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About MELC

The Ministerial Advisory Committee: Multicultural Education and Languages (MELC) provides advice to the South Australian Minister for Education on three interrelated areas of education: languages education, multicultural education and the internationalisation of education.

MELC works across the three schooling sectors and encompasses languages programs of the ethnic schools.

MELC works collaboratively with educational and community organisations toward ensuring that education for all students is enriched by engaging with linguistic and cultural diversity and that children and young people learn to operate with sophistication and ease with people across diverse languages and cultures, that is, to develop and operate with intercultural capability. The experience of doing so is an integral part of the learning experience of young people in a global world.

More information about what the committee does is available in our terms of reference


MELC provides educational leadership and high-level expert advice and shares its expertise in contemporary research, policy and practices relating to languages education, multicultural education and international education.

MELC is committed to working in collaboration with educational organisations, agencies and communities.


MELC supports contemporary and innovative initiatives in linguistic and cultural diversity for students that are based on:

  • Learning in diversity through experiences that promote learning about themselves/others and their learning and knowing in the context of diversity
  • Identity-formation through reflecting on individual perspectives, identities and belonging, and developing self-awareness of educational and life experiences
  • Experience and participation that is personal and direct rather than indirect
  • Imagination through experiences that foster imagination and creativity
  • Opportunities for all students, including marginalised young people
  • Reflection – through opportunities for evaluating and reflecting on personal experience.


Members of MELC are appointed by the Minister for Education. Members are chosen for their knowledge and experience of multicultural education, language education and international education.

Details of committee membership can be found in MELC’s terms of reference.  


Associate Professor Angela Scarino has been the Chair of MELC from its inception in December 2015 and was Chair of the former MEC from 2013 to 2015.

MELC membership

Institutional nominees

Ms Panayoula Paha

Department for Education

Ms Anna Mirasgentis Catholic Education South Australia (CESA)
Mrs Deb Dalwood The Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA)
Professor John West-Sooby The South Australian Vice Chancellor’s Committee (SAVCC)
Ms Antonietta Cocchiaro OAM SA Multicultural  and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC)
Mr Darryl Buchanan Ethnic Schools Association of South Australia (ESASA)
Ms Meridie Howley SACE Board of South Australia
Ms Tamara Stewart-Jones Multicultural Youth SA

Minister's nominees

Associate Professor Angelo Scarino Chairperson, independent
Ms Lia Tedesco Educational leader (Principal, Director)
Dr Michelle Kohler Leading educator
Mr Mohammad Taha Shabibi Student nominee
Ms Shamsiya Mohammadi Student nominee
Ms Olga Kostic Parent nominee
TBC Aboriginal person
Mr Adireddy Yara Community nominee
Ms Jessica Dubois Early Childhood/Preschool Director


MELC Secretariat

Phone: 8226 1191
Email: education.mecs [at] sa.gov.au