Dr Hari Harinath to lead Advisory board for Multicultural NSW
In a pleasantly surprising move, Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello announced the appointment of Dr. Hari Harinath as Chair of the Advisory board of the Community Relations Commission, along with seven part-time Advisory Board members. Dr Harinath OAM is a medical practitioner of Indian background, and a renowned and respected member of the Indian community. He currently serves as Chair of Parramasala, the annual South Asian arts festival held in Parramatta, is Commissioner of the Community Relations Commission (CRC) Advisory Board, and NSW Centenary of Anzac Ambassador. He was Chairman of Cricket NSW from 2007 to 2012, and a member of the Cricket Australia Board.
Accepting the appointment Dr. Harinath stated that, “New South Wales is the state that leads change”, and went on to highlight the growing diversity of the state by emphasizing that the advisory board consisted of people from different backgrounds and heritage. Following up on this statement, Minister Dominello said, “The make-up of the new Advisory Board truly reflects the changing face of multicultural NSW, and for the first time includes representatives from across Aboriginal, Anglo-Celtic, Indian, Korean, Chinese, Jewish and Egyptian backgrounds, among others.” Mr Dominello said the appointment of a new Chair came at a pivotal moment, with the CRC soon to become Multicultural NSW under a new three- year strategic plan, Harmony in Action launched in August 2014.
“Legislative changes will see the organisation placing stronger emphasis on the beliefs and values which unite all Australians – including our volunteering ethos, our Aboriginal heritage and our commitment to commemorating those who have served in defending our freedoms,” he added.
In terms of the selection process, Minister Dominello stated, “The advisory board members have been recruited through a skills-based assessment process and will be led by Dr Harinath, a distinguished individual who has been a leader within the Indian Australian community for many decades.” The announcement was made on the sidelines of the launch for the Australian Multicultural Marketing Awards •
MEET THE ADVISORY BOARD
• Mr Devpaal Singh, an Engineering/Law student at Sydney University, is of Indian background and current President of the Sydney University Sikh Society and National Communications and Marketing Director of Sikh Youth Australia. He will be one of the two youth Advisory Board Members.
• Mr Steven Widders, an Aboriginal Australian from the Anaiwan Nation who has worked as an advisor on disability issues on many government and semi-government agencies, including the NSW Disability Council and the First People’s Disability Network.
• Mr Ken Hong, a Sydney lawyer of Korean background and President of the Korean Australian Lawyers Association and the Korean Australian Young Leaders.
• Ms Cathy Guo, who migrated to Australia from China has qualifications in Accounting and Economics, and diverse accounting and taxation experience in the banking, financial services and insurance sectors.
• Mr David Knoll, AO, barrister and mediator has held prominent positions with the University of NSW Faculty of Law and the NSW Bar Association. He is a former Commissioner of the CRC and a former President of the Jewish Board of Deputies. He has been recognised for his work in promoting interfaith understanding through the establishment of the JBD’s Respect, Understanding and Acceptance schools program.
• Ms Margaret Piper, AM, of Anglo-Celtic origin, provides consultancy services on refugee and asylum-seeker issues to government agencies including the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and also works with the Refugee Council of Australia and Australian Red Cross.
• Dr Eman Sharobeem, has been the Director of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service since 2004, is a member of the Anti-Discrimination Board, the Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network and the Fairfield Liverpool Workers Network. Dr Sharobeem is being reappointed after her previous term as a Commissioner expired on 28 February 2014.