George Lekakis AO to head up International Student Experience

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After more than nine years as Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Mr George Lekakis AO will take up a position with the Department of Business and Innovation as the Executive Director of the International Student Experience.

Announcing the appointment on 25 January, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras congratulated Mr Lekakis.

“As the longest serving Chair of the Commission, Mr Lekakis is renowned for his passionate commitment to engaging and empowering Victoria’s diverse cultural, linguistic and religious communities,” Mr Kotsiras said.

Since 2001, Mr Lekakis has overseen a number of programs and events including Cultural Diversity Week, the Viva Victoria festival, the Awards for Excellence, the Victorian Refugee Recognition Record, and most recently, the International Student Care Service.

“His experience and skills will be well utilised as the Government has asked him to focus on one of Victoria’s largest export industries, that of international education. The industry has experienced challenges and reform over the past few years and Mr Lekakis’ considerable capacity to engage and strengthen the community as well as advise the government on the most appropriate ways forward will be greatly appreciated,” Mr Kotsiras said.

Mr Lekakis’ term as Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission will conclude on 27 January 2011, at which point he will take up his position at the Department of Business and Innovation.

In the interim Deputy Chair Mr Hakan Akyol, will serve as Acting Chair of the Commission until a new Chair is appointed.

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