Past Board Members
George Kostrevski was born in Smilevo, Macedonia on the 8th March 1941. At the age of five his family moved from Smilevo, to live in Bitola.
In 1965 George migrated to Australia and like all migrants, in search of job opportunities and a better life.
In 1982, George and his family settled in St. Albans where they had built a new home that accommodated their family and allowed for easy wheelchair access for their daughter who was born with cerebral palsy.
In 1983, George went to the local Member of Parliament, Mr George Seitz, to discuss the needs of the Macedonian Community in the locality. He explained that while the Macedonian immigrants in the Western Suburbs had initially settled in the inner western suburbs such as Footscray and Yarraville, there was a clear indication they were buying or building their new homes in and around the St. Albans area. He expressed concern that due to language difficulties and the lack of services in the area, many had experienced problems with settlement and isolation. The outcome of this meeting was a decision to form a Macedonian Community Group.
George undertook this task and the first step was a meeting on the 19th of August 1983, where the Macedonian Community Association was formed. The meeting was held at the office of Keilor MLA George Seitz and was attended by approximately 200 people. During this meeting nominations took place to elect the interim committee; each nominated person explained what they had done in the community and why they should be on the Committee. George was elected President.
At that time George was concerned about our elderly people and gave support, under the umbrella of the Macedonian Community Welfare Association of the Western Region to establish a second Macedonian elderly group in the region that still meet in St.Albans.
In 1984, George’s fourth child, a son Peter was born. He wanted his son to attend a Macedonian Soccer Club and soon discovered that there wasn’t one in the area. So in 1985 George took the initiative once again under of the Macedonian Community Welfare Association of the Western Region and with the support of many parents in the area feeling the same way, formed the Sydenham Park Junior Soccer Club. As a temporary ground the club trained at the Kings Park Secondary School Oval and later after many discussions with the then City of Keilor the club was given a suitable location for the ground in Sydenham.
George was a great supporter of the Australian Labour Party. He first joined in 1982. In 1992 George felt that he could make a difference to the local community and nominated as a candidate in Sunshine Council North Ward Elections. Unfortunately was unsuccessful.
George knew that in order for the Macedonian Community to be fully represented in our political system and government, they needed to be more active. He envisaged that the young needed to be encouraged to take interest in this area and ultimately take up positions of power in politics. Through this need he was the instigator in the formation of the first Macedonian speaking Labour Party branch. This branch was first established on the 11th of March 1992 at the West Sunshine Community Centre with over 40 Macedonians from the electorate attending.
In June 1992 at the age of 51, George broke new ground once again by being appointed as the first Honorary Justice of the Peace in Australia to claim Macedonia as his country of origin. This was a very proud moment for George as he felt that he could further extend the support and assistance he had given to the Macedonian community in the west.
Throughout the years he was also an office bearer with the Migrant Resources Centre North West Region, Committee of Management representing the Macedonian Community as well as other cultural community groups contributing to multicultural.
George was a great supporter of mankind and believed in equality and social justice for all regardless of race, sex or colour. He was a true believer in multiculturalism and democracy and believed that Australia was a fair country for all.
After his sudden passing in 2002 he was granted a posthumous Victorian State Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs.
His contribution to the Macedonian Community in Melbourne Australia has had a significant impact on many Macedonian migrants whilst ensuring the profile of the Macedonian Community in the Melbourne Australia was raised in the political and community arena.
George should be remembered as a great pioneer for the Macedonian Community who worked relentlessly to raise the Macedonian Community profile in Australia. He believed that he could make a difference in the community and his legacy is testament to his tireless efforts.
Today the Macedonian Community Welfare Association (MCWA) is a statewide not-for-profit community based organisation and continues to deliver by responding to the growing welfare based needs of Macedonians and providing services to Macedonians by Macedonians as well as supports others in their delivery of services to Macedonians.
A committed family man, he is remembered for his vision, kindness and as a pillar of the Macedonian community in Melbourne, Victoria
Lenna has worked in aged and disability services mainly within the local government in Geelong and Metropolitan Melbourne for 23 years. She is qualified with a degree in social science (sociology and public policy) and has great interest in CALD communities around aged care and disability focusing on empowering clients and families in health and well being.
She Migrated in Melbourne 4 years ago from New Zealand .
Currently working as a analyst for a small pharmaceutical company and she is involved as volunteer for Westley Do Care that provides care and organised visits to elderly people in the community.
Passionate to contribute to the Macedonian community and as a emigrant herself, she fully understand the needs and interests of the people with Macedonian background in the Diaspora.
Ljubica is a secondary school teacher, teaching in St Albans Secondary College. She is also a qualified social worker with over 10 years of experience with the Department of Social Security. Currently she is President of the Macedonian Teachers Association in Victoria.
Dr Maja Simoski
Dr Maja was born in Skopje, Macedonia and completed Medical University in Varna, Bulgaria. She migrated to Australia in November 2007. She is involved in he Medical Graduates thorough Victorian Medical Postgraduate Foundation. In the past she has worked as a social worker for Salvation Army with homeless people and she has a genuine interest in helping people with special needs and she is looking forward to her contribution for better future of the Macedonian Community.
Alan Serifoski (2013-…)
Alan is a Regional Business Manager for Commonwealth Bank. He has also served in the past as the executive member of the Macedonian Community Council of Victoria.
Jim Markovski (2003-…)Jim has extensive knowledge in the fields of youth, community, recreation and sport. He has obtained – Bachelor of Arts majoring in youth affairs; Diploma in Community Services (Alcohol and Other Drugs and Mental Health); Associate Diploma in Recreation Leadership and Certificate IV in Assessment and Work Training. Jim has over 29 years experience working in the western suburbs of Melbourne. He is currently the Operations Manager Youth Services for the 20th Man Fund. Jim has a strong emphasis on sport ensuring all young people accept there are rules governing conduct and behaviour which helps form a basis that can be applied to life outside the sporting environment and aid individuals in reaching their full potential of being worthwhile productive members of society. For the past 29 years Jim has coordinated the 20th Man Christmas fun day for over 2 000 children and established the Redskins Basketball Club where there are over 450 participants. Jim also is a casual Collector with the Australian Sport Anti – Doping Authority and Medvet Sciences Pty Ltd .
Menka Kitanovska (2002-…)Menka is currently Multicultural Services Manager for Centrelink and has extensive experience working within the federal government sector with prior roles within Centrelink and the Department of Social Security as a Multicultural Service Officer, Team Leader and Policy Advisor. Menka has a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Community Justice and holds NAATI Level 2 accreditation as a Macedonian interpreter. Menka also has over 15 years experience working with the Macedonian community in Geelong and in the Western Region of Melbourne.
Anne Coall (2008-…)
She has strong Community Development skills and over 20 years experience of work in Local Government in the Aged and Disability Department. She holds a Diploma in Community Development.