Victoria’s multicultural communities will have new voices advocating for their interests, with the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) welcoming three new Commissioners, and the reappointment of three more. VMC Chairperson Helen Kapalos said each Commissioner brings a wealth of experience and insight to their role. “The role of a Commissioner requires compassion to listen to people and understand their challenges and aspirations; it requires innovative thinking to find lasting, meaningful solutions; and it requires the courage to provide frank and fearless advice to the Victorian Government,” said Ms Kapalos.
“Our new and reappointed Commissioners will help the VMC continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of Victorians.” “I welcome these strong advocates to the VMC and look forward to working alongside them to support Victorians of all cultural backgrounds,” said Ms Kapalos. The new cohort of Commissioners includes Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, Walter Rapoport and Rosaria Zarro. Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is a performer and spoken word artist who works to shine a light on discrimination and create opportunities for other young people from culturally diverse backgrounds. She has been appointed to the VMC as Youth Commissioner.
Walter Rapoport is an economist who has worked in the manufacturing sector, and has held leadership roles in the Victorian Council of Christians and Jews and the B’nai B’rith Intefaith Relations Committee. Rosaria Zarro brings a passion for community engagement and education through her knowledge and expertise in language and cultural learning developed over two decades. In addition to the new appointments, Deputy Chairperson Ross Alatsas, Community Representative Commissioner Dr Sundram Sivamalai, and former Youth Commissioner Tina Hosseini have been reappointed for additional terms. Ross Alatsas is active in ethnic media, and has been the General Manager of the Greek Media Group since 1997. He also assisted with the establishment of Chinese radio station 3CW.
Dr Sundram Sivamalai has published widely on Indigenous and multicultural public health issues and has extensive board membership and government advisory experience. Tina Hosseini Is a researcher at Deakin University, the former Youth Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, and an active member of the Iranian Women’s Association. As a statutory authority, the VMC provides independent advice to government on the development of policy and programs for Victoria’s multicultural communities.