Our People


Chadia Gedeon-Hajjar is the founder of Mirath in Mind. A filmmaker, lecturer, journalist, reporter and educator with more than 30 years experience, Chadia has received many awards for her work and commitment to the Arab and Lebanese communities. In 1988 her film “Lebanon despite everything” was screened in the Paris Francophone Film Festival and in 1995 she was awarded by the CBAA for her short film “Accounting and Sewing Don’t Match”. She has worked as a foreign correspondent for Arab TV satellites in Dubai, MBC and Al-Arabya; she was the founder of The Voice of Arabic Women and in 2000, she won the Arab Women in Media awards. Chadia holds postgraduate degrees in Comparative Literature and Education from the Universities of Sydney and Lebanon and is currently a presenter in the Arabic Language at the Universities of Sydney and New South Wales.


Marie Joseph Abi-Arrage has a Graduate Diploma in Teaching Modern Languages, University of Sydney, a Diploma in TESOL Courses from the Catholic University at North Sydney and a Certificate of Religious Education at Catholic University. She works as a LOTE Coordinator (Languages Other Than English) at Holy Spirit, Lakemba and as an Arabic teacher at Liverpool Boys High School. Marie-Joseph enjoys historical novels and autobiographies, art, painting and pottery.


Fayrouz Fares I worked as a university teacher in Lebanon and an English coordinator from kindy to year 12 in the international college. I taught languages at the American centre . In Australia I worked as an ethnic aid in Bankstown high school and an Arabic teacher in Punchbowl public school. I occupy a secretary position in Mirath in Mind as well as I’m one of the audition committee members too .


Melanie Pitkin is an Arts & Design Curator at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. She holds an Honours Degree in Ancient History, a Masters Degree in Museum Studies and she is currently studying for her PhD in Egyptology at Macquarie University. Melanie is currently co-developing an exhibition on contemporary Islamic Women’s Dress in Australia, she is a content coordinator for D’Hub (an online design resource) and she is well-published in the areas of museum collections, design and Egyptology. Melanie is also a tour leader to Egypt, a casual lecturer in Egyptian History and Museology and a student of Arabic. Melanie is passionate about Arab and Lebanese arts, heritage and culture both past and present.


Dr Raymond Chakhachiro is a Lecturer of Translation and Interpreting in the School of Arabic Language Studies at the University of Western Sydney.


Dr Paul Tabar is the Director of the Institute of Migration Studies and an Associate Professor of Sociology at the American University in Beirut. He is also Associate Researcher at the Centre for Cultural Research at the University of Western Sydney.

PR Officer

Vera Achkar Vera has a Graduated Diploma in Social Work whose expertise is centered on working with young people considered at risk and families in distress from the Lebanese University – Beirut, a Business Management Diploma with Gow College – Sydney and a Cert IV in Training and Assessment from Parramatta College. Her experience in the Social field extend for over 17 years working with the Arabic community in general and the Australian Lebanese community specifically. Since 2007, Vera’s role as a Project Coordinator of Links to Learning an educational/cultural program funded by the department of Education and Training and as Deputy Executive Director of Arab Council Australia allowed her to connect and liaise with a range of international and non-for-profit organizations for the benefit and development of our community Vera is passionate about providing opportunities for young people to extend their skills and talents and outreach for a better future. In 2014, Vera held the position of Editor in Chief of ALNOUJOUM Magazine – English section and was assigned as Public Relations Officer with Mirath In Mind Committee.


Cinzia Guaraldi has an Executive Certificate in Events Management from the University of Technology Sydney, a BA Degree (Classical Literature) from the University of Sydney and a Teacher’s Diploma from the former Sydney Teachers’ College. She has worked as a Multicultural Arts Officer and as a Coordinator of the Multilingual Community Information Centre. Before that she was Manager of regional Western Sydney arts organisation – Garage Graphix. She is an experienced film producer, arts administrator and community cultural development worker, as well as being highly experienced in conference inception and organisation, event management, project management, budgeting and reporting, public relations and promotions, community education and training.


Bouchra Beydoun Studied Visual Art and completed “Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts” at St. George TAFE. I exhibited my works in Australia and in Lebanon. As professional practice, I managed and organised few arts shows in Sydney, and received few awards. I completed a small course of Book Keeping 1996, and was an art teacher for 3 years in Lebanon to grades 1 to 12.

AV Tech & Production

Nizar Dardar is Mirath In Mind’s Audio Visual Technician and Producer, also working within the Visual Arts department.

Head of Education

Dr Rosemary Suliman is Senior Lecturer and Director of Arabic Language Studies at the University of Western Sydney and an Association Researcher at the University of Notre Dame, Lebanon. She is also Chairperson of the Arab Council Australia.

Parents Committee Coordinator

Laura Chahine My name is laura Chahine and I am currently the Parents Committee Co-ordinatr for Mirath in Mind. I Completed year 12 in Lebanon & studied beauty therapy and hairdressing where I went on to work for a few years at Beauty Salon “pour too” in Jounieh. After moving to Australia I completed in Australia certificate III in children services which saw me working in Child care for 3 years. From there I received a certificate in make-up with The Academy for Make-up Artist & managed a family business. I now have my own business in designing chocolates and souvenirs for all occasions. I am a member of Saint Charbel’s Parish; a member of the Parents and Friends Association and a choir member in the church.

Secretary and Primary Schools Coordinator

Gina Harb is currently the secretary for Mirath in Mind (since January 2015). I started tutoring since I was in High school, students from different age group. I received my Bachelor of education from the University of Lebanon then continued to receive my Master degree in Social studies. I worked in a statistic company then moved to help children affected by war through an organisation called RESTART. 15 years ago I started teaching languages French and Arabic at St Maroun’s College and Holy Saviour school. I did private tutoring to students and adults who wanted to expand their knowledge and improve their language in Arabic and I am currently a tutor at the centre of continuing education (cce) at Sydney University.

Primary Schools Assistant Coordinator

Norma Maroun  studied at Tripoli Evangelical School and Lebanese University where I received by B.A in Arabic Literature and Teaching and also did 2 years of English Literature. I have taught Tripoli Evangelical School in Lebanon and Mckillop Girls High School, St. Joseph’s and Holy Spirit College in Australia. 

Audition Coordinator And Primary schools coordinator assistant

Siham Asfour graduated with a Masters Degree of Arts in the French and Arabic Languages and Literature from The Lebanese University in Lebanon. I hold a Graduate Certificate in Special Education (Training course for teachers of French language) from University of Besanҫon in France. I was French coordinator and French high school teacher in Lebanon for 24 years. I am currently an Arabic teacher in Alsadiq College in Greenacre since 2013. I play many musical instruments especially on Oud. I participated in the program with the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs on the fight against delinquency and school literacy for 5 years.

High School Assistant Coordinator

Marie Mourad graduated with a Degree in history and French literature. I attended teachers school in Beirut, studying for 2 years to be qualified as a secondary teacher, then studying a Diploma at Sydney University. I spent 5 years teaching Arabic and French at Kogarah High School. I now teach French to years 11 and 12 at Black Hurst high school and at Wiley Park Girls High School from years 7 to 12, teaching French and Arabic.

Quiz Coordinator Consultant

Marie El-Azzi  graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in the French and Arabic Languages and Literature from The Lebanese University in Lebanon. A  Graduate Diploma in Education, Secondary French and Arabic from Sydney Institute of Education. I hold a Graduate Certificate in Special Education from Charles Stuart University in Bathurst NSW Australia and a Graduate Certificate in Religious Education from The University of Notre Dame, Western Australia. To support the Arabic Curriculum in Australian Schools, I participated in the writing of Arabic teaching Resources for learning Arabic in Australia. I am currently a Special Education Teacher and Quicksmart Numeracy Coordinator at St Jerome’s Primary School Punchbowl and Member of Mirath in Mind Committee. I have also taught Arabic and French Languages at Tempe High school  Sydney, Mackillop Girls High School Lakemba and St Jerome’s Primary School Punchbowl. I also have taught English as a Second Language, as well as English and Mathematics to Special Education students at St Jerome’s Primary School Punchbowl.

Parent Committee Member

  • Sonia Sukkar
  • Sonia Gebara
  • Minerva Aoun
  • Maya Bou Zeid
  • Noga Ismesis Mobayed