Karen Mahlab AM, the CEO and Founder of one of Australia’s first social businesses, Pro Bono Australia, has been named as the Chair of Victoria University’s Sir Zelman Cowen Centre.

Mahlab assumes the position from the Hon Nicola Roxon who served as Chair from 2015 to 2018. Karen will play a critical role in leading the organisation as it continues to grow and carryout the interests and legacy of Sir Zelman Cowen through its programs promoting law and cultural diversity.

Director of the Cowen Centre Professor Kathy Laster says Karen Mahlab’s knowledge of the community sector and her understanding of helping grow community organisations is a great fit for our governance training and community outreach work with diverse communities.

“We are delighted to welcome Karen Mahlab as our next chair and believe the connections she has to the Australian community sector will be invaluable in driving the success of many of our programs,” Professor Laster said.

Since 2000, Pro Bono Australia has provided media, jobs, education, skilled volunteering and other resources for the common good to over one million people per year.  The organisation acts as the central online hub for the not-for-profit sector, the broader social economy and those wanting to engage with it.

About Sir Zelman Cowen Centre

The Sir Zelman Cowen Centre (SZCC) at Victoria University specialises in law and cultural diversity.

Our projects include:

  • training for the Australian and international legal sector

  • education programs for people seeking a better understanding of law, governance and regulation

  • community engagement initiatives which promote multiculturalism, social cohesion and equality of opportunity.

Join us for our centenary events celebrating 100 years since the birth of Sir Zelman Cowen.