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Our Team

St Merkorious Team Photos - Paula 2023

Paula Nicolas


Paula is the founder of St Merkorious Charity. She has a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Marketing and Finance. She worked in the corporate world for many years until she decided to dedicate her life to assist the disadvantaged.

Dorian Sarkissian - Vice President

Dorian Sarkissian

Vice President

Dorian is principal lawyer at Infocus Legal, specialising in property law. Previously, he worked at the NSW Commission for Children & Young People and worked on numerous projects to improve the safety, welfare and well-being of young people.

Patrick Chow - Treasurer

Patrick Chow


Patrick Chow is a Chartered Accountant. He spent 18 years with Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and since 2003 ran Prolink Business Solutions, providing business, accounting and taxation advice to small and medium enterprises.

Wally Mehanna


CEO of the Canterbury-Bankstown Chamber of Commerce, Wally is dedicated to bringing together the Canterbury-Bankstown community. Hardworking and well-connected, Wally works to ensure all that Western Sydney is premiere place to live, study, work, and do business.

Amira Fanous - Office Manager

Amira Fanous

Office Manager

Amira brings to us her extensive experience in administration, customer service, and office management. Previously, Amira was an Office Administrator at Commonwealth Bank Mortgage Innovation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

St Merkorious Operations Committee

Daniel Nicolas OAM

Operations Committee

Daniel Nicolas is one of the Directors of Dasco Australia, bringing his passion and care for the community to life through his career in construction and through his philanthropy and charitable work.

St Merkorious Team Photos -Diaa

Diaa Shaker

Operations Committee

Diaa Shaker is the principal and founder of Terra Ferma. With 20 years of experience shaping his business acumen and outstanding business management, Diaa is exceptional at turning vision into reality.

Michael Malak

Operations Committee

Managing Director at JAPM since 2005, Michael Malak is a Development and Project Management Specialist committed to working with, and giving back to the community through charitable work, sponsorship and providing housing for the displaced.

St Merkorious Advisory Members

Colette Assaf - Advisory Member

Colette Assaf

Advisory Member

Collette has been a Director at Montessori Academy for more than 13 years. Today, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the centres. Colette ensures that excellence in early childhood education remains at the core of Montessori Academy.

Prof Fadia Ghossayn - Advisory Member

Prof Fadia Ghossayn

Advisory Member

Prof Fadia held the post of Dean of Dentistry at The Lebanese University and founded a global charity (Auxilia) in 1990, now serving 523 families. In Australia, apart from her extensive charitable works, Prof Fadia is the President of the ALF at the University of Sydney.

Lara Nicolas - Advisory Member

Lara Nicolas

Advisory Member

Upon arriving from Lebanon in 1996, Lara completed her BA at Macquarie University. Currently, Lara works at Paulara Pty Ltd. Apart from St Merkorious, Lara is involved with Exodus, Cocos, and Auxilia. Her other interests include interior design and decor.

Nelly Mawad - Advisory Member

Nelly Mawad

Advisory Member

Nelly holds a Bachelor of Computer Science. Recently, she completed a Diploma in Graphic Design and is currently working in accounting within the hospitality industry and property development field. Her passion to make a difference in people lives prompts her to help fundraise for different worthy causes, most importantly breast cancer research.

Hala Shashati - Advisory Member

Hala Shashati

Advisory Member

Having first supported the poor through a church in Aleppo, Hala holds a degree in Business Administration and now assists at nursing homes and various charities. Hala is a member of St John’s Social Committee to support the Melkite Church.

Rosa Hanna - Advisory Member

Rosa Hanna

Advisory Member

Rosa holds a degree in Nursing & has worked in nursing & childcare for years. She has served the homeless via St. Paul’s Mission and now volunteers at Cocos & Jesus Care Charity where she serves the homeless and reaches out to disadvantaged communities.

Thaya Ponniah

Advisory Member

Thaya Ponniah is a business entrepreneur with nearly 30 years’ experience in the ICT industry with insight across a range of disciplines including: entrepreneurship, enterprise sales & marketing, strategic planning, investments, channel development and people management.


Thomas D'Souza

IT Advisory Member

Thomas D'Souza is the Head of Digital Solutions at Clixpert Digital Media. He has worked with over 1,000 businesses in Australia, and globally in the fields of web development, branding, digital marketing, consultation, IT, business coaching, sales and customer services.

Christie Nicolas

Social Media

Christie Nicolas is an accomplished social media manager with experience working in Marketing across different industries. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Business, Majoring in Marketing at the University of Technology Sydney. Christie also volunteers each fortnight to feed and assist the disadvantaged in various points in Sydney.

Mike Dalzell

Risk Management Officer

Mike Dalzell has an extensive knowledge of the construction industry its processes and equipment with over 40 years of experience. He is and has been employed as a WHS Compliance and industrial manager for over 20 years and is involved with up to 30 construction projects per annum.

Honorary Member

Jason Yat-sen Li

Jason Yat-sen Li

Jason is currently the Member for Strathfield in the New South Wales State Parliament. Before Parliament, Jason was Chairman of investment firm Vantage Asia and Managing Director of corporate advisory firm YSA. Jason is also a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate and Chair of the University’s Risk and Audit Committee. He is also a director of student accommodation company Belong Here, Chair of Refugee Talent, a director of Asialink and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Jason was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on China, a non-executive director of the George Institute for Global Health, an Eisenhower Fellow and a Governing Member of the Smith Family. He has also been a Director of the Sydney Institute, the National Centre for Volunteering, the Asia Australia Institute and Youth Chair of the NSW Ethnic Communities Council.

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