An inclusive Australian society that actively upholds the principles of multiculturalism.
Our key areas are:
- ENGAGE AND EMPOWER: Engage, involve, and empower CALD communites to contribute to, and participate in, all aspects of public life.
- COLLABORATE AND PARTNER: Collaborate and form partnerships to generate collective action on issues of importance to CALD communities.
- LEAD AND REPRESENT: Take a leadership role as an advocate for multiculturalism and represent issues of importance to CALD communities to governments and businesses.
- STRENGTHEN AND BUILD CAPACITY: Strengthen our processes and build organisational capacity to acheive strategic objectives.
The peak multicultural body in NSW
The Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW (ECCNSW) is the peak body for all culturally and linguistically diverse communities in New South Wales. It is a non-profit association that was established in 1975 at Sydney Town Hall by a mass rally of all ethnic communities in NSW.
ECCNSW Outreach across Sydney
ECCNSW Outreach Rural and Regional
Documents and Reports
Our Board of Management
The ECCNSW Board of Management is a subset of the Members’ Forum and includes all office bearers.
Peter Doukas OAM
Elected Chair in 2013 and re-elected in 2015 and 2019 Peter Doukas was the youngest ever Chair of the ECCNSW.
Elected Deputy Chair in 2019. Member since 2004 and has held a variety of positions. Fiona is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church Sts Constantine and Helen Ladies Auxiliary and is a practising solicitor.
Elected Treasurer in 2017 and Board member since 2005. An experienced NFP board director and formerly a senior executive with TransGrid, who provides HR and change management consulting services to NFPs.
Elected in 2019 as Youth Chair. Joshua is a government policy consultant, Director of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Vice President of the NSW Council of Christians and Jews, and Youth PoWR board member.
Elected 2022 and 2017. George has worked in the real estate industry for 48 years, in both the Sutherland Shire and Inner West markets with LJ Hooker Marrickville and now Raine & Home Commercial with his son Anthony. George is member of Property Council of Australia, Real Estate Institute of NSW, and Board Member of the ESTIA Foundation (Part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese).
Christine Lynch OAM
Elected 2015 as board member. Member of AHEPA Australia Ltd 50 years, served as national president 2013-2015. A member of the Greek Young Matrons Association since 1984, committee member of St Basil’s Ladies Auxiliary for over 20 years, and member of the Hellenic Women of Sydney committee.
Elected 2022 and 2012. Founder President Australia India Business Council; President, We Australians Are Creative Inc; Director of Community Resource Network; Director Mount Druitt Community Agency; and Member of the Art Advisory sub-Committee of Blacktown. Mr Alvi is a strong advocate of environmental protection and renewable energy.
Jack Passaris OAM
Board Member and Founding Life Member
ECCNSW office bearer for 45 years, foundation and life member. Mr Passaris is President of Multicultural Care Inc and Newtown Greek Orthodox Parish, Treasurer and Trustee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, and former Marrickville Council deputy mayor.
Ada Cheng is a qualified Social Worker and holds a Master degree in Community Management. Ada has over 25 years of experience in Aged Care Management and has a proven track record in service planning and development. Ada serves as the CEO of Australian Nursing Home Foundation.
Elected to the Members’ Forum in 2012 and as a Board Member on 2017. Mr Pashalis is the Secretary of the Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of Belmore “All Saints”.
Elected Board Member 2022 and 2015. Ms.Lin is a Managing Director of Food Import/Distributing Company OZ PACIFIC P/L and has been involved in Multi-grains and Organic Food areas since 2003. She is an Australian Quarantine Accredited Person. Elected President of Taiwanese Women’s Association in 2000.
Elected to Board in 2019. Served in various Board positions for over thirty years. Established first Sikh Gurdwara in north shore Sydney. Performed over the years in Sydney Shell Folkloric festival. Former member of ministerial consultative committee. Counter chair of Care Worldwide, a community welfare organisation.
Principal Solicitor with Unisaj Legal a Law firm at Parramatta – Sydney. He has served as Treasurer of Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA). He is legal adviser of Indian Crescent Society of Australia, Vedic Parisad – Australia, AUSPAK Women Association and Shuhag Charity. He served ECCNSW as Treasurer and Assistant Secretary. Mr Panwala is a former Human Rights Activist, Development Consultant and Legal Trainer practised in the High Court of Gujarat – India. Mr Panwala under Universal Interpreters and Translators (UIT) providing interpreters and translation in more than 100 languages.
Amir Salem OAM
Amir has more than 25 years’ experience in teaching and program management at TAFE Multicultural Education program and is president of the Australian Egyptian Forum Council. He was also the lead tutor on a project which developed a training program for Australians doing business in Asia and the Middle East.
The Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW was established in 1975 at Sydney Town Hall by a mass rally of all ethnic communities in the presence of two former Prime Ministers, Hon. Gough Whitlam and Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser.
The ECC in NSW was the first such organisation in Australia and went on to assist in the establishment of ECCs in other States and also the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia.
The ECCNSW has made a significant contribution to the establishment of organisations such as the Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW (now Community Relations Commission of NSW), the Federation of Community Languages Schools, the Association of Translators and Interpreters, SBS Television and Multicultural Community Radio.
Our hardworking Staff are committed to promoting the principles of multiculturalism and working vigorously towards the future development of a multicultural society.
Chief Executive Officer
Mary is a passionate believer in the principles of multiculturalism. Mary brings to her current role as Chief Executive Officer of the ECCNSW a wealth of learning and experiences as a result of her work with diverse communities.
Project Coordinator "Men Against Violence"
Fadi started working at the ECCNSW in April 2018. He is currently working as the Coordinator for Men Against Violence (MAV) Project to develop positive attitudes and behaviours towards women in their own cultures and those of other cultures.
Media and Communications Officer
Louise started work with ECCNSW in February 2020. She has a strong background in media and communications, previously working as a Media Advisor for Premiers, Federal and State Ministers.
Esther is an experienced multimedia journalist and communications officer with an extensive career both in Australia and Spain. She currently works as journalist and radio broadcaster at SBS.
Inner West Sector Support Development and Training Officer
Marina has worked extensively in both the Government and non-Government sectors. Her knowledge, expertise and experience in aged care, informs policy development and implementation and best practice in service delivery.
SSD Support Officer
Natalie joined ECCNSW in July 2020. With over 10 years of experience in professional office assistant positions, she is now a versatile SSD Support Officer for the Inner West Sector Support Development and Training Program.
National Manager 'Speak My Language' "Living well with disability"
Vanessa has worked in the government and non-government sector, and has served as a media and communications adviser for two Federal Members of Parliament. Vanessa is now National Manager of ‘Speak My language’ “Living well with disability”.
Vote Talk Officer
Patricia joined ECCNSW in 2015 as a Bi-lingual Educator. Currently she is supporting a project called VoteTalk2 that looks at building the confidence of CALD and Aboriginal communities, so that their votes count during the next general election.
Christine started working at the ECCNSW in June 2015. She has coordinated a number of projects including the EPA NSW’s Bin Trim Project 2, EPA NSW’s Food Smart Program and Cancer Institute NSW’s Tobacco Control Project.
Karen joined ECCNSW in 2013, to provide administrative support to the CEO, Project Managers and all ECC officers in a wide range of tasks.
Patrick joined ECCNSW in 2018, he has over 10 years financial & management accounting experience in various industries, he’s specialised in SME’s accounting systems, data analysis and reporting.
Community Engagement Adviser
Rosa is an experienced communications and community engagement specialist. With a deep knowledge and understanding of multicultural communities, Rosa is supporting the ECCNSW to engage and build capacity in emerging communities as part of the Multicultural Peaks Program funded by Multicultural NSW.
Members’ Forum 2021-2023
Amir Salem OAM
Christine Lynch OAM
Jack Passaris OAM
Peter Doukas OAM
ECCNSW directly advocates for ethnic communities including in the following areas and sectors:
ECCNSW collaborates with agencies, government, organisations and communities to identify and address issues of shared concern. We work directly with many NSW and Commonwealth government departments, regulatory agencies, peak bodies and significant corporate entities, in addition to numerous community organisations including many of ECCNSW’s member organisations.
- Children and Youth (education, jobs, etc)
- Ageing and aged care
- Inclusion of people with disability
- Small businesses
- Safety (water safety, road safety, crime)
- Education policy
- Community languages schools
- Affordable energy (gas, electricity)
- Voting access
- Law and Policing
- Settlement, Migration and Refugees
- Town Planning
- Women (education, health, safety, financial, security and access to housing)
- Domestic violence prevention
- Environment care
- Census representation
- Australian Post
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission