VMC | UPDATING | Community on Curious Conversations returns tomorrow, Refugee Awards last call for nominations | Tuesday 27 April 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

The COVID-positive case of a Victorian in the past week has reminded us that fast and accurate contact tracing continues to be an important tool for helping our state stay safe and stay open. 

Message from the Chairperson

Along with physical distancing and mask wearing when required, using a QR code for check-in at gatherings is a simple way to prevent further outbreaks in our communities. It is also required by law, and the amnesty on enforcement ends this Friday, 30 May. If you're hosting an event, you can read about your obligations here.

I commend all event organisers, faith leaders and business owners who are using a QR Code system and encouraging patrons to do the right thing by checking in. Let's keep going.

Wednesday 28 April evening from 6pm, we will be bringing you the second edition of our Curious Conversations series. We will again be exploring the Cultural Diversity Week theme, 'What does multicultural Victoria look like in 2030?', but this time we'll be joined by the mayors of the City of Hume and the City of Darebin, along with the deputy mayor of the City of Brimbank. They will tackle the big topics, discussing the challenges we all have to face to take advantage of the immense benefits multiculturalism offers. I encourage you to express your interest and take part in the discussion online.

A reminder also that the Victorian Refugee Awards nomination period closes this weekend. If you initially arrived in Australia as a refugee or asylum seeker – even if it was many years ago – you are eligible for nomination. We encourage you to nominate yourself or anyone you know from this background who is doing great things.

Elsewhere in this week's update, we share the second phase of a government grant program to help slow the spread of COVID-19, some vital in-language information about sexual violence and consent, and an event this weekend that celebrates the culture and people of Myanmar.

Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen, Chairperson

Curious Conversations Part 2 | Wednesday 28 April 2021 | 6-7.05pm

The panel conversation will be broadcast live on Facebook and cover many topics, ranging from the benefits and opportunities that our cultural, linguistic and religious diversity provides; to issues identified by communities, such as employment, racism, mental health and family violence.

Victorian Refugee Awards | nominations closing Sunday 2 May 2021

The VMC's Victorian Refugee Awards are dedicated to the people who were forced to flee from their home in search of protection. The annual awards recognise the dedication of these people who strive to achieve their personal aspirations. They celebrate people who achieve success in their chosen field or create positive change in their communities.

People who arrived in Australia recently, along with established community members who settled here as refugees or asylum seekers, are eligible for nomination.

We would like to encourage you to nominate yourself, or a person you know from a refugee or asylum seeker background, to be acknowledged at this event.

Both self nominations and nominations of others are now open, and close on Sunday 2 May 2021. Click the link below to read more about each award.

Myanmar community day at Docklands | Sunday 2 May 2021 | 2-5pm

Experience the rich heritage of the people of Myanmar. Magnet Gallery will host an afternoon of dance, music and food brought to you by the Myanmar expat community of Melbourne.

The event will kick off at Magnet in Docklands featuring traditional Karen and Chin music, Kachen and Karen dance, Lisu pop music, guest speakers, family activities, handicrafts, afternoon tea and much more.

All money raised will support injured, grieving and internally displaced peoples in Myanmar.

Grants available: Helping slow the spread of COVID-19 in multicultural communities

Applications for funding through the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 2 initiative are now open.

There are a raft of new activities that are eligible for funding in the second round, including:
  • training and capacity building of community leaders and organisations
  • support for multicultural seniors' groups (including digital literacy training)
  • community-led health communications
  • research with multicultural and faith communities to better understand their communication needs and preferences, or barriers to health participation and engagement.
Funding will be prioritised to support culturally and linguistically diverse communities particularly impacted during the pandemic, including women, young people, and new and emerging communities.

For the full details of who is eligible and to apply, click the link below.

My body, my consent: Important sexual violence fact sheets in several languages

Sexual violence is a taboo subject that is often difficult for many communities to speak about. For victims, it can also be a traumatic experience and the shame and stigma can be a huge barrier to seeking help.

The Multicultural Families Organisation, a Queensland-based not for profit that supports CALD communities, has produced a booklet about sexual violence.

Presented in English, Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese, the project aims to empower individuals and communities to understand what sexual violence is, what their rights are and where to seek support.

For Victorian-specific sexual assault support services, click here.

Coronavirus hotline


Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)
Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9651 5901

CCJV | GATHERING | The Poetry of Prayer - Prayer reimagined as slam poetry | Sunday 9 May 2021 | 3-5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

The Poetry of Prayer is a showcase of works exploring how traditional texts and practices can be reimagined to generate meaning in modern contexts.

Yoram Symons is a slam poet, Jewish prayer leader and magid (storyteller). He performs creative interpretations of traditional Jewish liturgy and stories infusing them with slam poetry technique and spoken word stylings.

Presents our first hybrid event (in person + on Zoom)

Where: Etz Chayim, 549 Centre Road, Bentleigh 3204. To watch the livestream, click here (Meeting ID: 962 3359 0860 ~ Passcode: 217228)

The Council of Christians and Jews (Vic) (JCCV)
Address: 326 Church Street, Richmond VIC, 3121
Tel: 03 9429 5212

Recipient of The Victorian Multicultural Commission Award for Excellence 2017

ECCV | UPDATING | Community on Latest news, policy research and events | April 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

In the lead up to next month's State budget, ECCV has been busy meeting key political leaders, government departments and sector stakeholders about policy priorities for Victoria’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Message from the Chair 

Our advocacy priorities were discussed at our online  Member Forum on 24 March, where we also had the opportunity to hear from FECCA CEO Mohammad Al-Khafaji about national priorities heading into the next Federal Election.

Due to ongoing uncertainty about the vaccine rollout, the FECCA biennial national Conference which was planned for November this year will now take place in March 2022 at the Melbourne Sofitel. We look forward to welcoming delegates from around the country as we co-host Australia’s premiere multicultural conference.
During Cultural Diversity Week we welcomed two new Anti-Racism Ambassadors to our All One Together alliance – City of Casey and Moray & Agnew Lawyers. We look forward to working with them and being part of the leading role being played by Victoria on Anti-Racism initiatives.
ECCV is pleased to be working with the Office for Disability on the new State Disability Plan consultations, which are being facilitated for the ECCV by NEDA President, Margherita Coppolino. We are also set to begin work on the COVID-19 disability advocacy outreach program, in collaboration with ADEC and MRC North West Melbourne, to ensure that people with disability from migrant and refugee communities are not left behind by the pandemic.
ECCV is heading to Shepparton this week for a gathering of the regional ethnic communities’ councils, which aims to lead to greater cooperation and better outcomes for CALD communities living in regional Victoria. ECCV is also supporting the establishment of a new organisation to give a stronger voice to migrant and refugee communities in the Outer South East, one of the most culturally diverse and fastest growing areas in Victoria.
This Sunday, I am proud to be paying tribute to ECCV Life Member George Zangalis, who will be honoured at a Celebration of his 90 Years of Life and 70 Years of Activism. The event is being held in partnership with his family, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria, 3ZZZ and many other organisations that loved George. I look forward to seeing many ECCV members there.
Warm regards, Eddie Micallef, Chairperson

COVIDSafe Plans for Small Retailers Webinar | 28 April 2021

All Victorian businesses are required to have a COVIDSafe Plan or risk hefty fines. ECCV is jointly hosting a webinar with the Australian Retailers Association focused on helping the  small business retail community create and review their COVIDSafe Plans to ensure they comply with  COVIDSafe requirements. 

Voice of the Outer South East Forum | 29 April 2021

The Voice of the Outer South East forum aims to establish a new grass roots organisation to give a stronger voice to migrant and refugee communities across Melbourne's Outer South East. The forum is being hosted by City of Casey and supported by ECCV, Cardinia Shire Council, City of Greater Dandenong and Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre. 

All One Together Campaign Ambassadors 

City of Port Phillip and Moray & Agnew Lawyers have become Ambassadors for our All One Together  campaign, which is continuing  ECCV’s anti-racism work with companies and community organisations through the All One Together alliance.

State Disability Plan CALD Consultations 

ECCV has begun consultations with CALD communities regarding the new State Disability Plan and review of the Disability Act. The consultations are being coordinated on behalf of the Victorian Office for Disability with ECCV member organisations. For information, contact Shahnoor Shah at

New Disability Self Advocacy Project 

ECCV's new Raise Our Voices - Disability Self-advocacy for CALD Communities program is being delivered  across metropolitan Melbourne, Shepparton and Gippsland. Find out more at a Disability Information Session that is being held on Thursday 29 April at the Melbourne Polytechnic Preston campus with our Community Connector team. 

NDIS Independent Assessments Inquiry

ECCV welcomes the review of proposed independent assessments for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Our submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS Inquiry into Independent Assessments was based on ECCV’s experience delivering the National Community Connector Program for people from CALD backgrounds. 

Victorian LGBTIQ+ Strategy

ECCV's response to the Victorian LGBTIQ+ Strategy Directions Paper includes recommendations on how to better support LGBTIQA+ people of CALD background.
The Directions Paper will guide the Victorian Government’s efforts to achieve equality for LGBTIQ+ communities over the next decade. 

COVID Community Outreach Program 

ECCV's COVID Community Outreach Team has concluded its six-month project, which included COVID-19 Business Support Walks to help retailers and a three-part online Workshop Series in March.
Thank you to Worksafe Victoria, Tenants Victoria and Brotherhood of St Laurence for participating in the project and thank you to the dedicated project team. 

NOW HIRING: Media & Communications Officer

We are seeking a creative and driven Media & Communications Officer to work as part of a dynamic team, producing and coordinating high quality content for our communication platforms. 

Speak My Language

ECCV has recruited the first Victorian "Travellers" to create podcasts about living well with disability for the national Speak My Language program. We are looking for people who speak Maltese, Nuer-South Sudanese, Somali, Oromo and Amharic to be interviewed. 

Gas Industry CALD Consultations 

ECCV is recruiting 50 representatives from CALD communities to participate in consultations with the gas industry to help shape future planning. You must be available for three workshops. Participants will receive $100 per workshop. 


Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV)
Address: Suite 101, 398 Sydney Road, Coburg Vic 3058
Tel: 9354 9555

VMC | UPDATING | Community on Ramadan Mubarak, new courses and bi-cultural workers network | Wednesday 21 April 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

We have entered the second week of Ramadan, a sacred time for our friends in the Muslim community.

Message from the Chairperson

This weekend past, VMC Deputy Chair Bwe Thay attended the Bendigo Interfaith Council’s Iftar Dinner, while I went to a dinner hosted by the AMAFHH Federation. In the coming week, I will be attending four more Iftar celebrations to mark this special time. It is a privilege to be invited to these events and spend time with people who have been reflecting deeply on their lives. 

As many of you would have seen, last week marked the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Tragically, it’s estimated that at least 474 Aboriginal men, women and children have died in custody since the Commission’s recommendations were passed down in 1991. There is clearly still so much work to be done. The VMC is a resource for people of all cultures, and we are here to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in every way we can. Please get in touch if you think we can advocate for you.

In this week's update, we want to put the spotlight on a training course that the Centre for Multicultural Youth is running right now. Their Culturally Responsive Practice course is a great resource for people who work with young people from migrant backgrounds. We've got an invite to join a bi-cultural workers network and free tickets to a Victorian Law Week event too.

We also share guidance for COVID-safe practices to incorporate during Orthodox Holy Week. Every Victorian's hard work over the last year has meant we're able to embrace and enjoy the re-opening up of our community. However, it's important that when we do come together, we do so in a COVID-safe manner.

Finally, we're proud to share that we have been nominated for a Channel 31 Antenna Award. The 2020 Multicultural Awards were nominated for Best CALD Program.

Ramadan Mubarak, take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen, Chairperson

Curious Conversations: Local Government 

We're bringing you the second edition of our Curious Conversations series next week. We will again be exploring the Cultural Diversity Week theme, 'What does multicultural Victoria look like in 2030?', but this time we'll be hearing from local government figures. 

The panel conversation will be broadcast live on Facebook and cover many topics, ranging from the benefits and opportunities that our cultural, linguistic and religious diversity provides; to issues identified by communities, such as employment, racism, mental health and family violence.

Join our diverse panel to discuss what multicultural Victoria looks like now, what it should look like in 2030 and what needs to be done to get there.

cohealth is building a bi-cultural workers network

Are you a bi-cultural worker from a refugee-like background? Would you like to connect with other bi-cultural workers living in Melbourne?
On 19 May, cohealth will be hosting a session at Kensington Town Hall, inviting participants to share ideas on how their worker’s network should operate. This is your chance to be a part of it.

Culturally responsive practice: Working with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds

The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) is running a short training course that is free and open to anyone. It aims to give people the essential skills and knowledge for working effectively and respectfully with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. The training modules are designed to be relevant to a broad range of sectors, and for work with young people from any community. Participants will improve their confidence and capacity to provide a culturally inclusive and responsive service for young people.

The training runs over two half day sessions, today and tomorrow. If you missed out this time, get in touch with the CMY to register your interest for future sessions.  

Guidance for COVID-safe practices during Orthodox Holy Week

Holy Week commences in the Eastern Orthodox Church on 25 April. When gathering together, it is vital that the celebrations remain COVID-safe.

Depending on where the events are held, different restrictions will apply. Venues must ensure these are followed and adhere to infection prevention guidelines. 

To find out what your responsibilities are if you're organising a Holy Week celebration, please click below. 

Victorian Law Week: Discrimination in the workplace for CALD youths

Many young people, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, have a higher chance of experiencing discrimination at work.

This Victorian Law Week session on 19 May will help young people from CALD backgrounds better understand their rights.

Coronavirus hotline


Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)
Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9651 5901

ICM | GATHERING | The Eternal Flame: The Battle of Life – Finding Peace | Sunday 25 April 2021 | 5-6pm

[Edited extract from public address]

An Anzac Day Interspiritual Gathering.

With Rev Helen Summers, The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne and Murshida Nuria Daly, The International Sufi Movement in Australia.
With beautiful music by Cath Connelly, Celtic Harpist

Where: St Oswald's Chapel, 100 High Street, Glen Iris Victoria
Bookings: register your attendance due to COVID Safety regulations:

St Oswald's COVID Checklist March 2021
  • Do not attend if any Flu like symptoms. Do not attend if you have been ordered to take a Covid‐19 test or are awaiting the results of a Covid‐19 test.
  • Check into St Oswald’s using the QR Code poster when you arrive.
  • Use the Hand Sanitiser before and after the Gathering
  • You must carry a mask but it is no longer mandatory to wear it indoors. The Diocese continues to recommend that masks are worn for singing, when the space is poorly ventilated and when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Spread yourselves out when you take your seat. If possible keep 1.5 meters from other attendees.
  • Singing is permitted (mask recommended).
The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne (ICM)
Address: PO Box 18335, Collins Street East, Melbourne Vic 8003 Australia

CoPP | VACANCY | Multicultural Advisory Committee | nominations now open, closing 7 May 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

Port Phillip is a vibrant multicultural city. We are home to people from over 163 different birthplaces, speaking 114 languages. 

Passionate about supporting the voices of multicultural communities? Do you want to shape how Council supports multicultural communities in Port Phillip?
City of Port Phillip is inviting interested residents, organisations and groups to apply for a voluntary appointment on the Multicultural Advisory Committee.

The Committee provides advice and feedback on all issues that affect multicultural communities, refugees or asylum seekers in the City of Port Phillip. 

Nominees must work, study, or reside in the Port Phillip and they need to be able to demonstrate:
  • Community networks and linkages within the local multicultural community in City of Port Phillip. 
  • Good knowledge and understanding of the local issues that are of relevance to multicultural communities.
  • Commitment to multiculturalism and the strengthening of a diverse community that encourages the participation and inclusion of all residents.
How to apply
Apply online via SmartyGrants
Assistance is available for translation into any language and completion of the application form (in English). Interpreters will also be available at meetings if required. A Word version of the application form is also available upon request.

Community Building and Inclusion
City of Port Phillip (CoPP)
Address: St Kilda Town Hall, 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182
Diversity officer, Tel: 03 9209 6694

VMC | UPDATING | Community on New QR Code rules, VMC community hero profiles, opportunities for CALD young leaders | Wednesday 14 April 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

Last weekend was jam-packed, with some fantastic cultural events on. 

Message from the Chairperson

Hello all, it's good to be back. Thank you so much to the Deputy Chair, Bwe Thay, for doing such a fantastic job in my place over the last fortnight.

I went from the Karenni New Year in Geelong to the Sikh Volunteers Australia event in Narre Warren, where we paid tribute to the volunteers who have given so much of their time and energy through the bushfires and pandemic. Then it was off to the Vaisakhi New Year in Melton, then back across the city to Keysborough for the South Sudanese Chollo Community's annual festival. It was great to have Bwe join me for some of these events and to see so many friendly faces in person again.

I found myself learning new things at every event, hearing inspiring stories and enjoying delicious food. The weekend was a perfect reminder that diversity is something to celebrate, and that we must all fight and set targets for greater inclusion and equity in our society.

In this week's update, we're asking for you to shine a light on individuals who are doing incredible work promoting multiculturalism. People who organise events like those I recently attended, people who work tirelessly not just for their own community, but across other communities as well. With your help, we would love to interview them and perhaps help raise their profile.

We want to make sure everyone is aware of the new rules around QR codes. This is important for anyone who is involved in organising events, religious gatherings and just about anything that takes place in a public venue or facility. QR codes that integrate with the Department of Health's contact tracing will be mandatory from 23 April for all community events and gatherings.

In addition, we share a message from Bwe reminding us that nominations for the 2021 Victorian Refugee Awards are closing soon; provide more information on leadership programs for young people from a CALD background; spread some vital in-language messages around water safety, and give details on a corporate bi-cultural training course that cohealth is running.

Thank you all for reading, take care and stay safe.

Viv Nguyen, Chairperson

New laws: Get all the details on the Victorian Government QR Code Service

QR code systems now have to comply with new rules that better secure the privacy of data and integrate with the Department of Health's contact tracing system.

If you are responsible for any venue or facility required to use check-ins, then there may be some changes you need to make.

If you are already using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service for your record-keeping, you don't need to do anything. This QR code system already integrates with the Department of Health's contact tracing system

If you are not using the Victorian Government QR Code Service, find out if the QR code app you are using is connected to the Victorian Government Visitation API here. If it is, you don’t need to do anything – just keep using the app as normal

If you need to change providers because your current provider is not connected, the Victorian Government QR Code Service is easy to use and is free for all Victorian businesses and organisations.

VMC Profiles: We want to share the great things you have been doing

We've been looking at how we can further support the brilliant work our community does in promoting multiculturalism. We want to share the good news stories and recognise the people who are making them happen.

If you would like to be profiled for the work you're doing, or if you have an initiative that promotes social cohesion, please let us know.

Deputy Chair Bwe Thay calls for Refugee Award nominations ahead of the 24 April deadline

As part of Refugee Week celebrations this year, the VMC will be hosting the Victorian Refugee Awards. The annual awards recognise and promote the achievements of refugees in Victoria. They will honour people who have excelled through study, work, entrepreneurial or leadership efforts.

Our Deputy Chair Bwe Thay, himself a former refugee, made a call out for nominations. 

Do you know a young CALD person looking for leadership opportunities? Applications close Monday 19 April 2021 

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria is currently recruiting young leaders (21-30 years old) for the Intercultural Young Advocacy Leadership (IYAL) Group.

The IYAL program aims to ensure young advocates have a platform for being heard and encourages participation in the improvement of public policy for future generations of culturally diverse community groups.

Play it safe by the water! Swim safety messages in six languages

Australian oceans and waterways can throw up unpredictable conditions, so you've got to know how to enjoy swimming in the safest way possible. There are now translations available of water safety messages from the Victorian Government in:

EthnoLink to host multicultural youth webinar

Young multicultural Australians have felt the full force of the pandemic and face many barriers to prosperity and inclusion. But how can we go about addressing these systemic issues and engaging with Australia’s future leaders?

In this free webinar, EthnoLink CEO and founder, Costa Vasili will be joined by Jahin Tanvir, a policy advisor and youth advocate, to explore the challenges faced by multicultural young people in Australia.
Sign up to the webinar

cohealth to run bi-cultural work training sessions

cohealth has introduced new training to share their professional standards for bi-cultural work, and to provide strategies for how people and business can apply them to their own work.

The training is targeted at people working on projects that could benefit from the inclusion of bi-cultural workers; for those already engaged with bi-cultural workers; and for bi-cultural workers themselves.

The training is delivered across two workshops – participants must attend both workshops to complete the training.
  • 26 April 9:30am - 12:30pm
  • 27 April 9:30am - 12:30pm
Register for training

Queen Victoria Women's Centre upcoming events

The Queen Victoria Women's Centre has several exciting upcoming events, including an Iftar dinner and several celebrations as part of the YIRRAMBOI Festival.
Learn more

Coronavirus hotline


Victorian Multicultural Commission
Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9651 5901

CoPP | THIS | April Edition - Grant opportunities |

[Edited extract from public address]

Connecting and strengthening communities through inclusion and partnerships.

CoPP | GRANTING | COVID-19 Community Recovery Quick Response Grant Program | applications now open, closing 4pm 23 April 2021

City of Port Phillip invites community organisations to submit an application COVID-19 Community Recovery Quick Response Grant Program.

This program aims to provide:
  • Direct support to community groups that connect with vulnerable or socially disconnected residents who have been most impacted by COVID to facilitate their on-going recovery.
  • Enable service providers to promote or remove barriers to participation for socially isolated and vulnerable community members.
  • And address funding gaps arising from the change to Community Grants delivery time frames, for programs that have historically received recurrent funding.
For more information see the website.
Click here to apply

CoPP | GRANTING | Youth Access Grants Program | applications now open

This grants program is designed to increase access to recreational activities for young people 12 to 18 years of age in the City of Port Phillip.

The program has two streams:
  • Stream 1: Get Involved Grant
‘Get Involved’ funding provides up to $500 for a young person aged 12 to 18 years without the financial means to participate in recreational activities. An organisation can apply on behalf of the young person, parent or guardian. The organisation will manage the funds.

  • Stream 2: Recreation Programs Grant
The Recreation Programs Grant is available for organisations to apply for up to $20,000 with a total pool of $110,000. They must provide a free or low-cost recreation program for young people aged 12 to 18 years of age.

How to apply
This is a rolling grant process. Applications can be made at any time while funds are available.
Contact us
For general queries about the guidelines or application form, please contact

VIC | GOV | TRAINING | National Principles for Child Safe organisations – Free training for local community organisation  | Tuesday 11 May 2021 | 10am–12midday

This two-hour training seminar will be useful for Child-safe organisations to understand:
  • The ten national principles
  • Recognise how the national principles may be integrated within their safety framework
  • Identify how the principles might be practised at a child-facing level
  • Identify core issues of responding to harm and abuse, equity and empowerment, and code of conduct
Where: Online - link to be provided upon registration
Bookings: TryBooking National Principles

STHE | SURVEYING | Community about COVID-19 Vaccine

Star Health (STHE) are conducting a community survey to try and gain further understanding about concerns and worries that the community have about the COVID-19 vaccine. 
To access this survey please click here.

City of Port Phillip (CoPP)
Address: 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, VIC 3182

S2B | WORKSHOPPING | Mixing Colours & Blending Paint | Saturday 1 May 2021 | 12midday-2pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Perfect for you creatives! Come along and learn about colour mixing and collage in this two hour workshop.

This workshop is being led by two fantastic artists Jane Kanizay and Anahita Diba, who are currently collaborating on our current exhibition 'Elements of Nature', as part of our Face2Face programme.

Meet new people, connect through art and have some fun!

Where: Space2b Social Design, 144 Chapel St, St Kilda VIC 3182
Cost: All for just $16!
Bookings: online through space2b

Come and visit us from 10am - 5pm Tuesday through to Friday and 10am - 3pm on Saturday.

Space2b Social Design
Address: 144 Chapel Street, St Kilda, Melbourne Vic 3182

VMC | UPDATING | Community on Refugee Awards and Multicultural Film Festival now open for nominations and more | Friday 9 April 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

There was excitement to be able to deliver Cultural Diversity Week in March, hope for those who celebrate Easter surrounded by family and friends, and that the long weekend everyone was enjoyed by everyone.

Message from the acting Chairperson

There were so many incredible community festivals and events across metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria. Thank you to the organisers, volunteers and attendees for all working together to make these occasions memorable while remaining COVID safe. 

Some of the new COVID safe events that the VMC hosted this year included Culture Break, a collection of 12 live performances at the Old Treasury Building and State Library Victoria. We ran the first instalment of our Curious Conversations series addressing the question, 'What does multicultural Victoria look like in 2030?', with three young leaders bringing compelling ideas on how to help our state thrive. I encourage everyone to watch it. We also released the second video of Unity in Diversity, where members of our Multifaith Advisory Group quote scriptures from their faiths. 

Our celebration of cultural diversity is not confined to one week, though. Look out for more cultural festivals and events, further Curious Conversations and the Premier's Gala Dinner later in the year. 

In the meantime, we have our Refugee Awards and Multicultural Film Festival, which are both open for nominations. Nominations for the Victorian Refugee Awards close on 24 April, so I urge everyone to either self-nominate or nominate someone you think is deserving. 

In the update below, I would also like to share with you several important grants that are open for application, vital in-language information about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, a chance to join the Government's Anti-Racism Taskforce and much more. 

It has been a pleasure serving as acting Chairperson of the VMC this past fortnight, and I look forward to welcoming Viv back from leave on Monday.

Take care
Bwe Thay, Acting Chairperson

The Victorian Refugee Awards are open for nominations | nominations closing 24 April 2021 

As part of Refugee Week celebrations this year, the VMC will be hosting the Victorian Refugee Awards. The annual awards will recognise and promote the achievements of refugees in Victoria. They will honour people who have excelled through study, work, entrepreneurial or leadership efforts.

There are many different types of achievements that are worthy of nomination for a Refugee Award. Someone may have received an outstanding result in their education, volunteered in their community, run a successful business or supported other refugees to thrive.

Multiple awards will be presented across four categories: Young Leader, Achievement, Leadership and Business (awarded to an organisation or business).

Both self nominations and nominations of others are now open, and close on 24 April 2021. We encourage you to nominate as soon as possible.   

Our Multicultural Film Festival is now calling for entries | submissions close 20 June 2021

The VMC's Multicultural Film Festival is back this August! We support emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and also invite submissions from filmmakers of any background to produce films that explore multiculturalism and promote social cohesion. 

Each year, our shortlisted films feature characters who are encountering new ways of life, struggling with feeling isolated in a new country or within their cultures' traditions, or beginning to embrace and celebrate their difference.

We are now seeking new short films to be shown at the festival. If you know any filmmakers, please let them know about this great opportunity to share their work.

Apply to join the Anti-Racism Taskforce

The new Anti-Racism Taskforce will provide high level advice and recommendations to the Victorian Government to guide the development of an Anti-Racism Strategy. 
Applications from people who bring a diverse range of professional and lived experiences are encouraged, to ensure the Taskforce reflects the diversity within the Victorian community.   

Grants available: Anti-racism programs, family violence prevention, multicultural events and more

The Victorian Government is currently receiving submissions for several grant programs, with most closing in the next fortnight. Explore the links below and get in quick!

Local Anti-Racism Initiatives | closes 16 April 2021
Grants of up to $500,000 are available to support local anti-racism and community harmony efforts.

Three-year grants are available for both new and established organisations.

Grants of up to $50,000 are available to support COVIDSafe multicultural festivals and events held between 1 July and 31 December 2021.

This program will ensure organisations can respond to the current health crisis and its impacts on multicultural and faith communities, with a focus on providing support to those communities and areas most in need.

New rules for renters and landlords in Victoria

New rent rules are coming to create a safer, fairer system for everyone. 
The changes to the law clarify the rights and responsibilities of renters and rental providers – from before you sign a rental agreement until after the agreement ends – and apply to all types of tenancies.

The law changes include a ban on rental bidding and eviction without a reason, as well as setting new rental minimum standards and allowable modifications by renters.

COVID-19 vaccinations are underway – get the details in your language of choice

COVID-19 vaccines are now being rolled out in Australia. People most at risk of serious illness, and those most likely to be exposed to the virus are being vaccinated first. The Department of Health is committed to making information about COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia, including multicultural communities.

Everyone in Australia is encouraged to get their free vaccination when it's their turn, to help protect themselves, their families and their communities.

The Suitability Panel is seeking new members

The Minister for Child Protection, Luke Donnellan MP, is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified people to appoint as members of the Suitability Panel in Victoria.

The Suitability Panel, established under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, conducts hearings, and makes findings primarily as to whether or not an out-of-home carer should be disqualified from being a carer.

2021 Victorian Community History Awards

The Victorian Community History Awards are held annually to recognise the contributions made by Victorians in the preservation of the state’s fascinating history, published during the previous year.
Presented by the Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, the awards celebrate the people involved in community history projects who are dedicated to telling local stories that help all Victorians to better understand their past. 

Round two of the Volunteering Innovation Fund is open | applications close 6 May 2021

Parks Victoria wants to help create new volunteering opportunities for people of all backgrounds.
If you've got a bright idea for a project that will encourage Victorians from diverse backgrounds to volunteer in our state's parks and forests, then you should consider applying for the latest round of the Volunteering Innovation Fund. 

Funding of up to $50,000 per project will be available.

Coronavirus hotline


Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)
Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9651 5901

ECCV | UPDATING | CALD NDIS Readiness Bulletin #57 | 1 April 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

CONSULTING | CALD communities on State Disability Plan 

ECCV has been contracted by the Victorian Office for Disability to conduct consultations with CALD communities regarding the new State Disability Plan and review of the Disability Act. Consultations will be undertaken in April and will be coordinated with ECCV member organisations and members of the disability community.
For more information please contact Shahnoor Shah at

HIRING | Speak My Language Travellers

ECCV has recruited the first Victorian "Travellers" for the national Speak My Language program, which is producing podcasts in more than 25 community languages that will feature CALD and Indigenous Australians sharing real stories, experiences and tips about living well with a disability.

ECCV is currently looking to hire people with lived experience of disability from CALD and Indigenous communities to undertake interviews with guest speakers and produce podcasts, broadcasts or videos.
For further information, contact Victorian SML Coordinator Osman Ali Mohamed at
Download Position Description

SUBMITTED | Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into TAFE Access for people with disability

ECCV appeared before the Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into TAFE Access for people with disability on 10 March 2021 to discuss recommendations for increasing participation and outcomes for learners from CALD communities, who face additional barriers accessing TAFE education.

ECCV’s submission to the inquiry recommended a range of strategies to respond to the needs of diverse learners, including investing in self-advocacy training, support and resources to help them transition from school to TAFE and ways TAFEs can improve their systems so students with disability feel more comfortable reporting incidents of discrimination.
Read ECCV submission here

PRESENTED | Shepparton Information Session

ECCV presented an information session in Shepparton on the NDIS, Early Childhood Early Intervention scheme and ECCV programs assisting people with a disability, including the upcoming Raise Our Voices project.

Participants included St Paul’s African House, ECC Shepparton, South Shepparton Community Centre, Filipino Community, Victoria Police and community groups.
For more information, contact ECCV Disability Projects Officer Yuli Liang at


COVID-19 Support Coordination from Core budgets ends

The temporary COVID-19 support measure which enabled participants to temporarily use their Core funds to access support coordination ended on 31 March 2021.

Participants with support coordination in their Capacity Building budget will continue to have access to this support. If a participant’s circumstances have changed, they can ask for a plan review to have any reasonable and necessary supports included in their next plan.
Read more here

Progress on Participant Service Improvement Plan

The NDIS has made progress regarding the Participant Service Improvement Plan, that sets out how the NDIS is improving over the next two years. Progress on 12 of 51 improvements, includes:
  • Putting the name of a real person on letters to you
  • A simple and quick process when you need to make minor changes to your plan – it won’t require a full “review”
  • An NDIS carer connect network for ageing parents of people with a disability.
More information here


VIC | GOV | 2021 Victorian Disability Awards | nominations close midnight Sunday 4 April 2021

Nominations for the 2021 Victorian Disability Awards are open. The Victorian Disability Awards honour the contributions of Victorians who support, lead, educate and advocate for people with disability.

Individuals and groups can be nominated, including people with disability, family members, volunteers and people working in the sector.

Access Easy English information here
Find out more here

AUST | GOV | COVID-19 Vaccines: Vaccination toolkit and new webpage for disability providers

The Australian Government Department of Health has released a vaccination toolkit for disability providers, to help them prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The dedicated Webpage for disability service providers provides comprehensive information and resources about COVID-19 vaccines.

People with disability 18 years and over with an underlying medical condition are eligible for Phase 1b vaccinations.
Access webpage and toolkit here

AUST | GOV | Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability | submit responses by 11 June 2021

The Royal Commission has released an issue paper asking the public to share their views about the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability, including people with disabilities and their family and supporters.
More information here

VIC | GOV | Supporting Carers Locally Grants | applications close on 24 April 2021

Community organisations can now apply for a grant to support carer health and wellbeing in the second round of the Supporting Carers Locally Grants Program.

Grants of $20,000 to $40,000 are available to community organisations to support activities that increase opportunities for carers to be physically and mentally healthy, and socially connected to family, friends, other carers and their local community.
More information here

AUST | MDAA | WEBINAR | Exploring self-advocacy and the NDIS in a mental health context

This two-part Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association and Mental Health Coordinating Council webinar series explores self-advocacy and the NDIS in a mental health context. Topics covered include: 
  • Self-advocacy, and why is it important in the NDIS journey
  • How to maximise choice and control for consumers applying for and on the NDIS
  • Recovery-oriented self-advocacy strategies for people living with a mental health condition. 
Watch webinar here

AUST | GOV | Dept of Transport | Have Your Say - Public Transport Access

The Federal Government is seeking feedback on whether proposed reforms to Public Transport Standards will improve public transport accessibility for people with disability.

They want to hear from you on the proposed reforms and your public transport experiences more generally—whether you have a disability, work in the disability or transport sector, work with or know people who have a disability or are just an interested public transport user.

Six online public consultation forums are also being held, commencing 12 April 2021.
Find out more

AUST | SSI | Free online CultureReady workshops | run until June 2021

Settlement Services International (SSI) are back with CultureReady workshops in 2021. These free online workshops aim to equip disability service providers (NDIS registered or those intending to register in the next 18 months) to provide culturally responsive services. 
  • Workshop 1: Fundamentals of culturally responsive practice in the disability context
  • Workshop 2: Working with language services
  • Workshop 3: Engaging CALD communities 
  • Workshop 4: Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce 
Book spot here

VIC | CEH | Health Translations

Access high quality consumer-focused translated materials from Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH)  on COVID-19 and more on this website. It has more than 22,000 resources in over 100 languages, including Auslan & Easy English.
Read and subscribe here

VIC | ASVI | Aspergers support groups and events

Aspergers Victoria (ASVI) runs a range of support groups and events for people who have Aspergers, autism, or other similar neurodiverse profiles to help them feel connected, supported, and empowered to live the life they want for themselves.

Due to COVID-19, many of these are running online as well as in person, which makes them more easily accessible to people from all over Victoria.
Find upcoming events

WIRE | NDIS tips for CALD Women Video

Preparing for your National Disability Insurance Plan and managing your plan can be daunting, particularly if English is not your main language or if you are new to the Australian disability services.

ECCV's Nimo Hersi and Janet Curtain from Power in Ethnicity & Culture partnered with WIRE to create this short video, which gives women from CALD backgrounds some tips on making the NDIS work to support their needs and choices.
Watch Video (6 mins)

Click here to see what others are saying


Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria
Address: Suite 101, 398 Sydney Road, Coburg VIC 3058
Tel: 9354 9555

GEIFN | MIXING | Media | April 2021

Best wishes for less Suffering, more Happiness with Good Health and Time to Enjoy it. Welcome to Armenian Calendar Year 1470. 

Let’s begin by sharing a timely aspiration:
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
Attributed to the Buddha (c563-c483 BCE)
Otherwise, the following monthly curation from publicly available information is offered below for consideration.


  • Guest Sings
  • Street Jives
  • Wisdom Reconciles
  • Media Writes
  • TED Talks
  • Music Challenges
  • Acknowledgments

Guest Sings

Approx 5 min presentation

Media Writes

Approx 5 min reads

Robyn Doreian explores when prodigal talent is nurtured, supported and celebrated with "Great expectations: How Van-Anh Nguyen struck a chord from such a young age” via The Age

Genevieve Quigley explores how determination, visibility and community spirit means "‘There’s no excuse’: The family gamble that taught Sarah Abo to chase her dreams” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Zach Hope explores place, people, redressing history and sharing a common future in "A moment of truth: How hearing our First Nations can change this state” via The Age

Evelyn Lewin explores some strategies for staying calm, cool and collected, when "Anxiety can be debilitating, but there are four steps to manage it” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Kerrie O’Brien explores visibility, expression when shining a light on reasons how "Birrarangga Film Festival celebrates global indigenous movies” via The Age

Karl Quinn explores listening, expression and making communication, playing for laughs when "‘The English are the last ethnic group it’s still woke to bag’: plenty fire left in Ben Elton” via WA Today

Susan Horsburgh explores family, society and God, sharing "The light-bulb moment that healed a Catholic-Muslim family rift” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Nick Miller explores climate, art and and sustainability as "‘These issues are global’: new NGV exhibit connects country and climate” via The Brisbane Times

Garry Maddox explores an Australia film legend’s history, celebrating living and revealing reasons why "‘I’m just trying to stay alive’: as the end approaches, David Gulpilil is feted one more time” via WA Today

Susan Horsburgh explores a shared vision to assist youth struggling with mental illness, reasoning why "‘He’s traditional medicine, I’m very alternative’: the unlikely pair on a mental health mission” via WA Today

Sue Williams explores increasing calls for multi-generational housing, arguing "The case for diversifying housing options for older Australians” via

Dilvin Yasa explores toxic relationships and consequences of staying or going, citing different reasons why "Walking away isn’t easy – but it may be the best move you’ll ever make” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Jane Caro explores identifying, engaging and overcoming implicit bias is a job for everyone, addressing "When will a woman simply be a fellow human being who happens to be female?” via WA Today 

Michael Lallo explores natural curiosity, non-judgemental gaze and bearing witness are key ingredients behind "To help others open up, Insight host Kumi Taguchi had to face her family history” via The Age

Poh Ling Yeow explores migration, culture, sacrifice, belonging and gratitude, sharing "My hope for all women this International Women’s Day, and beyond” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Sonia Shah explores biodiversity, tracking wildlife and making tracks, raising "High hopes: the satellite network building the ‘internet of animals’” via The Brisbane Times

Jane Wheatley explores origin stories, familial upbringing and critical thinking to address lies, injustice and inequity, reasoning behind "Rage through the ages: feminist Carmen Callil looks back in anger” via WA Today

Emma Lee explores rebalancing and reconciling relationships with people and place, reasoning why "Indigenous Voice gives us the chance to work together” via The Age

Tim Elliott explores the personal cost of accumulating a worldly experience, reasons why "‘Life at home just didn’t make sense’: the mental trauma of foreign correspondent Sally Sara” via The Age

Benjamin Law talks dicey topics Politics, Death and Religion with "Local hero Rosemary Kariuki: ‘Politics is very dirty. I don’t think it’s for me’” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Kylie Northover explores 2nd wave feminism and how the march towards changing society’s awareness, understanding and attitude is an ongoing one, reviewing Brazen Hussies - "‘A must-watch’: Five stars for rare, inspirational new documentary” via The Sydney Morning Herald

Music Challenges

Approx 30 min presentation + reflection times

If desired, a short selection of publicly available material on a chosen theme for personal reflection. 

For best results, sit comfortably with a straight back, have headphones in a shared space, after each clicked link, allow a little reflection with your personally-held view before clicking on the next link.

Get ready to Reflect!
Choose your playing level:
Be introduced at 1.
Be soothed at 2-4.
Be shocked at 5.
Be inspired at 6.
Fuller illumination 1-6.
You be the judge. Or not.

Cryptic Clue:
What do we need to acknowledge first to make a more equitable present and forge brighter futures together?
  1. Inspire
  2. Perspire
  3. Collaborate
  4. Engage: Test for personal circumstances, if useful keep, if unuseful discard, if exceeds needs, share mindfully
  5. Endure: Adapt for present times without sacrificing intent
  6. Endear: (Inspiring Others To Tend the Flame) live/ demonstrate/ inspire/ teach experience with others
From mid 16th century (in the sense ‘continue to exist’): from Latin subsistere = stand firm, from sub- = from below + sistere = to stop, set/stand still, take one's stand.
  1. maintain or support oneself, especially at a minimal level. Ie, the neighbour subsisted on welfare and casual labour. 
  2. (archaic) provide sustenance for. Ie, the problem of subsisting the poor in a period of high accomodation prices. 
  3. (Law) remain in force or effect. Ie, the court may treat a contract as still subsisting. Ie, the peace subsisted between 1303 and 1324. 
  4. (Science) be attributable to. Ie, the effect of genetic maldevelopment may subsist in chromosomal mutation. 

From late Middle English: from Old French assister, from Latin assistere = take one's stand by, from ad- = to, at + sistere = to stop, set/stand still, take one's stand.
  1. help (someone), typically by doing a share of the work. Ie, a senior academic would assist students in their work. Ie, their presence would assist in keeping the peace. 
  2. help by providing money or information. Ie, they were assisting police with their inquiries. Ie, funds to assist with capital investment. 
  3. be present as a helper. Ie, two midwives who assisted at a water birth. 
  4. an act of giving help, typically by providing money. Ie, the budget must have an assist from tax policies. 
  5. an act of touching the ball in a play in which a teammate scores or an opposing batter is put out. Ie, the player had 10 points and five assists.

From mid 16th century: from Latin persistere, from per- = through, steadfastly + sistere = to stop, set/stand still, take one's stand.
  1. continue in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Ie, the minority of drivers who persist in drinking. Ie, we are persisting with policies that will create jobs for the future. 
  2. continue to exist; be prolonged. Ie, if the symptoms persist for more than a few days, then contact your doctor. 

-- Chant Mantrastyle

Experience shows that individuals adapting to circumstances, subsisting where necessary assisting as means allows contribute to making societies that persist.

Why? Why not?
Start today. 
As the case may be.
Or not.


Acknowledging traditional inhabitants of Cities of Port Phillip and Glen Eira are the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin NationRespect is offered to past, present and future elders of all spiritual traditions. May we find together a generous way to accommodate those in need of refuge. Let us be cool, strive individually and together to overcome inequality, violence, disengagement, tragedy and injustice wherever it may be. Let us honour, savor and enjoy results of mindful effort so more thrive peacefully with less effort in our place called home.

Invitation to Support Content Creators
The music/stories/videos have been sourced from public domain. If you like any of the content, please consider buying directly from online marketplaces to support creators and truth telling in the public interest.

Caretaker Disclosure
Words and concepts are conditional things that point to a 'reflection of experience'. They are limited and do not adequately describe the 'full lived experience'. Like the moon's reflection on a lake's surface, it is not the moon, nor the experience of gazing up at the darkened sky transformed by the presence of a full moon. It is in the eyes/ears/nose/mouth/touch/cognisance of the beholder.

This curation is an interpretation of the universal basis of re:lig:ion (Latin = again:uniting:energy). This email invites a sharing of countless thoughts, words and actions wishing, causing and receiving less Suffering and more Happiness. For benefit initially of the individual increasing in beneficiaries until it includes all across the 3 times and 10 directions. As each case may be. Or not.

It is not personal, it just the way things are.

Click to go to Emily Wurramara Interview

    GEIFN | CONSOLIDATED | Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Thursday 1 April 2021

    1. VIC | GOV | UPDATING | Pandemic Response
    2. AUST | ATO | GRANTING | JobMaker Hiring Credit | 1 February–30 April 2021
    3. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Local Anti-Racism Initiatives Grants Program | closing 16 Apr 2021
    4. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Family Violence | closing 21 Apr 2021
    5. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Multicultural Festivals and Events Program - Small stream | closing 21 Apr 2021
    6. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Priority response to multicultural communities during coronavirus (COVID-19) | closing 28 May 2021
    7. VIC | GOV | SHARING | TREATY | Deadly & Proud Stories Online
    8. VIC | GOV | REBATING | Money on solar with a new solar panel or battery installation
    9. CoPP | GOV | GRANTING | Cultural Development Fund Recovery | Applications opened Monday 25 January
    10. VIC | AVS | RECRUITING | Agriculture Victoria Services Board Member
    11. VIC | GOV | RECRUITING | Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria
    12. VIC | EQPR | GATHERING | LGBTIQA+ health and wellbeing Day | Saturday 8 May 2021 | 9.30am-4.45pm
    13. AUST | UTAS | SURVEYING | Religious Freedom and LGBT+ Discrimination
    14. VIC | VMC | SURVEYING | Social Media Users
    15. AUST | GOV | HEARING | from people with disability following the release of its issues paper on ‘Promoting Inclusion’ | submissions close 2 April 2021
    16. VIC | HV | CONSULTING | Social Housing​ Consultations | open now until 9 April 2021
    17. AUST | NA21 | RECOGNISING | Narragunnawali - Reconciliation in Education | nominations open until 30 April 2021
    18. AUST | Coronavirus hotline
    19. AUST | Helpers and Reliable Sources Along the Way
    20. Acknowledgment to Sources
    21. Bye bye to Essentialists
    22. Self-Isolators, Non-Essentials And The Homebound

    1. VIC | GOV | UPDATING | Pandemic Response

    COVIDSafe Settings – restrictions apply from 6pm Friday 26 March 2021
    Subject to public health advice, there are changes to restrictions for all Victorians. These are the important changes to understand:

    Social gatherings:
    • You may have up to 100 people visit your home per day, not including children under 12 months of age. This includes your front and backyards.
    • Up to 200 people can meet in a public outdoor place.
    Return to offices:
    • Up to 100 per cent of workers can return to their offices in both the private and public sectors.
    • The maximum density limit for workers in all offices is 1 person per 2 square metres.
    Physical recreation or fitness classes:

    There will no longer be limits on class sizes for outdoor and indoor settings – and unstaffed gyms will be moving from a density limit of 1 person to 8sqm to 1 person per 4sqm.

    Indoor entertainment venues
    • Additional people will also be allowed with an increase from 50 per cent to 75 per cent capacity however, the limit of 1000 people per space remains.
    • Dancefloors will move to the same density limit of the venue and the 50 patron cap will also be removed.
    • Density limits in venues still operating under more restrictive settings – like casinos, karaoke venues and nightclubs – will move from 1 person per 4sqm to 1 person per 2sqm. This is in line with cafes, pubs and restaurants.
    Face masks:
    • You do not need to wear a face mask in retail environments.
    • You must carry a face mask with you at all times. 
    • You must wear a face mask when on public transport, in rideshares and taxis, and when visiting or working in a hospital or care facility.
    • If you have a lawful exemption for not wearing a face mask (e.g. a relevant medical condition), you do not have to wear a face mask.
    For more information, visit

    For up to date information, Department of Health's website in English or Other Languages

    Read the 23/3/21 Victorian Acting Premier's statement

    COVID-19 vaccines ⁠–⁠ Is it true?
    With new COVID-19 vaccine developments every day, it’s normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. That's why we're providing accurate, evidence-based answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines. 


    2. AUST | ATO | GRANTING | JobMaker Hiring Credit | 1 February–30 April 2021

    Eligible businesses can claim payments through JobMaker Hiring Credit  for new positions they create until 6 October 2021. The first claim period opened on 1 February 2021 and closes on 30 April.
    To claim JobMaker Hiring Credit payments during this period, you need to register and meet the eligibility requirements before it ends.

    To submit your claim:
    • register - via ATO online services or the Business portal, or through your registered tax or BAS agent
    • nominate your eligible additional employees by running payroll events through your Single Touch Payroll (STP) enabled software
    • claim payments - you'll need to enter your headcount and payroll for the JobMaker period, and we'll calculate your claim amount based on the information you provide.
    ATO has resources available to help you with the JobMaker Hiring Credit, including a guide and tool for estimating payments.

    You can register at any time until the scheme ends, but when you register will affect the periods you can claim for.

    Find out about:  

    3. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Local Anti-Racism Initiatives Grants Program | closing 16 Apr 2021

    What's changed: Brand new program opened
    This Program aims to support all Victorians in preventing and responding to racism and discrimination, promote positive intercultural understanding and strengthen the evidence of the challenges faced by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. The Program provides grant funding of between $50,000 and $500,000 per organisation for one year. The Local Anti-Racism Initiatives Grants Program 2021 is divided into two funding streams:
    • Social cohesion and community harmony grants Grants from $50,000 – $149,999 for one year for local initiatives that promote and foster social cohesion, community harmony and anti-racism, delivered by an individual organisation or through a partnership arrangement.
    • Anti-racism grants Grants from $150,000 – $500,000 for one year for local anti-racism initiatives delivered by an individual organisation or through a partnership arrangement.
    Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) (VIC)
    Find out more

    4. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Family Violence | closing 21 Apr 2021

    What's changed: Brand new program opened
    The program aims to strengthen the capacity of Victorian multicultural and faith communities to address family violence and all forms of violence against women through innovative, culturally appropriate, tailored primary prevention and early intervention projects The program is a three-year, merit-based grant program administered by the Office for Prevention of Family Violence and Coordination (OPFVC) in the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).

    There are two different program streams available to support organisations with different levels of experience with prevention and/or early intervention of family violence and/or all forms of violence against women.
    Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) (VIC)
    Find out more

    5. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Multicultural Festivals and Events Program - Small stream | closing 21 Apr 2021

    What's changed: New round opened
    The purpose of the 2020-21 Multicultural Festivals and Events (MFE) Program Round Two is to support multicultural organisations to plan and deliver festivals and events that showcase multiculturalism to the wider Victorian community. This program supports activities that will take place between 1 March and 30 June 2021. In this round, a further $50,000 is available to support organisations to celebrate Hinduism through celebrations, festivals and events across the state. This will be the second allocation of funding from the Victorian Government’s investment of $200,000 to support Victoria’s Hindu community over a four-year period. In addition to this, $200,000 will be available to support Victoria’s Greek communities to connect, celebrate and mark the bicentenary of Greece's independence in 2021. Local community organisations, as well as peak organisations, from the Greek community will be supported in celebrating this momentous occasion in meaningful ways.
    Department of Premier and Cabinet (VIC)
    Find out more

    6. VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Priority response to multicultural communities during coronavirus (COVID-19) | closing 28 May 2021

    What's changed: Brand new program opened
    Applications for funding through the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 2 initiative are now open. Applications funded through Phase 1 of the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grants program are eligible to apply for Phase 2 funding. The program will ensure organisations can respond to the current health crisis and its impacts for multicultural and faith communities, with a focus on providing support to those communities and areas most in need, and in particular to respond to the distinct and disproportionate challenges experienced by CALD women and young people and new and emerging communities. It will also promote capacity building of local community network and organisations.
    CALD Communities Taskforce
    Find out more

    7. VIC | GOV | SHARING | TREATY | Deadly & Proud Stories Online

    Many Aboriginal people use the word “deadly” to mean awesome, strong, brilliant. Hearing each other is one of the many steps along the Path to Treaty.
    Victoria is proud to be on the path to negotiating the nation’s first treaty with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians. This is a significant moment in time and a chance to build new relationships and forge a new, shared future for Victoria.

    Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians have long called for treaty and have made it clear there can be no self-determination without treaty.

    Treaty will formally recognise and celebrate Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians' unique status, rights and cultures.

    Treaty will benefit all Victorians by fostering shared pride in Aboriginal cultures and helping to heal the wounds of the past.

    And the many deadly stories of Aboriginal history and cultures are part of our collective identity as Victorians. 

    8. VIC | GOV | REBATING | Money on solar with a new solar panel or battery installation

    Put the power of the sun in your hands. There’s never been a better time to go solar, with rebates for solar panels and solar batteries available as part of the Solar Homes Program.
    Solar panel (PV) rebates are available for owner-occupiers, as well as landlords. You can save up to $1,850 off the upfront cost of your  system. To further reduce costs, you can also apply for an  interest-free loan of up to $1,850. * 

    Solar battery rebates can save you up to $4,174 off the cost of your system,* helping you save hundreds of dollars every year on your electricity bills. For information about the Solar Homes Program in languages other than English, please visit Solar Homes information in community languages. For further assistance, please call the National Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

    *Eligibility criteria apply.

    9. COPP | GOV | GRANTING | Cultural Development Fund Recovery | Applications opened Monday 25 January

    The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) is supporting a new round of arts project grants that will support local artists, groups or arts and related organisations to develop creative projects that engage our community during COVID-19 recovery.

    For more information, contact Cultural Development Fund's Sharyn Dawson, on email: or Tel: 03 9209 6165

    10. VIC | AVS | RECRUITING | Agriculture Victoria Services Board Member

    AVS helps to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Victorian agriculture where a private sector route to market for research outputs is needed. 

    The AVS Board is currently recruiting for three board positions in the areas of agricultural science, research &/or industry development; intellectual property strategy and management; technology commercialisation, entrepreneurship &/or investment; and government stakeholder relations.

    AVS encourages applications from people of all ages, Aboriginal people, people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and from lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex people. We will provide adjustments to the recruitment process upon request.
    More Information and Apply

    11. VIC | GOV | RECRUITING | Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria

    The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is pleased to invite applications from legal practitioners to be approved as persons who may be called on to participate in informal and formal hearings held by the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (the Board).

    Two legal practitioners are sought to participate in hearings investigating complaints made against veterinary practitioners. 

    These positions provide exciting opportunities for suitably qualified and experienced persons to contribute to the important work of the Board. The term of office will be until 30 June 2022. 
    More Information and Apply

    12. VIC | EQPR | GATHERING | LGBTIQA+ health and wellbeing Day | Saturday 8 May 2021 | 9.30am-4.45pm

    Join in a day of connection, nourishment, learning and practice for LGBTIQA+ communities in Melbourne's west.
    Experience and explore ways to enhance your health and wellbeing by participating in workshops, panel discussions and mindful practices with health service providers that include Switchboard, Thorne Harbour, Relationship Matters, Beyond Blue, Williamstown Psychology and other local health and wellbeing practitioners.

    Where: Williamstown Town Hall, Williamstown VIC
    Cost: Full A$50.63; Concession A$30.19; Hobsons Bay resident A$30.19 or Scholarship
    Bookings: online through The Equality Project

    If funds are tight, organisers can help you with your ticket.
    Apply Now

    WIN A $150 VOUCHER!
    Red Balloon Giveaway

    The first 50 tickets will go in the draw to win a $150 voucher to Red Balloon. You can use this amount towards over 3500 curated experiences or products on their site. From relaxing spa treatments, to weekend getaways, fine dining and more!

    Supernova Movie Giveaway

    The next 50 tickets will go in the draw to win 3 double passes to see the new film Supernova in cinemas April 15.

    Better Together LGBTIQA+ Health and Wellbeing Day 
    The Equality Project Ltd

    13. AUST | UTAS | SURVEYING | Religious Freedom and LGBT+ Discrimination

    This research is aiming to identify strategies to manage religious freedom and LGBT+ rights in the workplace. It focusses on government funded religiously affiliated workplaces.
    The project combines empirical social research about workplace experiences and managerial practices with legal and philosophical analysis.  The empirical research consists of two major national surveys, combined with long interviews with volunteer participants.

    It will produce findings that organisations and policy makers can immediately use to guide their responses to religious freedom and LGBT+ rights. The research is the first major study of this kind in Australia.

    LGBTIQ+ employees in religiously affiliated workplaces
    This survey is for LGBTQ+ people whose workplace has a religious affiliation.  For example: Christian, Hindu or Islamic schools, private hospitals such as Catholic affiliated hospitals, social welfare agencies such as Anglicare, and aged care facilities such as Jewish or Salvation Army aged care.

    We want to hear from LGBTQ+ workers such as nurses, doctors, teachers, teacher’s aides, health care workers, social workers, administrators, managers, counsellors, cleaners, support staff, and all other people who work in religiously affiliated organisations, or have done so in the last 5 years.

    This study is designed to inform the development of LGBTQ+ inclusive practices and resources for workplaces with religious affiliations.

    The survey takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
    Click here

    This survey is for people who consider themselves religious, are over 18 years old, and live in Australia. 
    The survey aims to inform government policies and laws so that religious freedom and other rights are best protected. The survey asks about religious people’s experience of religious freedom and discrimination, and of  their attitudes towards lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and other genders and sexualities such as queer (LGBT+).  

    The survey takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
    Click here

    University of Tasmania, School of Social Sciences

    The research is an Australian Research Council funded project being run by researchers at the University of Tasmania in conjunction with the University of Sydney and University of Ottawa, Canada.

    14. VIC | VMC | SURVEYING | Social Media Users

    This Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) has designed a quick anonymous survey to gain a greater understanding of what you'd like to see from us on social media. The questions are about how you use social media, what platforms you use and what content you like.
    Fill in the survey

    15. AUST | GOV | HEARING | from people with disability following the release of its issues paper on ‘Promoting Inclusion’ | submissions close 2 April 2021

    The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is seeking to hear directly experienced issues around Promoting Inclusion.
    The issues paper is asking to hear from the public:
    • individual and organisational views about what an inclusive society looks like, the barriers to inclusion, how we can become a more inclusive society, and how inclusion might prevent violence. 
    • The issues paper asks 9 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses. 
    • The paper is available in Easy Read and  PDF 
    • Responses need to be submitted by 2 April 2021.
    Find out more here

    Australian Government
    Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
    Address: GPO Box 1422, Brisbane Qld 4001
    Tel: 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900

    16. VIC | HV | CONSULTING | Social Housing​ Consultations | open now until 9 April 2021 

    Homes Victoria (HV) is inviting community members to have their say on social and affordable housing as part of a 10-year strategy that will ensure more Victorians have access to safe and suitable accommodation for years to come. 

    This strategy will provide the roadmap and reforms required to ensure all Victorians who need housing support have a safety net as well as access to secure and affordable housing so they can get ahead and thrive.

    Help shape Victoria’s social housing system and transform the future of affordable housing by:
    • responding to the online survey, or
    • making a written submission in your preferred language
    Fill in the survey by 9 April 2021

    17. AUST | NA21 | RECOGNISING | Narragunnawali - Reconciliation in Education | nominations open until 30 April 2021

    Held biennially since 2017, the Narragunnawali Awards are the first national awards program that recognises and celebrates Australian schools and early learning services that are implementing outstanding reconciliation initiatives. 
    Finalists are acknowledged for strengthening relationships, building respect, and providing meaningful opportunities in the classroom, around the school or service, and with the community. 

    There are two Narragunnawali Awards categories:
    • Schools: this category incorporates primary, secondary, senior secondary and combined schools within the Government, Independent or Catholic sectors.
    • Early Learning: this category incorporates early childhood education and care, preschool, family day care and out of school hours care services.
    Nominate a school or early learning service for a Narragunnawali Award 2021!
    Nominating a school or service is an opportunity to share your positive feedback and encourage the school or service to formally apply for an Award.

    Please note that the information that is entered into the nomination form below will be shared with the school or early learning service’s Principal/Director, and with Reconciliation Australia, upon submission. Where a nominated school or early learning service has a Narragunnawali RAP, the RAP Working Group will also be notified of the nomination details. 

    If you have any questions about the nomination process prior, download the Narragunnawali Awards 2021 Info Kit or contact on details below.

    Narragunnawali Awards 2021

    18. AUST | Coronavirus hotline

    • Coronavirus hotline: If you are concerned, call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 (24 Hours).
    • Coronavirus in-language information
    • If you are an NDIS participant you can also call the national hotline on 1800 020 080.
    • Information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters about Coronavirus: Contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 634 787. 
    • If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.
    • Interpreting service: If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.
    • Testing locations: Find a testing location near you.
    • Call-to-Test-at-Home service, providing in-home coronavirus testing to Victorians who would otherwise be unable to get tested, call the DHHS Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
    • Triple Zero: Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

    19. AUST | Helpers and Reliable Sources Along the Way


      20. Acknowledgment to Sources

      This is a consolidated account of information current at time of issuance, sourced, collated and provided by Victorian Multicultural Commission, Victorian Jewish Community COVID-19 Taskforce, Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria, various Government Authorities, community organisations and public domain, received with gratitude.

      21. Bye bye to Essentialists

      Us non-essentialists will endeavour to manage our expection of miracles and do our best to follow rules while staying out of the way. 

      Contact your closest friendly non-essentialist if you need anything that can be done remotely. Bye bye to Essentialists for now, please leave to attend to the essential work. That is all from GEIFN Caretaker at this time.

      22. Self-Isolators, Non-Essentials And The Homebound

      Meanwhile, if with a surplus of time, this and the following is offered. Discuss with sincerity. Deny untruth. Dismiss unuseful. Accept useful. Adapt to change. Adopt least effort most benefit. Adept with sharing. Enjoy throughout. As each case may be. Round about. And again. Or not.