Sonia Di Mezza
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Sonia is the daughter of Italian migrants, who migrated to Australia in the 1950s.
She is a human rights lawyer and solicitor and has set up a legal aid project in the camps of Khartoum, Sudan; set up a human rights project in Pakistan for Afghan widowed refugee women and their children; worked as a Resettlement Consultant for UNHCR in Lebanon; worked for a child labour rights NGO in India for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi; and as a refugee lawyer in Australia.
Sonia has held the role of CEO of Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, in Bendigo for the past three years. Her other recent roles include Deputy CEO of a disability advocacy NGO in the ACT; CEO of a domestic violence NGO in the ACT; and Deputy Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council of Multicultural Affairs. Sonia is the co-author of a book relating to the memoir of an Indian woman who contracted HIV in an arranged marriage.
Team Leader – Settlement Services
With a career deeply rooted in humanitarian work and crisis relief, Joshua Alexander has dedicated his expertise to assisting migrants, refugees, and displaced individuals in some of the world’s most challenging circumstances. Drawing upon extensive experience gained from working in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya with UNHCR, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, to Cairo Egypt working with Sudanese refugees in community Development.
Joshua is an excellent communicator and administrator with a strong understanding of the humanitarian and settlement sector.
Joshua is a degree qualified team leader for MARSS, overseeing MARSS’ settlement programs and initiatives. He has been with MARSS for more than 3 years and in that time has had responsibilities for delivery of education and training programs, casework with MARSS’ clients, communication, and stakeholder liaison including with ACT Government, and NGO service providers in the sector. Education programs he has led have included project management, grant management, English language, driving skills, and community leadership. Joshua is well connected to MARSS’ community organisations.
Joshua has a strong background in humanitarian focussed organisations and programs.
As a senior Claims Assessor with Deloitte, Joshua provided coordinated assistance to vulnerable clients facing disadvantage in respect of claims. In this role, he advised Deloitte clients on legislation, policy, procedures, payments, and services.
He spent volunteer time with the Australian Red Cross focused on its homelessness programs. He delivered meals, coordinated events to provide support to the homeless, assisted the elderly with housing needs and provided support to new migrants.
Joshua was a youth employment consultant supporting employment opportunities for jobseekers. This role included service provision on all sides of the employment process, working with jobseekers, and educating employers on their roles and responsibilities. So, he understands the employment service ecosystem.
Team Leader – Community Development
Andrew has more than 25 years experience in the community, public and private sector in project and office management, events co-ordination, liaising with stakeholders and writing.
In his current role at MARSS Andrew is the Team Leader of 3 staff to support SETS clients through the Emergency Relief Program, Road Ready Program, Learn to Drive Program, English Language Support Program and award-winning Program for After School Studies. He assists with the delivery of the Home Care Workforce Support Program.
Andrew has managed MARSS events attended by hundreds of SETS clients over many years, including successful Eid, Harmony Day, Dewali, International Women’s Day, White Ribbon Day and Australia Day functions. He has guided staff to resolve day to day client issues, and prepare and submit timely and accurate reports to MARSS’ Board of Management and to funding bodies.
Andrew has delivered cultural awareness information training sessions, and assembled job ready panel discussions to provide SETS clients with employment information and advice from employers to improve clients’ job readiness and job opportunities. He has worked with MARSS’ Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Team to negotiate with employers suitable work placements for clients completing nationally recognised certificate course at MARSS.
Andrew is well connected with real estate agents, private investors and a reliable and efficient maintenance team, and has helped clients source short and long term accommodation. As the workplace health and safety officer, fire warden and operations manager, Andrew ensures that MARSS is compliant with its work and safety obligations, and that maintenance issues are attended to promptly.
Team Leader – Education, Training and Employment