based in SSI’s Melbourne offices once a suitable location is found.

Success stories

SSI Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Vile

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenSue Vile was among the first to be inducted into the SSI’s Armidale volunteer program, bringing with her a wealth of experience and existing training gathered from her time in aid work, in Australia and abroad.

A retired school teacher and nurse, Sue has dedicated an enormous amount of her time in recent years on the front line of humanitarian services, helping refugees at many stages of their journey to safety.

 

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