16 Violet Roumeliotis
Settled Services International
As the chief executive of a not-for-profit focusing on helping refugees settle into Australia, Violet Roumeliotis holds a position that demands a high level of empathy, emotional intelligence and optimism.
Her organisation, Settlement Services International, operates a range of services focused on resettlement and migrant entrepreneurship. According to SSI’s annual report, it assisted 27 people in starting their own small businesses last year and has provided 20,000 nights of emergency accommodation.
According to its 2017 annual report, the operation generated $113.4 million in revenue through its services last year.
Roumeliotis was crowned Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in 2017 for her work in steering Settlement Services International forward. When speaking to SmartCompany the morning after her win last year, Roumeliotis said businesses should always stay true to their values, as she tries to stay true to hers.
“The message [of the win] is that a woman who grew up in Western Sydney, went to a public school, graduated in the humanities, can successfully run a business,” she said.