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 

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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 31 August 2020.

Mary Gurgone

Mary Gurgone was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 1 November 2014. She is the Director of the Centre for Capability and Culture with extensive executive experience in Government, private sector and community organisations.  

She was selected Chair and member of various board and Audit and Finance Committees. She is a founding member, Fellow and former National President of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT). 

Mary has a Master of Business, Bachelor of Arts, as well as qualifications in governance, teaching, vocational education, and interpreting/translating.  

In 2016 she led her organisation to win the WA Government’s Multicultural Award. She introduced a range of interpreting and translating programs in the vocational education and training sector and presented at International, National and State conferences on policy, evaluation, diversity and inclusion. 

Mary’s personal experience as a migrant has led to her commitment and deep skill development in the cross-linguistic and cross-cultural sectors. 

Mary continues to be involved with international organisations such as Zonta International in leadership roles focusing on governance, inclusion, culture and domestic violence. She has significant experience in working with Aboriginal communities including in the Kimberley in Western Australia. 

Ms Gurgone’s term expires on 31 October 2020.

Dr Michael Cooke

Dr Michael Cooke was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 1 December 2017 and is a Graduate of the AICD.  

He 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 completed his PhD in linguistics in 1997 becoming a specialist in legal interpreting and forensic linguistics. 

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 the law. 

As Principal of Intercultural Communications he has provided training for Indigenous language interpreters and consultancy services for agencies that use them, particularly in the health, legal and judicial domains.  

His long-standing relationship with NAATI began with chairing the Northern Territory Regional Advisory Committee in 1995 and includes previously providing professional assistance to NAATI as a trainer, examiner and consultant.  

Dr Cooke’s term expires on 30 November 2020.