Ramesh Kumar, CEO
Ramesh was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre on 15 November 2017. Ramesh comes to SMRC with a long and successful career in Community and Human Services for over 30 years in the field with local, state, commonwealth government, UN and community based agencies in Australia and overseas. He previously worked as a member of AMES Australia Executive and led the implementation of Social Participation and International Affairs. In this role his other portfolio responsibilities included oversight of the Multicultural Hub, Volunteer Management Unit, Social Enterprises, Community Engagement and Participation. Prior to this, Ramesh led settlement and asylum seeker programs for AMES Australia and 15 consortium partners for 11 years. Ramesh has been on several boards of not-for-profit organisations and contributed to the development of social and environmental policy. Some boards and national committees Ramesh has been involved include: Settlement Council of Australia; Connect Settlement Services; Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement and Working Group on Resettlement at the UNHCR; ACCC Advisory Committee; ATO Advisory Committee; Community Information Services Victoria; Northern Adult and Community Further Education Council etc. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Ramesh holds Post Graduate Qualifications in the areas of Social Work, Community Development and Environment Management.
Rakesh Sharma, Director, Corporate Services
Rakesh is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) with extensive Australian and International business experience consistently striving to improve processes and increase the efficiency within an organization. He has worked in senior management roles in a range of industries from manufacturing, retail to aged care, supporting Business Operations, Finance, Information Technology and Human Resources. Rakesh is passionate about helping local communities and further the vision and mission of SMRC.
Caroline Radowski, Director, Client Services
Caroline is an accomplished leader who has been internationally published, recognised, and a key note speaker for service improvement, innovation and community empowerment. She holds a Bachelor degree in Health Science, Masters of Health Science, Graduate Diploma in Management and Masters in Business Administration. Caroline has over eleven years’ experience within the community sector and holds leadership positions at La Trobe University, the Werribee Hospital Foundation, and Footscape. Caroline works extensively with local, state and federal government departments in delivering community services and has successfully tendered and implemented large-scale health services across Melbourne. Caroline also works closely with philanthropic and corporate organisations in developing and delivering socially responsive initiatives such as schools programs, after hours services and work volunteer programs. Caroline’s greatest interest is in ensuring people have access to the best possible services and that those services grow and develop with the population.
Bill Collopy, Social Enterprise Manager
Bill holds degrees in humanities and public policy. He is a published author and university tutor who has been a Manager at SMRC since 2002, having previously worked as a Manager in the public, private and community sectors for the last twenty years in areas of policy, research and program delivery. He manages the SMRC's social enterprise program, with a team of 130 bilingual workers. He is also SMRC’s newsletter editor and webmaster. Bill is a graduate of Leadership Victoria's Folio Community Leadership Program.
Susan Brown, Coordinator, Business Improvement
Sue has enjoyed a strong career in business management, marketing and communications, with the last 10 years focused on corporate community development and engagement. She is a skilled negotiator, a disciplined and results driven team leader who enjoys the journey of positive change. Sue brings to SMRC a wealth of experience from working in corporate manufacturing, financial services, social enterprise and community health. Sue enjoys mentoring small business and consults for local shopping centres and community banks. Sue serves on a number of community group committees and is a devoted dance Mum.
Ian Spinney, Human Resources Manager
Human Resources professional with a values-focused approach and a background working primarily in the community sector. Originally from the UK, Ian has many years’ experience in employee relations, recruitment and selection, performance development, health and safety, employee wellbeing, policies and systems implementation, project management, and leadership. SMRC’s employees are truly diverse, from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and are all highly engaged, motivated and dedicated to working as a team to make a difference for their clients and the communities that we serve. Assisted by Cynthia Thomas (HR Generalist), Ian hopes to build on the strengths of SMRC’s workforce, by planning HR strategies that underpin our Vision and Values, and focus strongly on employees’ personal development, safety and wellbeing.
Peter Jarrett, Team Leader, Service Access
Peter has worked in the South East Region since 1986 in a range of roles, all of which have focused on migrant and refugee settlement. He has worked at Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau (now South East Community Links), piloting a transitional refugee settlement service which has formed the basis of today’s national Humanitarian Settlement Service. He established a youth housing program focusing on the needs of homeless refugee young people. He established a tenancy advice and support service for migrants and refugees. He also became a registered migration agent and facilitated the reunion of hundreds of families from across the planet. Moving to South Eastern Region Migrant Resource Centre (now SMRC) in 2002, he headed up the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Services team and at the same time continued in his role as a registered migration agent. In 2005 he moved to AMES where he became Regional Manager of the south east region’s Humanitarian Settlement Services team, a position he held until “retiring” at the beginning of 2013. Eighteen months later he was approached to return to SMRC and is currently the Service Access Team Leader.
Sylvia Wan, Team Leader, Active Well Being
Sylvia has worked in the aged care sector over the past 19 years in both multicultural and generic agencies. Sylvia has completed her Degree in Creative Arts Therapy and has extensive knowledge and experience in establishing social support groups and health programs. Since joining the SMRC in 2008, Sylvia has established 27 social support groups within the City of Greater Dandenong, Casey and the Shire of Cardinia. Being passionate in empowering CALD communities towards independency, establishing these programs have really been about connecting, journeying and understanding the needs of these communities.
Wendy Fox, Team Leader, Strengthening Communities
Wendy has a vast range of experience working in community services since the 1990s, including youth housing, community mental health and women’s refuges. Her various roles have given her a broad understanding of issues. Wendy joined SMRC in 2007 and she has had various roles in that time; facilitating various groups, educating and informing communities about their rights and responsibilities in Australia, as well as working in the Refugee Action Program, supporting and empowering communities to plan, develop and implement their own projects for their communities and developing the skills of community leaders. Wendy is passionate about working with community, building their strength and capacity. She has qualifications in Community Services and Business Management.