Ann Foley is the Executive Officer of the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council (BRMC) and is responsible for leading the development of the Ballarat Welcome Centre. She brings a regional perspective to SCOA through extensive regional and rural work and networks.
Ann has worked in public service, legal practice and the community sector. She has over twenty years’ experience across diverse policy and not-for-profit management roles. She started her community sector work in Western Australia as Coordinator for Kimberley Aboriginal Land Council in 1986 and subsequently in the ACT as policy and research officer for National Shelter in 1990.
Ann completed tertiary studies at Australian National University, including a Bachelor of Arts in 1984 and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice in 1998. She practised law in the ACT and New South Wales between 1999 and 2005 before moving to Ballarat in regional Victoria with her partner and children. She worked as a lawyer for Victoria Legal Aid until her appointment in 2008 as Executive Office of PACT Community Services, providing housing support, tenancy advice, research and advocacy. She was appointed to her current role at BRMC in 2013.
Ann participates actively in settlement strategy, research and services in Victoria, including the Regional Multicultural Services consortium and refugee and settlement support networks. She has served on State and Local Government advisory bodies including Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) Regional Advisory Council and the Ballarat Intercultural Advisory committee. She co-chairs the Ballarat and Region Settlement Advocacy committee. She was awarded the VMC Award for Multicultural Excellence in 2017 for meritorious service to community in promoting intercultural and interfaith harmony.
Ann has an abiding interest in Australia’s diverse cultural identities. This informs her approach to settlement work with regional migrants and refugees. She values collective impact strategies and wherever possible collaborates and amplifies the voices and cultural perspectives of migrants and refugees. In her current role she is focussed on building excellent and sustainable strategies for regional migration. Ann is keen to continue creating and promoting impactful innovations and enterprises, for example BRMC’s probono migration advice service, Interkultura regional football tournament and the Ballarat Welcome Centre Twilight markets, an e-commerce platform for refugee entrepreneurship.