Meet our CEO and Board of Directors

Mark Painting 

Chief Executive Officer

Mark joined NAATI as Chief Executive Officer in August 2015. Prior to this appointment, he held a number of corporate, commercial and operational roles at senior executive levels in the Australian and NSW Public Sectors. In addition to his public sector career, Mark also has experience as a Director on a commercial board and a number of governance and audit committees.

Mark holds a Masters of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Business Degree. He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Management and Leadership.

Contact the NAATI Board 

If you need to get in touch with our board, email

Board of Directors

Voula Messimeri AM


Voula Messimeri AM was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 1 November 2014, bringing to the Board significant experience and skills as an executive and non-executive director. Voula is the immediate past CEO of the Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) and a past Chair of the peak multicultural national body, the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA). She has served in leadership positions on several community management bodies and on Boards such as the RMIT University Council and the RMIT Training Board, a controlled entity of the RMIT University.

Voula served for 15 years as Director on the Victorian Interpreting & Translating Service (VITS) Board and occupied the role of Deputy Chairperson twice in that time. She has served on Ministerial State and Federal advisory structures across diverse areas, including health, ageing, income support and media, and was a member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council. Voula has occupied the role of Chairperson and, until recently, as Patron of In Touch Inc. (the Multicultural Centre against Family Violence).

She is a Fellow of the prestigious Williamson Community Leadership Program and has been awarded Honorary life membership for significant contributions and leadership by FECCA and AGWS. The Greek Government recognised her service to the Australian Greek diaspora in 2009. Voula was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and recognised under the Order of Australia for her contribution to refugees, migrants and women. Ms Messimeri’s term expires on 30 October 2023.

John Williams PSM

John Williams was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on September 1, 2014. John joined the Department of Immigration in Melbourne in 1964 where he gained extensive senior management experience before retiring in December 2008. His extensive overseas appointments include serving in the Australian High Commission London from 1973 to 1975; the Australian Embassy in Belgrade from 1975 to 1977 and 1983 to 1985; the Australian Embassy in Cairo from 1978 to 1979 and the Australian Consulate Cape Town from 1979 to 1982. John was extensively involved with multicultural and consular communities in his assignments both overseas and in Australia. While working in Australia, he built strong working relationships with other government agencies at Federal and State levels. John was awarded a Public Service Medal (PSM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honour list in 2008 in recognition of his work with Australia’s multicultural communities. Since retiring from the public service, John has established his own consultancy to assist multicultural communities to better connect with, and access services within society. Mr Williams’ term expires on August 31, 2020.

Mary Gurgone

Mary Gurgone was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on November 1, 2014 and has been the National Director for Fortis Consulting since 2009. Fortis is one of the top 30 management consulting firms in Western Australia. Mary migrated to Australia from Italy and has a lifelong commitment to cross-cultural and cross-linguistic communication. She has a Master of Business, teacher training and vocational training qualifications, Bachelor of Arts (English and Italian), and NAATI accreditation as a professional translator and interpreter. Mary is passionate about quality in translating and interpreting and has worked tirelessly for the translating and interpreting profession. She was a national president of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Inc (AUSIT), State President of AUSIT WA (1989-2002) and is a Fellow of AUSIT. Mary continues to lead strategic national projects related to Australian multiculturalism as well as supporting the Zonta House Women’s Board (of which she was formerly Chair) through conducting the Board Skills Audit and being a member of the External Relations Committee . She is focused on governance, having completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. Ms Gurgone’s term expires on October 31, 2020.

Dr Michael Cooke

Michael Cooke was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on December 1, 2017. He is a linguist and principal of Intercultural Communications, which provides training for Indigenous language interpreters and consultancy services for agencies that use them, particularly in health, legal and judicial domains. He completed his PhD in linguistics in 1997, becoming a specialist in legal interpreting and forensic linguistics. Michael is a NAATI recognised practising interpreter and translator in Djambarrpuyngu, one of the languages spoken by the Yolngu people of North East Arnhem Land. He is widely known as an expert in his field, researching, presenting, providing expert evidence as a forensic linguist and publishing extensively in language and law. Michael has a long-standing professional relationship with NAATI, beginning with chairing the Northern Territory Regional Advisory Committee in 1995. Dr Cooke’s term expires on November 30, 2020.