Melba Marginson

Director - Northern Health Board

About Me

Melba Marginson is a Director of the Northern Health Board, Founder/Convenor of The Silent Witness Network and former Founder/Executive Director of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition. She provides organizational leadership, mentoring and advocacy for and on behalf of migrants and refugees. She has developed a Women’s Leadership Course tailored for migrant and refugee women which has trained over 1500 women since 2003 and is now an approved pre-accredited course offered in selected neighbourhood houses in Victoria. Melba’s work around Filipino women’s issues was the subject of extensive media coverage and academic research in the late 1980s through to the 1990s. Her public appearances in the media inspired many Filipino and migrant women to speak up and fight for their rights. Dr James Jupp invited her to write the Filipino chapter of the 2001 Australian Encyclopedia. In 1994, the national campaign she led to protect Filipino women from violence helped bring about the Domestic Violence Provision to the Immigration Act of 1982 which has made it possible for tens of thousands of battered immigrant women to stay permanently in Australia. Melba continues her passion to empower migrant and refugee women so they can take part in decision-making bodies in community, nonprofit organisations/companies and government. She believes Australia can never be a fair and equal society without the active citizenship of its culturally diverse women.

Melba is a 2014 AFR & Westpac ‘100 Women of Influence’ award recipient and one of 10 western region based women featured in the Her Place Museum Exhibition of the first Australian Women’s Museum.

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Ms Marginson has a Master's Degree in Social Science (Policy and Management) at RMIT University.

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