Our governance structure

At Africause we operate under an independent Board of Directors as an incorporated organisation.

Our legal status

Our legal status is defined as:

  • Other incorporated entity.
  • A Registered Charity holding an Endorsement for Charity Tax
  • Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)
  • Concessions and Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) status, allowing tax deductions for donations
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exempt

Our financial Reports are available to download.



Former Victorian Premier

I am delighted to be asked to be Patron of Africause. It is an organisation with which I have become very familiar over several years – dedicated to the well-being and advancement of African Australians and in particular young Australians of African background. The post settlement story of Victoria is the story of triumph. The triumph of young, courageous, ambitious migrants of diverse backgrounds embracing opportunities in this progressive State where anything is possible and where the interests of community, family, and excellence are paramount.

I am delighted to be asked to be Patron of Africause. It is an organization with which I have become very familiar over several years – dedicated to the well-being and advancement of African Australians and in particular young Australians of African background. The post settlement story of Victoria is the story of triumph. The triumph of young, courageous, ambitious migrants of diverse backgrounds embracing opportunities in this progressive State where anything is possible and where the interests of community, family, and excellence are paramount.

That too is the story of young Australians of all and every African background. It is why I am excited about the prospects ahead. And why I am confident the already wonderful contribution of African Australians will continue to grow across many fields. It is why the spirit and purpose of Africause is so important for our future. It is why I am proud to be Patron.


Mr. Phil Brooker

Africause Board Chairperson

Phil Brooker is the Managing Director of Bellajack Consulting, a management consulting firm based in Melbourne whose mantra is to help their clients to Be Successful, on Purpose!

Phil’s professional and social backgrounds have revolved around professional services and sports and the Bellajack client base to this day, still largely reflects that. The business now specialises in connecting business with government (and vice-versa) as well as providing traditional management consulting assistance to SME’s and even some business coaching for successful senior executives of companies facing the challenges that growing their businesses and staffing creates. Phil is also the author of the book, Guaranteed Success, Revealing the secrets to being successful in business, is married with 2 school-age children and a dog and is heavily involved in community sport.

E: ​philbrooker@bellajack.com


Dr Irene Bouzo (PhD)

Deputy chairperson

Dr. Irene is a Senior Consultant at cultural and spiritual diversity; and Expertise in research and public policy advocacy, governance and capacity building for new and emerging, culturally diverse communities and multi-faith groups.

Dr. Irene was Executive Officer for Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) for 4 years responsible for the operations management, staff supervision, Board and public relations and fundraising. Dr. Irene is well known and respected member of the Multicultural communities.


Dr. Berhan Ahmed

CEO and Board member

Dr. Berhan Ahmed, is the CEO of Africause (previously known as African Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services, adjunct Professor at the University of Melbourne, Victorian Australian of the year 2009 and ex-Australian Institute of Company directors member, ex-Victoria Police Human Right committee members and founder and ex-chairperson of the African Think Tank (ATT) in Australia, ex-chief editor of the ATT focus E-magazine and current editor of Fresh Voice News Bulletin; ex-Board member of Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre; and well-known to many Africans residing in Australia, through his commitment to numerous community issues via main stream media and community media and community activities. First African Australian Senate Candidate for federal election 2004 for Victoria. Elected as chairperson on 19 March 2006 for the African Think Tank as a pick African organisation and served as the advocate of human rights and refugee settlement in Australia for African refugees, Refugees committee (1997 – 2005), and being board member of the Australian Multicultural Education Services (AMES) 2007 – 2016.

Dr Ahmed is motivated by five core principles – social justice, sustainability development, Aboriginal reconciliation, building stronger and dynamic communities and applying democracy in action. His current leadership role will explore new ways of engaging disadvantaged youth and their families participation, decision and eliminate the culture of cover up and continued hostility and lack of co-operation among community members. The African communities will also engage with other communities to create harmony and good image of our continent in Australia.

Dr Ahmed first priority is to make Victorian diverse multicultural society a strong, dynamic and a show case “yard stake” society in Australia and around the world. A community that values its heritage while embracing multiculturalism, tolerance, respects and cares for each other. The challenges are enormous and will be faced with happiness, community member’s consultation, talents and team work of the leadership.  This stems from his own life experience; memories of being a refugee as a teen age (1978), discriminated, entrenched in poverty and treated as enemy before he knew what an enemy mean; this stand in sharp contrast to the dignity and love that he received from his family and from his adopted country Australia.

Dr Ahmed, said “My job as a leader is to help others achieve their full potential, and also want to see community members engaged actively in shaping their own futures with a confidence that comes from a sense of pride of their identity and respect and trust of each other. I hope in doing so, community members to place emphasis on local and national issues and provide moral and financial support to all youth in Juvenile justice, the homeless, and refugees regardless of their religion, tribe, race, skin color, political membership, gender, age, income, education level etc. I will not be a mouthpiece of either the government or the opposition, but I will support any youth to participate and practice his/her democratic rights within any political, social, economic, cultural and sport activities.


Assistant Police Commissioner Luke Cornelius

Board Member

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius is Victoria Police’s longest serving Assistant Commissioner.

Assisstant Comissioner Luke Cornelius joined Victoria Police in 2003, following 14 years’ service as a federal agent with the Australian Federal Police.

A qualified solicitor and barrister, AC Cornelius’ first appointment with Victoria Police was as Commander, Legal Services Department.

He was promoted to Assistant Commissioner, in charge of the Ethical Standards Department (now called Professional Standards Command), in 2005. He went on to lead Southern Metro Region before heading up Victoria Police’s response to the VEOHRC Review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment.

His distinguished service to policing, both federally and in Victoria, was officially recognised in the 2010 Australia Day Honours when he was awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) for contribution to police reform, the promotion of ethics and integrity in policing, human rights, engagement with vulnerable communities and for capacity building in East Timor.

He has also been awarded the National Police Service Medal, National Medal, Police Overseas Service Medal, United Nations Medal for service in East Timor and a Commissioner’s Commendation for outstanding service while serving with the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor.

The founding Chief Executive Officer of the Police Federation of Australia, he also served as the National Secretary of the Australian Federal Police Association.

A member of Victoria Police Command, AC Cornelius also sits on the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Council, the Victorian Donor Tissue Bank Management Committee and is the Chief Commissioner’s representative on the Blue Ribbon Foundation Board.

AC Cornelius holds a Master of Public Administration: Executive (Monash), an Honours Degree in Law: First Class (Flinders), a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (ANU) and is admitted to practice in the ACT Supreme Court.

Current Role – North West Metro Region

In April 2019, AC Cornelius was appointed Assistant Commissioner, North West Metro Region.


Mrs. Keletso Niebling (MEDL)

Board Secretary

Keletso has a wealth of knowledge and experience in Early Childhood Education Leadership. She has worked from various early childhood education services for the past twenty years.

Currently Kel is the founder of MAGANO. The Label clothing. A clothing label that was birthed with womanhood in mind. She created this label for the woman who has difficulty finding a dress which fits them well. It is designed for the woman with a unique body shape, and lovingly made with the celebration of diversity in mind. She can be contacted on



Mrs. Sampurana Bangaar

Board Member

Biography coming soon


Dr. Ancy Gamage

Board Member

Biography coming soon


Ms. Lorelle Saidyes

Board Member

Lorelle Said brings 25 years’ experience as Human Resources (HR) Generalist with a track record of partnering C Suite over the last 12 years.  As a trusted business partner and thought leader, Lorelle enables measurable return on HR investment across blue-chip corporates including Qantas, NAB, Telstra and the Community Sector including Africause, Youth Activating Youth and Spectrum

Lorelle is motivated by building capability and mutual learning networks across disadvantaged, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, industry and government.  Recent, personal highlights include, enabling full employment for 1:3 CALD community members at Transdev in partnership with African-Australian community organisations, over a 12 month period, amid COVID 19.

Lorelle incorporates a working knowledge of employment legislation, mainstream HR workplace practices and an authentic relationship approach, bridging all sectors to enable sustainable employment outcomes.  Resulting learning networks between core services, community, government and industry facilitate the team’s ability to deliver tailored, co-designed and co-delivered community and industry employability, recruitment retention, and cultural intelligence training.

Underpinning Lorelle’s track record is a Masters in Business Administration, Masters in Services Marketing, Post Graduate Diploma in HR and Industrial Relations, Bachelor Arts (Honours), Myers Briggs® Step I™ and Step II™ Certified II, Community Engagement Essentials Cert I and currently completing a Cert IV in Community Services



Mr. Robert Laduer 

Board Member

Biography coming soon


Mr. Kennedy Weldemariam

Board Treasurer 

Biography coming soon.