Melba Marginson

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Melba Marginson

Melba Marginson's own journey as an Australian woman is an example of how most immigrant and refugee women settle in Australia. After arriving in 1989, Melba has invested her skills and wisdom in voluntary work for many years whilst bringing up a family and securing quality work. She has also maintained her passion and commitment towards equality and social justice.

Her advocacy for immigrants and refugees was recognised by the Labor Government in Victoria under Premier Steve Bracks by appointing her as one of the first three Commissioners of the Victorian Multicultural Commission in 2000. She has served the Commission for five years. Her achievements on women's issues were recognised when she was selected for the First Women's Honour Roll by the Victorian Government in celebration of Australia's Centenary of Federation in 2001.

Melba has a Master's Degree in Social Science (Policy and Management) at RMIT University. She is a Director with the Victorian Women’s Trust Board, Advisor on Immigration for the National Council of Women, Australia (Victoria Chapter) and has served in a number of Ministerial Advisory Committees and Reference Groups on important aspects/issues of women's lives. She continues to advocate for the Filipino community in Australia through her position as national spokesperson of the Centre for Philippine Concerns Australia, which has offices in Melbourne and Brisbane. Her national work now includes being a member of the Interim Board of the Network of Immigrant and Refugee Women of Australia (NIRWA).

Melba has been and continues to be the historical link on immigrant and refugee women's organising in the state. She founded the VIRWC in 1997 as a member of an Interim Council, along with Licia Kokocinski, Voula Messemeri-Kianidis and Francis Ho. Twenty other women were part of the process of writing up the VIRWC Constitution that formed the basis of its formal establishment.
Her work experiences are in the areas of community development settlement planning, policy analysis and development, community capacity building, project management, media liaison, organisational development and community leadership training and advocacy.

Melba is currently the Executive Director of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition (VIRWC). Before taking on the hands-on role of Executive Director, Melba was the VIRWC Chairperson for 8 years. She worked in various paid jobs while leading the women's coalition on a voluntary basis. Her previous job before joining the paid staff of the VIRWC was as Diversity Planner of the City of Maribyrnong Council where she used her planning skills in identifying community needs and writing policy submissions for input into government policies on ageing, multicultural, women and people with disability sectors.

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Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition (VIRWC)

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