Expressions of interest are now open for nine Commissioner positions, including a full-time Chairperson,  a part-time Deputy Chairperson, a part-time Youth Commissioner and multiple part-time Commissioners roles.
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About Commissioners

The Victorian Multicultural Commission is led by 12 Commissioners who advocate the values of the VMC and work directly with the community. As required under the Multicultural Victoria Act 2011, this includes a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, a Youth Commissioner, a representative of a community organisation and eight other members.

Our Commissioners have a solid understanding of the issues facing ethnic communities and are actively involved in the community, regularly attending events and playing a vital role in assisting networks and liaison between different faith and community groups.

The Commissioners are in constant contact with the Chairperson and meet on a monthly basis to develop strategies and discuss community issues that require action. Commissioners are selected through a competitive interview process then officially appointed by the Governor in Council for terms of up to four years.

Current Commissioners:

  • Mr Ross (Spiro) Alatsas - Deputy Chairperson
  • Ms. Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
  • Ms Tina Hosseini
  • Dr Sundram Sivamalai
  • Mr Tsebin Tchen
  • Ms Sonia Vignjevic
  • Dr Mimmie Claudine Ngum Chi Watts
  • Mr Sisay Dinku
  • Ms Rosaria Zarro
  • Mr Walter Rapoport

Commissioners appointed until 30 August 2021:

Ms Rosaria Zarro
Current term - 22 November 2017 – 31 August 2021
First appointed - 22 November 2017


Ms Zarro has been an educator for the past 17 years, including teaching Italian, Science and History in government schools and, in the last nine years, in cultural organisations. At Museum Victoria, Museo Italiano and the State Library of Victoria, Ms Zarro's role was to produce and deliver education programs based on these cultural organisations’ exhibitions and collections. She has delivered many innovative programs in the Italian language and culture at Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum and Scienceworks and more recently has coordinated and implemented programs and education resources at Museum Victoria in French, Spanish and Japanese. At Museo Italiano she has project-managed events, exhibitions, school and public programs.

Mr Walter Rapoport
Current term - 22 November 2017 – 31 August 2021
First appointed - 22 November 2017

Walter Rapoport is a Past Chairman of the Council of Christians & Jews (Victoria) and has been the Editor of Gesher for its 2013 - 2016 editions. Mr Rapoport has had a long and abiding interest in interfaith and intercultural engagement and served as the inaugural Chairman of the Interfaith Relations Committee of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission. Mr Rapoport also Chaired the Steering Committees of two Commonwealth Government Living in Harmony Grants, which oversaw the Building Bridges and the Embracing Youth programs.  He is co-founder and joint-CEO of a finance company.


Ms Tina Hosseini 

Current term - 27 October 2015 – 31 August 2021
First appointed - 27 October 2015 (Former Youth Commissioner)

Ms Hosseini is the current Chair of the Red Cross Victorian Youth Advisory Committee and was the Youth Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia. She is an active member of the Iranian Women’s Association and was also a member of the Multifaith Multicultural Youth Network.


Commissioners appointed until 30 August 2019:

Mr Ross (Spiro) Alatsas - Deputy Chairperson

Current term - 22 November 2017 – 30 August 2019
First appointed - 1 September 2011


Mr Alatsas has a long and impressive history of involvement in the Greek and wider Victorian communities, having been the General Manager of the Greek Media Group since 1997. He has been involved with various committees and advisory councils promoting Victoria’s cultural diversity, including the Steering Committee for the Asian Football League Asian Cup 2015. Mr Alatsas assisted in the establishment the first 24 hour Chinese Radio station, 3CW and also served as a member of the Business Advisory Council for community television station, C31.

Ms. Khayshie Tilak Ramesh

Current term - 14 February 2019 – 30 August 2019

First appointed - 14 February 2019

New Youth Commissioner Commissioners page

Ms Ramesh is a passionate advocate for young people and multicultural communities. She is co-founder and vice-president of Young People for Refugees, a youth advocacy service in Bendigo, and a board director of Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services. She has also been a member of the Victorian Government’s Multicultural Youth Network.

Dr Sundram Sivamalai (Community Representative Commissioner)

Current term - 22 November 2017 - 30 August 2019
First appointed - 27 October 2015

Dr Sivamalai is a current board member of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) and has been nominated by the ECCV as the Community Representative Commissioner. He has extensive board membership and community and government advisory experience, including as the current Chair of the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council. Dr Sivamalai has published widely on rural, Indigenous and multicultural capacity building and public health, and is of Indian heritage.


Mr Tsebin Tchen
Current term - 27 October 2015 – 30 August 2019
First appointed - 27 October 2015

Mr Tchen, of Chinese background, has extensive community, public sector and political experience in a Victorian context and has previously served as a Senator for Victoria from 1999 to 2005. Mr Tchen has over 40 years voluntary community involvement, and demonstrated extensive links with community organisations, acting as an advisor to 20 Chinese community associations. He is an Adjunct Professorial Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy, Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology.

Ms Sonia Vignjevic

Current term - 27 October 2015 – 30 August 2019
First appointed - 27 October 2015

Ms Vignjevic has significant knowledge of, and experience with, migration and settlement issues through a wide range of positions in the community and quasi-judicial sector. She has strong leadership, strategic and stakeholder engagement skills; and a proven track record in developing and maintaining effective partnerships. She was appointed as Acting CEO at South East Community Links (SCAAB division) in August 2015.  Previously she was the Principal Advisor of Operations at Anglicare Victoria. and before that role was the National Manager of Community Migration Programs at Australian Red Cross.

Dr Mimmie Claudine Ngum Chi Watts MPH; GCTE; Ph.D.

Current term - 27 October 2015 – 30 August 2019
First appointed - 27 October 2015

Born and raised in Cameroon, Dr Watts, lectured at Victoria University for 11 years including as Lecturer in Community Health at the College of Health and Biomedicine. Dr Watts is an expert on refugee and minority group health and has published widely in the areas of health and cultural and linguistic diversity. She is active in the migrant and refugee community, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for AMES Australia.

Mr Sisay Dinku

Current term - 9 May 2017 – 30 August 2019

First appointed - 9 May 2017 


Mr Dinku has a strong record of successfully supporting African Australian communities and the broader multicultural community in Victoria, with a focus on employment programs for new migrants and highly disadvantaged job seekers. A founding member of Celebration of African Australians (CAA) and a Councillor of the Pan African Australasian Diaspora Network (PAADN), he currently serves as a member of the African Ministerial Working Group, AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador and the Chairperson of the African Union Delegates Liaison. Mr Dinku has also held professional positions in research, consultancy and advocacy across different sectors.

Events Calendar

  • 25 Aug

    Music that Leaps and Bounds: presented by Chao Feng Chinese Orchestra

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  • 31 Aug

    Ajak Kwai

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  • 31 Aug

    The Lives of Celestials: John Young Zerunge

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  • 06 Sep

    New Springs

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