Arts, Music, Literature, Community Service and Engagement, Cultural Diversity, Human Services, International Development and Issues, Motivational Speaking, Other, Social Justice and Human Rights, Sport and Recreation, Voluntary Work, Youth
Born in Sri Lanka and adopted by an Australian family as an infant, Kumari Middleton understands how important it is to feel welcome, valued and included. Kumari’s original career path was professional dance having studied full-time in Melbourne and New York. However, after contracting legionnaires which restricted her ability, Kumari co-founded Mayibuye a community arts organisation of which she is CEO.
Mayibuye uses performing arts to empower vulnerable young people in Australia, South Africa, Cambodia, India and Brazil. Recently Kumari launched a social enterprise dance school ‘Care Two Dance’ which directly funds Mayibuye’s work around the world.
Kumari also holds a role of Youth Settlement Worker at Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre and sits on the Gippsland Multicultural Services Committee and is Vice President at Richmond Union Bowling Club. She has previously held board positions at Women with Disabilities Victoria and Young Social Pioneers (FYA).
Kumari also coordinated Mayibuye’s Certificate III in Community Dance at Melbourne Polytechnic, was Artistic Director for “Multicoloured Journeys” a Gippsland Production and completed 2 years working for Melbourne City Mission living as a Lead Tenant with teenagers transitioning from care.
As a young leader, Kumari has been selected for Young Social Pioneers, IYF Global Fellows (Brazil), School of Social Entrepreneurs, Cordes Fellowship (Mexico), Social Trader’s The Crunch and the Asialink Leaders Program. Kumari has received a Victorian Multicultural Award of Excellence, was named in JCI’s Top Outstanding Young People of Australia and was finalist for both Young Australian of the Year and the Pride of Australia Medal.