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.

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THE HONOURABLE TED BAILLIEU

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mrs. Keletso Magano-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

keletso.maganoniebling@gmail.com

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Mrs. Sampurana Bangaar

Board Member

My name is Sampurana Bangaar. I am a proud South African living in Australia Melbourne.  I have been here for 17 years. I am employed  by the Link Group. This has been my first job since and I am still dedicated  and loyal to the company. I was in the financial department, but now assist with admin coaching  & events coordinating. I am very passionate, highly organised & a peoples person. Therefore I love working with people and do volunteer work with few organisations.  I look to working with Africause to support,facilitate & engage with the people for better outcomes.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity

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Dr. Ancy Gamage

Board Member

Dr Ancy Gamage is a senior lecturer and course chair (Human Resource Management) at Victoria University. She has extensive experience in research management. Ancy has published in top-tier journals and presented at various conferences. She is passionate about community and industry engagement as powerful tools for collaboration and transformational change.

Geetha Chetty

Board Member

Geetha  brings

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Mr. Robert Aduer

Board Member

Robert was born in Juba, South Sudan.  Robert has lived Kenya before migrating to Auckland, New Zealand and in Melbourne, Victoria.

Robert completed majority of his studies in New Zealand.  In New Zealand, Robert studied Health Science in health promotion with emphasis into public health and community development, including other studies into creative writing at Auckland University of Technology (AUT University).  Robert has done many professional trainings that are professional development focus, including engaging into community development and capacity building focused.

During Robert’s academic years, he was largely involved in many volunteering and community engagement initiatives work engaging with key stakeholders, governments, and community organisations including student mentoring program at university as Senior Student Mentor for many years before being employed by the faculty.  Robert has worked at various student services, such as Student Centre, Student Experience Team at the AUT University.  Robert was a co-founder of an African Student Association in New Zealand.  The purpose of the formation of the club was because of many underlying issues that were facing African students and community at the tertiary setting including domestic and international students who are of African heritage.

Robert has worked at Lifeline counselling services, where he engaged with clients while providing phone counselling through Crisis Line and psychological intervention.

Robert’s work is predominantly driven by his passion for community engagement, capacity building through empowering the community to take lead and ownership of their outcomes, especially health and wellbeing, as well as their social outcomes.   Robert moved to Melbourne since 2015 where he continued similar aspiration for community previously worked such as working at Sunshine Harvester Primary School, with Big Brother Big Sister through Victoria Police and Blue Light’s program known as Walk Beside Me” working with South Sudanese youth. Robert currently works at Melton Secondary College as Community Liaison Coordinator, responsibility for student and engagement community engagement programs, as well as working with various stakeholders and organisations such Melbourne Victory FC, and with liaison team.

Robert has volunteered with many governments and non-government’s organisations such as with Victoria Police, Victoria Multicultural Commission, Council, AFL Victoria, and Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.  Robert’s passion is to create and still impact to the most vulnerable families, especially their young ones at the education settings and in the community as well as enabling intercultural relations amongst individuals and communities.

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Mr. Kennedy Weldemariam

Board Treasurer 

Meet Kennedy Weldemariam, the successful business personality Located in west Melbourne community.  Kennedy has earned a reputation of a trusted advisor on financial and tax issues. He has extensive experience in the areas of Accounting, Tax, Financial Planning and Financial Management, which are backed up by him spending last 25 years in industry.  Whilst continue been a trusted Accountant, he has developed a new passion over the last few years, Real Estate.

Kennedy Weldemariam migrated to Australia in 2003 from Ethiopia with a few dollars in his pocket and an aspiration to make a difference.  

Kennedy has put an intense hard work, including studying, and subsequently working in a corporate world, moulding the person he is today.  The hard work included s study in master’s in professional accounting and then been employed by several organisations around Australia.  Some of them include working as Enterprise Manager for Nyangatjatjara Council, Financial Manager for Katherine West NT Health Services, CFO of GBS Gold Australia, a large mining company in the Northern Territory, l and as a Practice Manager for Zone Management Accounting Services– one of the big 4 firms in NT.

Kennedy runs a multiple businesses at the moment on top of his accounting practice, he runs Real estate, property development , Restaurants and commercial Laundry ,

He joined as board member for Afrcause since January 2023 to contribute his skills in financial management skills