Board & Governance

AMES Australia is an autonomous Adult Education Institution, accountable to the Victorian Minister for Skills and Training under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

The Board is established by the Constitution of the Adult Multicultural Education Services Order 2013 and comprises between nine and eleven members appointed by the Minister.

The Board members bring a broad range of experience and skills to AMES Australia in areas such as Management, Finance, Commerce, Law, Corporate Governance, Community, Education, Employment and Settlement and Asylum Seeker Programs, as well as an understanding of AMES Australia client communities.

Board members

Graham Sherry, OAM (Chair)

Graham was formerly a partner at Baker & McKenzie for 28 years, and is practiced in many aspects of commercial law. He served as the Melbourne Office Managing Partner, on the International Executive Committee, and was the Chairman of the firm’s Asia Pacific Regional Council. 

He has been Chairman of the Melbourne City Chamber of Commerce, President of the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Board member of Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and President of the Australian Thai Business Council (Vic Chapter). He is currently a Director of Vision Super Pty Ltd and the inaugural independent Chair of the Western Bulldogs Integrity & Ethics Committee.

Graham was awarded an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and an OAM in 2006 for his service to business through employer organisations, Australian football and to the community.

Megan Boston (Deputy Chair)

Megan Boston (Deputy Chair)

Megan Boston is a chartered accountant with significant experience in the areas of finance, audit, risk management and governance.


Ms Boston is currently a Board Member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, where she also chairs the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Megan is also a member of the Court Services Victoria Audit Committee.

Stuart Alford (Nominee)

Stuart Alford 

Stuart Alford is a chartered accountant with over 40 years’ experience in corporate governance, risk management, auditing and accounting. He was a partner at Ernst & Young until retiring in 2008 and is now Non-Executive Director.

Mr Alford is Chair of the Centre of Excellence for Intervention and Prevention Science and is on the boards of Eastern Health, Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (the MFB) and Kilvington Grammar School. He also has Audit and Finance Committee roles with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, the Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board, and the Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

Michelle Foste

Michelle Foster

Dr Michelle Foster is Professor, Associate Dean (Research), and Director of the International Refugee Law Research Programme with the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School. 

Dr Foster’s career has included teaching in the university sector and she has published widely in the field of international refugee law, including her first book International Refugee Law and Socio-Economic Rights: Refuge from Deprivation (CUP, 2007). She is the co-author (with James Hathaway) of the second edition of the seminal Law of Refugee Status, (Second Edition, CUP, 2014).

Dr Foster’s experience includes conducting training workshops for the New Zealand Refugee Status Appeals Authority and the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal. She has been engaged as a consultant by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Michelle is an Advisory Board Member of the Melbourne Journal of International Law, and an Associate Member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges.

 Kathy Laster 

Professor Laster is the Director of the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre in the College of Law and Justice at Victoria University.

She has over 30 years’ experience in law, policy and public sector governance as an academic, policy maker and philanthrocrat. Her past positions include Executive Director of the Victoria Law Foundation, CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) and Program Director for the First National Pro Bono Conference which established the framework for the delivery of these services nationally.

Professor Laster has also held senior teaching and research positions in Criminology, Law and Social Policy, and has an international scholarly reputation for her work in law, multiculturalism and public policy.

Ikenna Nwokolo (Nominee)Ikenna Nwokolo

Ikenna has over twenty years legal experience and is currently a Partner at Slater and Gordon specialising in public / product liability. Ikenna has lived in Papua New Guinea and spent several years living with his family in Nigeria before returning to Melbourne to undertake law at Melbourne University.

Ikenna is the immediate Past President of the Nigerian Society of Victoria and has been actively involved in mentoring African Australian youth.

Jo Pride (Nominee)Jo Pride

Ms Pride is the Chief Executive Officer of Hagar Australia, which is committed to the protection, recovery and reintegration of women and children in Cambodia, Vietnam and Afghanistan who have suffered severe human rights abuses.

She is an experienced leader, strategist and people, issues and change manager, working in government, politics and the not-for-profit sector across a broad range of global, national and local issues. Her focus in the last decade has been on international development.

Jo was previously the Head of Policy and Advocacy in Australia for Oxfam. She has also drafted, advised on, interpreted and advocated a broad range of policies and laws, having previously worked in the South Australian Government as a lawyer with the Crown Solicitor's Office and as a political advisor in Federal Parliament.

Mimmie Claudine Ngum Chi Watts (Nominee)Mimmie Claudine NGUM CHI Watts 

Dr Chi Watts is a Lecturer at the College of Health & Biomedicine, Victoria University. Her skills and expertise include migrant and refugee health, women’s health, social inclusion, and health and community policy.  Mimmie is published in international journals and is a reviewer and editor in public health related journals.

Improving health needs for women, providing better education for girls and disadvantaged persons and increasing opportunities amongst disadvantaged groups are key areas of interest for Mimmie. 

Mimmie is currently a Director on the board of Western Health and a Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. She is also an Ambassador for the Universal Peace Federation and Women’s Federation for World Peace.

Vedran Drakulic

Vedran arrived in Australia in 1995 under the Australian Government’s refugee resettlement humanitarian program.  He brings with him significant experience in the humanitarian sector through his work for Australian Red Cross, International Red Cross and Oxfam, especially in marketing, fundraising and communications. These roles gave him a strong and deep understanding of the refugee and migrant settlement sectors and the issues related to CALD communities.

Vedran is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Gandel Philanthropy, one of the largest family foundations in Australia, and he is an Australia Day Ambassador. He is also a President of the International Social Service Australia, a Member of the Committee of Management of the Hobson’s Bay Community Fund and a member of the Assets Committee of the Royal District Nursing Service.