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Highlights

STAFF

All ACCS staff are bilingual and passionate about their clients and their work. Their cultural backgrounds makes them the best placed to provide services. Their training and professionalism means that all services are client focused and appropriate.


Franci Buljat (CEO)

FrancescaFranci has been involved with the Croatian community since her arrival in Australia in 1992. She holds the position of a Chief Executive Officer since July 2010. Her connections with the organization however go a long way back. From 1994 to 2010 she was employed with ACCS as an English as a second language teacher. Franci holds an overseas degree Bachelor Of Languages Diploma of Teaching (English and German Language and Literature) and an Australian (NAATI) qualification as a an Interpreter and Translator) and has had an extensive experience in teaching and media. Franci is passionate about access and equity for the community members and has a strong commitment to social justice and community building. Currently she is serving on the Boards of Victorian Croatian Aged Care Services and Victorian Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

 

Senka Grancieri (Finance officer)

senkaSenka Grancieri is the newest member of the ACCS team. She joined the team in May 2015, as a Finance Officer. Senka was born in Croatia and relocated to Australia in the mid 80’s. She holds a degree in Political Science and has a long experience working for the Australian Federal Government. She has previously worked as an Executive Assistant to the Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in Melbourne. She enjoys working with the Croatian community and is looking forward to using her professional and personal expertise in her new position as Finance Officer.

  

Rosie Jurina (Office Administration and Literacy Programs)

rosie2Rosie is the longest standing worker with ACCS. Rosie commenced employment with ACCS as a young Arts graduate in 1991. Born to migrant parents, Rosie understood the hardship migrants faced on arrival to a new country and her biggest passion was to work for Croatian people and the community. During the course of her employment and realising that in order to better serve the community and fulfil her job requirements, Rosie decided to return to school. With the support of ACCS, Rosie completed her Bachelor of Social Work at Monash University, thus extending and strengthening her skills and ability to continue working for ACCS and in the community sector.

 

Marina Rozic (Program and Case Manager, HCS)

marina2Marina Rozic joined ACCS in September 2006, with over 10 years' experience in the teaching industry. Prior to joining ACCS, Marina worked as a Croatian Language teacher for the Victoria School of Languages. At present she is the Home Care Support Program Manager – Home Care Packages and she is responsible for the care and management of clients and staff.
Born in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Marina settled in Australia as a skilled migrant. Since her arrival, aside from her academic work, she has been very involved with the Croatian Community. Her work has covered a number of different industries including teaching and now management.
Marina's qualification include: a Bachelor of Art with a major in Education (overseas), Certificate IV in Service Coordination (Ageing and Disability - Victoria University), Diploma of Community Service Coordination and Diploma of Business Management.

 

Lily Silic (Program Manager – Home and Community Care)

lily2Lily is originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She moved to Australia in 1997 with her young family.
Her passion for helping those in need, especially the elderly, developed at a young age while she was growing up with her grandparents. This led her to enrol and complete a Diploma in Community Welfare Work and a counselling course with the Institute Of Counselling and Community Studies.
Lily has been involved with ACCS since early 2008, first as a student then as a PAG Coordinator and Community Partners Program Officer.
Since mid-2009 Lily has been employed as a HACC Program Manager. This role proved to be quite a challenge for her as she did not have previous experience in the sector. At the same time, this was a driving factor that helped her gain confidence as well as experience.
As part of her role Lily advocates and applies for funding on behalf of a number of Croatian senior citizens groups across the Northwest region of Melbourne.

 

Senada Ekic (PAG Coordinator/ Community Liaison Officer)

senada2

Senada Bosnic Ekic has been working for ACCS since June 2009 as a Project and Community Liaison Officer - planning and facilitating PAG groups and doing case work – helping people from ACCS targeted communities.
Senada arrived in Australia as a refugee from Bosnia and Hercegovina, and since then she has gained great understanding of how hard and confronting life in a foreign country can be. She is dedicated and passionate about helping people and lobbying for their needs. She is mostly focused on elderly, as most of them don't speak English and do not have great understanding of the Australian systems. She completed double Diploma in Community Services and Community Development at Victoria University. Her professional background is primary school teaching and child care. Senada is also a very active volunteer, leading Bosnian Folklore Dance Group and broadcasting at Community 3ZZZ radio Melbourne. She is a proud recipient of the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence - Meritorious Service to the Community in 2012.

 

Silvana Petric (Intake, Support and Workforce Quality Officer, HCS)

silvana2Silvana was born in Australia, grew up in Croatia. She started her professional career with Dandenong College within the ESL Department, providing advice, assistance and referral to clients with different backgrounds. She also worked as a Croatian language teacher with Victorian School of Languages. She has enjoyed the challenge of working in culturally and linguistically diverse environments. Very conscious of the growing demand for services for older people, she joined the Bayside City Council team within the Department of Aged and Disability where she worked for three years.
Looking for new challenges, Silvana commenced employment with ACCS in May 2010. She currently oversees Brokerage Services in the South and East Regions of Metropolitan Melbourne.
Silvana enjoys working with Croatian Community in Victoria and is very passionate about continuing to provide Croatian community access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services that are responsive to their needs.

 

Danijela Dabo (HACC Coordinator for Southern Metropolitan Region)

danijelaDanijela was born in Croatia on a beautiful island of Pag, Novalja, having arrived in Australia in 2002, with a degree Bachelor of Tourism Management.
Danijela is passionate about her family and the Croatian community and has a keen sense of loyalty and a willingness to make everyone around her happy, which is a critical attribute in her role as a Planned Activity Groups (PAG) and Friendly Visiting (FVP) Coordinator. Danijela is keen on maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle and has completed Certificate III in fitness at Holmesglen TAFE.

 

Darko Kotevski (PAG Coordinator Southern Metropolitan)

darko2Darko was born and raised in Vis, Croatia where he graduated at Zagreb's University / Faculty of Speech Pathology and has worked as a Speech Pathologist Clinician at various Speech Pathology Clinics in Zagreb, Croatia. In 1988 he migrated to Australia with his family where he continued his career in Speech Pathology until 2004. Since then Darko has tried to change his professional path and has worked at Silver Circle as a Community Support Worker for few years, which position has brought him closer to elderly community, until June 2012 when he was offered a position of a Coordinator of a Pilot Project for Croatian men and later continued his employment at ACCS as a HACC PAG Coordinator for 2 PAG programs. Darko has been well known in the Croatian Community on various levels, as a SBS radio producer and broadcaster and as a president of the Croatian National Theatre Melbourne.

 

Biljana Barisic (PAG Coordinator, North West)

BiljanaBiljana Barisic joined ACCS in July 2014 as a Planned Activity Group Coordinator in the North West Region. In her most recent position, Biljana gained 5 years' experience in the Leadership role with a Pharmaceutical Company here in Melbourne. Her passion to assist people in need led her to work with the Australian Red Cross in early 2011, where she contributed in re-building the lives of many flooded victims throughout Victoria.
Biljana has the enthusiasm in assisting the elderly in the Croatian community and has the appreciation for the sacrifices and contributions that they have made in sustaining the Croatian traditions and values of family life.

 

Vera Paleka (Rostering and Service Administration Officer, HCS)

veraVera joined this great team late April 2015. She was born in Melbourne and has been involved with the Croatian community all of her life. She currently dances with folklore group Hrvatska Zora (Croatian Dawn) and previously with Lado Geelong and SHUMS in her teenage years. Currently she is involved with the Australian Croatian Women's Association "Katarina Zrinski" and is an active helper at Melbourne Croatia. She loves being part of the Croatian community and endeavours to help the elderly through her role with the ACCS to her best ability.

 

Anne Blight – Administration Project Officer

AnneBAnne joined ACCS in 2011 to work on an ACFE funded project to update ACCS policies and procedures. The project involved working closely with other staff members which provided Anne with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the organisation’s philosophies and to recognise the excellent work being done by ACCS. As an Australian born, non-Croatian speaking person, Anne has gained a love and appreciation of Croatian culture and food and enjoys working alongside her Croatian co-workers.
This work led to further ACFE funded project work where Anne was able to use her qualifications and experience in the adult education sector. Anne is currently working to effectively co-ordinate the day-to-day administration and project work to assist in the smooth running of the organisation. This work includes being part of the grant application process and working closely with co-workers to offer assistance where needed.
Anne enjoys her work at the ACCS Dandenong office.