Celia Tran

Assistant Principal Advisor, Victorian Multicultural Commission
Board Director, Western Chance
Member, Victoria’s Volunteer Strategy Taskforce 
Co-chair and Founding Member, Victorian Public Service (VPS) Women of Colour (WoC) Network Member, Young Women's Advisory Council for Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change 

Awards

Victorian Multicultural Commission Ambassador Award for Multicultural Excellence, 2015
Australia Day Maribyrnong City Council Youth Leadership Award, 2016
Premier’s Volunteer of the Year, 2016
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award, 2017
Finalist, Australian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Medal Award 2017 
PAA Victoria 2020 Top 50 Public Sector Women (youngest recipient), 2020.

About Celia 

As Assistant Principal Advisor with Victorian Multicultural Commission, Celia Tran has a strong passion for social policy and working to support our diverse communities.

Since 2016 Celia has been Board Director of Western Chances, which helps motivated young people in Melbourne’s west.

Recognised as someone with boundless energy and a award winning community leader, Celia was awarded the 2015 Victorian Multicultural Commission Ambassador Award for Multicultural Excellence, the 2016 Australia Day Maribyrnong City Council Youth Leadership Award, the prestigious 2016 Premier’s Volunteer of the Year, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award and a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Commission – 2017 Human Rights Medal Award.

In 2020, Celia was named the youngest recipient of IPAA Victoria 2020 Top 50 Public Sector Women.

She is also a member of Victoria’s Volunteer Strategy Taskforce and Co-chair and Founding Member of Victorian Public Service (VPS) Women of Colour (WoC) Network. Celia is also a member of the Young Women's Advisory Council for Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change - Australia’s national migrant and refugee women’s coalition.

Celia, tell us about your career and the boards that you serve on? 

I am currently on the board of Western Chances, a charity organisation which assists motivated young people in Melbourne's west to realise their potential by providing scholarships, opportunity programs and ongoing support. I have also previously served on various advisory boards across the Not-For-Profit and Government sector.

Has your cultural heritage impacted your board career? If so, how has it helped or hindered?

Being the first generation in my family who are of refugee background to go to uni and have a professional job, it meant that I didn't have the access to the knowledge and networks that enabled me to put my name forward for leadership opportunities. 

I had to build this from scratch and navigate this on my own with the support of some mentors who I have met through my life. 

Although, I am very proud of my cultural heritage and being able to share my lived experiences on the boards that I sit. I truly believe it is an asset to the boards that I serve, as I see the world through a different lens, which may help with effective decision making. 

How did you get your first board role?

I applied through a board EOI process and was interviewed for the role. I am the youngest appointed board director of Western Chances to date. 

They were looking for a board member who reflected the community in which they served. At the time I was looking for a board opportunity to expand my skills and experiences. 

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to aspiring board members from a non-Anglo Celtic background?

  • Embrace your cultural heritage and identity, it is an asset to any organisation and board. 
  • Connect with other women who sit on boards and ask them for advice and mentorship. 
  • You will not know "how to be a good board member" straight away, a lot of it is learning on the job and finding an organisation which can support you on this journey. 
 

Find Celia Tran on LinkedIn