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The Speak My Language program would not be possible without our facilitators, all of whom are bilingual and from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Our bilingual facilitators are a conduit between ethnic community broadcasters, experts from the health and aged care sector, and you – the listener!
Using their bilingual skills and wealth of community experience, our national facilitator team delivers passionate and informative conversations about ageing well in a variety of languages.
This page will be updated regularly as our team grows. 

Mandarin (VIC)

Henry Liu

Henry moved to Australia from China, where he gained a Masters of Social Work degree. Being a migrant himself, Henry is interested in helping people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, especially Chinese migrants. 

He works as the Team Leader of Home Care Packages Program in Chinese Community Social Services Centre in Victoria.


The Chinese Community Social Services Centre Inc. The CCSSCI is a not-for-profit government-funded organisation and a registered charity. It’s the largest Chinese specific welfare service in Victoria.

The Centre has been providing a wide range of services to the Chinese population in Victoria for over two decades, including but not limited to residential aged care, Home Care Packages, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), NDIS, etc.

Henry will be working with 3CW Chinese Radio as part of Speak My Language. 

Read more about 3CW here

Serbian (NSW)

Gordana Spirovska

In her early years in Australia, Gordana expressed her interest in working in the community, especially with older people and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


She has gained extensive knowledge of community work and holds qualifications in Community Services and Management. She has many years of experience in aged care and community development.

Gordana is fluent in ex-Yugoslav languages and she provides language assistance and support to many older people who are not able to communicate in English. Coming from a migrant background, Gordana recognises the importance of empowering migrants to adapt and integrate in a new country.

She is currently a Sector Support and Development Officer at the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI).

The MCCI is a peak not-for- profit organisation representing the interests of people from CALD backgrounds and delivering a range of diversity services in aged care, youth development, community capacity building, stakeholder engagement, volunteering, and training. 

Macedonian (NSW)

Verica Sajdovska

Verica was born in Skopje, Macedonia where she lived until 1994, before migrating to Australia. She is of mixed Macedonian and Serbian background and speak-read-write in  both languages fluently.

Since arriving in Australia Verica has completed a range of training qualifications in the files of community welfare, case management and aged care. She will soon be completing a Bachelor of Behavioural Studies – Psychology degree.

Verica is a qualified interpreter and translator in the Macedonian Language and a Justice of the Peace. She is currently in a Manager Role at the Macedonian Welfare Association of NSW Inc. 

Greek (VIC)

Odysseas Kripotos

Odysseas is a broadcast journalist and radio producer in Australia and Greece.


Born in Australia, he spent his formative years in Greece where he discovered his love for politics and news and the arts scene.


Completing a Bachelor of Communication and Mass Media at the University of Athens, he dabbled in writing movie and music reviews before making the move back to Melbourne to further his studies.


While obtaining a Masters in Global Communication at La Trobe University, Odysseas started volunteering at 3ZZZ as a producer, before working for SBS radio for various projects as a journalist and producer.


Over the past two years he has been presenting Fronditha Care’s weekly radio show where he informs the local Greek community about the aged care system in Australia and options for the elderly to age well.


As a Communication and Media Officer at Fronditha Care, he has also authored the soon to be released Fronditha Care 40 Year Anniversary oral history book.

Fronditha Care is a not-for-profit provider of culturally-specific residential and community aged care services in Victoria and provides residential care to the broader multicultural community in Newcastle, NSW.


As an active member of the Greek Australian community, Odysseas continues to contribute voluntarily to several committees and enjoys giving back.

Spanish (QLD)

Lady Milena Romero-Casallas

Lady Milena moved to Australia in 2008 to study English and to expand her horizons. Previously Lady Milena worked in the media sector in her home town of Bogotá, Colombia where she is originally from. 


She is fluent in both Spanish and English and has a Bachelor of Social Communication majoring in Journalism, and she has also completed a Diploma in Community Services Work.

She is currently working for Diversicare as a Community Services Team Leader, and has been working in the Aged Care Industry for the past 7 years.


Lady Milena is passionate about working with communities, especially with the elderly as they have given so much to society and she thinks that they have ample knowledge and experience to offer to younger generations.


Claudia Diaz Amayo

Spanish (QLD)

Claudia Diaz Amayo completed a law degree from the Universidad de Lima, Peru, with a Postgraduate certificate in International Human Rights from the University of Nottingham, England and holds a Masters in Governance and Public Policies from the University of Queensland.

Claudia is a Sector Development officer for the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, her role is all about supporting ethnic associations and groups to formalise, develop and grow through education, resources and one on one consultations.

Previous to this role Claudia worked in Foresters Community Finance as a Development Officer with a focus on building the capacity of NGO’s and Social Enterprises in Queensland and New South Wales and worked as a Multicultural Education and Training Officer at Carers Queensland focusing on cultural competency in the aged care and community sector.

Claudia held the role of Secretary at the Latin American Community of Australia from 2011 to 2016. She volunteered for the radio 4EB Latin American Program from 2014 to 2017 and has a certificate as a Broadcaster and Panel Operator.

Hindi (NSW)

Anju Mathur

Anju Mathur (former last name - Kalra) was born in Myanmar (also known as Burma) and moved to India with her parents as refugees when the military rule came in Mynamar in early 1960’s. Anju is the Founder and President of Dementia Support Group for Indian Australians.


Anju has Masters and Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, was a lecturer in India in renowned Delhi University (Hindu College) and was honoured with the Gold Medal by the Vice President of India for her outstanding academic results in Masters in Social Sciences.

In 1990 Anju moved to Sydney and Anju continued to do her Phd here in Sydney University and then moved on to study in Aged Care and Dementia.


Anju is a Dementia Consultant and an expert in Aged care. She has over 18 years of experience in working with people living with dementia, mental health issues, living in squalor and hoarding and health issues related with age and dementia. Anju’s expertise lies in linking seniors with support services that enables them to live independently and ensures the best outcomes for them including social inclusion, health and happiness.

Anju attends various conferences nationally and internationally and brings the best practices around the world in dementia and aged care to her work with the seniors in the community. Anju is the Team Leader for Health and Wellbeing at Uniting, overseeing health and wellness programs across all their retirement villages across NSW and ACT.

Portuguese (VIC)

Ana Mello

Ana Mello was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she lived until 2008, when she moved to Melbourne, Australia.


Her multicultural family has members from Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Colombia. She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish. She has an extensive global experience on managing projects acquired over twenty five years working for multinational and not-for-profit organizations in the industries of health care & social assistance. Ageing and disability are the fields of practice of her greatest passion.


She holds bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science, a postgrad degree in Financial Market and is currently doing a Masters on Social Work at Monash University, focusing on ageing and disability.


For many years, Ana has been dedicating her expertise to making a positive lasting impact on the wellbeing of disadvantaged communities, aiming on promoting a more inclusive society. She appreciates different cultures, languages, values and ways of interpreting the world and believes that communities can greatly benefit from these differences when integration of their people is fostered.


Ana is currently managing projects for seniors for the Brazilian Association in Victoria (Abrisa) and for the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Women Coalition (VIRWC). She is also a member of the board of directors of Abrisa and of United-Spanish Latin-American Welfare Centre.

ABRISA is the Brazilian Association in Victoria that welcomes and supports our newcomers to make them feel at home; orient them to seek information from specific trusted sources; celebrate our cultural heritage; teach about our culture and language; and take care of our seniors.

Arabic (VIC)

Farah Abdyashoa

Farah was born in Iraq and migrated to Australia in 2014 as a refugee. She is fluent in Arabic, and has a diploma in community services. Farah is interested in helping people from different background especially people that are from Arabic community.

Currently Farah is working for the Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS) as an Aged Care and Disability Support Worker. VASS is a state-wide key service provider with specialist expertise
and knowledge in working with multicultural communities, particularly Arabic Speaking Background (ASB) communities.

It is an inclusive organisation, open to all people regardless of background, and operates on a ‘no-wrong door policy’. 
Farah works with elderly people who they are of Arabic, Chaldean and Assyrian backgrounds.

She works to support clients through Home and Community Care (HACC) programs, motivating them and developing strategies to reach their goals. 

Arabic (NSW)

Rana Kabbout

Rana was born in Lebanon, and migrated to Australia at an early age. She is fluent in English, and Arabic.


Rana originated her involvement in the community sector through volunteering. Her devotion and passion for providing support to the needs of the wider community led her to peruse her studies and employment in the community sector.


She is currently the Community Services team leader at Muslim Care, has been privileged to be involved with a variety of aspects of the organisation, whether it be the aged, disability, housing or the youth. 


Muslim Care is a leading Muslim welfare organisation catering for the needs of the disadvantaged. One of the first approved Muslim service providers for aged, disability and community housing.


Rana understands the immediate and profound impact in vulnerable individuals and greatly appreciates the opportunity to be able to make a difference to the quality of people’s lives, whilst helping build stronger, more inclusive communities.

Portuguese (NSW)

Patricia Laranjeira

Patricia came to Australia 10 years ago from Portugal to study a Masters of Science – Dementia Care at University of Wollongong. She is fluent in Portuguese and can communicate in Spanish, Italian and French.


Dementia was not a familiar topic in her country and she was really interested in learning more about it and bring that knowledge back. Patricia developed a genuine interest in the ageing process and how people can be supported to age well and with dignity, so she completed  another masters in Gerontology. 

Patricia has gained considerable experience in aged care and disability in the past 10 years working with CALD communities through the Aged Care Reform and Community Services in general.

She is very passionate about social justice for elderly communities and goes above and beyond to make sure they are cared for with dignity and respect.  

She is currently coordinating the Carers Support Program at the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI). Patricia also facilitates the Portuguese Social Support Group and the Community Visitors Scheme for CALD residents of Aged Care Homes.

Spanish (VIC)

Rocío del Pilar Mendieta Gómez

Rocio Mendieta moved to Australia in 2015 and graduated from La Sabana University in Colombia with a degree in journalism and communications. She also has a Masters Degree in Business Management and Marketing, and has worked in: Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Spain and Australia. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Previously, Rocio has worked in the media sector in Colombia and Spain, especially in television. She has won two important awards in journalism (CPB and Alvaro Gomez Hurtado) for the best story on television. 

In the last year she has been working as a Public Relations and Communications Coordinator at United Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre, which is not-for-profit organisation that provides aged care services, educational programs and support services to the CALD community. 

Rocio is passionate about working with communities, especially the elderly, who she engages with in her volunteer work in the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) program. 

Russian (VIC)

Vera Kalasnikova

Vera moved to Australia from Russia, where she gained a Degree of Associate Professor and PhD of Mathematics and Physics.


Since arriving in Australia Vera
expressed her interest in working with the community, especially with older people and their families.


She organised a special club Erudite and conducting lectures about science and art for Russian-speaking members of this club during the last two years.


Vera is the administrator of Russian Choral Unity of Melbourne and consistently improves customers’ satisfaction through expert resolution of conflicts, issues and concerns.


This year she received an appropriate certificate and started to work as a broadcaster in Russian group radio 3Z.


Being a migrant herself, Vera is interested in helping people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, especially Russian migrants, and she recognises the importance of empowering migrants to adapt and integrate in a new country.

She is currently working at the Russian Ethnic Representative Council (RERC) of Victoria.


RERC is a community organisation founded in 1984 whose aim is to unite and represent interests of Russian migrants living in Victoria. Aged Care Program is a core business of this organisation. 

Spanish (NSW)

Bertha Quiros

Bertha was born in Lima Peru, South America, and migrated to USA at the age of 14 where she attended UCLA to study Business Management/Travel and Tourism. She arrived in Australia 38 years ago.

Bertha's career path in Australia includes 28 years of working in several areas of the Travel and Tourism sector, and she is a qualified Vocational Trainer of Travel and Tourism, Events, Business and Marketing.

Currently, she works as a community development officer for SALCO (Spanish & Latinamerican Community Organisation). SALCO is an independent, not-for-profit, registered, charity community organisation committed to supporting persons of culturally and linguistically diverse Hispanic backgrounds.

Bertha's role consists of developing, planning and implementing appropriate programs and projects in response to the identified needs, service gaps and community strengths. 

Since her involvement in the Community sector she has played an active part in the community of the Illawarra, being the first to launch a series of Cultural events, such as: The Latin American Film festival in partnership with the Latin American Embassies in Canberra, and The Spanish & Latin American Festival, an outdoor family event and Noche Cultural (Cultural evening) with music, food and entertainment from Latin America and Spain.


Bertha has also taken an active role at VOX FM Ethnic Liason Committee, Multicultural Reference Group of Wollongong Council and supporting Wollongong and Shellharbour Councils and other community organisations with culturally appropriate information and activities.

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Cantonese (QLD)

Eugene Hsu

Eugene was born in Taiwan and grew up in Hong Kong. He came to Australia in 2013 to study Bachelor in Social Work at The University of Queensland.  He has a strong passion in helping people, especially with the people from culturally and linguistically diverse background.  


He is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.  He also has wide range of experience working/volunteering in mental health, disability and aged care sector.

Eugene is currently working for Diversicare, as a Home Support Officer; provide Aged Care information, case management, service coordination to the client (and their family members) who is receiving services under Commonwealth Home Support program (CHSP).  Eugene also assist clients to identify their future care needs and

Diversicare is a division of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, and the organisation helps people from over 65 different ethnic backgrounds representing over 45 different languages. 


Diversicare is a certified and accredited organisation to provide quality in-home services, for client who has been approved for CHSP, Home care package (HCP) or Queensland Community Care (QCC) program.  Diversicare also specialise in matching client with carers that speak the same language and that provide culturally respectful care.

Diversicare is also a leading provider of resources, information, education and training to state funded community care and aged care service providers and to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.


Vietnamese (NSW)

Phung Ngo

Phung came to Australia in 2009. Being a migrant, she is passionate about helping people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families, especially Vietnamese speaking migrants. She has local experience working with Vietnamese elderly people and has also established strong connections with them. She now works as an Assistant Coordinator in Multicultural Home Ageing Services of CASS Care Ltd to promote and strengthen the provision of services to the Vietnamese community.

Phụng đến Úc vào năm 2009. Là người di cư sang Úc, Phụng hiểu rõ những khó khăn của người nhập cư và luôn nhiệt tình giúp đỡ những người có nguồn gốc văn hóa và ngôn ngữ đa dạng cùng với gia đình của họ, đặc biệt là những người nhập cư nói tiếng Việt. Phụng có nhiều kinh nghiệm làm việc với người cao niên Việt Nam ở địa phương, và có sự gắn kết chặt chẽ với hội người cao niên. Hiện nay Phụng đang làm Assistant Coordinator của Dịch vụ Chăm sóc người cao niên tại nhà của công ty CASS Care, nhằm thúc đẩy và tăng cường cung cấp các dịch vụ chăm sóc dành cho cộng đồng người Việt.

CASS Care Ltd is a multi-disciplined community services provider active in the provision of a comprehensive range of social welfare services, catering the needs from cradle to seniors, including disability services, child care, home ageing services, residential aged care, vocational, settlement and health services, and many other community-based services. At present, more than 2,600 families access its services and activities weekly.


Home Ageing Services of CASS Care provide help at home and other support services to elderly people of the East Asian communities as well as other Australians. Services are currently provided in all metropolitan areas of Sydney and in Wollongong.

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Lambrini Angelos and Marina Lambert

Greek (NSW)

For the past 23 years Lambrini Angelos has worked as a Coordinator of the Holy Apostles Health and Wellness Centre in Newcastle, NSW. 

In her role as Coordinator, Lambrini works with elderly and aged people in the Greek community assisting them with their needs and wellbeing. 

Marina Lambert is the Coordinator for the Hunter Multicultural Greek Aged Care Centre in Newcastle, NSW. 
Marina was brought up in the Greek community of Newcastle, and has established close bonds with the people she works with. 

Her background is in finance, having run her own business for 18 years. However, her passion is for giving back to the community and that is why she took on the role of Coordinator.

Hunter Multicultural Communities (HMC) is a non-profit public benevolent organisation serving established, new and emerging multicultural communities in the Hunter Region.


HMC provides social support and community programs for seniors, people with disabilities and their carers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This helps them to live independently in their own home and to prevent early admission to permanent residential care.


Danijela Hlis

Slovenian, French and Italian (NSW)

Danijela Hlis is a retired Human Resource Manager who later studied Aged care/Dementia/Diversional therapy in order to be a better carer to her parents who migrated from Slovenia in 1996. Danijela also worked in many European countries as interpreter/translator. She is fluent in French, Italian, Slovenian, and has good understanding of Croatian and some Spanish.


Danijela is also a published writer, her recent bilingual collection Forget- me- nots/Spomincice introduces the reader to the topics of ageing and life with dementia among people of CALD backgrounds. She says we need unconditional love to be part of our friendly communities. She points out that, ”Loneliness and isolation are the biggest killers." 


Danijela has worked in the private and public sector, including at the Migrant Resource Centre, Ethnic Affairs commission, Multicultural Council, and has also also volunteered as a Bi-cultural social support worker. For the last 10 years, she has been actively involved in dementia research.

As a Dementia Australia Advocate, Danijela often gives talks at conferences and workshops about the importance of inclusion, the need to respect diversity & human rights, and encouraging people to actively participate in research, and be proactive about their wellbeing.


Sheila Marie Bagaoisan-Bangayan 

Filipino (VIC)

Sheila is an AASW accredited Social Worker in Australia and registered Guidance Counsellor in the Philippines. She is a graduate of Master of Social Work from RMIT University, and Certificate III in Aged Care.

She also holds a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (major in Economics and Psychology) from the University of the Philippines Baguio, Master of Psychology from Saint Paul University Philippines, and Master of Guidance and Counselling from Cagayan State University.

She commenced her career as Guidance Counsellor and Part-time Psychology Instructor at the Medical Colleges of Northern Philippines (MCNP) and the International School of Asia and the Pacific (ISAP) for 11 years. Prior to migrating to Australia in 2015, she was with the Cagayan State University-Sanchez Mira Campus serving her hometown as Guidance Counsellor.

During her placement for her Social Work degree and while working in the aged care industry, she gained experience working with the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Victoria. She is passionate about making a positive change in serving the Filipino community and to actively involve in the advocacy against family violence and elder abuse, and the promotion of gender and development.

Currently, Sheila is working for the Filipino Community Council of Victoria, Inc. (FCCVI) as the Operations Manager. FCCVI is a duly incorporated non-profit umbrella body of the Filipino organisations in Victoria, founded in 1988. It is a government-funded aged care service provider for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC-PYP), and Home Care Packages.


Lucia Buxton

Filipino (NSW)

Lucia Buxton migrated to Australia from the Philippines in the early 1980s. She is currently the coordinator for thhe Hunter Multicultural Groups Coordination Project. 

Lucia piloted this program in the early 1990s and it is still thriving today. In her role she organises social, craft and educational sessions for CALD community groups that are located in rural and remote areas.

Storytelling, sharing different music and tasting different types of food are all activities that Lucia's project encourages and engages with. 

The Hunter Multicultural Groups Coordination Project is funded by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and The National Respite for Carers Program. It is managed by Hunter Multicultural Communities (HMC). 

HMC is a non-profit public benevolent organisation serving established, new and emerging multicultural communities in the Hunter Region.


The organisation provides social support and community programs for seniors, people with disabilities and their carers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This helps them to live independently in their own home and to prevent early admission to permanent residential care.

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Reasmey Sab and 
Chanrangsey Sim

Khmer (VIC)

Reasmey Sab was born in Cambodia and migrated to Australia with her parents and siblings at a young age. She has lived and grown up in Australia since then but has been back to visit Cambodia on numerous occasions.


Reasmey is the CEO at Beata Homecare, which is an organization that provides services to the Khmer community and other vulnerable seniors in Victoria. She is also a Registered Nurses with a Master’s degree in Nursing and has extensive experience in the hospital, community and aged care industry.


As an active member of the community, Reasmey and her team have provided support to elderlies and their families to navigate the aged care system and access aged care services in both residential and community settings. They understand the overwhelming feeling and difficulties faced by many, and are passionate about eliminating these obstacles to ensure care and support services are accessed by those in need.


Reasmey is proud to represent the Khmer community as a part of the national wide “Speak My Language” program.

Chanrangsey was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and migrated to Australia in 1994 with her family. At a very young age, she knew that nothing is more satisfying than being able to help people, hence decided to choose nursing and completed her bachelor’s degree at Deakin University. Chanrangsey completed year 12 Khmer as a second language in Victoria and is able to speak Khmer.

Chanrangsey has had 10 years’ experience working in acute and aged care nursing prior to becoming a Case Manager at Beata Homecare. She has experience working with seniors from various backgrounds with special care needs and is proud to able to assist cambodian seniors navigate the aged care system and assist the client by referring them to services they need.

She has the pleasure of witnessing the many benefits her clients had gained through receiving the home care package which enables them to be more independent and have a quality of life.

Chanrangsey is committed in building more awareness within the Cambodian community on how to access aged care services in Australia and continue to empower Cambodian seniors to make the choices they wish to ensure they are ageing with dignity.

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Thao Ha

Vietnamese (VIC)

Thao has worked for Australasian Vietnamese Women Association since 2001. On Saturdays, she also works as a Vietnamese Language teacher for Victoria School of Languages and Lac Hong Vietnamese Language School.

She has qualifications in: Bachelor of Education (University of Education of Ho Chi Minh City), Advanced Diploma in Business-Accounting (Victoria University of Technology), Diploma of Community Services Coordination ( Leading Aged Services Australia), Certificate IV in Service Coordination Ageing & Disability (Pragmatic Training, Melbourne).


The Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association Incorporated (AVWA), formerly, Australian Vietnamese Women’s Welfare Association, has been serving the community since its establishment on January 15th, 1983. The organisation visions are to build up a harmonious society in which everyone, irrespective of age, gender, skills, abilities, ethnicity & religion, feels valued, is motivated and empowered to contribute.


AVWA provide a wide range of services from playgroups to Home Care Packages and Planned Activity Groups for the frail and the aged, including youth activities, parents’ and men’s groups, training, employment assistance, sports, prisoner support, drug & alcohol treatment, etc… We also run various community education/awareness projects, help provide cultural support to NGOs as well as government departments/services.


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Māori (QLD)

Harata was raised in Te Urewera, on the North Island of New Zealand. Her first language was Te Reo Māori and was raised on the Marae under the guidance of her elders, family and extended family.


Harata is well versed in an array of disciplines. Harata holds degrees in Social work (bi cultural practice) and Māori studies. Since 2012, Harata has worked as a radiobroadcaster on 98.1fm Multi-Cultural radio station on the Māori Program where she promotes and educates her listeners of Māori culture and events occurring in the community. Harata has also worked for UnitingCare Community Disability Support Services in Queensland.


Harata uses her Diploma’s in Teaching and Applied Sciences to facilitate Māori Language & Cultural classes in North Brisbane and has received the Te Apa Mareikura award in 2010 for proven leadership ability in community health that contributes to future Māori health improvements. Harata also possesses training in mental health, computer literacy and a Certificate IV in disabilities.


Harata continues to leave a lasting legacy on her community, affecting not just Māori people but all people she crosses paths with. Harata is a promoter of wellness through spirituality, language, culture and education. She will add tremendous value to the Speak My Language program with her knowledge and experience of Māori health, culture and affairs assisting her community elders to age well in Australia.


“Ko au , ko koe , ko taua”

I am, You are, We are

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Saqib Awan

Punjabi (VIC)

Saqib Awan is a community development practitioner and social researcher in the field of International Development, focusing Participation, Localization and Power Politics in aid relations with a critical Post Development lens. Born in Pakistan, Saqib moved to Australia as skilled immigrant in 2009. He has worked for more than ten years in the social service / not for profit sector and worked closely with national and international funding agencies.


As a grassroots community activist, Saqib is a strong advocate of human rights of marginalized and disadvantaged groups, which includes but not limited to the indigenous people, women, CALD (Culturally & Linguistically Diverse) communities, people of colour, refugees and immigrants.

Macedonian (VIC)

Blaga Petreska

Blaga migrated to Australia from the Republic of Macedonia in 1986. In her 30 years in Australia, Blaga has been an active member of the Macedonian community in Victoria, being involved with Macedonian charities, Macedonian
radio programs and other Macedonian community organisations.

For the last ten years, Blaga has worked for the Macedonian Community Welfare Association (MCWA), providing aged care advocacy and socialisation
support for Macedonian seniors and those living with a disability.

The Macedonian Community Welfare Association (MCWA) is a statewide not-for-profit community based organization. The aim of MCWA is to provide a high quality and culturally sensitive service to the aging, elderly and disabled members of Victoria and to provide wellness and re-enablement services through best practice and compliance.

The MCWA responds to the growing welfare-based needs of the wider community by providing services that focus on developing client care relationships based on cultural expertise that our customers know, love and are comfortable with.

Blaga is committed to ensuring that the Macedonian community have access to high quality aged and disability services, and have the capacity to make decisions for themselves about how they would like to live and age well.


Arabic (NSW)

Abdul Nasser

Abdul Nasser received a master's degree in manuscripts from Baghdad, a Masters in Islamic Studies from Gaza, and a certificate of Bachelors in Islamic law from Baghdad. 

He has also obtained a Diploma in Community Services and is currently completing a Bachelors in Social Work. 

Abdul Nasser has worked several years serving vulnerable groups in communities in Gaza, and today in Australia. He currently works with Muslim Care Australia, a foundation that provides many services and programs for the care of the elderly in Campsie, NSW.

Abdul Nasser works at Sydney Alliance as a regulator of the Muslim community in Sydney. In partnership with many ethnic and religious community organisations, Abdul carries out campaigns aimed at empowering citizens in the city of Sydney. 

He is also the father of eight children, living in Western Sydney. 

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Cantonese (NSW)

Adelaide Fung and Rebekah Kwan

Adelaide Fung and Rebekah Kwan work in the Communications and Marketing Unit for The Australian Nursing Home Foundation (ANHF). The pair has been working closely together for the past 10 years to promote aged care services among the Chinese community through information sessions, forums, various Chinese media (newspaper, radio, television etc), and information stalls at aged services expos and council festivals.


Together, Adelaide and Rebekah run ANHF’s 2AC Chinese Radio Broadcast. The ANHF are one of Australia’s leading and largest non-profit providers of culturally appropriate residential and community-based aged care and aim to ensure that clients live positively, age positively and feel empowered to choose the care and support they wish to receive.

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Pauline Kim and 
Ji Eun (Euna) Park

Korean (NSW)

Pauline was a teacher in Korea and she migrated to Australia 30 years ago. Her passion in serving Korean community led her to study Community Welfare Services in TAFE. She has been working for CASS Care Ltd since 2007 and is currently the Executive Support Officer looking after Multicultural Home Ageing Services. She is devoted in making a difference for the lives of Korean seniors through providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

한국에서 교사였으며, 30 년 전에 호주로 이주했습니다. 호주 한인 사회를 섬기고 싶은 마음에서  TAFE에서 복지 서비스를 공부하었습니다. 공부를 마치고 2007 년부터 CASS Care Ltd에서 노인 복지 서비스를 돌보는 일을

해왔습니다. 현재는 다문화 노인 복지 서비스를 돌보는 Executive Support Officer로근무하고 있습니다. CASS에서 문화적 언어적으로 적절한 서비스를 제공함으로써한국 노인들의 삶에 도움이 되고자 열심히 일하고 있습니다.

Ji Eun (Euna) has just joined  CASS Care Ltd as a Multicultural Home Ageing Service (HAS) coordinator.

She has diverse professional backgrounds of mental health occupational therapy, behavioural therapy and subtitle translation.  

She feels passionate about providing quality aged care services to seniors of Korean background to enhance their quality of life and promote independence and autonomy.

노인복지 서비스 코디네이터로 CASS Care Ltd에 최근에 근무를시작했습니다.

정신건강 작업치료사,행동치료사와 자막 통역사등 다양한 경험을소유하고 있습니다.

한국 어르신들의 삶의질, 독립성과 자립성을향상시키는 데 도움을주는 양질의 노인복지서비스 제공을 위해 열정적으로 일하고 있습니다.

CASS Care Ltd is a multi-disciplined community services provider active in the provision of a comprehensive range of social welfare services, catering the needs from cradle to seniors, including disability services, child care, home ageing services, residential aged care, vocational, settlement and health services, and many other community-based services. At present, more than 2,600 families access its services and activities weekly.


Home Ageing Services of CASS Care provide help at home and other support services to elderly people of the East Asian communities as well as other Australians. Services are currently provided in all metropolitan areas of Sydney and in Wollongong.

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Wendy Mo

Mandarin (NSW)

Wendy joined CASS as a community worker in June 2013, initially she was active in assisting newly arrived Chinese-speaking migrants to settle in Australia and to understand community services. Since early 2018, she becomes a Home Care Coordinator in Home Ageing Services. She is passionate about supporting older people of Asian background to live independently at home through ongoing assessment, care planning and service coordination. She is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

莫姑娘于2013年6月加入华人服务社工作,作为社区工作者, 最初她积极投身帮助华语新移民定居澳洲并了解社区服务。自2018年初以来,她成为家居护老服务协调员。她热衷于为亞裔的長者透過持续的评估,獲得適當的护理计划和服务,以帮助長者在家中独立养老。她精通普通话和广东话。

CASS Care Ltd is a multi-disciplined community services provider active in the provision of a comprehensive range of social welfare services, catering the needs from cradle to seniors, including disability services, child care, home ageing services, residential aged care, vocational, settlement and health services, and many other community-based services. At present, more than 2,600 families access its services and activities weekly.


Home Ageing Services of CASS Care provide help at home and other support services to elderly people of the East Asian communities as well as other Australians. Services are currently provided in all metropolitan areas of Sydney and in Wollongong.

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Nami Hirano

Japanese (QLD)

Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Nami acquired fluent Japanese language abilities through her involvement in the Japanese community from a young age and her parents’ passionate encouragement of the Japanese language at home. Her main motives in learning the Japanese language and culture stems from the desire to communicate with her grandparents and engaging deeply with her Japanese background.

Being a member of the Japanese Community Queensland Inc (JCQ) established in 2018 has enabled Nami to be a part of the strengthening of the Japanese community. JCQ supports the dissemination of information and supports Japanese residents across the lifespan.

Having graduated Masters of Physiotherapy in 2015 from Griffith University on the Gold Coast, she has worked in remote and urban community based Indigenous health. Working in the Indigenous health setting where family, culture and community are strongly valued, ignited Nami’s desire to make a difference within the Japanese community.  

Being a generalist physiotherapist in the primary healthcare setting, awareness and knowledge of My Aged Care has been vital in providing optimal holistic care and support to elderly community members and their families.



ジャパン・コミュニティー・クィーンズランド Inc(JCQ)という非営利団体が2018年に創立されました。JCQ とは主にクィーンズランドに住む日本人や親日家のオージーへの情報の普及やサポートを行っています。この度はJCQ一会員として、日本人高齢者やその家族のサポートの為情報提供に携わらせて頂きます。

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Elizabeth Drozd and Ewa Figiel

Polish (VIC)

Elizabeth Drozd arrived in Australia in 1982, as a young adult, under the Special Humanitarian Program, available to people who were fleeing the communist regime in Poland. 

She spoke no English and had no occupation.  She went to work in a factory after three days and began her settlement journey.

For the last 27 years, she has been working in community services sector and local government. Currently she is the Chief Executive Officer of Australian Multicultural Community Services, Board Director of Care Connect, a Chairperson of a charitable foundation for the Rotary Club of Footscray and a Committee Member of Working Heritage.  


She was a Victorian Multicultural Commissioner between 2008-15.  In her work-free time, she enjoys gardening, travelling, and enjoying Melbourne's multicultural cuisine and celebrations. 

Ewa (Eva) Figiel came to Australia  in 1987 form Poland. She learned English in Australia and after two years of working in different jobs, she started working at SBS Radio as a Journalist and Audio Producer. Radio was Ewa’s passion back in Poland where she worked as a Musical Recording Executive Producer.


Ewa’s passion for serving the community could be fulfilled producing many radio programs informing Polish listeners in their native language  about life in Australia. She has always had special interest in health, age care and helping children.


Ewa was taking care of her parents, who migrated to Australia. She helped them to open Polish Senior Club and encouraged them to participate in social life in a new country. Her motivation was to provide independence for them, enjoyment and wellbeing. Ewa is a very strong believer in social justice and fairness.


For the last 29 years Ewa has been working for SBS, she was a Board Member in Australian Multicultural Community Services, currently she works there as Community Engagement Advisor, and she is serving as a Board Member at Griefline Community and Family Services.


Ewa loves to travel, learn about new cultures, loves music and enjoys bushwalking in Australia.

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Haruki Wu

Cantonese (VIC)

Haruki Wu was born in Guangzhou, China. She came to Melbourne, Australia for study in 2009. In the following years, she gained a Bachelor degree of Commerce from Deakin University and a Master degree of Social Work from RMIT University, and then officially migrated to Australia in 2017. She is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

She is currently working at Chinese Community Social Services Centre Inc. (CCSSCI) where she used to undertake her first Social Work placement. At CCSSCI, she has multiple roles: Community Services Worker and Community Visitors Scheme Coordinator. She is passionate at supporting and advocating people from Chinese cultural background to access community services, engage Australian society and culture, enhance their awareness of their own rights and have a higher-quality life in this new country.

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Uma Palvannan

Tamil (QLD)

Uma was born in India where she lived until 1994. She has an Engineering degree

and has worked in the IT industry in various countries, including the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, before moving to Australia in 2003. She is an IT Consultant by profession currently working for QLD government. She has also worked for Australian Election commission during the recent Election period.


Uma is engaged with Tradern Australia (TAUS)  as a Bilingual Facilitator in the Tamil language for the speak my language community project. Tradern Australia (TAUS) Care and Training is a multicultural Aged care and Disability Service provider, providing consulting and services to eligible people from the multicultural communities who may experience barriers to accessing mainstream services, as well as the wider community.  


Uma also takes pride in being a volunteer broadcaster and panel operator with Radio4EB Tamil-Oli.  She is doing broadcast since 2017 and one of the eminent and an experienced broadcaster to do a live show of gala and public events with mobile studio /outside broadcast van.  The broadcast training, she received from Radio4EB Tamil-Oli helped her in communication to excel the facilitator role.


Uma is a dedicated, self-motivated person with a passion for community projects and always looking for challenging tasks. Uma found the speak my language program

interesting as the topics she has chosen were highly important with sensitive matters.  Through this community project, Uma recognised the importance of empowering the elderly in the community with information about the aged care system, including accessing the services. 


தொடரும் எமது தமிழ் சமூக சேவை! இணைந்து  நிற்போம் வானலையில்!


Carmen Calleya-Capp

Maltese (VIC)

Carmen was born in Birzebbuga, Malta and in the late 1950's migrated with her family to Australia. As a child, she remembers her parents working hard to buy a house and create a home filled with love and lots of encouragement to achieve a good and happy life.  As a child growing up in 1960's Melbourne there were many moments where being a Maltese little girl was certainly not always easy. Carmen was brought up to be proud of being Maltese and to also be proud of being Australian. She recalls sitting next to her father while he read letters to her in Maltese from his brother in Malta and much storytelling about life in Malta. There were always Maltese newspapers at home and listening to Maltese radio.


Carmen who has had over 30 years involvement in multicultural affairs including the Maltese Community in Victoria, has worked in the areas of community services, aged care, education and income support.  Carmen went on to hold senior positions in the public service and community sector.  


Her interest in aged care started with her role as Director of Welfare for the the Maltese Community Council of Victoria where she helped to establish Home Care Packages. Carmen with her parents worked to support the Dominican Sisters of Malta to build a residential aged care home. 


Carmen is a member of the Speak My Language Advisory Committee and knows that ethnic radio plays an integral role in providing information to older members of her community. 

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Kerstin Liebchen

German (QLD)

Kerstin migrated from Germany to Australia in 1991, completed her Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education at the University of Queensland (UQ) and commenced an over 20 years teaching career inGerman and English language teaching in primary, secondary and tertiary education settings. Kerstin has been involved with community work in Australia and in India. Kerstin was involved in setting up a school for disadvantaged children in India and is the chairperson for a small NGO supporting literacy, health and empowerment projects in Bihar state, India. She instigated a sister school agreement with a high school in Darmstadt, Germany and led an exchange program that brought German and Australian
student and parent communities together. Her passion for intercultural understanding, networking and community prompted her to study and complete a degree in the Masters of Community Development
Practice program.


She has been involved in developing and publishing curriculum resources and audio
support materials for teachers for the Australian Curriculum, German. Kerstin is an executive member of her local Zonta Club and a member of professional associations such as the Modern Language Teachers
Association, the German Round Table and the train-the-trainer program for the Goethe Institut.


Yoshiko Moore

Japanese (QLD)

Yoshiko was born in Japan and migrated to Australia 22 years ago. Growing up, she had a close relationship with her grandparents and has always been passionate about caring for elderly with dignity. Yoshiko started her career in aged care 11 years ago with Multicultural Communities Council Gold Cost (MCCGC) caring for CALD background seniors. Yoshiko completed a Bachelor of Nursing in 2017 and is currently a Care Advisor/Registered Nurse at CÜRA Community Services (Community Aged Care Section of MCCGC). Yoshiko is a committee member of the Japan Community of Queensland (JCQ), working to establish culturally and linguistically appropriate support for Japanese seniors in Queensland. Yoshiko hopes that engaging with Speak My Language will motivate Japanese seniors to take control of their wellness in order to thrive in senior life. 


日本からオーストラリア、ゴールドコーストに22年前に移り住みました。幼少期より祖父母と共に暮らしていたため、尊厳のある高齢者の介護に常に関心を持ちながら育ちました。 ゴールドコーストにて英語を母国語としないシニアを支援するMulticultural Communities Council Gold Coast(MCCGC)で11年前にエイジドケアのキャリアを始め、2017年にはグリフィス大学で看護学を卒業しました。CÜRAコミュニティサービス(MCCGCのエイジドケア部門)にてケアアドバイザー/正看護師として様々な文化、言語の異なるシニアのサポートをしています。ジャパン・コミュニティー・クィーンズランド(JCQ)の運営委員の一員として、クイーンズランド州の日本人シニアが日本の文化、言語を重視したサポート、そしてサービスの向上の為活動に取り組んでいます。 Speak My Languageが、オーストラリアに住む日本人シニアが様々なエイジドケアサービスを通して、健康で充実したシニア生活を送るきっかけになることを願っています。

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Dongmei Zhang

 Mandarin (NSW)

Dongmei Zhang has worked with Women’s health in the South East and Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health in Victoria before she moved to Newcastle with her family in 2012. She joined Northern Settlement Services Ltd.(NSS) as a project officer to undertake the Chinese Community Engagement Project in 2013.

After the successfully accomplished the project she was recruited as the Chinese social support program co-ordinator. Dongmei has been built up a strong relationship with the local Chinese
community organisations and individual members. The program is well recognised by the local Chinese seniors and their families. Chinese social support program is under the funding of Department of Health and belonging to the Commonwealth Community Home Support program.


Dongmei acquired her bachelor degree of clinical medicine in China. She also got her Certificate IV in
training and assessment in 2012.


Yen Vu

Vietnamese (QLD)

Yen moved to Australia from Vietnam in 1995.

Yen Vu is a Home Care worker with Diversicare. Yen started her role with Diversicare in 2008 after completing her certificate in Individual Support, Aged Care. Yen is passionate about providing services to the community members. 

Yen has been a carer and supported both her mother and father through the aged care system in Australia. Yen has a good understanding about Aged Care Services in Australia and understands the importance of having information in different languages for consumers for all different backgrounds. Yen is excited to be a Bilingual Facilitator with the Speak My Language program and is looking forward to sharing stories with the Vietnamese communities.

Yen goes back to Vietnam every year to Volunteer at a children’s orphanage. Yen assist the local Nuns with the day to day running of the orphanage and provides love and care to the children. 

Diversicare is a division of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, and the organisation helps people from over 65 different ethnic backgrounds representing over 45 different languages. 

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Amie Nean

English (Indigenous) (QLD)


I would like to introduce myself.

My name is Amie Nean, and I am a proud Kamilaroi woman, born and raised in a little town nestled amongst the hills on the beautiful Kamilaroi lands, known as home to me “Quirindi” NSW. 

Having been the third generation of female Nurses within my family to stand passionate and work within the Health care sector. Starting my career back in 1999 as an AIN working within residential aged care facilities to crossing over in the NSW HNEAHS, Allied Health sector, working within the (AMIHS) Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Services, to then for many years working as a Coordinator for the (MOICD), Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Programs within our servicing areas. 

These positions have enabled me to coordinate many Indigenous chronic disease preventative programs for our Indigenous people and has helped me to assist clients with their chronic disease management plan and ongoing treatment for the longevity of their lives. 

Whilst working full time raising my three children, I proceeded to achieve my Nursing degree, where to this day still lend a helping hand at our local Hospital as a ward Nurse.

I have been a project manager for the Primary Health Network working within the Aboriginal Health Access Team, and have tracked across many western Indigenous communities, as far out as Toomelah, Moree and then up to the Tablelands as far as Tenterfied. 

After tracking so many miles within our areas of service I have had many opportunities to sit, listen and consult of service needs gaps within our small communities. 

One highlighted key message that is echoed throughout country within our Indigenous and Non–Indigenous Elderly population is the need for a more simplified “Aged Friendly” supported and culturally assisted pathway to navigate the Government Aged Care system. The focus to “understand” this process in a language that is understood and clear, is imperative for achieving optimal outcomes depending on the needs of the aging individual. 

Currently I am fortunate to now be working as a Project Coordinator- Manager for our local Walhallow Aboriginal Corporation and medical centre,  this allows me to still case manage, coordinate and implement preventative measures for our community members. 

I am excited to be asked to be a part of the “Speak my Language” Program to continue to assist, educate and help navigate my community people in in the aging care process. 




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Jennelyn Terkildsen

Filipino (NSW)

Jennelyn was born in the Philippines. She is fluent in Filipino, Visayan , Chavacano and Ilonggo.

Terkildsen currently works with ConnectAbility Australia as Multicultural Access Project (MAP) Officer for the Central Coast and My Aged Care Team Leader (SSI-CHSP). Jennelyn is also the Chairperson of the Multicultural Access Project (MAP) Reference Group of the Central Coast. 


ConnectAbility Australia provides Disability Support, Aged Care Support, Family Counselling, Community and Art Programs. ​​

Jennelyn is also a well established academic. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Social Welfare) Charles Sturt Universit, a Certificate in Language Teaching – University of Wollongong, a Diploma in Community Service and a Certificate III in Children’s Services all in Australia. 


In the Phillipines, she gained a Master of Arts in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She was also a Public School Elementary School Teacher for 13 years.​

Jennelyn will be a valued member of the Speak My Language Program and will bring a set of knowledge unique to pass on to the Filipino Community.

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