Ethnic Voice | February 2019
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Multicultural News and Information

Welcome to the February 2019 edition of Ethnic Voice, the monthly
e-newsletter of Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council (

News Update
AWECC becomes a 'Welcoming Cities' supporter. AWECC has committed to become a supporter of the Welcoming Cities Network. As a supporter, AWECC has committed to supporting local councils in welcoming and inclusion initiatives. You can read our signed commitment statement here. To find out more about Welcoming Cities and how your organisation can become a supporter, click here.
AWECC thanks MP Cathy McGowan for supporting the 'Medivac Bill' in federal parliament earlier this month. AWECC Chairperson Rupinder Kaur said that Ms McGowan's decision to back the bill, that will enable asylum seekers and refugees in Australia's offshore detention centres better access to urgent medical treatment on the mainland, was the "right and compassionate" thing to do. Ms McGowan's support for the bill followed a silent demonstration held at her office on Friday 8th February 2019 attended by 50 community members. 
Our multicultural diversity on a page. Did you know that more than one in 10 Albury-Wodonga residents was born overseas? Did you know that Nepali is now the second most spoken language, other than English, on the Border? If you'd like to know more about our multicultural diversity, you can read about it here.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On 21 March 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". In 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to recommit to efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. Click here for more background on what this day means. In Australia we mark 21 March as Harmony Day.
Expressions of Interest for new interfaith program are now being sought from local faith and religious leaders. The Interfaith Bridges program, which is funded by the Victorian Government's Community Harmony Grants program, aims to promote dialogue and collaboration between local faith communities and to strengthen the capacity of religious leaders to broaden their positive community impact. To find out more or register your interest, please email AWECC at
New appointment to AWECC Board. AWECC is pleased to inform members and stakeholders that Donna Mlejnek has joined its Board of Directors as Treasurer. Donna replaces Shaun McFarlane who has taken up an exciting new role in Ballarat. Donna joins the team with a breadth of experience in the child development, education, health and community sectors, including working with local refugee communities. AWECC thanks Shaun for the excellent contribution he has made, and we wish him all the best in his new role. Read about our team here.   
Resources and Services
BeyondHousing translated resources are now available in several languages, including Swahili, Tagalog, Dari, Punjabi and Arabic. Click here to find out more about how BeyondHousing can assist you and your community or contact one of their regional offices here.
StandBy Murray is service that provides support to individuals, families and communities bereaved or impacted by suicide. StandBy is available 24/7 via telephone or face-to-face support and interpreters are available. Click here to find out more or call 0439 173 310 for assistance.
Gambling support service's available in your language. Gambler's Help offers free and confidential advice or counselling to people who speak languages other than English? For information about in-language services visit the website or call your local Gambler's Help team on (02) 6055 3043.
Victoria Legal Aid – Get help in your own languageVictoria Legal Aid helps people with legal problems. You can find information about what they do in a range of languages on their website. They also arrange interpreters and give information about the law in languages other than English over the phone.
Multicultural Consumers and the NDIS Survey. The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) is seeking your feedback to help improve disability services to culturally diverse communities. Have you or a family member accessed the NDIS or other disability service? The ECCV would like to hear from you! The quick survey closes 8 March and can be accessed here.
2019 Multifaith Calendar. Various holy days and festivals are held throughout the year for various faiths including Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. A comprehensive list is posted on the Faith Communities’ Council of Victoria website.
Upcoming Events
28 February - Cards, Mindful Mandalas and Coffee: Multicultural Program - drop in and catch up with old friends and make new friends, including recent immigrants and refugees, over cards, games, mandala making and coffee. You’re also welcome to come along and practice your English with friendly volunteers. To find out more about this Cultural Exchange program, call the Volunteer Resource Bureau on 0473 740730 or email
2 March - Nepali Ghazal Mushayara (Poetry Gathering) - Coming to our region in March is Ghazal Mushayara Albury-Wodonga 2019. Featuring talented local, interstate and international Nepali-language poets and literary artists, this event is sure to be a unique and uplifting experience. Local poet Durga Rimal will also be launching his second book Samayako Aayu (The Age of Time). Entry is free, from 2pm onwards at the Albury Entertainment Centre. For details, contact Durga Rimal on 0405 144 878.
5 March - Dutch Connections. Members of the Dutch community, family and friends are welcome to a morning tea get-together at the Beechworth Pantry, 77 Ford Street, Beechworth on Tuesday 5th March from 10.30am. For more information, contact the North East Multicultural Association.
8 March - International Women's Day is being celebrated at the Hovell Tree Park, South Albury, with a variety of entertainment including the Wiradjuri Dance Group, drumming, Congolese singing group, Bhutanese dancing group, relaxation, Tai Chi and lunch being served. Contact the Women's Centre for Health & Wellbeing for more information.
12 to 14 March - Journey Beyond Fear - special film screenings of a new feature documentary will be shown across North East Victoria as a lead up to Harmony Day. The film, Journey Beyond Fear, is told through the eyes of a teenage girl and her refugee family in pursuit of resettlement, and will be screened in Wangaratta, Euroa and Shepparton. Click here to find out more.
17 March - Cultural Exchange @ MAMA is a monthly group that meets at the Murray Arts Museum Albury (MAMA). Everyone is welcome (including children) and you can meet new people, share food, share stories and be creative. The next meeting is Sunday, 17 March 2019, 2pm to 4pm. See here for more details or connect with the group on Facebook.
17 March - Harmony Day and Holi Festival. A great afternoon of music and food for the whole family, plus join in the fun and colour of Holi: Festival of Colours. This free, family-friendly event is on from 4pm to 8pm. Where: Hovell Tree Park, South Albury.
18 to 29 March - A Taste of Harmony is an opportunity to celebrate your workplace’s cultural diversity. It is free to participate and easy to organise. Join over 8,000 other workplaces, big and small, city or remote who will all be taking part in recognising and celebrating their cultural diversity. For a taste of what makes our country great, join in here.
23 March - Harmony Day Community Picnic. Join with your community and celebrate Harmony Day with a picnic at the Felltimber Community Centre, Wodonga. There will be a barbecue, cultural dishes, fun activities and a cultural 'show-and-tell'. All are welcome to this free, family friendly event. Transport within Albury and Wodonga is available. For more information, contact Felltimber Community Centre on (02) 6043 4550.
Now to 14 April - New exhibition "The Artists from the Plantation" is a video portrait by the Belgian-Congolese poet, musician and filmmaker Baloji of the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC), a cooperative from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The exhibition is being shown at the Murray Arts Museum Albury (MAMA). Read more here
Harmony Day and Cultural Diversity Week - there are a variety of events being planned to celebrate Harmony Day. See AWECC's events calendar to see what's on. 
Job Vacancies and Volunteering
Fundraising and Marketing Support Officer - Border Trust is currently seeking applications for a part-time position to support their fundraising and marketing activities. Applications are to be submitted to Border Trust and close 4pm on 4th March 2019. Click here for the Position Description. 
Training and Development
Emerging Leader's Summit - applications are now open for the Mandala Project's Emerging Leader's Summit in Bright on the 2nd to 5th May 2019. This hugely popular leadership development program offers young people challenging, yet rewarding hands-on experience guided by highly skilled and knowledgeable facilitators. To find out more click here. A limited number of scholarships are available to eligible participants.   
Emotional Wellness - Key to Happiness. This three-workshop series is on again at the Felltimber Community Centre on 4th, 18th, and 25th March 2019. This free program is delivered by the National Academy of Human Values. To register, call Padma on 0400 474 939.
2019 Welcoming Cities Symposium will bring together policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, settlement agencies and community stakeholders from across the migration and settlement sectors. The event is presented by the Welcoming Cities initiative. The 2019 Symposium program looks at the future of multiculturalism and diversity within Australia and the associated opportunities and challenges. The forum happens in Brisbane on April 2-3. To register, click here.
Introduction to the Media - Expressions of Interest are sought from members of the community who would like to learn more about traditional and modern media. AWECC will be releasing dates soon for an 'introduction to the media' workshop. The workshop will suit those who are spokespeople for their communities or community groups. Expressions of interest can be made to
Governance and community leadership workshop - Expressions of Interest are sought from community members from migrant and refugee backgrounds to participate in an upcoming 'governance and leadership' workshop. AWECC will be releasing training dates soon, with community members who are currently, or aspiring to sit on boards or committees, strongly encouraged to attend. Expressions of interest can be made to
Grants and Scholarships
Celebrating Diversity: Events Grants. Applications are currently open for grants up to $10,000 through the Multicultural NSW Celebrating Diversity: Events program. Applications close 5pm, 4th March 2019. Click here to find out more. 
Border Trust Community Grants 2019 are now open, with a range of project categories available for eligible community groups and organisations.
Applications close 5pm, 15th March 2019. Click here to find out more. 
Multicultural Festivals and Events Grants available. Applications for grants for Victorian-based festivals and events are now open through the Victorian Multicultural Commission's Multicultural Festivals and Events Program. Applications close midnight, 22nd March 2019. Click here to find out more. 
Disclaimer: The information and articles included in Ethnic Voice have been collected from a range of sources, including from our stakeholders, for the interest and information of all our readers. We take great care to ensure the information we publish is accurate and representative of our membership, however, some information, especially third-party information, may not necessarily reflect the views of AWECC or the AWECC membership, nor should its inclusion be seen to necessarily constitute our endorsement.
We always welcome feedback and suggestions for our monthly e-newsletter.
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Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council · PO Box 920 · Wodonga, Vic 3689 · Australia

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