Ethnic Voice | January 2019
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Multicultural News & Information

Welcome to our first online edition of Ethnic Voice, the monthly e-newsletter of the Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council (AWECC) | January 2019.

AWECC urges support for refugee rights bill. AWECC has written to Cathy McGowan, Federal Member for Indi, urging her to support legislation allowing fast-tracked medical treatment for refugees in Australia's offshore detention camps in Manus Island and Nauru. Read the letter from our chairperson here. 
Rupinder Kaur named Wodonga's 'Citizen of the Year' for 2019. AWECC Chairperson Rupinder Kaur, has been recognised for her tireless efforts in supporting survivor's of domestic violence and in her service to the Wodonga community. You can read more here.
New community capacity-building program. AWECC is excited to announce it has been contracted by the Australian Government Department of Social Services to deliver a new program, M-Incubator, from July 2019. The community capacity-building program - worth more than $409k over three years - is funded through the Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) Program and will complement the settlement services and casework programs being delivered by the Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau. AWECC will provide further updates about the program in coming months.
Interfaith Bridges program to strengthen faith networks. AWECC has been awarded funding through the Victorian Government's Community Harmony Program to deliver a new pilot program, Interfaith Bridges. The program aims to foster dialogue between local faith groups and to strengthen the capacity of religious leaders in Wodonga to broaden their positive community impact across denominational or institutional divides. To find out more about this program, please send us an email to
Gambler's Help service's available in your language. Did you know that Gambler's Help can offer free and confidential advice or counselling to people who speak languages other than English? For information about in-language services visit or contact the Wodonga Gambler's Help team on (02) 6055 3043.
Oven's and Murray Multicultural Regional Area Partnership (OMMRAP) continues to make a difference on the border and northeast Victoria. OMMRAP, which is a partnership between AWECC, North East Multicultural Association, Gateway Health, Rural City of Wangaratta and Wodonga Council, is funded by the Victorian Government to provide strategic service coordination to local multicultural communities in areas such as health, employment, family relationships, social cohesion, and community leadership. The project supports local projects that build the capacity of migrant and refugee communities. If your community group has a project idea and needs financial or other support to make it happen, contact AWECC on (02) 6024 6895 or email   
The Bhutanese community remembers Amit Rai. In a moving ceremony on 20 January 2019, the community came together to unveil a plaque and park-bench installed at Table Top Reserve (near Albury, NSW) in memory of the late Amit Rai, a resident of Adelaide. Mr Rai tragically drowned while swimming in Lake Hume in January 2018 while visiting family and friends. AWECC sends its condolences to the family and friends of Amit Rai, as well as those of Bigul Pandit, who went missing in the Murray River in Albury on 10 January 2019. AWECC also thanks the search and rescue volunteers and local services who have supported the community. 
New year, new staff. AWECC is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Joseph Lumanog to the team as Policy and Strategy Advisor. Joseph is a qualified social worker and teacher and brings with him a wealth of expertise and experience in advocacy, strategic planning, and Not-for-Profit sector management. To further strengthen our community impact, AWECC has also appointed Bhakti Dhamala and Grace Uwase as casual Multicultural Support Workers. You can read more about our staff and directors here.   
Upcoming Events and Programs
Join 'Team AWECC' for the Hume Bank City2City Run Walk 2019! Join our team as we participate in our 4th annual City2City. This year's fun, community fundraising event, is being held on Sunday 17 February 2019. Walk or run with us; the event is suitable for all ages. To join our team, click here. AWECC members who join our team will receive a $10 cash refund on their registration fee.  
Cultural Exchange @ MAMA is a monthly group that meets at the Murray Arts Museum Albury (MAMA). Everyone is welcome and you can meet new people, share food, share stories and be creative. The next meeting is Sunday 17 February 2019 from 2:00pm. See here for more details or connect with the group on Facebook.
Harmony Day and Cultural Diversity Week are coming up with week-long celebrations from 16-24 March 2019 and Harmony Day celebrated around Australia on March 21. See AWECC's events calendar as programs are added. 
Job Vacancies and Volunteering
Job vacancy - Community Advocacy Officer (part-time). The Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council is seeking applications for a unique and exciting role based in Wodonga for a Community Advocacy Officer to deliver its Women, Family, Health, and Ageing program and project portfolio. Applications close 5pm on 16 February 2019. Read more here. 
Grants and Scholarships
Community and Cultural Grants Program now open. Eligible not-for-profit community organisations and individuals may now apply for small grants up to $3,000 under AlburyCity's 2018-19 grants program. Submissions close at 12:00pm on 14 February 2019. Click here to find out more.
Community Impact Grants Program now open. Community organisations and community groups auspiced by a community organisation, can apply for grants up to $3,000 through Wodonga Council's  2018-19 grants program. Submissions close at 3:00pm on 22 February 2019. Click here to find out more. 
Disclaimer: AWECC Ethnic Voice items are collected from a diverse range of sources including from our stakeholder communities and organisations, for the interest of all our readers. Although we take utmost care to ensure the information we publish is accurate and is broadly representative of the views of our membership, some information, especially information which is sourced externally to AWECC may not necessarily reflect the views of AWECC, nor should its inclusion be seen to necessarily constitute an endorsement. We welcome your input and feedback to our monthly e-news and information.
Would you like to become a member? AWECC offers a range of membership options starting from as little as $10 per year. If you would like to support the work we do, click here for more information or email us.
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Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council · PO Box 920 · Wodonga, Vic 3689 · Australia

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