About Us

2020 Victorian Leadership and Committee Members

Vice-President Universal Peace Federation Australia, Chair Victorian Peace Council – Dr John Bellavance

Dr John Bellavance has a PhD in ‘Values in the Digital World’ from Monash University. He is the Founder Cyber Values.org, which promotes the ethical use of Information and Communication Technologies. He teaches programming, database management and digital technologies. John is also a committee member of the Nelson Mandela Commemorative Committee. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

Assistant State Director, UPF Victoria - Will Abdo

Will Abdo is the CEO of Webtrade Marketing Pty Ltd, a consulting company with a vision “to boost the level of trade and investment between Australia and the Middle East.” It aims to promote a greater understanding of the two cultures, fostering harmonious and peaceful worldly coexistence.” Will is a Registered Tax Agent. He has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Graduated Diploma in Computer Science from Victoria University of Technology. Will also served on the management committee of Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI). Will is a current board member on Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI). He also previously served on the Melbourne Organising Committee of Crescent Institute. Will has served on the Australian Arabic Council (AAC) for 23 years. The council is committed to human rights and dealing with community relations issues affecting the Arabic culture and profile. He is currently the Executive Director of AAC. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

State Coordinator, International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) Victoria – Nizar Ashkar

Nizar Ashkar is the principal of Al Kamal Arabic School. He holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting for which he received the Monash Excellence Award in research. He also has a Diploma in Financial Planning, an Honours Degree in Linguistics, a Graduate Diploma in Interpreting and Translating, a Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting, and an Honours Degree in Business Administration. His PhD proposal is ready, and he is one case study away from gaining full CIMA membership. He is currently undertaking the CPA program. Nizar was a provisional member of ASA Australia and a full member of CPA Lebanon. He currently is Vice-President of the Druze Community Charity of Victoria and an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

State Coordinator Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) Victoria – Pastor Nelson Pervaz

Pastor Nelson regularly preaches via telephone to the Home Church Pakistan (300 Members) and the Pakistani Christian Diaspora in many countries, including the UAE and the UK. He is a member of the Baptist World Alliance. He believes in the Ministry of Reconciliation and preaches inter-denominationally. He believes that religion can play a role in peace building. He is also a Chaplain at RMIT University in Melbourne and part of the university’s Interfaith Committee. He speaks English, Urdu, Punjabi (written and spoken), Arabic and Pharsi (written), and Hindi (spoken). Pastor Nelson holds master degrees in Panjabi and Urudu languages from the University of Punjab, and a Certificate in Christian Leadership from the Haggai Institute Singapore. He also has qualifications in bible preaching, evangelism, counselling and peace building. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

African Affairs Coordinator UPF Victoria – Dr Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe

He is an Academic in the Business School Operations La Trobe University (Honorary Associate), a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia (FIMLA). Member of the Asia Pacific Human Resource Institute (MAHRI). Fellow and Executive Member of the Asian Forum for Business Education (FAFBE). Associate Member of the Institute Community Directors Australia (AMICDA). Member and Council Secretary of the Pan African Australasian Diaspora Network (PAADN). Member of Victoria African Australian Action Plan Implementation Committee, Chair Future Voices/Nelson Mandela Learning Centre, Australia, Shepparton, Deputy-Chair African Think Tank Inc. Committee member Nelson Mandela Commemorative Committee and Africa Day Australia, Charter Member of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, a Member of the Regional Institute Australia (RIA), Board member of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and Districts, and Patron of the Ugandans Community in Victoria. He is currently a member of UPF Victoria Advisory Committee and the Victorian Peace Council and has generally lived the life for the others, even before he became UPF Peace Ambassador. One of the experts in the African Australians’ issues in Victoria and a member of the AU/ESOCC/CIDO Global Team for the Africans’ Diaspora Engagement Toolkit Development.

Coordinator of Federation of Island Nations in Oceania UPF Victoria –

Lio Ale

Lio Ale has a Bachelor of Commerce. He played a key role in reshaping the ANZ Bank within the Pacific in 2000 where he was contracted with ANZ Papua New Guinea as a Senior Foreign Exchange Dealer. He assisted in establishing the very first Treasury Dealing Room with ANZ Samoa until 2003. He was heavily involved in the Pasifika Network and working closely with other business partners in hosting Financial Literacy and Managing Your Money Seminars focusing on the Pacific Groups. His current role is with the National Australia Bank is as a Senior Home Loan Specialist. Lio has served the community as the Chair of the Victoria Samoan Advisory. Lio has great insight and has spoken about peace keeping in Samoa and the Pacific focusing on the Pacific geopolitical situations of Samoa and other Pacific Islands, and peace building strategies within Samoa and between other countries. Lio has been appointed the Chair of the United Pasifika Council of Victoria in 2019. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF. He is currently a member of UPF Victoria Advisory Committee and the Victorian Peace Council.

Coordinator for Asian Affairs UPF Victoria - Mr Yoshiyuki Arai

Yoshiyuki Arai migrated from Japan in 1978 and established Oceania Seafoods in 1983. The company has 75 employee and over the past 30 years has become one of the country’s largest and most reputable suppliers of high quality seafood. He is currently the Managing Director. Yoshiyuki has been supporting West Africa nations with funds and his time. He has done voluntary work since 1996. He served as the Pastor of FFWPU for the 2016-2017 period. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

Coordinator for Peace and Security UPF Victoria - Ahmed Tohow

Ahmed Tohow is deputy chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Somali Diaspora and is currently a Director of the East Africa Security and Policy Forum; working with the Australian and the Somali community in Melbourne and East African community to counter the influence of violent extremists and their ideological influence. Ahmed as completed a Masters of Terrorism. He is doing research in partnership with Monash University Victoria Department of Politics and International Relations and worked with Victoria University as Community Researcher and a facilitator. Ahmed was awarded Ambassador for Peace 2017 from Universal Peace Federation and he is currently a member of UPF Victoria Advisory Committee and the Victorian Peace Council. Ahmed also is a director of Australia Somali Chamber of Commerce and is a member of Australia Africa Chamber of Commerce. Ahmed has completed two masters – Master of Terrorism and Global Security from Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, from Charles Sturt University Canberra, and Master and Bachelor of Social Science International Development Studies Melbourne Australia. Ahmed also has a Bachelor of International Development Studies from La Trobe. Prior to his professional career, Ahmed worked, aid agencies, UNITAF and UNISOM’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia in the 1990s. He also worked with Red Cross, UNHCR and IOM in Egypt.

Coordinators - (Dr Shahid Yamin and Dr Chris Sotiropoulos) The International Association for Peace and Economic Development (IAED) Victoria - A global network of business and economic leaders committed to world peace and prosperity through cooperating to realise standardisation of economy.

Dr Shahid Yamin

As Executive Chairman and co founder of Global Opportunities Commercialisation (GOC) he has developed the concept of “Smart Institute” for developing appropriate technology base entrepreneurs in poorer region of the world. GOC executive team strongly believe, that social and economic empowerment are the drivers of peace in the world community. Self-help raises the self-esteem of individuals which than become a creative asset of the community. It gives humanity, a purpose to live and grow. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.


Dr Chris Sotiropoulos

CEO and Co-Founder Global Opportunities Commercialisation (GOC)

PhD. Molecular Microbiology, RMIT University. Bachelor of Laws from Monash University. Principal at - Legal and International Commercial Services. Provide legal services in commercialisation of innovation, covering international agreements and other services. Co-Founder and Director - APAC Health. APAC is a specialty healthcare company, focussing on Consulting, Training and Hunan Resources. He has proudly dedicated his life to improving humanity through his passion for healthcare, commercialisation, legal services, participation in charitable organisations and social enterprises. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.


Adeniyi Ekine


FOUNDER & CEO: Australia Community Theatre and Talents Practitioners Incorporated (ACTap). Producer, entertainer, cinematographer, peace advocate, ICT expert, evangelist, journalist, and healthcare. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

Taniya Jayasinghe


Counsellor & Behaviour Support Practitioner. Taniya has completed Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has Masters degrees in Counselling & Education. Currently, she is enrolled into her third Master (M.Ed) degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Monash University. Taniya hopes to gain the credential of Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) in near future. Taniya has strong interest in positive behaviour support (PBS), early intensive behavioural interventions (EIBI) and providing counselling support services to individuals across life-span. She is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

Randall Apps

Director, UPF Geelong. Secretary of the Geelong Interfaith Network. Randall has been working in Unification Movement projects for over 40 years. Worked overseas for seven years in countries around the world. These include Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Paraguay, USA, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Thailand. He was involved in peace building initiatives in Israel and Jordan. He is also an Ambassador for Peace with UPF.

Other members of the 2020 UPF Victoria Peace Council: Bill Pontikis, Anne Bellavance, Adel Gaballa, Ian Darbishire, Shick Jabateh Sr, Dr Joseph Masika, Steve Khan, Rev Dr Amira Yousif, Peter Pal and Rev Folabora Ajetomobi.

2018 The Victorian Peace Council

From left: Adeniyi Ekine, Dr Stephen Rametse, Pastor Nelson Pervaz, Rev John Izvernariu, John Bellavance, Peter Pal, Dr Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe, Fereshteh Zamani, Anne Bellavance, Bill Pontikis and Adel Gaballa.

2019 Victorian Peace Council: Back row from left: Bill Pontikis, Ahmed Tohow, Steve Khan, Anne Bellavance, Dr John Bellavance, Hussen Mahamed, Bottom row from left: Lio Ale, Pastor Nelson Pervaz, Dr Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe, Will Ado and Nizar Ashkar