Settlement Services International CEO Violet Roumeliotis has been named in Pro Bono Australia’s Impact 25 list of the most influential people working in the not-for-profit sector in 2014.
Ms Roumeliotis was chosen in the top 25 from 200 people working in the sector, by more than 3,600 Pro Bono Australia readers who voted.
Ms Roumeliotis said she was proud to be named among the other respected not-for-profit workers on the Impact 25, especially World Vision Australia Chief Executive Tim Costello who topped the list.
“This is wonderful news and I am very happy to accept this acknowledgement as recognition of the all the hard work SSI staff has put in this year,” Ms Roumeliotis said. “We have undergone some significant growth and change at SSI and I am proud of how we have remained focused on providing quality support and services for the people who rely on us. Congratulations to everyone on the Impact 25 list.”
Ms Roumeliotis has led SSI through a year or growth and change, while always advocating for the rights and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. In 2014 SSI secured new contracts to continue work supporting asylum seekers in NSW, and to expand in to disability services through the Ability Links NSW program.
SSI also established with seed funding Multicultural Youth NSW to advocate for young people; expanded its Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative – supporting refugees to start their own enterprises; provided daily case work support and services to more than 8,000 asylum seekers and people from refugee backgrounds, and continued to expand its Multicultural Foster Care Service.
All this, and much more, was achieved in a challenging political and social environment, characterised by an escalation in anxiety about people seeking asylum and policy changes.
Pro Bono Australia News Editor Lina Caneva said the list of influencers included CEOs from major charities, tireless advocates, fundraisers and campaigners.
“Some of these people may not make headline news every day but it is clear they are having a significant impact in the communities in which they work and lead,” Caneva said.
“It’s been a transformative year in the not for profit community and these people of influence, as chosen by the sector, show how broad and complex the work that they do is.
“While a number of past and present political leaders including former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and current Federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews were nominated in the list of influencers, they failed to make the final Impact 25 list.”
Pro Bono Australia founder and CEO Karen Mahlab said: “The business world regularly profiles its most influential people via awards and rankings and this is the first time we can highlight the social economy and the amazing work done by the leaders in it.