Board of Directors

SMRC Board

SMRC is governed by a Board of Directors, who are volunteers from local communities and local agencies. The Board provides governance and sets strategic directions for the organisation.  

Mr Brian Oates, JP: Chairperson

Mr. Oates is a migrant who has been a member of the SMRC Board for 18 years. He has been Chair of numerous organisations, including the Southern Health Consumer Advisory Committee and the John Pandazopoulos Public Hall Committee of Management and is a member of the Southern Health Cultural Responsiveness Committee. Brian also chairs the SUEZ Hampton Park Resource Recovery Community Reference Group. Elected to Casey Council in 1997, he was Mayor of Casey in 2003 and in 2004 Deputy Mayor, retiring undefeated in 2005. Mr Oates recently retired from the Australian Workers' Union and has qualifications in financial management from the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and in community engagement from the International Association for Public Participation, Australasia.

Mr Pravin Ramdany: Deputy Chairperson

Pravin is an accomplished Chief Financial Officer, Director of Corporate Services and recently Chief Executive Officer of a community services organisation. He has extensive experience running a small to medium organisation. Currently he manages his own accounting and management consultancy practice. He has over 25 years' experience in the not-for-profit sector, including housing and education.

Ms Lynette Keleher: Secretary and Public Officer

Lynette is a truly multicultural personality. Born in India, she came to Australia aged 4 and, from a young age, became actively involved in community organisations. Lynette is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Post Graduate Diploma of Management. Lynette has also been a City of Casey Councillor, chaired the founding Committee for the Casey Experience Multicultural Festival and helped found the Award winning “Woman’s Friendship Café”, a multi-cultural success now being expanded into other areas of Victoria. Lynette wants to see the SMRC recognised as an effective, inclusive, vibrant and empowering organisation with increased presence in the Casey, Cardinia growth areas.

Mr Malik Atif Mahmood: Deputy Secretary

Malik arrived in Australia in 2007 as a self-funded migrant under the Management Skills program, having graduated in Pakistan. Malik achieved a Diploma in Human Resource management from Chisholm TAFE and presently works for World Vision. Malik also works voluntarily with the Urdu Academy of Australia and has organised events with overseas academics and visiting performers to promote multi-cultural awareness. Malik also produces and presents Hindi radio programs, undertakes freelance journalism and is a volunteer with the Salvation Army. He is a regular Red Cross blood donor and is registered as an Australian Organ donor. He has great commitment and care for Australian society.

Ms Helen Horvath: Treasurer

Helen (Ilona) Horvath came to Australia with her parents by boat in 1950 at aged 3. Her mother was German her father Hungarian. Over many years she has helped with translations for Hungarian and German speakers. She has worked in local businesses managing accounts for many years. She is currently Treasurer of the Casey Residents and Ratepayers Association.

Ms Jing Jing Wang: Assistant Treasurer

Arriving from China with her parents at age 3 has given Jing Jing a deep understanding of the struggles and challenges many migrants face in Australia. Outside work, she splits her time volunteering at various Chinese community groups, SMRC, and the Access and Inclusion Committee at City of Casey. Jing Jing is passionate about the work we do at SMRC to help improve the experiences of migrants and refugees in this region. 

Mr Hafez Abdul Wahab: Board Member 

Mr Wahab has been a member of the SMRC Board for 17 years. He has held several positions in community organisations. He has had a variety of industrial and office experience.

Mr Ismail Demiri, JP: Board member

Mr Demiri has been a member of the SMRC Board for the last 9 years. He has a Fitter and Turner trade qualification and is now retired. He is a marriage celebrant, Treasurer of the Australian-Albanian Community Assoc. of Dandenong, Secretary and Public Officer of the Albanian Sakie Islamic Society for st 15 years, Asst Treasuer for Dandenong Soccer Club for 2 years, and school council for 12 years. He has been a Justice of the Peace for the last 16 years.

Mr Wicki Wickiramasingham, JP CMC: Board member

Mr Wickiramasingham was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and served as a marine engineering assistant before he migrated to Australia in 1989. He lives in Dandenong with his wife, children and grandchildren. In 1991 he was elected to serve on the board of the Hindu Society of Victoria where he worked with various ethnic groups. In 1993 he founded the Victorian Tamil Cultural Association and the Victorian Tamil Cultural School. In 1994 he established a Tamil community broadcasting radio station (Sanganatham) and from 1993 to 2007 he worked for SBS Radio as a national reporter. He has served the community as a school councillor in various schools in the Dandenong area, Justice of the Peace, Civil Marriage Celebrant, and accredited translator and interpreter. In 2005 his services were recognised by City of Greater Dandenong and honoured by a local community newspaper as a 'Living Treasure' and 'Local Hero.' 

Mr Abdullahi (Aden) Ibrahim: Board Member 

Mr Ibrahim is one the Somali pioneers to Melbourne, having arrived in 1986. He was the first Secretory of the Somali Community of Victoria. He has written many books and plays about Somali Culture. He has helped to introduce Somali culture and tradition to enrich the cultural diversity of Australia. In 2017 he was nominated for the Australian of the year.

Ms Alice Lau: Co-opted Board member

Alice Lau is an Associate in Maurice Blackburn’s Dandenong office, acting for victims of road trauma. Her clients come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Alice herself is a migrant, coming from China with her parents when she was six years old. She went on to graduate from Melbourne University with Bachelor degrees in Psychology and Law and is a tenacious and empathetic legal practitioner who is inspired by her clients She is motivated to improve migrant experiences in the greater Dandenong region and is passionate about the work of the SMRC.