Board and Governance

AMES Australia is a Victorian public entity, accountable to the Victorian Minister for Skills and TAFE and Minister for Regional Development 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

Vanda Fortunato

Dr Vanda Fortunato commenced as Chair of the Board of AMES Australia on 11 September 2023.

For the past twenty plus years, Vanda Fortunato has had a career in executive and strategic leadership across both domestic and international landscapes. Her extensive expertise spans various sectors, including public and private health, primary care, non-profit organisations, medical education, academia, pharmaceuticals, health insurance, and consultancy.

She has been CEO for two prominent non-profit entities. Furthermore, her professional journey encompasses pivotal senior executive positions within a Private Equity Firm, Medibank, a clinical research organisation, and Accenture. Vanda has also made impactful contributions during her tenure at esteemed institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Presently, Vanda Fortunato serves as the Chair of the Board for the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust and Early Childhood Management Services. She also holds the position of Deputy Chair at Integrated Living and is a board member on BreastScreen Victoria and Vasey RSL Care.


Vedran Drakulic OAM

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 and a Member of the Committee of Management of the Hobson’s Bay Community Fund. In 2017 Vedran received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community through a range of charitable organisations.


Catherine Scarth (Ex-Officio)

Catherine Scarth’s career has focussed on the design and implementation of innovative social programs and enterprises in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has achieved this through the creation of partnerships with government, employers and the community sector to deliver programs designed to increase the economic and social participation for newly arrived migrants and refugees.

Ms Scarth is the Chief Executive Officer of AMES Australia, an organisation working with partners to provide a wide range of interconnected services in settlement, education, vocational training and employment in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Ms Scarth is a Board Member of The Social Policy Group and Thrive Refugee Enterprises.

Catherina Toh 

Catherina Toh is a Legal & Regulatory Compliance Consultant working with various clients in providing legal, regulatory and strategic advice and consulting to financial services and infrastructure organisations in Australia and Asia.

Catherina is currently Board Director and Audit Committee Chair at Independence Australia, Audit Committee Member of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and Board Director and Finance and Investment Committee Chair at the Brotherhood of St Laurence. She was inaugural Chair of Social Venture Partners Melbourne and trustee director of its public ancillary fund, The Social Venture Partners Australia Fund, a start-up venture philanthropy organisation.


Tracy Le

Tracy is an experienced investment and finance professional with over 11 years of corporate finance and private equity experience following six years as a Chartered Accountant. She has spent the past three years working at Canaccord Genuity as a Director in the investment banking team with a particular focus on mid-market mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to Canaccord, Tracy spent six years working in principle investments with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) - World Bank Group, covering the Asia-Pacific region, including PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji. IFC allowed Tracy to combine her passions for travel, investments and international development where all investments had commercial and development objectives.

Prior to IFC, Tracy lived in Vietnam for three years and worked for an international investment fund focusing on private equity investments in Vietnam. Tracy started her career as a chartered accountant, where she spent six years with Ernst & Young Melbourne.

Tracy is a chartered accountant, holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT and a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University in Sydney.

Florence Mauwa

Florence is a human resources and finance leader with extensive professional and board experience.

Her experience has been gained in Australia and several emerging markets in a variety of sectors including professional and financial services and communications. Florence is passionate about community diversity and empowering marginalised groups and as a result, actively participates on various community boards. She currently serves as a Trustee for the Queen Victoria Women's Centre Trust and is a member of the Finance, Audit, Risk & Governance Committee. She also serves as Treasurer on the board of African Music and Cultural Festival (AMCF), the largest African festival in Australia. She is a past board member and Finance Committee Chair for Safe Futures Foundation, a specialist family violence organisation which is the largest Refuge Provider in Victoria.

She is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and has served as a panel member representing Victoria and Tasmania on the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Australia and New Zealand. She is also a member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (MCIPD) and has a Masters of Business Administration from Murdoch University, Western Australia.


Molina Asthana

Molina is a commercial lawyer with her own practice. Her previous experience includes working in top tier firms Minter Ellison and Clayton Utz and the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. She has significant experience in the Indian jurisdiction and several of Molina’s Public Interest Litigations were reported in the national newspapers.

Molina is the Vice President of the Law Institute of Victoria and sits on the boards of Good Shephard ANZ, Gymnastics Victoria and the Graduate House of the University of Melbourne. She is also the National Vice President of the Asian Australian Lawyer’s Association and was the Chair of the Women in Business Chapter of the Australia India Business Council.

She is on the AFL South East Commission Advisory Board and has been a Cricket Australia Ambassador, Commonwealth Games 2018 Ambassador and Jean Hailes women’s Health week Ambassador. Molina is a member of the Football Federation of Victoria’s Tribunal.

Molina is the founder of the organisation Multicultural Women in Sport which aims to empower women from multicultural backgrounds through sport.

Molina has received numerous awards including the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence for 2014 and for 2016.


Miriam Silva AM

Miriam Silva has more than 20 years’ experience managing large and geographically diverse teams, across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, banking and agribusiness and is currently Managing Director for Crescent Finance.

Miriam has extensive Board and committee experience including: Chair inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, Chair Contemporary ArtsPrecincts, Director of Crescent Institute, Crescent Finance, SA Film Corporation and Malek Fahd Islamic School (NSW).

She is Patron for the International Women’s Day Committee (SA) and is the Multicultural Patron for The SA Police Training Academy.

Miriam has received numerous awards and in 2022, Miriam was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant services to multiculturalcommunities in SA and women.


Grace Liang 

Grace Liang is an experienced finance and strategy professional who has over 12 years of leading industry experience. 

She is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CAANZ), Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Marketing) from the University of Melbourne and has completed further studies in Agile Project Management (SCRUM). 

Grace currently works at Evolution Trustees as Director of Development & Operations. In her previous role, Grace was a Senior Manager (Performance and Reporting) at the Primary Health Network (a not-For-profit government initiative), where she established the Performance and Reporting team to drive strategic planning, value-add analysis and process improvement. 

She commenced her career at EY focusing on due diligence, corporate restructuring and real estate engagements across a broad range of sectors.

Grace also has extensive experience in governance and stakeholder management and is also currently a board member of Haileybury College, a leading independent school in the Asia-Pacific (based in Melbourne) and board member of the Australian Dental Health Foundation.