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Meet our CEO and Board of Directors

Photo of Mark PaintingMark 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@naati.com.au.

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Board of Directors

Photo of Voula MessimeriVoula Messimeri AM

Chair

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 31 October 2020.

Photo of Pino MigliorinoGiuseppe (Pino) Migliorino AM

Deputy Chair

Pino Migliorino AM was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 15 May 2014. He was born in Bari, Italy in 1959 and migrated to Australia in 1964. Pino founded Cultural Perspectives Group twenty-four years ago. This group of companies are sector leaders in consulting, researching and communicating with culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) and Indigenous communities in Australia. Prior to working in the private sector, Pino held important positions in the third sector and in government, including Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities Council (ECC) of NSW, NSW Regional Coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Senior Conciliator at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) and Principal Policy Officer at the Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW. Pino is an acknowledged expert in immigration, multicultural affairs and social policy areas relevant to diversity. In 2017, he was made a member of the Order of Australia. Pino has a BA and Dip. Ed (Secondary), is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Qualified Practicing Market Researcher (QPMR). Mr Migliorino’s term expires on 14 May 2020.

Photo of John WilliamsJohn Williams PSM

John Williams was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 1 September 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 the 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, he has established his own consultancy to assist multicultural communities to better connect with and access services within society. Mr Williams’ term expires on 31 August 2020.

Photo of Mary GurgoneMary Gurgone

Mary Gurgone was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 1 November 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, a 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 focussed on governance, having completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. Ms Gurgone’s term expires on 31 October 2020.

Photo of Mitra KhakbazMitra Khakbaz

Mitra Khakbaz was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 1 December 2016. Mitra is the Deputy CEO of HOST International working across the Asia Pacific region. She was formerly the Executive Manager with MDA Ltd, where she oversaw regional settlement, employment, community wellbeing, youth settlement, case work and intensive support services. She has worked in the multicultural sector since coming to Australia from Iran in 1994. She has a strong commitment to women’s and children’s rights and in 2013 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for improving the economic participation of refugee women at risk. Mitra has many years of high-level involvement with various community organisations. She was a Board Member of DV Connect for over 10 years until 2012 and has been a management committee member of the Immigrant Women’s Support Service and the Churchill Fellowship Association of Queensland. Mitra is currently the co-chair of the Queensland Community Alliance and is also a Director with the Buddies Refugee Support Group. Mitra holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics, a Master’s Degree in Social Administration and a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Development and Social Policy. Ms Khakbaz’s term expires on 30 November 2019.

Photo of Dr Michael CookeDr Michael Cooke

Michael Cooke was appointed to the NAATI Board of Directors on 1 December 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 the 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 a 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 30 November 2020.

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