In June 2018, the South Australian Government announced new appointments to SAMEAC’s board. These board members were appointed for a three-year period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020.
Mr Norman Schueler OAM
His knowledge of the Jewish community and his extensive business experience are valuable qualities to assist the Commission in its work.
Mr Schueler, who was born in the United Kingdom, arrived in Australia in April 1966. In 1984, he founded Normetals, a scrap metal and steel sales business. Mr Schueler has traveled extensively and regularly to China to establish a flourishing import/export business.
Actively involved in the Jewish community, Mr Schueler is a past President of the South Australian Jewish Youth Council and the B'nai B'rith Youth Organisation.
He has been President of the Jewish Community Council SA since 1994, Vice President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and was a former Director of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, as well as being a director of numerous companies.
Mr Schueler is currently a Director of the National Australia Day Council.
Mrs Antonietta Cocchiaro
Mrs Cocchiaro’s extensive experience and knowledge of the education sector, from her work as a school principal to her experience in education policy and governance, will bring valuable insights to the deliberations of the Commission.
Mrs Cocchiaro has been a member of the Ethnic Schools Board, the Multicultural Education Coordinating Committee, and the Coordinating Italian Committee – Education Sub-Committee.
Mrs Cocchiaro was a finalist in the 1996 Italian Lions Italian of the Year Award.
She is a recipient of the ACEL:Educational Leadership Medal Award 2010 and the Alby Jones Gold Medal Award 2012.
Dr Valdis Tomanis
Dr Tomanis was born in a refugee camp in Regensburg, Germany, in 1947 and arrived in Adelaide at the age of 18 months.
He was in private practice as a dental surgeon for almost 47 years before retiring in August 2016.
Dr Tomanis has spent a large part of his life within the Latvian community – Latvian school, scouts, basketball, folk dancing, performing in the Latvian theatre as well as a committee member of the Adelaide Latvian Students Society.
He is a life member of the Latvian Association of Adelaide (including 10 years as vice-president to Bruno Krumins OAM).
In 1994, Dr Tomanis was one of the foundation members of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Australia and has been their president for the last nine years.
Dr Ning Zhang
Dr Zhang is the Interim Director of the Confucius Institute, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at The University of Adelaide.
Dr Zhang is an ambassador of OzAsia Festival, former President of the Asia Pacific Business Council for Women SA, and a current Member of the SA Chinese Culture and Trade Promotion Association.
Dr Zhang is also an accredited Translator in English and Chinese Languages (both directions).
Dr Zhang conducts research in history and the state of education in China, and comparative studies in vocational education.
She has also published work on teaching the Chinese language.
Mr George Chin
Mr Chin has been actively involved in social, commercial and community work since migrating to Australia in 1992.
He has operated a Wendy’s Franchise and an Espresso Coffee shop in Chinatown for many years, along with other businesses, and now runs the Chinatown Lotteries.
Mr Chin is a founding member of the Central Market Precinct Association, and a former President and current Vice Present of Chinatown Adelaide of SA.
He has been an ambassador of the OzAsia Festival since its inception in 2010.
Since 2013, Mr Chin has been an Honorary Advisor to the Oceania Federation of Chinese Organisations from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Incorporated.
Dr Sridhar Nannapaneni
Dr Neni is a committed Indian community leader and successful dentist in South Australia.
He is passionate about helping migrants.
Dr Neni has sponsored many Indian community organisations and provided migrants and new arrivals with assistance with health and dental needs.
Dr Neni is experienced in providing a range of advice on policy issues, preparing policy reports and briefings, undertaking research and analysis, and creating relationships with key stakeholders.
Ms Adriana Christopoulos
Ms Christopoulos holds an Honours Degree in International Studies from the University of Adelaide which she obtained as a mature age student while raising a young family.
She has been involved with many community groups and continues to represent the community as an elected member for the City of Mitcham and previously for the City of West Torrens.
Ms Christopoulos has worked in both state and local government, and her focus has been in the area of governance and policy, and now in the area of economic development and grant funding.
Ms Christopoulos has also served on the Australia Day Council from 2008 until 2015 and chaired the Council from 2013-2015.
Mr Ahmed Zreika
Mr Zreika is the General Director and Co-founder of his family business, ZLA Pty Ltd.
He is the current (since 2015) President of the Islamic Society of SA, the current Principal and Business Manager of the Al-Salam Arabic School, and the current Chairperson and founder of the Al-Salam Festival.
The highly successful Al-Salam Festival’s purpose is to create awareness of the Muslim community and Islam, through providing entertainment, food and informative activities that allow people to grasp a general perspective of the religion and address any queries they may have.
Ms Thuy Phan
Ms Phan arrived in Australia as a Vietnamese refugee via boat at age 13 with her parents, two brothers and two sisters.
After graduating from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia with a Bachelor of Science – Nursing, Ms Phan has been working in aged care for over 25 years.
Ms Phan currently works for The Society of Saint Hilarion Inc Aged Care, and is committed to assisting other culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, residents and families to make the transition from home to residential care as homely as possible and accessing community services as needed.
Ms Phan has strong leadership skills, extensive clinical, management background in the health and aged care sectors, having worked in various leadership roles within aged care, including as Director of Residential Care Services.
Ms Phan is currently working in partnership with the Vietnamese, Greek and Serbian communities.
Mr Muhama Yotham
Mr Yotham is a Senior Pastor at the Amazing Grace Gospel Church.
He has extensive experience over the past 12 years working with refugees and migrants through the Australian Migrant Resource Centre, the Refugee Council of Australia, the Australian Refugee Association, African Communities Council of South Australia and The Burundian Community Association of South Australia.
Mr Yotham’s current work as a Community Development Worker with Uniting Communities is now concentrated in the New & Emerging Communities program which falls under the City of Playford’s Community for Children program.
Mr Yotham works closely with new migrants to help them access quality education and improving health and wellbeing in order to build a sustainable life for themselves and their children in Australia.
Mrs Laura Adzanku
Mrs Adzanku’s work with the African Communities Council of South Australia as a settlement officer back in 2008 ignited her passion for working with CALD communities.
Mrs Adzanku has established an extensive network within several CALD communities and actively participates and supports various community initiatives that build community capacity. She is an active supporter of the annual African Festival and a familiar face at many community events.
Mrs Adzanku volunteered with the African Women’s Federation of South Australia as the public relations officer. She is currently a member of the Council for Migrant and Refugee Women of SA and sits on the advisory committee of the MUSES Project SA: Multicultural and settlement services supporting women experiencing violence.
As a community support and liaison officer at PEACE Multicultural Services, Relationships Australia SA, Mrs Adzanku has been successful in pioneering a number of community projects addressing health and wellbeing issues prevalent within CALD communities. She is a financial counsellor and family dispute resolution practitioner.
In 2014, Mrs Adzanku was the winner of the Governor’s Multicultural Award in the Community Sector (Individual) category. She was also a recipient of the African Australian Community Champions Award in 2014.