Board Members

BOARD MEMBERS 2023 – 2025

Nic Manikis PSM – Chairperson: Nic Manikis served as a Senior Manager in the Commonwealth Government from 1980 to 1984 and as a Senior Executive in social policy and community affairs roles in the ACT Government from 1985 to 2016.

In 1998, Nic received the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day Honors List in recognition of his then years of service and dedication to government and community. In 2000 Nic was awarded the Centenary Medal.

In November 2016, Nic retired from government service after a distinguished career of almost 40 years serving the community. Over the years, Nic worked with many local community groups to develop and provide programs, resources, and services to those most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our community.
Nic is currently and ex-officio executive member of Fair Canberra Inc, and Chair of the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services Australia. He is active in the private sector and continues his work supporting local community groups on a voluntary basis.

Nic is currently and ex-officio executive member of Fair Canberra Inc, and Chair of the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services Australia.  He is active in the private sector and continues his work supporting local community groups on a voluntary basis.

Toa Takiari – Deputy Chair: Toa Takiari has had a long and successful business and voluntary community development careers in the ACT since the 1960s, with extended periods back in Tonga and New Zealand. Toa was educated as a professional hairdresser and established and managed many businesses in Canberra, training promising young hair stylists, and she dabbled in the fashion and music industries.

Over the years, Toa applied her ‘can do’ attitude to advancing the interests of many vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the Pacific Islander communities in Canberra opening up opportunities for them to learn new skills and to learn more about their culture. She setup a hair salon in Civic to provide opportunities for Canberra’s homeless and low income earners to not only receive services but also training, as a pathway to permanent paid work.

Toa was instrumental in forming the United Nesian Movement as a platform for Pacific Islander young people to learn about and to showcase their culture. She has assisted these young people to promote their culture through her program on Radio 2XX and, for several years, she coordinated the Pacific Island Showcase at the annual National Multicultural Festival. Toa is the current Public Officer (and Founder) of the Pacific Island Showcase Association. She also founded the Nui Oceanic Cultural Centre based at the Australian National University and organized the Pacific Cultural Youth Day in 2017. She has organized many Pacific and Indigenous Cultural fashion shows and a range of other community activities since 2017.

Toa is a hard working, dedicated and strong community advocate for young Canberrans of Pacific Island background.

Nim Osborne – Treasurer: Nim Osborne has been a hard working community advocate for many years.  She has served on several community organisations that advance the interests of culturally and linguistically diverse members of the Canberra community.

Since 1997, Nim has had a keen interest in ethnic community radio broadcasting and has contributed on a voluntary basis to several local broadcasting stations in Canberra over the years including being a community radio broadcaster on CMS, 2XX and Queanbeyan & Valley FM.  Nim is currently the President of Valley FM 89.5 Community Radio.

Nim has also supported members of the local Thai community and has encouraged them to participate in Canberra’s community life.  She has been the President of the Thai Media and Cultural of Canberra Association for the past 15 years.  Nim has provided Thai cultural performances to the National Multicultural Festival during this time.  She has also contributed to the success of the Festival through her voluntary work as an organizer, MC and mentor to new volunteers since 1997.  More recently, Nim has been a members of the Festival Assessment Panel which assesses grants for community groups wishing to participate in the Festival.

Some examples of Nim’s community representation work over the years include: a member of the ACT Victims Advisory Board; currently the Treasurer of the Migrant & Refugee Settlement Services Australia; and currently the Treasurer of Fair Canberra Inc.

Nim brings a wealth of experience gained in both the local community and private sectors to the work of Fair Canberra Inc and for this reason is a valuable member of the executive committee.

Borhan Ahmed – Public Officer: Borhan Ahmed is an accomplished community leader with over 30 years experience in community sector work in Australia and Bangladesh.

Over this time, Borhan has held several high profile community roles including: President of the Canberra Muslim Community; President of the Bangladesh Australia Association Canberra; and President of the Bangladesh Seniors Group.

Borhan holds a Master of Economics (specializing in Development Economics), Master of Economics, Bachelor of Arts (with honours in Economics) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Science. He is a Colombo Plan scholar with 40 years successful public service career experience in the Australian Federal and Bangladesh Governments. He served as a member of the Bangladesh Civil Service (Administration Cadre), including as a First Class Magistrate with the Bangladesh Government. In 1978, he was trained at USAID HQ, US State Department on foreign aid administration and technical cooperation program. Before he retired in early 2018, Borhan served his final 26 years in the Australian public service with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and AusAid, including as an Aid Diplomat in Port Moresby/PNG. From DFAT and AusAid, Borhan undertook several aid project-related work missions to PNG, Iraq, Jordan, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Palestine.

Borhan has a life long passion for advocacy work around issues and challenges facing members of new and emerging multicultural community groups, new migrants, faith based groups and former refugees in the ACT. In this context, he has served as a member of several high profile community service provider agencies and boards and on government advisory committees (eg. ACT Attorney-General’s CCTV Review Committee). Borhan continues his long standing wort on the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services as Public Officer and on the Council on ageing ACT Policy Committee.

Borhan continues to work closely with a diverse group of people to improve inclusiveness and respect in the ACT Community

Kofi Osei Bonsu – Member: Kofi Osei Bonsu is a very down to earth, community-oriented person with a deep concern for the wellbeing of Canberra’s multicultural community. He has been in Canberra for the past ten years after migrating from Europe and is a member of many community organisations. Kofi is a leader, good listener, empathetic, proactive, and very passionate about community work.

Kofi believes in driving change and fostering a sense of togetherness and unity and loves volunteering for worthy causes and being a voice for the multicultural community.

Kofi, as Secretary of Fair Canberra Inc, brings a common sense and empathetic approach to the concerns and interests of our members and this makes him a valuable member of the executive committee of Fair Canberra Inc.

Isaac Cotter – Member New Zealand-born Isaac Te Ao Cotter has nurtured the flame of Maori culture in Canberra and Queanbeyan as a community leader and performer for more than three decades.

Mr Cotter has received an OAM for service to the Maori community in Australia and NZ.

“It’s a great honour and something that I’m accepting on behalf of the extended family and wider community,” he said.

Mr Cotter is director of the Tumanako Maori Cultural Performing Group and has been involved with various cultural and sporting organisations, including as inaugural chair of the Queanbeyan and Canberra Maori Rugby Union from 1988 to 1997.

He has been a key figure in the National Multicultural Festival as a member of the steering committee, a performer and a Master of Ceremonies.

Culture was something Mr Cotter missed coming to Australia, so establishing a performance group and working with and supporting other Maori had helped him grow and be a better person.

Dr Sunita Dhindsa OAM – Member Dr Sunita Dhindsa was born in India but has lived for most part in Australia, primarily in Canberra,

Sunita has a PhD from the Punjab Agricultural University, India and also undertook a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management from Macquarie University North Ryde in 2003-04.

From 1990 to 2014, Sunita worked in a range of roles in various government departments, and also worked for a short time in scientific research and in the private sector.

She received the Order of Australia Medal in 2023 for her social service to the Indian community.

Sunita has continued to positively support the Indian diaspora and to contribute to the broader Australian society and economy in various capacities. She is a member, Founder member, patron and Life Member of various community organisations as well as holding positions of Secretary, Coordinator and Executive member. Sunita is the Founder and was the Coordinator of AusIndia Fair, a platform for interacting, trade and showcasing shared values of Australia and India.

In addition to serving on multiple Indian federations and organisation boards, she is well known for her work with domestic abuse survivors and exceptional community service during COVID.

Sunita’s passion is to work for, and with people, enable meaningful interactions, and encourage positive empowerment while fostering constructive and harmonious outcomes at all levels. Her vision is to make Canberra and the surrounding region more progressive, inclusive, culturally vibrant, environmentally sustainable and economically strong.

Syed A. As-Sayeed – Member I am Syed A. As-Sayeed (known as Sayeed) has been living in Canberra since 2000 and have been actively involved in the community and social setting voluntary works and roles in Canberra and abroad.

Over the last 23 years, I have held several high-profile community roles in Canberra including:

  • Currently I am the board member of MARSS Australia Inc. Canberra.
  • President of Bangladesh Australia Association Canberra (BAAC) Inc (2013-14) and as Vice President from 2011-12 (one of my contributions as President of BAAC was that I led the charitable donation efforts of delivering over 400 Kilos of fresh meat to OZ Harvest, Australia for supporting the food for homeless people of Canberra).
  • Executive Committee Member and Founding Member of International Mother Language Movement (IMLM).
  • Life Member of Fair Canberra Inc
  • Life Member of Canberra Muslim Community Inc (Gungahlin Mosque).
  • Life Member of Canberra Islamic Centre Inc
  • Founder Member of Tigers Cricket Club (Bangladesh Community based club who organises and plays social cricket games with various ethnic community teams in Canberra.
  • Appointed as a community representative for the Bangladeshi community in Canberra for WALK for MENTAL HEALTH program, which is funded by Mental Health Foundation Australia.
  • Founder Board Member of an online based YouTube TV Channel called ‘NRB TV Australia (Non-Resident Bangladeshi)’ where we promote Bangladeshi cultural, lifestyle and Australian attractive events and places to the wider viewers all around the world.
  • Founding Member of Bangladesh Club Inc in Canberra where members get an opportunity to do indoor games and under socialisation activities to improve the health & wellbeing of individuals.
  • During 2019-2021, I served as a board member of the MARSS Australia Inc. I have actively supported the delivery of its key settlement and related activities, programs and services for new migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other disadvantaged groups, including for a growing multi-ethnic/cultural clients base, in particular, people from CALD backgrounds in the ACT and surrounding areas.

I have completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Management degree from the Australian National University (ANU) and have been working in the IT project, performance, planning, and data management area for the last twenty years with the ACT Government. I also worked for over seven years in the marketing field in a senior management role with a large conglomerate in Bangladesh. I have keen interest in issues and challenges, particularly facing members of new and emerging multicultural community groups in the ACT.

Gio Cano – Member

Emie Jiang – Member Emie Jiang is a well-respected and active young member of the Canberra Chinese Community. Apart from her active community work, Emie is a Director of JZ Property Investments Pty Ltd.

Emie has achieved a high level of academic qualifications in a number of finance and economic fields from the Australian National University. She has served as a commercial analyst for Indigenous Business Australia and as a financial analyst of ACT Treasury.

Emie is currently the Vice President of the Australian Guangxi Friendship Association (AGFA), a non-profit organization to foster friendship and a relationship between the ACT and Guangxi Province of China. Locally, AGFA runs weekly cheongsam practice and tai-chi classes as well as conducting aged care seminars for members of the local Chinese community forging strong working relationships with people in government, education and aged care sectors.

Emie enjoys the community work that she undertakes and has contributed generously to various activities and events across the ACT during the past few years. In particular, Emie has made an enormous contribution to the annual National Multicultural Festival through her role as the coordinator for the Chinese Community Showcase. As a volunteer leader, she recruited over 100 volunteers for the event and managed one of the numerous stages at the event.

Emie is a valuable young member of the Executive Committee of MARSS AUSTRALIA INC.

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