Canberra Multicultural Service FM 91.1 (also known as Ethnic Broadcasters Council of the ACT) is strategically governed by an Executive Board consisting of nine annually elected members from within our diverse membership body.
Dr Songfa Liu, President
Dr Songfa Liu is a retired senior public servant after working for the commonwealth government in Canberra. He is a long time supporter and broadcaster for community broadcasting and current the coordinator for CMS’ Mandarin program “Chinese Morning”. He served as treasurer for CMS for five years before becoming president in 2020. He is also a board member for ArtSound FM radio station in Canberra.
Jim Saragas, Vice President
Jim Saragas has served CMS in many positions on the executive committee since the very beginning. Being involved very heavily since the radio studios were built. For Jim, radio is life. He started broadcasting in his teenage years in a very small studio on the island of Lesvos in Greece. Now at CMS Radio, he coordinates the Greek Radio Program and the Cyprus Radio Program and he proudly holds the position of Vice President on the executive committee. He is also a member of other community groups including AHEPA. The mission of AHEPA is to promote the ancient Hellenic ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism, promoting and preserving the Hellenic identity of the Greek Americans and the ethnic Greeks of other countries.
Edith Muruka, Vice President
Edith is a founding broadcaster of the inaugural Swahili Language Program on CMS FM 91.1 radio in August 2018. Edith was first elected to the Ethnic Broadcasters’ Council of the ACT and Surrounding Districts Board (EBC) in 2018. Since then, Edith has been involved with CMS FM 91.1 in various roles as a broadcaster, Committee Member and Assistant Secretary. Edith is also the ACT representative on the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC) Women’s Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree, a Graduate Certificate in Management for the Public Sector, and a Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development.
In September 2018, the Celebration of African Australians Inc. presented Edith the Community Initiatives Award in recognition of her contribution to the ACT multicultural community. Edith enjoys music, travel, a hot cappuccino and learning new languages. Edith was a Finalist and received a Special Commendation, Mentor of the Year Award in 2019 by Canberra Women in Business.
Saad Khalid, Treasurer
Saad Khalid’s affinity for the world of broadcasting took root early on, reflecting a unending passion for community media. From his teenage years, Saad’s fascination with the power of the airwaves led him to embark on a journey that now finds him at the helm of CMS Radio. His unwavering dedication to community-oriented broadcasting has been a driving force behind his commitment to not only managing the financial aspects of the station but also to nurturing its core mission of serving and connecting with the local community.
Saad’s involvement with organizations like NEMBC and CBAA has provided platforms to advocate for the inclusion of young voices in broader industry conversations and decision-making processes. He proudly holds the position of Treasurer at CMS Radio, where he deftly manages a substantial budget exceeding $300k. His role encompasses a range of responsibilities, from financial oversight to optimizing operational efficiency for the benefit of stakeholders.
Dr Heinrich Stefanik OAM, Executive Member
For Heinrich multilingual broadcasting is what water is to a fish. Transylvanian-born he grew up in Munich, Germany, and as a teenager migrated to Australia with his parents. He came to study at the ANU in 1963 and “got stuck in Canberra” ever since.
Heinrich has been active in ethnic community radio since 1978 in many roles, both at the local and national level. Over the years he served as Secretary, President and member of the EBC/CMS Board. At the national level he was/is involved in the National Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) and the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).He has been a consistent contributor to various local radio programs. He has been the coordinator of the German language magazine TREFFPUNKT (Meeting Point) since the foundation of CMS.
Heinrich enjoys working with Team CMS – broadcasters, staff and board members – to realise Quality, Relevance and Harmony in our on-air presence and within the radio station.
Santhosh Nagaiah Executive Member
Santhosh Nagaiah, born in 1988 in Chennai, India, is a multifaceted individual with a dynamic blend of engineering and business acumen. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a background in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, Santhosh thrives in the realm of business development within the software industry. From a young age, Santhosh exhibited a penchant for both academics and extracurricular pursuits.
Santhosh’s fascination with radio ignited at the tender age of 11. This intrigue transformed into active engagement, as he frequently tuned in, interacted with radio stations, and even participated in diverse contests. During his university days, he seized the opportunity to be a radio jockey, lending his voice to the college radio waves. This experience nurtured his passion for communication and community engagement. In a transformative encounter with CMS, Santhosh recognized a platform that aligned perfectly with his aspirations. Driven by the desire to promote his life philosophy to a wider audience, he envisions CMS as the premier source of local information for all ethnic and multicultural communities in Canberra.
Pradeep Timalsina, Executive Member
Pradeep Timalsina, originally from Nepal, holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Nursing from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. His journey began in his teenage years when he embarked on a radio career. He spearheaded a Health Educational Radio Program on Radio Nepal FM 100. Beyond healthcare, Pradeep has an artistic side. He contributed to several commercial feature films in Nepal, including Hollywood and Bollywood productions, serving as a Chief Assistant Director.
In Australia, he furthered his engagement with the Nepali community. He launched the Nepali Radio Program ‘Man Ta Mero Nepali Ho’ on NorthShore Radio FM 99.1. He started with radio, hosting the Nepali Radio program at North Shore Radio FM93.1 in Sydney. He then became a pioneer on television, producing the first weekly Nepali Television program on Television Sydney channel 41 in 2012. He even started his own program, My Nepal Television, showing his creativity and determination. In 2014, he brought his voice to CMS Radio FM 91.1 in Canberra, where he became a familiar presence, telling stories and sharing moments with listeners. He is also one of the news readers at the Multilingual National News, bringing weekly Nepali news to distant lands.
Naite Elizabeth Hausia, Assistant Secretary
Born and raised in Tonga, Naite moved to Australia in early 2018 with my husband and daughter.
Back home in Tonga, Naite was very much involved in the hospitality and tourism industry, where her husband and she managed a family business for many years. She never had any inkling of radio experience until her mother-in-law (Lavinia) slowly introduced her to CMS FM 91.1 in 2018. She started as a broadcaster for the Tongan radio program, Le’o ‘o Tonga (Voice of Tonga) in late 2018 and it has been quite an experience for and she loves how much she has learnt!
Naite is currently the Assistant Secretary of the CMS Board. She is currently working in the community service industry as a carer/support worker and studying at the same time. She also works as an interpreter and translator (legal and medical) whenever available. This correlates well with being a radio broadcaster as the radio program broadcasts in both English and Tongan language.
Lavinia Naufahu- Tunitau, Secretary
Karen Adams- Barker, Finance Officer
Karen has been working with CMS radio since January 2015, supporting Finance Administration. Karen has been supporting Non Profit Organisations in varied roles for over 20 years, as an employee or volunteer. Before this time, Karen worked as a Registered Nurse for 10 years. When not working, Karen enjoys a range of hobbies, in particular participating in outdoor activities with her family (such as exploring local Canberra nature walks & bike riding), and more recently, dragon boat paddling with Dragons Abreast Canberra (a wonderful group of people who are Breast Cancer survivors or supporters).
Marvin Jiang, Technical Officer
Marvin Jiang is an accomplished Technical Officer with 13 years of versatile experience in the IT field, spanning technical support and business analysis. With a background encompassing industries ranging from e-commerce to AI and diverse online services, Marvin deeply understands technology’s intersection with business growth. His journey began as a proficient Technical Support Specialist, honing his problem-solving skills and communication finesse. This foundation led him to excel as a Business Analyst, seamlessly blending his technical prowess with strategic insights to optimize processes across industries.
Sahana Sehgal, Station Manager
Sahana Sehgal is the Development Manager at Canberra Multicultural Service Community Radio (FM 91.1). She works in collaboration with ethnic language broadcasters and coordinators, and actively seek, develop and maintain partnerships with external stakeholders, manage fundraising and grants, and community engagement initiatives. Sahana is also a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra.
Manish Raj, Operations Manager
Manish Raj started his journey as a Community Radio Broadcaster back in 2004 on 2XX. He founded and developed Hindi Language Radio Manpasand on CMS FM 91.1 Radio in September 2006. He has served on the CMS/EBC Executive committee for 10+ years and actively contributed to the issues relating to station management and other technical aspects given his background in Electronics & Communications Engineering.
After 25 years of Federal Public Service Engineering job, Manish took an early retirement at the age of 52, to pursue his passion for radio and community service. Manish actively participates and promotes local talent, multicultural events, ethnic festivals and what’s happening in our ethnic and multicultural community in the ACT and surrounding regions.
As a Producer, Coordinator and Broadcaster he has won multiple awards; received an award in 2018 from then MP Gai Brodtmann as a recognition of his Community and Media work for Canberra; received an outstanding Community Volunteer award from then Minister for Community & Multicultural affairs, Ms. Joy Burch. His program, Radio Manpasand has won ACT Multicultural Award 2023 for “Multicultural Arts, Media or Culture”; CBAA Award 2022 for “Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting” and NEMBC Award 2014 for ‘Program of the Year award’. His tag line is “Keep going, keep listening – with a dash of spice”.
Chris Deacon, Technology Manager
With 50 years of experience in the communications field, Chris is one of the pioneers of community radio in Australia. He was a co-founder of Campus Community Radio ANU, 2XX, and ArtSound FM and, a foundation Board member of Technorama Inc., the national association of community broadcasting engineers and a grant assessor to the Community Broadcasting Foundation. He has contributed in voluntary Board, management, programming and technical roles since the early 1970s.
He is currently Technology Manager at CMS and ArtSound. In recent years he has provided technical services including remote operation during the Covid-19 pandemic, automated program management, transmission site relocation and upgrades, digital radio implementation, rebuild of studios and outside broadcast facilities, grant support and strategic advisory services to the Board.
For his work in community radio, he received an Order of Australia (2009), the Technorama Life Achievement Award (2018), the Lifetime Service Award Australian Not-for-Profit Technology Awards (2021) and several Community Broadcasting Association awards for excellence in broadcast programming and engineering.