The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia – the national peak body representing people from multicultural communities and their organisations – has appointed Mary Ann Baquero Geronimo as its new chief executive officer.
Ms Geronimo – FECCA’s former director of policy for health & ageing – replaces Mohammad Al-Khafaji who held the CEO post for five years.
Announcing Ms Geronimo’s appointment at an event to formally farewell Mr Al-Khafaji, FECCA chair Carlo Carli said: “Mary Ann beings a unique approach to FECCA leadership with her significant work in policy advocacy, research, practice, and community development in Australia and internationally in the areas of public health, ageing, aged care, post-conflict development, social development, and women’s financial security.”
He added: “She has been leading strategic policy work informed by evidence and community voices during the pandemic and in current aged care sector reform.”
Ms Geronimo has a postgraduate degree in public policy and administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
She has co-authored various academic publications and a peer-reviewed book providing the first cross-country comparative study of women’s old-age financial security in Southeast Asia.
Responding to her appointment as FECCA chief, Ms Geronimo said: “My life experiences growing up in a conflict area in the Philippines have provided me with a deep understanding of the intersecting issues of poverty, discrimination, access, equity, and terrorism, and how they can render people and communities disempowered and voiceless.”
With FECCA about to embark on a newly endorsed strategic direction, Ms Geronimo said: “It is an exciting time to lead FECCA as it forges thought leadership on critical policies for multicultural Australia. FECCA has always had a strong commitment to meaningful collaborations, and we will continue to work closely with members, communities, government, and broader stakeholders to amplify and sustain positive changes.”
Main image: Mary Ann Baquero Geronimo and Carlo Carli
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