Who we are

All of our staff and management are dedicated to Umbrella Inc.’s ethos of respect, passion and commitment. We believe there is no greater joy or greater reward to make a fundamental difference to people’s lives. Our diversity is our strength. The more than 140 staff members and 86 volunteers represent 40 different nations and speak more than 40 different languages. Below are the key management of Umbrella Inc.

Who we are

Karen Quigley

Chief Executive Officer

Languages: English, Spanish, Italian

Portfolio

Karen Quigley

Chief Executive Officer

Karen Quigley was born as the youngest of four children and migrated to Australia in the late 80’s when she was 10 years old.

Along with her mum and siblings, they fled the civil war in El Salvador and arrived in Australia not speaking a word of English.

In her former years, Karen excelled in the performing arts and received school colours for her achievements.

She later made her way into aged care by volunteering at a Fremantle-based aged care centre and has since obtained tertiary qualifications in Social Work, Frontline Business Management, Leadership and Management, and Training and Assessments.

Karen now has more than 21 years of experience within the Not-For-Profit, Public Health, and Local Government sectors.

Parallel to her professional acclamations, Karen is a passionate and Authorised Civil Celebrant, and finds joy commemorating big life events.

Along with her education and experience she is fluent in Italian and Spanish.

Sean Loke

Chief Operating Officer

Languages: English, Mandarin, French, Malay

Portfolio

Sean Loke

Chief Operating Officer

Sean was born in Singapore to parents of Cantonese and Hakka ancestry.

Sean graduated from the University of Queensland in 1993 as a physiotherapist. He worked in Singapore for 12 years, starting as a physio, and then managed hospitals, nursing homes and community health services. Sean later completed an MBA from Imperial College Management School in the UK.

Since migrating to Perth in 2005, Sean has worked in the Government, Not-For-Profit (aged care, disability, community health, mental health, youth) and Consulting sectors. His experience includes roles in senior management, strategic planning, finance, marketing, business development and project management.

Sean enjoys music and plays several types of instruments. He likes cooking, photography and is a lifelong supporter of Manchester United. Sean also speaks English, Mandarin, some Chinese dialects and some conversational Malay and French.

Henrietta Podgorska

Senior Manager Communications and Community Engagement

Languages: English, Hungarian

Portfolio

Henrietta Podgorska

Senior Manager Communications and Community Engagement

Responsible for:

  • Communications and Marketing
  • Village Hub
  • EnCOMPASS
  • Community Engagement Projects

Robert Wilhelm

Senior Operations & Transport Manager

Languages: English, Polish, Russian

Portfolio

Robert Wilhelm

Senior Operations & Transport Manager

Responsible for:

  • Social Support Projects
  • Transport

Cathy Sullivan

Human Resources Manager

Languages: English

Portfolio

Cathy Sullivan

Human Resources Manager

Responsible for:

  • Human Resources
  • Admin and Reception
  • Library

Theresa Ng

Finance Manager

Languages: English, Mandarin

Portfolio

Theresa Ng

Finance Manager

Responsible for finance matters.

Juanita Doorey

Grants and Projects Manager

Languages: English

Portfolio

Juanita Doorey

Grants and Projects Manager

Responsible for:

  • Grants
  • Projects
  • COVID-19 Response

Barbara Kozok

Manager Social Support Programs & Projects

Languages: English, Polish

Portfolio

Barbara Kozok

Manager Social Support Programs & Projects

Responsible for Social Support Programs and Projects

Magda Wojcik

Manager Social Support, GAC & Special Projects

Languages: English, Polish

Portfolio

Magda Wojcik

Manager Social Support, GAC & Special Projects

Responsible for Golden Aged Club and Special Social Support Programs.

Karla Benitez

CVS & Volunteers Manager

Languages: English, Spanish, Italian

Portfolio

Karla Benitez

CVS & Volunteers Manager

Responsible for Community Visitors Scheme and Volunteers.

Teresa Niedzwiedz

Integrated Carers Support Coordinator

Languages: English, Polish

Portfolio

Teresa Niedzwiedz

Integrated Carers Support Coordinator

Responsible for Carer Gateway services.

Evelyn Burry

Coordinator, Multicultural Village Hub

Languages: English, Spanish

Portfolio

Evelyn Burry

Coordinator, Multicultural Village Hub

Responsible for Multicultural Village Hub.

Dominic Toczyski

IT Manager

Languages: English, Polish

Portfolio

Dominic Toczyski

IT Manager

IT systems

Elizabeth Szczepanik

Senior Nurse Coordinator

Languages: English, Polish

Portfolio

Elizabeth Szczepanik

Senior Nurse Coordinator

Nursing

Join our team or volunteer

See what positions we have available.

Work for us

Board

Umbrella’s current Board is a very supportive group of committed, emphatic, knowledgeable professionals who, for a number of years, have volunteered at our organisation to support its mission. Our Board includes professionals with extensive experience in key areas such as aged care, public health, advocacy, medical care, government relations, information and communication technology, law and legal services and public policy.

Marika Krstevska

President

After obtaining a qualification as a Geographer in Macedonia, Marika undertook qualifications in Academic and Professional English in Australia followed by Paraprofessional…  ...read full profile

Marika Krstevska

President

After obtaining a qualification as a Geographer in Macedonia, Marika undertook qualifications in Academic and Professional English in Australia followed by Paraprofessional Interpreting qualifications in Serbian and Polish. With these qualifications, Marika has spent her career in the multicultural community sector in a variety of roles including as a family violence worker and a number of programs helping new migrants settle in Australia. She also works as an interpreter for Macedonian, Serbian and Polish languages. In addition to her paid work, Marika has been involved in in committees and as a volunteer language teacher over many years. Marika speaks Polish, Greek, Macedonian, Serbian and English.

Email Marika

Milos Nedved

Vice President

With academic qualifications in science and engineering and workplace safety, Milos has spent 35 years in senior university positions in Europe and Australia, 5 years  ...read full profile

Milos Nedved

Vice President

With academic qualifications in science and engineering and workplace safety, Milos has spent 35 years in senior university positions in Europe and Australia, 5 years as a United Nations Expert in Occupational Safety and Health and Chief Technical Advisor, in parallel Consultant in Occupational Safety and Health, and over the last 30 years has been engaged by a number of WA law firms as an Expert Witness in around 500 cases of occupational accidents. He is currently Adjunct A/Professor at Edith Cowen University. Milos has committee and volunteer experience in a number of workplace safety organisations. Milos speaks English and Czech.

Othmar Beerli

Treasurer

With over 25- years of experience in financial management and cooperative governance, Othmar brings the skills and knowledge which are  ...read full profile

Othmar Beerli

Treasurer

With over 25- years of experience in financial management and cooperative governance, Othmar brings the skills and knowledge which are instrumental in the delivery of better outcomes relating to the operational management and human resources. Since May 2019 Othmar has been the Director Finance (CFO) of North Metro TAFE (NMT), the largest State Government provider of vocational education and training. He has the overall responsibility for all Finance, Budgeting, Procurement and Risk/Contract management related matters at NMT.

Prior to his current role Othmar held a similar position at the Rottnest Island Authority for almost 11 years.

He also has extensive experience in managing a internal and external audits and risk management assignments for a range of clients, both in the private sector and in state government.

 

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (CAANZ)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Registered Company Auditor (ASIC)
  • Economist

Professional work experience

  • Over 15 years of financial management in Australia and overseas
  • Over 15 years of internal and external audit experience and risk management governance

Previous board / committee / volunteer work:

  • Over 6 years of volunteer work with the Anglicare Church (St Lukes)
  • Several position at Table Tennis WA (Volunteering)

Language Spoken: English, German, Swiss German and French

 

Julie Anne Ismail

Secretary

Julie graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Economics Degree. Julie is a human resources professional with over 30 years’ experience  ...read full profile

Julie Anne Ismail

Secretary

Julie graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Economics Degree. Julie is a human resources professional with over 30 years’ experience working across a variety of agencies within the WA Public Sector at corporate level positions, and also as a self-employed consultant, providing a specialist human resource consultancy service.

Julie’s strength lies in her ability to partner and work with senior management teams to implement change and integrate human resource functions within the overall business operating strategy. She is currently specialising in organisational design and restructuring, working as a Senior Organisational Design Consultant within a highly complex large central Public Sector Agency.

Julie is an active volunteer both within the community and in her Church, having served in a variety of volunteer roles. She is currently the Vice President and Treasurer of the Wattle Grove Residents Association and has previously served in the capacity of Association President for 6 years. For the past 3 years her service to her Church has included the responsibility of overseeing the Children’s Primaries as well as 7 other Church units.

Julie has a fascination and passion for cultural diversity and is an avid foodie, traveller, reader and KDrama watcher.

Dorota Pietowska

Board Member

Following a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science and Records Management, Dorota worked as an academic and librarian in both Poland and Australia. After  ...read full profile

Dorota Pietowska

Board Member

Following a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science and Records Management, Dorota worked as an academic and librarian in both Poland and Australia. After completing a further qualification in International Trade, Dorota established her own wine export business, eventually leaving the world of academia to focus on this. Dorota has been involved with Umbrella at a Board level for 10 years and taken on a number of executive positions during this time. Dorota speaks English, Polish, French and Russian.

Anna Maria Harrison JP

Board Member

Anna Harrison founded Umbrella Multicultural Community Care in 2000 and was the CEO from 2004 until she retired…  ...read full profile

Anna Maria Harrison JP

Board Member

Anna Harrison founded Umbrella Multicultural Community Care in 2000 and was the CEO from 2004 until she retired in mid-2022.

With roots in Poland, she migrated to Western Australia in 1978 where she worked as a social worker with the diverse communities and laid thick foundations for her future career in aged care.

Anna has an Advanced Diploma – Community Sector Management, Diploma of Community Services Management and Justice of the Peace – School of Law, Murdoch University. Anna is a multi-award winning member of the Umbrella family and has been internationally recognised for her work in the multicultural and gender diverse aged care sector.

Shirley Myers

Board Member

With considerable experience working in the medical and health care fields in Australia, England and New Zealand, Shirley worked for many years for St Johns  ...read full profile

Shirley Myers

Board Member

With considerable experience working in the medical and health care fields in Australia, England and New Zealand, Shirley worked for many years for St Johns Ambulance, including working remotely. She has also worked as a physiotherapy assistant and while living in England worked as a disability support carer.   Her volunteering work with the scouting movement and disabled youth was recognised when she was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in the late 1990’s.

Krzysztof Wozniak

Board Member

Krzysztof completed a Masters of Engineering in Poland and continued his studies with a Graduate Diploma in Computing from Curtin University after migrating.  ...read full profile

Krzysztof Wozniak

Board Member

Krzysztof completed a Master of Engineering in Poland and continued his studies with a Graduate Diploma in Computing from Curtin University after migrating.

Krzysztof’s journey to Australia came after his travels to France and Germany, where his passions for adventure and multiculturalism began. Now retired, the once Polish Astronomical Olympiad winner spent a lot of his spare time being active in the amateur astronomy scene in WA. Krzysztof previously worked for Umbrella as a contractor and board member. He speaks Polish, English, Russian, German, basic French, and very basic Hindi.

Mariusz Pawlowski

Board Member

With qualifications in the areas of Finance and Mortgage Brokerage Management, Mariusz has worked with telecommunications companies and  ...read full profile

Mariusz Pawlowski

Board Member

With qualifications in the areas of Finance and Mortgage Brokerage Management, Mariusz has worked with telecommunications companies and in the financial sector in addition to establishing his own business. Mariusz volunteers as a Pranic Healer with a meditation and healing centre and speaks both English and Polish.

Dr. Rita Asfar

Board Member

With a background in policy and research, Rita has worked for the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) since 2011 and is currently a Senior Strategy,  ...read full profile

Dr. Rita Asfar

Board Member

With a background in policy and research, Rita has worked for the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) since 2011 and is currently a Senior Strategy, Planning and Research Officer.   She has expertise in policy and action research in the areas of ageing, migration, gender, social development, poverty, inequality and multiculturalism. Since 2011 she has led OMI’s work on ageing in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities in Western Australia and has produced several reports identifying issues impacting on CALD seniors.

Nihal Iscel

Board Member

After procuring a Bachelor of Psychology from Edith Cowan University, Nihal has been an advocate of disability engagement within the community since 2003.  ...read full profile

Nihal Iscel

Board Member

After procuring a Bachelor of Psychology from Edith Cowan University, Nihal has been an advocate of disability engagement within the community since 2003.  She is passionate about helping different multicultural communities in Perth.

An active volunteer, Nihal is currently a board member at the People with Disability WA Inc. and served as a board member (also serving as the President and Vice-President) at the Turkish Australian Cultural House Inc. from 1999 to 2020.