The Serbian Council of Great Britain (SCGB) is an independent, non-profit, and non-political organisation established to promote the interests of the Serbian community in Great Britain.
SCGB was founded in London in February 2004 after over a year of intensive consultations within the Serbian community in Great Britain. In developing our aims we sought to obtain support and advice from existing diaspora organisations and a range of prominent individuals from all walks of life. Our membership reflects this aim, with members coming from diverse backgrounds, different parts of Great Britain and from all generations.
- To act generally for the benefit of individuals who are Serbian or of Serbian descent living in Great Britain without distinction of gender, race, religion or political orientation;
- To promote development of the Serbian community in Great Britain, particularly through co-operation with existing similar-minded organisations of Serbian diaspora in Great Britain and worldwide;
- To advance education in, and awareness of, Serbian history, culture and heritage;
- To assist members of the Serbian community in maintaining and developing strong ties with Serbia and other territories with Serbian historical and cultural heritage;
- To promote good relations between individuals who are Serbian or of Serbian descent living in Great Britain and persons of other ethnic or racial groups;
- To promote and represent the interests of individuals who are Serbian or of Serbian descent living in Great Britain in relation to governmental and non-governmental organisations in Serbia and in Great Britain.
You can read more about our mission and aims in our Constitution (click on the file below).
The SCGB is governed by the General Committee:
Petar Jankovic – Honorary President
Petar Jankovic was born in Belgrade in 1937. He obtained a BA [Hons] degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in 1960. From 1965, Petar has pursued a career in the City. A trustee of Serbian Society for several years, and a representative for Great Britain in Diaspora Council in 2002-2003, Petar has served as President of the Serbian Council of Great Britain since its inception in 2004.
Olga Stanojlovic, MBE – Chair
Born in Wiltshire in 1954 to émigré Serbian parents, Olga completed a history degree and teacher training at the University of Warwick. Soon afterwards, she joined the British Council, where she was Director of Education in Schools at the time of her early retirement in 2010. For her outstanding achievements in developing relations with Africa and Eastern Europe and in the field of education, she was awarded an MBE in 2001. She is trustee of a number of charities and organizations including the Father Nikolich’s Settlement Trust, the Ladies Guild of the Serbian Orthodox Church, The British Serbian Benevolent Fund, The Thames Festival and is a non- executive director of the Big Ideas Company. She has led the Council’s work on the Serbian language, represented the SCGB on the Round Table Working Group, filled the post of Secretary over a number of years and been Chair since 2015. Olga is a founder member of the SCGB.
Maja Momcilovic Jordan – Secretary
Maya, a pianist, holds a Masters Degree in Music from the Academy in Belgrade along with a PG Certificate from the London College of Music. Maya’s performing career has been broadened through her interest in bringing together music and musicians from different countries. She settled in Britain in 1996 and was one of the co-founders of the project ‘Sounds of the Balkans’. Since then, Maya was the Artistic Director for numerous events and projects promoting Serbian culture and encouraging artists of different origins to work together. At present she is the Director of the ‘Around the Globe Piano Music Festival’ and the Programme Coordinator of the ‘Serbian Month in Great Britain’. Maya has also been involved in numerous charity projects (including ‘Magic & Toys’, ‘Ada Art’) in aid of Serbian people and children.
Aco Divac – Treasurer
Aco has a Master’s in Sociology from the University of Belgrade. Aco spent 10 years as a researcher at the Institute for Cultural Studies, Development, Research and Documentation in Belgrade, conducting empirical research in the sociology of culture, in particular urban culture and sub-cultural issues. For the last 20 years Aco has been working with civil society and community organisations across different settings, countries and cultures. Aco is a trained Learning Mentor and Storyteller. He is Co-founder and Trustee of the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund, established in 2000 and renamed the TRAG/Fondacija in 2013. He works as a Librarian at the West Acton Primary School.
Born 1968 in Huddersfield. Lived in Bor, returned to England in 1991. Worked in the refugee sector, now a partner in the company Tokos Solutions and the Secretary of the church committee of the Serbian Orthodox Church, St John the Baptist in Halifax. In the Council, he is involved with membership policies and promotion of the Council’s work in the North of England. George is a founder member of the SCGB.
Born in Belgrade in 1967, Ivan arrived to the UK in 2007 after 10 years in New York, US. He studied at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Belgrade University where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical engineering. In 2004 Ivan joined Savvis, now known as Century Link, where he is currently a Program Director working on projects with major financial organizations.
Born 1975 in Kumanovo. Studied Yugoslav languages and English at the Philological Faculty, University of St Cyril and Methody in Skopje before emigrating to London 20 years ago. Advance Diploma in Business Management, the Association of Business Executives. Member of the Serbian Sisters Guild from 1991 and also of the local Red Cross in Kumanovo. During the civil war coordinated delivery of medical and other humanitarian aid from Germany. Member of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, parishioner at the Serbian Orthodox Church St Sava in London since 1996. Has volunteered and supported the Serbian Sisters Guild, London Sports Society, and many other Serbian community organisations in Britain. Member of the Resident involvement scrutiny group in Thames Valley Housing Association. Currently Editorial Assistant for the Features and Special Reports team at the Financial Times and researcher for the East European desk with a particular interest in Western Balkans. Sings for the FT and St Sava Church choirs.
Born in Svilajnac, Serbia in 1973. She studied at the Faculty of Architecture University of Belgrade where she obtained Master degree in Bioclimatic Construction and Design. She now has over 15 years of experience in construction industry having being involved in projects nationally and internationally. Since moving to UK in 2000, Djurdja has maintained an active role within Serbian community both Serbia and UK. In 2006 Djurdja led International Project for Refurbishment of Serbian Churches in Kosovo funded by the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR). Most recently, she is founder member of the ‘Srpskaonica’ School of Serbian Language in Reading and continues to promote activities that will engage local and wider Serbian community together.
Maya (Marija) Milanković-Atkinson
Born in Belgrade in 1947, started school in London where her parents were posted and continued in Belgrade. Maya graduated BSc in Mathematics at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics of Belgrade University and she completed her MSc at the City University Business School in London. In 1974 Maya moved to London and also lived in Italy and Sweden for a while. Maya worked in education as lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer in Computer Science in Further, Higher Education at Willesden College and from 1987 the Polytechnic (later University) of North London and finally from 2001 at Middlesex University. Her work especially over the last ten years of her career was dedicated mainly to International work – setting up BSc and MSc programme overseas in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Egypt, Dubai, Malta. Whenever possible she promoted collaboration with Serbian Universities and had initiated several European funded projects and other forms of collaboration. Maya has substantial organizational and leadership experience. She retired in September 2007. Over the many past decades, Maya has taken part in activities organized by different individuals and organizations of Serbs in the UK such as the ‘Serbian Information Centre’ during the 1990s, the Peace in the Balkans meetings in the House of Commons, the initiation of the Serbian Council, and numerous cultural events. In 2016 Maya became representative of UK to the Diaspora Assembly in Serbia.
Jason MacCarthy was born in Saint-Petersburg in 1996 to an Irish father and a Russian mother. He has spent much of his life travelling and discovering new cultures. Whilst working part-time for the Russian Cultural Centre in Rome he became interested in Serbia and shortly afterwards he travelled to Serbia for the first time and fell in love with the country. He went to different towns and monasteries of Vojvodina, Raška and Kosovo and realised why Serbia has the title of ‘Nebeska Zemlja’. Jason met Andrej Ćilerdžić, Bishop of Austria, Switzerland and Malta in 2016 who invited him to visit Vienna and see the power and potential of the Serbian Diaspora. After the trip to he started to learn Serbian and is now reading Serbian Studies and History, at the School of Slavonic Studies (UCL) and he attends as many Serbian events as possible to get the feel not only of the Serbian Diaspora and also the Serbian people in the context of London. Recently Jason organized a ‘Serbian Evening’ at UCL for the promotion of Serbian culture, its tangible and non-tangible heritage and he hopes to organize similar events in the near future. He and a number of students of Serbian heritage from other universities (Imperial College London, London School of Economics) have started planning a ‘Serbian Symposium’ in London, which would be organised for university students, Diaspora Serbians and others interested. He believes in the enormous potential of the Serbian Diaspora in Great Britain has and the importance of involving, the younger generations in the future of Serbia and its Diaspora.