Melissa is the Executive Director of the Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC). She joined the CMRC in early 2000 and has over twenty five years’ experience in the community sector.
In addition to serving as Deputy Chairperson of SCoA, Melissa is a member of the National Settlement Services Advisory Council, Multicultural NSW Regional Advisory Council and was recently appointed to the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW.
Melissa has been employed in a number of not for profits including the Blacktown City Community Services Network, Missionaries of Charity and the College of Social Work winning the University of Western Sydney Community Services Award (2013). During this time, she worked closely with community leaders in Western Sydney with an interest in creating greater social impact through a stronger social sector and cross-sectorial collaboration.
Melissa holds a Masters and Bachelors in Social Work and Masters in Environmental Sciences. She has extensive experience in the community sector providing a vast understanding of settlement and strategic advice.
For the past 15 years, she has managed the Community Migrant Resource Centre, a not for profit community organization based in Parramatta providing settlement services to Refugees and Humanitarian entrants. Melissa is currently involved in empowering refugee and migrant communities in settling in Australia and has mentored many nonprofit organizations and individuals. She is passionate about migrant and refugee women, humanitarian resettlement and social justice issues.
Melissa has served on various local and national committees. She is currently a Board member of the Western Sydney Community Forum and Director of the Hills District Domestic Violence Services and Shelter. Melissa has worked in a variety of social work fields empowering marginalized women’s groups, and has undertaken a number of social researches. She has mentored and assisted in the development and implementation of projects arising from many of these community reforms and has introduced social inclusion models. She has a proven ability to successfully apply influence and increase community capacity by providing expert advice on emergent community planning issues, undertaking social impact and needs assessments with high level research and analytical skills.
She has conducted a number of Social Research and Literature Reviews in consultation with current theoretical frameworks surrounding Domestic and Family Violence, Social Enterprise, Employment for Skilled Migrants and Durable resettlement Solution in Resettling Communities.
She is currently working in collaboration with key Community Leaders in Western Sydney where she aims to build and drive social impact through a stronger social sector, develop professional networks and lead continuous improvement and change. She also provides extensive expertise in building connections between stakeholders and consumers and generating creative solutions to meet diverse community issues.
Melissa has contributed to the development of the ‘Guide to Employment for Skilled Migrants’ in Australia and has initiated the Annual Inspiring Change Women’s Conference in Sydney. She is currently a Partner Investigator in a Research on Sexual and reproductive health of migrant and refugee women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds: an international comparison.