MFO, Multicultural Families Organisation Inc., provides services for newly arrived migrants and their families, including refugees, humanitarian entrants, and new family stream migrants, during the first five years from their arrival in Australia. These services are funded by the Australian Department of Social Services (DSS).
MFO was founded in 1996 and is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation and registered as a Public Benevolent Institution.
In 2017 MFO was granted funding from the Queensland Government to establish a new Domestic and Family Violence Centre on the Gold Coast, to meet the increasing need of support for women and children, from a CALD background, experiencing family violence. Specially trained individuals, within the MFO team, have provided this support on a voluntary basis for years. SARA DFV Centre, has experienced staff with multicultural background and expertise.
The MFO team believes that
migrating to a new country offers opportunities and challenges to the migrants and the host country
migration forced by war or conflict often causes added stress and hardship
The MFO team is dedicated to offer a safe and nurturing place where
the Past is valued
the Present, with all its challenges, is dealt with realistically
the Future is embraced with courage and hope
The MFO team is convinced that
multiculturalism makes a rich contribution to the Australian society, and will continue to do so
by educating and supporting individuals and families from a CALD background we are assisting them to become self-reliant, integrated and achieve a healthy and fulfilling life
MFO is committed to
initiate and work for change of abusive behaviour and offensive attitudes
promote and encourage appreciation and inclusion of diversity
work to influence respectful interactions becoming the norm
Cornelia joined MFO in 2006, as its director, and is the current Co-Chair of the Gold Coast Multicultural Network, Vice President of Domestic Violence Prevention Centre and Ambassador for AFL. Originally from Bosnia Cornelia completed an Associate Diploma in Social Science at Sydney College of Tafe, NSW, and Immigration Law and Practice at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. Cornelia’s life- and work experience and her way of communicating makes clients feel welcomed, safe and cared for.
Languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian (fluent) Macedonian, Slovenian, Russian (knowledge)
Lillan Neilson - Manager "Leaders of Positive Change"
Lillan, originally from Sweden, came to Australia in 2001, and joined MFO in 2016. As Lillan has travelled extensively and lived in many different countries, she has come to appreciate the diversity of cultures. She has extensive experience in creating and facilitating development programs to businesses and educational organisations.
Rana is a passionate advocate for women, managing various projects and initiatives supporting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women living on the Gold Coast. Born in Lebanon, Rana grew up in Canberra where she worked for 15 years in various Federal Government Departments. With an educational background in business and counselling and wealth of project management experience, she joined MFO in early 2015. Rana is a compassionate person with a vibrant personality and a passion for social justice and equality.
Languages: Arabic (fluent)
Renata Jones - Manager Settlement Engagement & Transition Support (SETS) Program
Renata was born in Hungary and has lived and worked in the UK for many years. In 2007 Renata migrated to Australia and she holds a Bachelor of Human Services, and a Diploma in Community Services. Renata joined the MFO team in 2016, and brings with her outstanding customer service skills.
Language: Hungarian (fluent) Welsh (knowledge)
Savio Lawrence - SETS Case Manager
Born in Iraq, Savio spent two years as a refugee in Turkey, before coming to Australia in 1992. Savio brings with him a practical attitude and great resourcefulness.
Mohamed was born in Sudan, grew up in Eritrea and lived in Egypt for some years. He migrated to Australia in 2013, and joined MFO in 2017 as a case worker in the SS team. Mohamed is also facilitating workshops for youth, and his calm and friendly manners is appreciated by staff and clients alike.
Mohamed also obtained a Diploma of Community Services from Tafe Queensland.
Faranak migrated to Australia from Iran in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology from Griffith University, Gold Coast. She joined MFO in 2012, and is currently studying for a PHD.
Language: Farsi (fluent)
Sebastian Chadwick - NDIS/SQW Manager
Sebastian started working at MFO in 2011 and supports the Settlement Service program. Born in Tasmania, Sebastian moved to the Gold Coast to study and has a Bachelor of Marketing and Communications, Griffith University and a Masters of International Relations, Bond University. Sebastian has travelled extensively around the world and has lived longer periods in France, Bosnia and Spain. His resourcefulness and practical thinking are great assets to MFO.
Languages: Spanish (knowledge)
Wai Yin Naidoo - Homework Club Coordinator
Wai Yin was born in Hong Kong and lived and worked for several years in the UK and Zimbabwe, before migrating to Australia in 2003. In 2008 Wai Yin joined MFO, and has been focused on supporting student’s development through the Homework Club. Currently Wai Yin is working on initiating a wider range of workshops for students, to support their academic achievements and develop their life skills.
Language: Cantonese (fluent)
Gale Evans - Receptionist
Gail, who was born in the UK and migrated to Australia in1983, is MFO’s long serving and appreciated receptionist and the secretary of our many committees.
Cherry Taylor - Employment Support
Cherry was born in the Philippines, migrated to Australia in 1992, and joined the MFO team in 2013. Cherry is cheerful and always ready to give a helping hand.