Jaya migrated to Australia as a young child in 1970, during the tail end of the White Australia Policy. She has first-hand experience of the detrimental effects of discrimination, exclusion and power imbalances. Jaya has worked across a range of not-for-profit organisations, local and state governments in Victoria for the last three decades. She has a Master’s Degree in International and Community Development and is undertaking a PhD at Victoria University, investigating the link between community development and sustainable development. Jaya received the 2021 Victorian Volunteer Champion and Leadership Awards for her work setting up IndianCare and was inducted into the inaugural Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll in 2022.
Manjit Singh is a dynamic entrepreneur with a profound passion for community welfare. In 2004, he founded Talk World Australia, a successful telecom retail management company with multiple outlets in Victoria. Holding a degree in Interactive Multimedia, he later joined VC Nextgen as Head of Strategy in 2021, pursuing his IT career. Manjit actively supports not-for-profit organisations, serving as a Board Member for IndianCare and the Australia India Society of Victoria. His guiding philosophy of focusing on contribution over competition has driven his remarkable success and dedication to making a positive impact on both business and community endeavours.
Ramachandra (Rama) Manchikanti
Rama has Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Master of Engineering in Computer Science, from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and PG Dip in Project Management from University of New England, NSW. After migrating to Australia in 1984, he had a fruitful, 32 year career at National Australia Bank (NAB) where he worked as an IT Project/Program Manager. Currently, he is a Principal Consultant at DWS Consulting. Rama has been active in the Telugu speaking community in Melbourne, for several years and was President of Telugu Association of Australia in 1996. He, his wife Jaya, and like-minded community members ran a Telugu school at their home during the mid 1990’s. He’s passionate about working to improve the opportunities for the Indian diaspora in Australia.
With a Master’s Degree in Management Studies and Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Bombay, Anand has extensive experience in organisational development and business management, across 23 countries. Anand has worked with a number of not-for-profit community organisations on a range of multicultural projects. A creative community leader and advocate, Anand holds various volunteer roles, including Director of SEWA International – Melbourne, and Vice President and Founding Member of Centre of Melbourne Multifaith and Others Network (COMMOM). For work done with CALD and Aboriginal communities the Victorian Premier and Victorian Multicultural Commission, recognised Anand as a Multicultural champion.
After living in India, the Middle East and Singapore, Durga migrated to Australia in 1999. In Melbourne, Durga has committed herself to developing her Australian Indian community. Durga’s passion for community development carries through to her work; she has spent 10 years at a trading company she helped establish here in Melbourne, served 2 years as a member of the Knox Multicultural Advisory committee, and currently volunteers as a committee member and Community Liaison Manger with Ashray Women’s Centre. Durga is also a trained Healthy Relationship Ambassador.
Saleha is a communications professional and a published author who has held leadership roles in India and Australia. She hosts a weekly webcast—Chai, Chat & Community—for the South Asian community where she discusses topical and social issues. As part of her community service, Saleha is on the Board of PeaceMeals—a not-for-profit charity, which encourages refugees and asylum seekers to connect with established Australians over a plate of food. She is also on the Board of the Multicultural Women’s Alliance Against Family Violence, which advocates for culturally appropriate resources for multicultural women.
Sandeep is an experienced organisational leader, and is currently the Founder and CEO of SAARI Collective, a media startup that amplifies the voices of South Asian Australians. A former government speechwriter, communications manager, corporate employment lawyer and youth human rights advocate, he won the Victorian Department of Justice Secretary’s award for his crisis communications work during the Black Saturday bushfires, and was recognised by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for community support work during the COVID-19 lockdown.