Hazel spent most of her working life with Belfast City Council where she led the Good Relations Unit and had responsibility for equality, community relations, race relations, diversity and social inclusion issues. Her previous roles within the City Council included community development, policy development and corporate planning.
Hazel is a Commissioner with the Equality Commission for NI and is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Museums NI. She is a member of the Board of Governors of two local schools, Wellington College Belfast and Rosetta Primary. She is also a Director on the Board of the Ullans Academy and a member of the Inter-Cultural Committee of the Bryson Charitable Group.
Pamela Ballantine is a freelance Northern Irish television presenter, best known for her career at UTV. Pamela began her broadcasting career at Downtown Radio as a secretary, and gradually moved on to news reading and reporting for the Downtown newsroom, as well as presenting her own programme and covering for other programmes on the station. She later worked for BBC Radio Ulster as a morning presenter before moving to Ulster Television as a continuity announcer and news presenter in 1983. Pamela moved from the continuity department to become a regular newsreader on UTV Live from its launch.
Pamela was the main presenter and reporter for UTV Live at 5.30, UTV's successful news magazine programme which covered all aspects of life; from movies and concerts to health and legal issues. She has presented many different programmes from Hot Pursuits (an outdoor pursuits game show) to RPM (UTV's motorsports programme) Farming Ulster to Telethon. Pamela is now a freelance presenter for UTV presenting UTV Life, a weekly chat and entertainment show, as well as working on the radio station U105 and she is an Ambassador for UTV.
MUKESH SHARMA MBE DL
Mukesh Sharma, born in England, was raised in Northern Ireland within the Indian Community, and is a respected figure in the travel industry with over 30 years’ airline, travel industry and tourism experience in the UK, Irish and international markets. He is former Managing Director of World Travel Centre, Northern Ireland’s largest and arguably the most successful travel company. Mukesh has exceptional breadth of experience in areas of business growth and acquisition, organisational change, partnership working and advocacy in developing international partnerships for which was he recognised when he was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List for ‘Services to the Travel Industry in Northern Ireland’. He also holds the title of Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, having been commissioned in 2015 by the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast to assist her in carrying out her civic duties on behalf of HRM Queen Elizabeth.
In a voluntary capacity, Mukesh has served and still serves as a Board member of a number of charities namely ArtsEkta, Moving on Music, The Indian Community Centre and most recently Barnardos. He has led many initiatives across Northern Ireland to promote the arts, community cohesion and the prevention of racism, sectarianism and hate crime. During the period 2006-2013, Mukesh held the position of Chair of Newtownabbey Borough Council Good Relations Partnership.
In 2016, Mukesh was appointed as Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Executive Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition, a Commission made up of political and non-political representatives which has been tasked to undertake an important programme of work to shape a Northern Ireland free from segregation and division
DR. M. SATISH KUMAR
Dr. M. Satish Kumar, is the former Chair of ArtsEkta and the former Director of Queens' Academy India. He teaches in the School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen's University Belfast. He has held Visiting Professorship position in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and is now a Visiting Professor in Calcutta University, India. He has more than 26 years’ experience of teaching and researching in the Higher Education Sector in India, Cambridge and Belfast. As a specialist on India/ South Asia, he brings insights into identification of strategic opportunities for ArtsEkta for the future.
He was awarded the Queen’s University Teaching Award (2014) as nominated by the students out of 1175 academic staff. He was presented with the Bhoovigyan (Earth Scientist) National Leadership Award for contributions to Population, Environment and Development Studies. India, December 20, 2002 and the SGI Merit Award for Peace and Culture, Japan, 1992. He was a member of the Expert Panel of All Party group on International Development, Stormont Assembly. He successfully coordinated the launch of the major international Exhibition: Gandhi, King, Ikeda Peacebuilders’ Exhibition in Queen’s which secured funding from Belfast City Council, Community Relations Council and SGI-UK. The Exhibition ran from 27 October to 21 December 2005. He successfully coordinated the Annual QUB-India Lecture Series, since 2008- 2011. He also coordinated the first joint venture of Irish and Indian poets in Hyderabad and Kolkata, (2010).
The last 8 years he was been engaged in Queens University's Strategic Planning and Development in Higher Education Partnership in India. Contribution to internationalisation strategy and partnership development and the management of external relationship. He has built strong interpersonal, communication, leadership and policy analysis skills. He is a member of the South Belfast Partnership Board and is currently engaged with the regeneration opportunities for the City of Belfast. He established the Young Civic Leaders of Northern Ireland (2014) which is focused as a space for the youth to design and define their own city.
Jeremy has worked in the public and community sector for over thirty years, working across Europe and USA, as well as in various parts of Northern Ireland and is currently a freelance specialist in community safety and diversity. He has worked with many NGO’s and statutory bodies, in the area of Cohesion, Sharing and Integration, focusing largely in the area of Diversity, Hate Crime and Community Safety.
He has worked with ArtsEkta since its foundation in 2006 and joined the board in 2012. He is the co-founder of the multi award winning ‘Unite against Hate’ campaign and has been recognised at a Regional, National and International level for his work and dedication in the area of community development, diversity and prejudice.
Jeremy has / is actively involved locally, nationally and internationally with the Special Olympics movement for over 20years and has a particular interested in disability issues. He is currently a part time student studying Administration and Management and Community Development at Ulster University.
ANNA LO MBE
Anna was born in Hong Kong and worked in London for a year prior to coming to live in Northern Ireland in 1974. For several years, she made regular contributions to the BBC Chinese Service about the Chinese community and Northern Ireland affairs. In 1978, she started the first ever English evening class for Chinese people in Northern Ireland in a further education college
Following a career break to have her two sons, she joined the Chinese Welfare Association in 1987 as a community interpreter. Four years later she returned to full-time education and qualified as a social worker from the University of Ulster in 1993 and worked in the health and social services trust and Barnardos. She took up the post of director of the Chinese Welfare Association in 1997. Anna was the first vice chair of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities and a founding commissioner for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. She was also the first chair of the South Belfast Partnership Board.
Anna was awarded an MBE in 1999 for Services to Ethnic Minorities. In March 2007, she was elected to serve as the MLA for South Belfast for the Alliance Party, and consequently the first ethnic Chinese person to be elected to a legislative parliament in Europe.
Jerome Mullen is the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Northern Ireland. Jerome is a director of Newry & Mourne City Centre Partnership and is Chairman of Clanrye Group, Training & Social Enterprise Newry. A former President of Newry Chamber of Commerce and currently a member of the Chamber Executive, Jerome is a former Council Member of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce & Industry. A highly successful entrepreneur and business man with over 45 years experience in various managerial roles across a wide range of industries and businesses, from the retail shoe industry to agriculture and waste management. Jerome is highly motivated as demonstrated by the various businesses he has started over the years, and the many non-profit organisations in which he has taken an active and leading role.
Stephen has over 20 years experience of transformational and operational change in both private and public sectors. Much of this time was spent working in the electricity sector in both the former Soviet Union and Africa, where he supported a number of initiatives to help improve the communities in which he was living.
Stephen has a long history of supporting equality & diversity initiatives, beginning 25 years ago when he was a founder governor of Acorn Integrated Primary School, and he currently supports the Russian Speaking Community in Northern Ireland (RSCNI) a non-profit organisation which supports Russian language and culture, and joined the board of Artsekta in 2016.
As a qualified mediator, Stephen continues to broaden his experience in this field and has successfully supported a number of local businesses, helping them resolve internal conflicts and maintain harmony in the workplace.