Mike Zafiropoulos AM, JP - Committee Chair
Mike has more than 40 years involvement in community affairs in a wide range of fields, covering the arts, sport, health, welfare, media, local government and philanthropy. His contribution is broad and includes local, state, national and international activities.
His current activities include: Life Australia Day Ambassador; president of aged care NFP provider Fronditha Care; Board Chair of MCTC (Ch. 31); Judging Panel Convener for the Melbourne Awards. Former roles include: Mayor of the former City of Fitzroy and Director for nine years of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear hospital, director of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation; head judge of the Rotary Community Awards. . In 2002, Mike was awarded "Victoria's Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs", in 2005 he received a Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) Award for his contribution to multiculturalism and in 2010 he received the Order of Australia (AM) “for service to the community through executive roles with a range of arts, multicultural, charitable, media and local government organisations, and as an advocate for cultural diversity and harmony”. In 2012 he was awarded the Hellenic Excellence Award for Community Service. Mike has a B App. Sc. and a Dip Comp. Sc. He has served in senior positions in the Public Service and between 1995 and 2007 he was the General Manager of SBS in Melbourne. He has had a long association with SBS, including winning in 1980 the very first SBS award, a SAMMY for Best TV Documentary.
Pera Wells - Board Member
Pera Wells is a former Australian diplomat who was elected Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (2006 - 9). She is currently Vice-President of the Australian Council for Human Rights Education, Fellow of the Australia India Institute, Member of the Board of the Institute for Economics and Peace, member of the World Citizens Association and Director of its Model Global Parliament program, member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the Royal Society of Victoria and the Melbourne Forum.
Michális S. Michael
Michális migrated to Melbourne in 1986 and his current work involves developing and conducting intergroup and international dialogues in conflictual settings and their transformation away from an adversarial relationship. He has facilitated various international dialogues involving ‘Europe and Asia between Islam and the United States’, ‘Australia’s handling of tensions between Islam and the West since September 11’, as well as local community dialogues amongst Australia’s Afghanistan, Arab, Cypriot, Egyptian, Greek, Iraqi, Israeli, Jewish, Palestinian, Somali, Sri Lankan, Syrian, and Turkish communities. By probing the need for dialogue in a diversity of circumstances, he gauges the extent to which dialogue offers itself as an alternative form of engagement and communication for civil society, government and the business sector. Michális is Director of the Centre for Dialogue and the Melbourne node of the Dialogue, Empathic Engagement & Peacebuilding (DEEP) Network
Jane trained and taught as a Physical Education and History teacher, she also has retailing and marketing experience with Myer. Jane was a Councillor and Mayor of the City of Hawthorn 1987-94 and a Commissioner, City of Brimbank 1994-97, 2012 to present day. Jane was President of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association and was appointed a Life Fellow in 2000 and awarded The Richard J Evans Award for Excellence in 2014. Jane was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.
Jane is respected for her commitment to growing communities, this was acknowledged with the awarding of a Centenary Medal for distinctive services to Local Government and her selection as one of Boroondara’s 150 Significant People. Jane is the first woman Committee Member of the internationally famous Melbourne Cricket Club, MCC and was the inaugural Ambassador for The Victorian CEO Sleepout for St Vinnies 2010.
Dominic has been producing radio, television and films with SYN Media, Channel 31 Melbourne & Geelong and his film production companies since 2007. He co-presented the radio program 'MDG' for SYN Radio, exploring the UN's Millennium Development Goals. He co-wrote and produced the C31 TV series 'V', inspired by the bestselling book, 'Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide'. He is currently focused on film projects exploring the Sustainable Development Goals, to be adopted at the United Nations General Assembly the week following International Day of Peace 2015. Prior to entering media, Dominic worked and volunteered for several years with World Vision Australia and St Vincent de Paul Society.
Debbie Cations - Company Secretary
As a volunteer within peace organisations for more than 20 years, along with a wealth of cross industry business experience, Debbie is enthusiastic in supporting the vision of Australians for Peace. She has spent the majority of her life living and working in Melbourne, developing a passion from an early age for travel and the experience of sharing in the daily lives of people and cultures outside of her own environs. Her travels have taken her to many parts of Australia and the world, living and working in Christchurch (NZ), other regions of Australia and Paris (France). She also spent time volunteering as an English teacher for an orphanage is Casablanca (Morocco). She is grandparent to three, and passionate about seeing them grow and thrive in a society that embraces and embodies the ideals of peace.
Karen Conrad - Media Director
Karen is a US born Melbourne based publicist who has worked with Mikelangelo, Mental As Anything, Brothers Hand Mirror, Charles Jenkins, Nicky Bomba, Daddy Cool, Saskwatch, Sex On Toast, Dave Graney, Clare Moore, HTML Flowers, Jimmy Little and others too numerous to name.
She has publicised fashion, film, theatre and festivals including East Coast Blues and Roots, AWME, tours by Adrian Belew (King Crimson, Talking Heads, Frank Zappa), Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Barry Adamson (Bad Seeds, David Lynch), Gary Numan and Glenn Tilbrook (UK Squeeze).
Artists and events she represents have been featured on over 230 magazine and newspaper covers over the last 10 years. She has been the chief publicist for for both the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival (2013 -2015) and the Age Music Victoria Awards (2005-2015) since their inception.
Her first job in Australia was as a Media Assistant in the Premier of Victoria's Private Office in 1999 and she received her Australian Citizenship in 2007.
She is a journalist, a prolific blogger and occasional speech writer for various public persons and organisations.
Emily Field - Treasurer
Emily came to Australia as a 10 year old and grew up in Melbourne at a time when multiculturalism was emerging as a vital aspect of this city. Her professional background is in education and she spent 12 years as a teacher in secondary schools and TAFE. She went on to train as a meditation instructor and in that voluntary capacity travelled extensively for 3 years. She entered the business sector in 1986 when she joined her family enterprise, Siricco, a Melbourne based retail chain. Emily sees promoting Peace as the most fundamental aspect of growing a successful community.