The Executive Board of RCOA consists of elected and appointed representatives from its broad membership base. Through its Board, RCOA has the benefit of drawing on a wide range of expertise and experience.


  • Phil Glendenning – President (Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education, Sydney)
  • Professor William Maley AM – Vice-President (individual member, Canberra)
  • Dr Ali Nur – Secretary (individual member, Darwin)
  • Adrian Graham – Treasurer (individual member, Sydney)
  • Lis de Vries – Chair (individual member, Melbourne)

Ordinary members

  • Maya Cranitch (individual member, Sydney)
  • Ella Dixon (Migrant Resource Centre Northern Tasmania Inc)
  • Dr Caroline Fleay (individual member, Perth)
  • Abdul Karim Hekmat (Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney)
  • Ruth Jacobs (Justice for Refugees SA Adelaide)
  • Beata Ostapiej-Piatkowski (MCS Romero Centre)
  • Marc Purcell (Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) ACT)
  • John Roc (Australian Karen Organisation, Sydney)
  • Dr Melika Sheikh-Eldin (AMES Victoria)

Board members serve two-year terms and are eligible for reappointment. Ten of the board members (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, five Organisational Member representatives, an Individual Member representative) are elected by RCOA members, with five members elected at each Annual General Meeting. The remaining Board members (up to six) are co-opted, also for two-year terms, in accordance with RCOA’s constitution.


The Council operates with a small staff:

Paul Power                 – Chief Executive Officer (Sydney)

Kelly Nicholls             – Communications Director (Sydney)

Joyce Chia                   – Director of Policy (Melbourne)

Rebecca Langton       – Office Manager (Sydney)

Rebecca Eckard         – Deputy Director of Policy (Melbourne)

Louise Olliff                – Senior Advisor, Policy and Community Engagement (Melbourne)

Asher Hirsch               – Senior Policy Officer (Melbourne)

Sahar Okhovat           – Senior Policy Officer (Sydney)

Shukufa Tahiri           – Policy Officer (Sydney)

Michelle Ferns          – Project Manager (Melbourne)

Eileen Wahab             – Projects Coordinator (Sydney)

Laura Stacey               – Media and Campaign Officer (Melbourne) on maternity leave from November 2017

Samuel Dariol            – Media and Campaign Officer (Melbourne)

Georgie McGrillen     – Project Manager (Sydney)

Deena Yako                 – Face to Face schools coordinator (Sydney)

Rnita Dacho               – Administration & Fundraising Officer (Sydney)

Ewan Isbister             – Fundraising Strategist (Sydney)

Martyn Green             – Accounting Officer (Sydney)

Effie Mitchell              – General Manager (Sydney) – on secondment to VivCourt

Contact details for RCOA offices can be found here.


Last updated May 2018