VMC | UPDATING | Multicultural Gala Dinner highlight reel, get involved in Victoria's mental health and wellbeing reforms and more | Tuesday 31 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Message from the Chairperson

As May comes to an end, I hope you've had time to reflect on this month, which included several important political events - our state budget and our federal election. It was great to see that 100 of the candidates running for the House of Representatives were from multicultural backgrounds, and we hope to see this number greatly improve in future elections.

We know from our consultation with leaders in the community that representation is so important for our democracy and for inclusion. I was excited to see this representation in action over the last week, as I attended several of our Regional Advisory Council meetings.

In one of these meetings, we heard from Professor Yin Paradies on the racism experienced by First Nations people. He educated us on the 60,000-year history of this country we proudly call home, and advocated for the implementation of recommendations in The Uluru Statement. I encourage you to read about this statement when you have the chance.

We also heard from Interim Chair Jim Williamson on the implementation of the Mental Health Royal Commission Report. There are some promising initiatives that will arise from this very important reform, summarised in these factsheets.

At a very different community event this week, I am excited to be attending the Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Awards on Friday. These awards recognise and showcase initiatives that promote excellence in the provision of culturally inclusive aged care services across Australia. I look forward to honouring the award winners who are leaders in their industry.

I look forward to seeing you at a community event or celebration soon. 

Until then take care, and keep up the COVIDsafe measures.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

Victorian Multicultural Gala Dinner - Highlight Reel

On Saturday 19 March 2022, the VMC hosted an unforgettable night, bringing together Victoria's vibrant multicultural community at the annual Victorian Multicultural Gala Dinner.

This greatly anticipated event celebrated Victoria’s cultural diversity with an evening of fine dining, cultural entertainment and networking.

You can now relive (or experience!) this exciting night through the highlight reel, now available on our website and YouTube channel.

To those who were there, thank you for joining us for a night full of life, magic and joy where we proudly joined as Victorians and helped to build an even better Victoria.

To those who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you next year!

ICV | WORKSHOP | Supporting Muslim clients impacted by Racism and Islamophobia | 2 June 2022 | 10am-1.30pm AEST

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) is hosting a highly interactive and thought-provoking workshop to discuss strategies to better understand Muslim clients who experience racism and Islamophobia.

This workshop has been designed for community service providers. This may include professionals working in community health, case management, community engagement, settlement services, neighbourhood and housing services, and community centres.
  • Where: Islamic Council of Victoria, Level 2, 66-68 Jeffcott Street, West Melbourne, VIC 3003
  • Cost: free. 
  • Bookings: online via Eventbrite

Free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for people with disability

As winter nears, it’s time to ensure everyone with disability has access to enough rapid antigen tests. Early detection of COVID-19 helps protect our community from outbreaks of serious illness by ensuring earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Until 30 June 2022, Victorian NDIS participants, disability support pensioners or people with disability who receive a TAC benefit can access up to 20 free rapid antigen tests by visiting their local state-run testing site. Carers can also pick up tests on behalf of someone with disability.

Only state-run testing sites are providing free rapid antigen tests to people with disability.

Get involved - Victoria's mental health and wellbeing system

We know that people across and beyond the mental health and wellbeing sector are eager to participate in the design and delivery of the reformed mental health and wellbeing system in Victoria.

In response to community feedback, the Department of Health has produced a calendar of upcoming engagement opportunities including workshops, expressions of interest, tender processes and other chances to contribute to statewide mental health and wellbeing system reforms.

The calendar is updated monthly, with events for June 2022 now available.

CALLING | Aspiring filmmakers with a multicultural background to enter Multicultural Film Festival 2022 | submissions closing 20 June 2022!

Do you produce short films that explore multiculturalism and promote social cohesion?

If any of the above applies to you, then consider entering your film for the 2022 Multicultural Film Festival, run by the VMC in partnership with Swinburne University.

Select films will be shown at the premier screening at ACMI Cinemas in Melbourne in August.

We'd like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors for this event, Commonwealth Bank, Segmento and Jobs Victoria.

Coronavirus hotline 


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

ECCV | ISSUING | eBulletin #24 | 26 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Congratulations to Anthony Albanese, who was sworn in this week as Australia's 31st Prime Minister. 

As the first leader with a non-Anglo-Celtic surname, this marks a significant moment in Australian history for the advancement of multicultural communities. 

A growing number of people from migrant and refugee backgrounds were voted into office this election. We welcome this increase in diversity, but recognise that there is still some way to go.

This election has also shown that multicultural communities cannot be taken for granted. Our voices matter, and our votes demonstrated that the two-party system has failed to capture the nuances and complexities of contemporary Australia.

We applaud Albanese's strong commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart as well as Labor's proposal to invest in the multicultural sector, and we look forward to seeing how the new government will deliver on its promises of a better future of all.

With this renewed optimism, next month's FECCA 2022 conference will be the perfect opportunity to discuss what these political changes will mean for multicultural Australia. The ECCV and FECCA teams have been hard at work preparing for the conference, and we cannot wait to engage in some thought-provoking conversations on 16-17 June.

Eddie Micallef, Chairperson

Inaugural Anti-Racism Symposium | 1 June 2022 | 9am-4pm

We are excited to be launching our Evidence Review on diversity and inclusion, conducted by Victoria University, as well as our Practice Guide at our Anti-Racism Symposium on 1 June. The Symposium, to be held at Queen Victoria Women's Centre, will be attended by our All One Together ambassadors and includes workshops as well as a keynote speech by Race Discrimination Commissioner, Chin Tan.

Disability forum on mental health a success

Thank you to everyone who attended our online forum this week to discuss the mental health and wellbeing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability from migrant and refugee backgrounds. About 70 people tuned in to hear presentations from disability advocates, mental health specialists as well as people with lived experience. 

FECCA 2022 program highlights

With FECCA 2022: Advancing Multicultural Australia only three weeks away, we would like to highlight some of the presentations about our work at the national conference. We are proud to have ECCV staff taking part in panels on multicultural mental health, elder abuse prevention and awareness, the ongoing campaign to end racism, and the future of youth-led advocacy

Migrant workers deserve the same protections

ECCV has signed an open letter alongside organisations from across Australia calling on governments to strengthen protections for migrant workers. Studies show that migrant workers face exploitation at higher rates than workers born in Australia. Too many have their wages stolen, their rights abused, and their visa status used as a threat against them speaking out and seeking justice. 

Empowering migrant and refugee older people

Our Carers Capacity Building project team has been busy delivering sessions to migrant and refugee seniors' groups across Melbourne. The May sessions for the Alevi group based in Dandenong were focused on dignity and respect for older people as well as on elder abuse awareness and prevention. The group's next session will cover the topics of seniors' rights, wills and powers of attorney.

Are you ready for FECCA 2022?

We have been busy putting together the final touches for the FECCA 2022 conference and we look forward to seeing delegates from around Australia in Melbourne next month. The conference program is packed with presentations and panels on all things multiculturalism and migration, and also features a special keynote session dedicated to the Uluru Statement of the Heart. 

Have you applied for the $250 Bonus?

Vulnerable households where at least one resident receives a Centrelink payment are still eligible to apply for the $250 Power Saving Bonus, which aims to assist with utility bill stress. ECCV is here to help anyone eligible to access the Bonus. You can find out more about how we can help here or email ECCV's Energy Advocacy Coordinator Surmeli Aydogan before the programs ends on 30 June.

Spread the word: help protect our communities

With winter around the corner, it's more important than ever that the most vulnerable in our communities are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. We encourage you to share the videos in our 'Protecting Our Communities' series which features inspiring stories of how community leaders overcame misinformation and hesitancy to support seniors during the pandemic. 


  • CALD NDIS Updates Bulletin
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  • Golden Years
    A quarterly eMagazine for seniors and the aged care sector focusing on ethnic and aged care issues. To submit a story idea or any editorial inquiries, read more


Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV)
Address: Suite 101, 398 Sydney Road, Coburg Vic 3058
Tel: (03) 9354 9555

VMC | UPDATING | Youth Justice Expert Working Group, Metro Tunnel drivers hiring opportunity, and EOIs for volunteering grants up to $80k and more | Wednesday 25 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Message from the Chairperson

I trust you all took part in Australia’s federal election over the weekend and had the chance to enjoy a freedom sausage or two, for those who could.

This week there are a few items I bring to your attention. 

We are at the tail end of the VMC Community Leadership in Action program and I am pleased to see great participation from all. To the participants; I hope you’ll make the most of it as we do need community leadership and community leadership in action. That was a critical trait that kept us safe over the past two years, and always has. 

South Sudanese Australian young people are over-represented in the Victorian youth justice system. In 2022, an Expert Working Group is being established to address this. It will work to provide young people with pathways to living better lives as part of the Victorian community. Please find out more about the the Department of Justice and Community Safety’s Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2020-30 and the roadmap to achieve its vision here: South Sudanese Australian Youth Justice Expert Working Group | Department of Justice and Community Safety Victoria

Until our next meeting, take care, and keep up the COVIDsafe measures.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

South Sudanese Australian Youth Justice Expert Working Group to be established

Creating an Expert Working Group is part of the Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2020-30, and will work in close partnership with the South Sudanese Australian community to find ways to:
  • prevent young people from entering the youth justice system
  • divert young people from progressing further into the youth justice system
  • address underlying causes for offending among young people. 
The Expert Working Group will start in 2022 and will operate until 30 June 2025. Community engagement activities will start later this year. 

If you would like to be involved, please send your details in an email to

Updated COVID-19 communication resources for community stakeholders

The Victorian Government has developed resources in multiple languages with information about how you can stay COVIDSafe and get support if you need it.

This includes stakeholder packs with in-language, up to date material on:
  • Rapid Antigen Tests
  • What to do if you test positive
  • What to do if you are a household contact
Find more translated resources at the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing website.

Thought of running for local council? Women Leading Locally | applications close on 28 June 2022

Women aspiring to run for local council are encouraged to step forward and apply for a new program that will provide the skills, tools and connections to campaign in the 2024 council elections. Women Leading Locally targets applicants from the 30 council areas where women were most under-represented at the 2020 elections.

Women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, young women, women who live with disability, LGBTQI+ women and First Nations women are all especially encouraged to apply. The key requirement is a passion for your local community.

Metro Tunnel is hiring - recruiting for drivers

More than 100 new drivers are now being recruited to operate additional train services when the new Metro Tunnel opens a year ahead of schedule in 2025.

Up to 120 new drivers will undergo an intensive 44-week training program to ensure they’re ready to operate the 65 new and bigger trains that will run through the Metro Tunnel.  

Training includes a mix of classroom, practical and on-the-job training, where the trainee drivers are accompanied by a trainer while operating passenger services.

Grants of up to $80,000 opening in June with launch of new Victorian Volunteer Strategy

The newly launched Victorian Volunteer Strategy includes an action plan to promote, build, support and celebrate all forms of volunteering. It outlines how the State Government will support the volunteering sector to be more accessible, flexible, safe, effective and enjoyable, so more Victorians can get involved. 

To further support the volunteer community, the State Government is investing $1.3 million to re-engage volunteers and attract new people to volunteering.  

Applications for grants of up to $80,000 will open in June to support local partnerships and innovation projects to re-engage volunteers, broaden the volunteer base, and strengthen volunteering in local communities.

Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program - update

Since commencing in February this year, the VMC's Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program has delivered 26 training sessions for over 300 people from various multicultural and multifaith backgrounds.

The participants work closely with facilitators to build their skills to effectively mobilise their communities and engage with all levels of government. The future is looking bright with so many inspired and promising multicultural leaders taking part.
We have received great feedback on the sessions. Participants have praised the content, collaborated with one another, and benefitted from the expertise of the facilitators. Some of their reflections are below: 
  •  ‘It’s amazing to hear the different project and programs going on at the moment, all thinking about empowering women from diverse backgrounds, but also looking into ways of collaborating together with different cultures.’
  •  ‘Opportunities like this open up a dialogue between women who are working with, by and for communities. There is so much to learn from and share with each other.'
  •  ‘Together through shared dialogue we not only have enlightening insights but can develop better solutions for our respective communities and for the nation as a whole.'
The Program will run till 30 June 2022. To celebrate participants completing their training, a closing ceremony event will be held at the end the program. We encourage all program participants to attend to celebrate their newfound confidence and skills. 

Stay tuned: more details on the closing ceremony will be advised shortly. 

Multicultural Film Festival 2022 | submissions close 20 June 2022

Are you an aspiring filmmaker with a multicultural background? Do you produce short films that explore multiculturalism and promote social cohesion?

If any of the above applies to you, then consider entering your film for the 2022 Multicultural Film Festival, run by the VMC in partnership with Swinburne University.

Select films will be shown at the premier screening at ACMI Cinemas in Melbourne in August. 

We'd like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors for this event, Commonwealth Bank, Segmento and Jobs Victoria.

Coronavirus hotline 


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

ARDI | EXHIBITING | Lovers and Fighters | Tuesday 17 May – Friday 17 June 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

The theme ‘Lovers & Fighters’ acknowledges the different motivations that have inspired the artists involved in their work. 

The ‘Lovers’ that encourage connection and caring for our fragile environment and the ‘Fighters’ that ignite the desire to act to protect it. A group of alumni from the City of Port Phillip Environmental Leaders Course has come together to curate a diverse mix of environmental themed art.

The exhibition's organisers are working with other environmental leaders and community organisations to host sustainable living workshops and mini-markets. For most of the team, this is their first experience curating an exhibition.

Matt Bray, team leader and Creative Director of Art Disrupt said: “Our goal is to have fun and experiment with engaging ways to present the inspirational collection of work to encourage conversation and connection to the vibrant Port Phillip sustainable living and climate action community.”

Profits from the exhibition will support Eco Connect, a hyperlocal online directory for members of the City of Port Phillip sustainable living and climate action community.

Where: Artful Yoga Gallery, 1 Vale Street, St Kilda
Launch Video: Facebook


Art Disrupt (ARDI)

CoPP | SKFF | LIGHTING | Up the big screen | Friday 27 May – Sunday 5 June 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

The 2022 St Kilda Film Festival (SKFF) will return to the big screen across to celebrate some of Australia’s best local short filmmakers and screen artists.

Now in its 39th year, SKFF is Australia’s longest-running short film festival, recognising the genre of short film, including music videos, gaming and immersive forms.

The Festival is proudly presented by City of Port Phillip (CoPP) and will feature an extensive short film program with 13 screening sessions and programming at Port Phillip venues including The Astor Theatre in St Kilda, which will also play host to the Festival’s much-anticipated opening night event on Friday 27 May.

Drawn from a call for entries from hundreds of new short films from around the country, this year's red-carpet opening night event features a diverse selection including a dynamic drama, a dash of horror, a sprinkle of comedy and beautiful animation and poetic documentary.


St Kilda Film Festival (SKFF)

ECCV | WEBINAR | Multicultural Disability Forum Living with COVID-19 | Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 10.30am-12.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

How has the pandemic impacted the mental health of people with disability?

A special online forum to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of people with disability from migrant and refugee communities. 

Organised by ECCV's Statewide Disability Network, the forum will bring together disability advocates, mental health specialists, as well as people with lived experience.

The discussion will be moderated by Margherita Coppolino, Chair of the Statewide Disability Network and President of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance. 

Guest speakers include:
  • Pinar Tankir and Betsy Rajan, CALD Engagement Workers in the Partners in Wellbeing program with NEAMI National
  • Christian Astourian, Program Manager of the Diversity & Disability program at the Migrant Resource Centre North West
  • Josef Szwarc, Senior Advisor Policy and Advocacy at the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House)
  • Nyrob Majak, member of the Diversity & Disability program, and Peer Facilitator for ECCV's Raise Our Voices project
  • Uli Kaplan, disability advocate and CEO of Life is a Battlefield
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Where: Online via Zoom
Bookings: Registration is essential. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with the Zoom meeting details.


Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV)
Address: Suite 101, 398 Sydney Road, Coburg Vic 3058
Tel: (03) 9354 9555

PWR | UPDATING | It's Time to Talk, #forSafeWorship, Pre-Parliament Event Opportunities & more | Friday 20 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Save the Date: It's Time to Talk

On Tuesday 24 May 2022 join the Parliament's Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue on Climate Change for the launch of It’s Time to Talk, an initiative of the that calls leaders and practitioners of the two traditions to answer the urgent need to respond to the climate crisis through reflection, dialogue, and action. 

The Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue on Climate Change is an initiative of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and its Climate Action Task Force

Save the Date: May Member Meditation 

The Monthly Member Meditation and Meet-Up event series brings a moment of introspection and global connection to Parliament members each month.

May's mediation is facilitated by Ven. Dhammadipa Sak, Abbott of the US Zen Institute. Ven. Dhammadipa conducts meditation retreats and workshops, mostly on Four Immeasurable Minds (Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy, and Equanimity) and partly on Mindfulness of Breathing and Insight Meditation (Vipassana).

Parliament Chair Joins Celebration of Mahavir Jayanti

On 23 April 2022, Mr. Nitin Ajmera the Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Parliament of the World's Religions joined a special celebration of Mahavir Jayanti hosted by the Gathering of Light Interspiritual Fellowship. Mahavir is one of the most important religious festivals in Jainism which marks the observance of the birth of Lord Mahavira.

A Service of Worship & Celebration of Respect for all Our Ideals – Mahaveer Jayanti is available for rewatch on Facebook.


Join UNAOC in Standing Up #forSafeWorship

The United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) has released the first edition of a #forSafeWorship Update, which has been collecting inspiring stories about places of worship around the world as shared symbols of our history, traditions, and humanity.

The Parliament of the World's Religions is an NGO associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, a steadfast supporter of safe worship, and the safety of sacred spaces. Want to get involved in the #forSafeWorship campaign? Join the Global Call to Action #forSafeWorship to celebrate the universality of religious sites as symbols of our shared humanity, history, and traditions.

2023 Parliament Convening Welcomes Pre-Parliament Event Hosts 

Each Parliament Convening is uniquely shaped by the contributions of individuals and communities around the world. From now until August 2023, organizers and communities can support the Parliament by hosting a local pre-parliament event to offer "a taste" of the Parliament experience.

Answer the call to conscience for the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, explore resources for hosts and become an event host!


The work of the Parliament is only possible with the on-going support from generous individuals like you.


Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Ste 230 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: (312) 629-2990

VMC | UPDATING | Let's go back to Public Transport, staying COVID safe and more | Wednesday 18 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Yesterday was International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). 

Message from the Chairperson

In recognition of this important day, our Conversations with Commissioners podcast features a conversation between VMC Commissioner Dr Judy Tang and Victorian LGBTIQ+ Commissioner Todd Fernando. We encourage you to listen to the podcast on our YouTube channel!

I'd also like to direct you to the Victorian government's statement today announcing the Rainbow Ready Roadmap. The roadmap supports regional and rural communities across Victoria to ensure all LGBTIQ+ members of their community are included in sporting clubs, health services, businesses, schools, and more.

I am also pleased to share that there has been an important development in the last week towards a more inclusive Victoria -  namely, the Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2022 which has been introduced into Parliament. 

The Bill recognises the continued significance of the swastika as a symbol of peace and good fortune for the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and other faith communities. It recognises that the Hakenkreuz is a distorted version of this symbol.  

The VMC is proud to continue to work with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Ro Allen and the Department of Justice and Community Safety to support the inclusion of Victoria’s multi-faith community.

If I can end on a note regarding community support and safety, I'd like to remind all of you that the flu vaccine for this winter is now available and is free to select groups of Victorians. I hope you are considering the flu vaccine, to protect yourself and those around us. You can find more information on the Department of Health website.

Until our next meeting, take care, and keep up the COVIDsafe measures. 
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

WEBINAR | Free small business wellbeing forum | Monday 23 May 2022 | 9.55am for 10am-11am 

Business Victoria, in partnership with Mindarma, is hosting a special webinar for small business owners and their employees with a focus on culturally and linguistically diverse perspectives.

An expert panel will share their unique experiences of wellbeing and discuss the available support for both business owners and employees.

This free event is part of Business Victoria’s Headway initiative. Headway brings together key support programs that are free for small business owners, their employees, and trusted advisers, including business advice, financial counselling, and mental health support.

CALLING | Nominations for Victorian Public Healthcare Awards 2022 | nominations close on 27 May 2022

The Victorian Public Healthcare Awards present an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our healthcare workers and public health services.

There are 20 award categories, including the Premier's Health Service of the Year Award and others to recognise volunteers. 

All organisations and individuals delivering public health services and programs are encouraged to share their stories of innovation, excellence and achievement. 

GRANTING | Victorian Rural Women's Leadership Program | applications close 29 May 2022

Women founders, entrepreneurs and business owners from rural areas face a range of societal, geographical and cultural barriers to accessing capital, networks and resources to support their business.

The Victorian Rural Women’s Business Leadership Program responds to these challenges, with a $50,000 investment to support 16 rural women of all backgrounds and identities to gain access to support, networks and training to start or grow their own business or entrepreneurial activity.

Applications from culturally diverse women, Aboriginal women, and women with a disability across rural and regional Victoria are strongly encouraged, recognising the additional challenges diverse women may experience in building a business.

Recipients will also access the Victorian Government’s ‘Business Victoria’ initiative, which offers free online business advice sessions to help Victorians to start or grow small business.

CALLING | Aspiring filmmakers with a multicultural background to enter Multicultural Film Festival 2022 | submissions close 20 June 2022.

Are you an aspiring filmmaker with a multicultural background? Do you produce short films that explore multiculturalism and promote social cohesion?

If any of the above applies to you, then consider entering your film for the 2022 Multicultural Film Festival, run by the VMC in partnership with Swinburne University.

Select films will be shown at the premier screening at ACMI Cinemas in Melbourne in August. 

We'd like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors for this event: Commonwealth Bank, Segemento and Jobs Victoria.

Translated guides helping us go back to public transport

It's great to be back and doing the things we love.

No matter where you need to go across Melbourne or Victoria - the train, tram or bus can get you there.

Visit family and friends, return to work, and be part of our community. 

The Public Transport Victoria website can help you plan your journey, with written guides and videos to help set up your myki card. The guides are available in 15 languages.

Wear a face mask for you and them

All Victorians must wear a fitted face mask when using public transport. This is for the safety of you, your loved ones and your community.

By wearing a fitted face mask you can help lower the spread of COVID-19.

You can find out more information and access translated resources on the Public Transport Victoria website.

Coronavirus hotline 


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

SCOPE | CALLING | Expressions of Interest from Community Organisations to have a resource translated into Easy English for FREE | EOIs now open, closing of business Tuesday 17 May

[Edited extract from public address]

COVID Help project enables community organisations to produce and distribute important Easy English communications for their clients.

Scope are passionate about supporting collaborative efforts that bring organisations together to shape systems and processes that make it easier for people experiencing vulnerability to access the support they need to thrive.

About the Partners:
  • Scope Australia produces best-practice Easy English communications to help 44% of Australians with low English literacy understand everyday information. 
  • Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP) is a not-for-profit organisation that brings business and people with lived experience together to ensure everyone has fair access to essential services in Australia. 
  • Transurban operates the Linkt tollways in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and has a strong commitment to strengthening communities through transport.
Your involvement:
Community partners are invited to express their interest to be part of this project and have the chance to have one of five existing resources translated into Easy English free of charge.

Examples of possible projects your organisation might want to simplify information about include:
  • COVID vaccinations and booster programs
  • mental health supports
  • financial assistance
  • concessions
  • support services
Upon completion the Easy English resources will be promoted far and wide by the participating organisations. They will also be added to the TCP Online Knowledge Centre for easy access.

Lodge Expressions of Interest:
All you need to do is tell us about your project via this this 5-minute survey by close of business Tuesday 17 May to be considered. Expressions of interest will be reviewed based on the opportunity for impact. All organisations will be advised of the outcome by Friday 27 May.


Scope Australia (Scope)
Address: Level 2,  302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Tel: 1300 4 72673

VMC | UPDATING | COVID-19 briefing and more | Tuesday 10 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Message from the Chairperson

I hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable start to their month. There are a couple of items in this week's update that I'd like to bring to your attention.

Firstly, I'd like to highlight Victoria Police's Diversity Recruitment Program which you can read about below. Similarly, last week I had the pleasure of attending a graduation ceremony led by AfriCause, for the pilot African Diversity Recruitment Program. It was a wonderful ceremony to be part of, and I was pleased to learn that it will continue beyond it's pilot stage, funded under the Victorian government’s budget. 

In addition to the recent budget announcement,  Victoria has made some changes to COVID-19 advice. We will be debriefing the latest developments tonight from 7pm-8pm in partnership with the Department of Health. You can register for the online briefing below.

As Victorians adjust to a COVID normal environment, you may also like to have these resources at your fingertips:
Until our next meeting, take care, and keep up the COVIDsafe measures. 
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

VIC | VMC | WEBINAR | COVID-19 briefing | Tuesday 10 May 2022 | 7-8pm

The Victorian Multicultural Commission's next COVID-19 briefing will be held tonight. 
Join us to discuss the latest changes within the Department of Health, COVID-19 updates in school settings and other developments. 

This session will be held in partnership with Victoria's Department of Health and the Department of Education and Training. 

Once you have registered to attend, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for how to join the meeting on Zoom. 

VIC | GENV | MEETING | The people behind GenV Panel Talk | Thursday 12 May 2022

GenV is a research project supported by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, the Victorian Government and the Royal Children's Hospital

The project aims to advance health and wellbeing for all babies born in Victoria and their parents. The research has been designed to answer multiple questions about preterm birth, mental health and illness, obesity, learning, allergies and more.

This year, for Melbourne Knowledge WeekGenV is hosting a panel discussion Meet The People Behind GenV to meet the team and have questions answered about the project. 

Registration for this event is free. 

AUST | GOV | TRANSLATING | How to vote in Australian federal election to be held on Saturday 21 May 2022

The Australian Electoral Commission has translated their How to Vote guides into 36 languages. All translations are available on their website, including a plain English voting guide and translated video guides. 

Along with these resources, you can also call through to the Electoral Commission and speak to an interpreter.

VIC | BRLA | ENGAGING | AusLanka Yarning Circle | Sunday 22 May 2022

Bridging Lanka (BRLA) is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to bridge ethnic, religious and geographic divides with the goal of fostering peace in Sri Lanka. Their advocacy include initiatives that connect Sri Lankan people living in Victoria.

On 22 May 2022, Bridging Lanka in partnership with the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing are hosting their inaugural AusLanka Yarning Circle with a panel of writers and artists of Sri Lankan heritage. 

The panel will narrate stories that reflect on the theme of a united Sri Lanka. 

VIC | CtCV | EXHIBITING | 30 years Anniversary anti-bullying, racism and prejudice education program | Tuesday 24 May 2022

Courage to Care Victoria (CtCV) is celebrating 30 years of providing its anti-bullying, racism and prejudice education program, Upstander, to more than 150,000 students across Victoria.

To mark the milestone, Courage to Care is holding a special two-week event beginning on 24 May 2022 at the Ark Centre in Hawthorn East, which includes a number of community programs and interactive tours.

The event seeks to look towards the future, and how we can create communities free from racism, discrimination and prejudice. 

VIC | GOV | HIRING | Sheriffs – officer jobs available | online information sessions held 19 and 24 May 2022

Step into a new career as a sheriff's officer!

The Department of Justice and Community Safety is now recruiting sheriff's officers to work in dedicated local areas across metropolitan Melbourne.

A sheriff's officer is responsible for enforcing warrants and orders issued by the courts, making members of the public accountable for unpaid fines and contributing to a safer Victoria. 

To gain a better understanding of the role, you can register for an online information sessions. 

VIC | GOV | Creative Neighbourhood Infrastructure Support Grants | applications close Thursday 2 June 2022

The Creative Neighbourhood Infrastructure Support Program provides grants for infrastructure upgrades that enable creatives to develop and present their work in improved and accessible workplaces.

The program seeks to increase the availability of these workplaces, through supporting the refurbishment and renovation of existing spaces, as well as the creation of new fit-for-purpose creative spaces.

Grants from $5,000 - $150,000 are available. 

VIC | VMC | SEEKING | Creative, original, non-formulaic short films to enter the Multicultural Film Festival | only six weeks left!

Entries are open for the 2022 Multicultural Film Festival, run by the VMC in partnership with Swinburne University.

We are seeking creative, original, non-formulaic short films about cultural diversity created by Australians with a multicultural background or filmmakers of any background who produce films that explore multiculturalism and promote social cohesion.

Select films will be shown at the premier screening at ACMI Cinemas in Melbourne in August. 
Submissions are only open for another six weeks, and will close 20 June 2022.

AUST | GOV | GRANTING | Fostering Integration Grants 2022 | applications close 14 June 2022

The latest round of the Fostering Integration Grants program is now open, facilitating the participation, integration and social cohesion of both recently arrived migrants and multicultural communities in Australia.

Grants of between $15,000 and $100,000 are available for projects that include community events or festivals.

Grants of between $20,000 and $100,00 will be available for projects that enhance existing community spaces and amenities through fit out, upgrades or extensions.  

VIC | GOV | HIRING | Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program

The Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program seeks to increase the representation of people from under-represented cultural communities in the police force.

This includes First Nations Peoples of Australia applicants, Maori or Pasifika applicants and applicants who are of Middle Eastern, East Asian, South Asian, South American and African heritage.

To apply for the Program, you will first need to meet the selection criteria. Applicants will later be assessed on criteria relating to the role applied for. 

Coronavirus hotline 


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

PHAAA | SHARING | Poetry Reading Afternoon Tea: War and Peace | Sunday 15 May 2022 | 3-5pm

[Edited extract from public address]

All are welcome, either to read out an original poem or the poem of another relating to the particular theme of War and Peace for this session or just attend as a listener. 

Afternoon tea and a microphone will be provided. 

Where: Mary Kehoe Community Centre, 224 Danks St Albert Park 3206 
Cost: free 

Bookings: Registrations essential as places are limited, via Eventbrite
For more information


Planetary Healing Artists Association of Australia (PHAAA)
Address: 224 Danks Street, Albert Park VIC 3206

THCO | RAISING | Funds, Factual Awareness and Engaging Independence in Journalism | Monday 9 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Support The Conversation. Your donation will help us combat the spread of misinformation through our unique model of journalism powered by experts.

The Conversation is the world's leading publisher of research-based news and analysis. It is a unique collaboration between academics and journalists. Free to read. Free to republish.

Whether we are covering an election, the climate emergency or the Russian invasion of Ukraine, our editors produce trustworthy journalism that helps you stay informed. We can’t do this work without your support. 

If you value The Conversation as a free source of trusted news, please donate today.

In the past year we’ve published more than 4,000 experts whose voices have become an essential part of public discourse. We do this work because we believe quality information should not be limited to a small elite. Everyone should have access to reliable information that can help them make better-informed decisions, whether it be choosing a government, navigating a pandemic or addressing the climate crisis.

Australians increasingly get their information from social media and other platforms that lack rigorous editorial standards. We work hard to get engaging fact-based content to these audiences, whether it be an article, infographic or podcast.

Please support this vital work with a donation and join the thousands of civic-minded people who are already helping us produce better journalism and a better-informed democracy.


The Conversation (THCO)
Address: Tenancy B, Level 5, 700 Swanston Street, Carlton Vic 3053

PWR | UPDATING | The Call for Programs of the 2023 Parliament, National Day of Prayer, Indigenous Conversation & More | Friday 6 May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

The Call for Programs Opens for 2023 Parliament Convening

The Call for Programs for the 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions is now OPEN. Propose transformative opportunities for dialogue and inspiration from your unique faith perspective.

Do you have a bold idea for a program, performance, religious observance, art exhibit or film? Answer the call, submit a proposal today.

Save the Date: It's Time to Talk 

On Tuesday 24 May 2022 join the Parliament's Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue on Climate Change for the launch of It’s Time to Talk, an initiative of the that calls leaders and practitioners of the two traditions to answer the urgent need to respond to the climate crisis through reflection, dialogue, and action. 

The Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue on Climate Change is an initiative of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and its Climate Action Task Force

WATCH NOW: National Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace and Justice

On Thursday 5 May 2022 the Parliament of the World's Religions joined Religions for Peace USA, United Religions Initiative, the North American Interfaith Network, the Temple of Understanding, Faith in Public Life, and the International Academy for Multicultural Cooperation for the 3rd Annual National Day of Prayer.

The National Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace and Justice was hosted via Zoom and streamed LIVE on Facebook.

WATCH NOW: All Our Relatives Live As One

On Wednesday 4 May 2022 the Parliament of the World's Religions joined partners at the Church Center for the United Nations, Tillman Chapel for a special faith-based side event and worship service during the United Nations Permanent Forum.

All Our Relatives Live As One: Faith-Based Indigenous Conversation and Multi-Faith Worship Service was hosted on-site at the Chapel and streamed LIVE via Facebook.

Chicago Interfaith Trolley Tour Offers Unique Insight Into Chicago Faith Communities

On Sunday 24 April 2022 the Parliament of the World's Religions joined the Chicago Theological Seminary, A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at Lutheran School of Theology, American Islamic College and the Hyde Park Kenwood Interfaith Council in hosting and sponsoring a Chicago Interfaith Trolley Tour and Iftar, a tour of sacred spaces inspired by this month's convergence of Ramadan, Passover, Easter, Vaisakhi, Ridvan and Ram Navami.

Parliament Executive Director, Rev. Stephen Avino, joined faith representatives for this special tour of sacred spaces and offered a special primer of the upcoming 2023 Parliament Convening.


The work of the Parliament is only possible with the on-going support from generous individuals like you.


Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Ste 230 Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Tel: (312) 629-2990

COPP | THIS | The Port Phillip Volunteer Coordinator Network Resumes and more | May 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Connecting and strengthening communities through inclusion and partnerships.

The Port Phillip Volunteer Coordinator Network Resumes Quarterly Meetings | Thursday 26 May 2022 | from 1-2.15pm

The Port Phillip Volunteer Coordinator Network (PPVCN) meets quarterly to discuss all thing volunteering. It's an opportunity for Volunteer Coordinators to offer and receive peer support, share resources, learn from guest speakers and build capacity in the volunteering sector of Port Phillip.

This meeting will be in held person and the theme is Better Together. The agenda items will include a round table introduction by members and a guest speaker from Volunteer Victoria to talk about membership and training.

Where: St Kilda Town Hall Training Room, 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda (meet in the foyer)
Bookings: essential via Trybooking.

If you are interested in being a member of the network, please email Simone.

Ageism Awareness Session | Wednesday 15 June 2022 | 11am-12noon 

This session is part of the City of Port Phillip Community Training Calendar 2021-2022.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Prevention Day. Join members of The City of Port Phillip’s Older Persons Advisory Committee (OPAC) to learn about ageism, a key driver of elder abuse. Now in its 22nd year OPAC works with Council to advocate on all matters relating to the health and wellbeing of older residents.

In August 2021, The City of Port Phillip formally endorsed a Notice of Motion to support the EveryAGE Counts campaign a grassroots campaign of individuals and organisations dedicated to highlighting the social, economic and civic impacts of ageism, and building an Australia that no longer tolerates it. Delivering Ageism Awareness Sessions for our community is one-way Council demonstrates its ongoing commitment to ending ageism. The session has been co-designed and by members of OPAC and is based on a session developed by Maroondah City Council.

Where: St Kilda Town Hall Training Room (meet in the foyer), Ground Floor, 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Bookings: essential via Trybooking
Upon booking you will be provided a pre-session workbook and question sheet that will need to be filled out prior and brought to the session.

Victorian Pride Centre and Star Health Tour and Information Session | Monday 20 June 2022 | 2-3.30pm 

This session is part of the City of Port Phillip Community Training Calendar 2021-2022.

Join a member of the Victorian Pride Centre (VPC) team as they take you on a tour of the Pride Centre, which incorporates spaces that are not normally open to the public. Learn about the building’s design, the resident organisations inside the Pride Centre, and bookable event and work spaces, while also having an opportunity to explore the Pride Gallery.

The Star Health Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub on Fitzroy Street supports the increased demand for mental health services, and to relieve pressure on existing specialist and general practice services.

The service provides short to medium term support to anyone having a difficult time or feeling overwhelmed and is available to individuals of any age and is accessible for all Victorians, regardless of visa status.

Consumers can receive psychosocial and wellbeing support for up to 6 months. Generally appointments are weekly to fortnightly. Star Health have an assertive outreach approach where they can meet consumers in their office (Fitzroy Street, St Kilda), their home or the community

Where: The Victorian Pride Centre with Star Health, 79-81 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182
Bookings: essential via Trybooking

LGBTIQ+ Training Sessions

Free online training sessions for healthcare professionals focused on creating safe and inclusive environments.

WHISE, in partnership with Thorne Harbour Health, is delivering two free, online capacity-building sessions for healthcare and community service professionals, to enhance the regional workforce capacity to respond to the unique needs of LGBTIQ+ clients and ensure service provision is inclusive.

The sessions are targeted at a wide variety of healthcare and community service professionals including general practitioners, nurses, practice managers, other allied health professionals, Youth Service workers, Maternal and Child Health staff, and staff working in the prevention of violence against women, as well as response. It is encouraged that all partners and stakeholders share this important work, by promoting the events widely through social media, email communications and other network meetings.

There are two sessions available. Please note it is not a requirement to attend both sessions, although it is strongly encouraged:

LGBTIQ+ cultural sensitivity and awareness | Thursday 12 May 2022 | 6.30-8.30pm
The first session is focused increasing participants' understanding of the social determinants of LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing outcomes, improving participants' understanding in meeting the needs of LGBTIQ+ consumers and creating an affirming and inclusive service environment.
Bookings: You can register via Eventbrite

Trans and Gender Diverse inclusive practice | Thursday 26 May 2022 | 6.30-8.30pm
The second session is focused on increasing participant's understand of and ability to apply the legislative and legal requirements to respect and recognise gender identity, increasing confidence in developing and implementing trans and gender diverse policy and practice recommendations and creating cultural safety for trans and gender diverse consumers.
Bookings: You can register via Eventbrite.

If you have any questions about the event, please email Laura Riccardi (Sexual Reproductive Health Promotion Officer) 

Out & About SPARK Conversations

Out & About invites you to join a series of free events for trans and gender diverse people over 50.

The Out & About SPARK Conversations are an opportunity for skill-sharing and peer support around reconnection and story.

Public speaking & accidental activism (with Ben MacEllen) | 6 May 2022 | 2-3.30pm
Join Ben MacEllen (comedian, writer, public speaker and performer) as he shares with us his experience of public speaking and accidental activism as a transgender man from rural Victoria. Presentation and Q&A plus time for networking and discussion.

Connecting together in COVID times (with Hunter) | 13 May 2022 | 2-4pm
Brotherboy and veteran Hunter joins other trans and gender diverse people over 50 to share ideas and strategies for connecting with our peers in the context of COVID. This session will include time for networking and discussion as well as sharing techniques and skills.

Venue: Victorian Pride Centre (and online)
Bookings: Register online for one or all of these free sessions via Eventbrite or for more details call Meredith on 0466 218 921

Quirky Port | Thursday 19 May 2022 | 8-9pm, this is an online event

This event is presented by the City of Port Phillip Arts and Heritage team.

Join Janet Bolitho on this virtual tour and experience local creativity in art and design manifested on local streets, gardens, walls, balconies, doors and gardens.
Bookings: essential through Trybooking - Quirky Port

Urgent Call Out: Volunteering Opportunities in Port Phillip Community Group Programs

Port Phillip Community Group (PPCG) provide a range of centre-based and outreach programs and services to address complex issues. Services and programs includes information, referral and support; emergency relief, material aid and financial counselling; skill development and pathways to education and employment; social inclusion events and more.

There are many urgent volunteer roles that need to be filled at PPCG, so if you have volunteers who are looking for more work or know of any members of the community interested in volunteering please touch base with PPCG on the details below. The roles are:

  • Filling the roles for Front Desk Support Volunteers – up to 5 people across various morning or afternoon shifts throughout the week between 9.30am and 4.30pm at 161 Chapel St, St Kilda. Please see position description for more information.
  • Warehouse and packing support for our Share The Food program – up to 5 people to work on Mondays between 9.30am and 4.30pm at the Port Melbourne warehouse site. Please see position description for more information.
  • A volunteer role for Alma Road Community House (ARCH) Communications Support as - one person on Tuesdays at 200 Alma Road, East St Kilda. Please see position description for more information. 
Anyone interested in applying can fill in an Expression of Interest found on our volunteer web page, or by email or by calling us on 8598 6600.

The Young Carer Project for school aged children

Little Dreamers is Australia’s leading Young Carer organisation, supporting young people who provide unpaid care for a family member affected by disability, chronic or mental illness, addiction or frail age.

In every classroom across Australia, two to three students will have a caring role. The Young Carer Project (TYCP) believes in a school community where Young Carers have equal access to educational opportunities as their peers. We work in schools across Victoria and Queensland to deliver workshops and education around Young Carers and how we can best support them in their school lives.

Here's a great 3 min video that dives more into the schools program.

Young Carers can apply for support by fill out this application form by themselves or with their trusted teacher or well being officer.

Carers Victoria Sector Seminar Network Series

An invitation to staff, volunteers and professionals working in the design or delivery of support services for Victorian carers.
Carers Victoria invites you to join them for our 2022 Sector Seminar Network series. These seminars are designed to provide an opportunity to gain knowledge and improve capacity in the delivery of carer services.

Each seminar will focus on a specific theme and will include “What’s New?” and “Let’s Network” sessions which provide an opportunity for participants to share and exchange ideas.

These free seminars are held via Zoom and are open to any paid or volunteer colleagues who are involved in the management, planning or delivery of services to carers.

You can book for the Carers Victoria e-newsletter.

National Standards of Volunteer Involvement Training

This training is online and provided by Volunteering Victoria

Cost: FREE (supported by VMA funding)

This workshop guides participants through the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015), Australia’s best practice roadmap for volunteering professionals.

Topics covered include: developing and reviewing of organisational policies, attracting and retaining volunteers and how to gain recognition and commitment to volunteering across the broader organisation.

Two sessions available: 11 May 2022 or 17 August 2022.

Bookings: essential via Volunteering Victoria events calendar.

Linking Neighbours and Seniors Register

This program is funded by the City of Port Phillip.
This program aims to create links between over 55 Port Phillip residents, enabling you to get to know each other and so better support each other.

The Linking Neighbours Program organises a range of outings and activities throughout the year. ie trips, excercise groups, digital literacy workshops and neighbourhood catchups. Once a person registers, their details will be used to mail out information about the activities.

The Seniors Register is for residents who live in the City of Port Phillip. The Register is a confidential and secure list of people's emergency information held at the Port Phillip Council and St Kilda Police Station. The information provided will be used to help emergency services assist you in an emergency situation.

How to register?
Registrations can be completed using the seniors registration form (PDF 78 KB) by filling in the details you would like to have as your record. You need to download the form to your computer to be able to fill it in, then save the form in your name.

Email the completed form to Community Development and Liaison Officer in Diversity and Inclusion, or get in contact for an application form to be sent to you via email or calling 03 9209 6777 via ASSIST

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

EQPR | ANNOUNCING | Australia's 5th National LGBTIQ+ Conference: Better Together 2023 | 17-18 February 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Since 2018, Better Together, has created space for LGBTIQA+ communities, organisations, and advocates to gather for a unique 2-day experience.

Attendees have described as "an extremely valuable and irreplaceable platform for LGBTIQA+ people and a "wonderful space for debate and critical thinking".

Our 5th National LGBTIQ+ Conference, Better Together 2023, will be back in Adelaide at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 17-18 February 2023.

We warmly invite you to join us for our biggest conference yet ahead of Sydney WorldPride!

Dedicated to The Equality Project's mission of bringing our diverse communities and allies together to share our ideas and experiences; Better Together is about creating opportunities for meaningful connections so we can learn from each other, forge alliances, and advance the LGBTIQ+ movement to create positive lasting change.

We're now inviting impactful individuals and organisations to be part of the conference by submitting their innovative and impactful ideas.

We invite advocates, leaders, educators, artists, social workers, researchers, and others in the community to attend and run workshops, host panel discussions, or take part in our new initiative Better Think.

Better Think

Introducing a new format: Better Think is a showcase of speakers presenting impactful and well-formed ideas that will help us “think better”.

Inspired by the short and powerful format of the TED Talk, the aim of Better Think is to share great ideas in under 20 minutes!

Do you have a new and surprising idea that we have not heard about? Or a basic idea but with a compelling new argument behind it that challenges beliefs and perspectives?

If this sounds like you, we’d love you to be part of Better Think.

Propose A Session

Submit a proposal to run a session with the aim of exploring the current issues facing the LGBTIQ+ movement in Australia.

Register Early And Save!

Do You Need A Scholarship?

Up to 47% of conference delegates attend on a full or partial scholarship. If you need help with your 2-day conference ticket, we encourage you to apply.

We're passionate about this work and we'd like you to join us.


The Equality Project (EQPR)