ABNI Membership

Membership of the 13-strong Board has been drawn from leading experts in the fields of English language testing, citizenship training, employment of migrants and community development and integration.

Present Chair from May 2005
Ms. Mary Coussey is the Independent Race Monitor to the Immigration Service, and a member of the HM Revenue and Customs Race Equality Panel. She is an Equality and Diversity consultant, and has carried out extensive studies, consultancy and training in relation to equal employment opportunity and the Race Equality Duty in the public sector. Her consultancy experience also includes work for the Council of Europe on the role of the employment services on the promotion of equal opportunities for immigrants and ethnic minorities. Formerly, she was a member of the Home Office ‘Life in the UK’ Advisory Group

Her publications include ‘The Role of the Employment Services in the promotion of equal opportunities for immigrants and people from disadvantaged ethnic minority groups’, and ‘Framework of Integration Policies’, both for the Council of Europe; and ‘Equality: A New Framework’, with B Hepple, and T Choudhury (Hart Publishing).

Vice Chair
Mr. Patrick Wintour is the Director of the Employability Forum, established in 2001 to promote refugee employment in the UK. He is also a chair of the sub group on Training and Employment, and a member of the Central Council of the Royal Commonwealth Society and was a member of tha National Refugee Integration Forum. He has been Chairman of Skills for Southern Sudan since 1995.

Board Members
Ms. Celine Castelino, was the Head of ESOL Development, at the Basic Skills Agency until August 2005, where she worked for over 10 years. She was responsible for developing the EAL / ESOL strand of the Welsh Assembly’s Basic Skills Strategy. Part of her role has included leading on the Agency’s contribution to the ASSET UK project (financed by the ESF Equal Programme) which produced the multimedia ESOL resource, ‘Citizenskills’ and ‘Build Up: ESOL for Construction’. She has over 20 years experience in ESOL.

Ms. Samina Khan is currently employed as County Community Education Officer for essential Skills in Cardiff. She has over 17 years of experience of Management and development of ESOL in Cardiff. She was also a member of the Home Office ‘Life in the UK’ Advisory Group, with 15 years’ experience in community development initiatives with local ethnic minority communities.

Ms. Janet Luff was Curriculum Manager for ESOL at Liverpool Community College until August 2006. She has over twenty five years’ experience in the field of ESOL. In addition, she is a founder member of the Merseyside Refugee Support Network. She has also been involved as a member of the Skills for Life Task Force within Liverpool Lifelong Learning Partnership, establishing progression routes / access to mainstream FE/ HE courses.

Ms. Adeeba Malik is currently Deputy Chief Executive of QED - UK, finalist in the UK Charity of the Year Award 2003, and which launched the New Arrivals Economic Integration Programme in April 2003. She is also a member of the Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group, in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and a member of the Muslim Women’s Advisory Group, chaired by Patricia Hewitt, previously Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

Professor Elizabeth Meehan is Professor Emerita in the School of Law at Queens’ University Belfast and Adjunct Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin. Until mid-2005, she was Director of the inter-disciplinary Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research at Queen’s. She publishes in the field of citizenship and freedom of movement. She was a member of the Academic Advisory Panel of the Rowntree Power project and a Commissioner of an Independent Commission on Democracy in Ireland, organized by TASC (a Think-tank on Action for Social Change).

Dr. R David Muir is currently a consultant in diversity training, and has over twenty years of extensive voluntary and community work experience. He was formerly a member of the Home Office ‘Life in the UK’ Advisory Group, Chairman of the Home Secretary’s Steering Group’s Race and Diversity sub-group, and a Board Member of Police Training and Development Board. He is also a leading figure in the Alliance of Black Churches.

Sir Gulam Noon, Chairman of Noon Group, The Noon Foundation, and Founder of Noon Products, is highly experienced as an employer with regard to employment-related immigration issues, and a notable philanthropist in community relations in East London. He is a Board member of a range of organisations, including Transport for London, and was the former President of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is also Chairman and Managing Director of Bombay Halwa Ltd.

Mr. Ashok Ohri has a background in community development in Scotland, and is currently a self-employed consultant and trainer in the field. Since 1991, he has been co-director of Organisation and Social Development Consultants Ltd, which specialises in training and consultancy in equality, diversity, community development and inclusion. He was a former member of the Home Office ‘Life in the UK’ Advisory Group.

Ms. Julia Onslow-Cole (appointed to ABNI March 2005) is Head of Global Immigration at PricewaterhouseCoopers legal LLP . She is currently a Board Member of Permits Foundation and Expert Consultant to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). She is further a Member of the Council of the Legal Practice Division of the International Bar Association and Chair of the International Bar Association’s Educational Trust. She has also a proven track record in the field of UK immigration and nationality law and expertise in the employment of immigrants.

Mrs. Jean Wilson works as an ESOL consultant to the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and is the International Development Officer at Forth Valley College. She is currently co-chair of the National Association for Teaching English and Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA), and Chair of the Scottish Adult ESOL strategy group. She has a range of voluntary experience, including being a member of Central Scotland Racial Equality Council, and a member of Glasgow ESOL Forum. Until August 2007, Jean was also Chair of ABNI Scotland.

Ms. Annette Zera works as a freelance facilitator and trainer in organisational development, with a wide range of clients drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Previously, she was the Principal of Tower Hamlets College for 14 years, one of the largest providers of ESOL in the UK. She was formerly a member of the Moser Committee on Skills for Life and the Home Office ‘Life in the UK’ Advisory Group. She is currently a Special Advisor to the Select Committee on Education and Skills.


In attendance are officials from the Home Office, DfES and the devolved administrations, Ms. Sue Densley from UFI/learndirect (until August 2006) who had developed, piloted and administer the test.

The Secretary to the Board is currently Bharti Patel, formerly of the British Refugee Council. The Assistant Secretary is Imran Khan, seconded from the Home Office and who previously assisted the Life in the UK Advisory Group.

Additional information

  1. The selection of Board members was by fair and open competition overseen by OCPA. Thus appointments are made on merit and in line with guidance issued by the Public Appointments Unit of the Cabinet Office.

  2. All Board members are unpaid but travel and subsistence expenses will be met by the Home Office. The Chair and Vice Chair are entitled to a daily allowance for up to 7 days and 5 days worked per month respectively.

  3. The “Crick report”: The New and the Old was published in September 2003 and recommended that an implementation and assessment authority be set up.

  4. ABNI is an independent advisory board and will make recommendations on the development of integration policies and programmes. It has no executive authority. The board will be expected to produce an annual report on progress.