UNVesakVIC23 | COMMEMORATING | United Nations International Day of Vesak in Victoria | Saturday 13 May 2023 | 10am-3.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join Victoria’s Buddhist Community in the centre of Melbourne for Vesak 2023 – a multi-cultural celebration of the Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Passing.

2023 marks the 16th year of the Victorian United Nations Day of Vesak celebrations in Victoria. We are happy to announce a program that brings together Buddhist and wider communities of various cultures and traditions to celebrate a key uniting event in our Buddhist calendar – Vesak.

The 2023 program continues with the three-part format:
  • 9.45am for 10am: Sangha Dana – Lunch Offering to Buddhist Monks and Nuns @ Catholic Leadership Centre, 576 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne
  • 12.15pm for 1pm: Friendship Walk – Walking mindfully together. Traditional Drummers, Buddha Floats, Flags, Lotuses, the colours of Victoria’s Buddhist Community @ Parliament Gardens Reserve, assemble corner Nicholson Street Extension & Albert Streets, East Melbourne. Public car parking nearby. Opp Parliament Station. Walk Spring Street & Collins Street to Melbourne Town Hall
  • 1.45-3.30pm: Commemoration – Veneration of Buddha Relics • Chanting & Blessing from various Buddhist Traditions and languages • Guided Meditation • Interfaith Messages @ Melbourne Town Hall, corner Swanston & Collins Streets
With special feature this year:
  • 10am-6pm: Giant 21 Taras Thangka (Painting) – Don’t miss an extraordinary opportunity to view this 9x15m painting of power and compassion of the 21 Taras (21 Goddesses) @ Melbourne Town Hall, corner Swanston & Collins Streets
Further details on each part of the program can be found at Facebook and website.


Victorian United Nations Day of Vesak Inc (UNVesakVIC23)

CoPP | GSL | CALLING | All playwrights | applications open Mon 1-19 May 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Offered for the first time in 2023, this free, multi-stage program will begin with a series of writing workshops facilitated by experienced playwrights from Melbourne Writers Theatre.

Gasworks Script Lab (GSL) is an exciting creative development opportunity for new, emerging and established playwrights living in the City of Port Phillip.

Participants’ scripts will then be further developed in script sessions with a director and actors. The program will culminate in two Script Showcases, to be presented on stage to the public in October.

GSL is designed for participants of all skill levels – from writers/aspiring writers who have never written for the stage but are interested in exploring the craft of playwriting to experienced playwrights with production credits.

New playwrights will be guided to write a monologue or short play from scratch. Writers who have an existing script or work-in-progress they wish to further develop will be offered the dramaturgical support to do this.

All sessions will be held on-site at Gasworks Arts Park, with an online option also available. 


Gasworks Arts Park
Address: 21 Graham Street, Albert Park VIC 3206
Tel: (03) 8606 4200

ECCV | ISSUING | eBulletin #34 | April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Australia's migration system is broken. 

It's heartening to see Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil acknowledge this today ahead of the release of the federal government's migration review. For the close to two million guest workers in Australia, their visa status is essentially "permanently temporary".
This state of indefinite limbo has adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of our diverse communities, as outlined in our 2022 submission to the migration review. Improving pathways to permanency is critical to reform of our immigration system.
We welcome last week's announcement to grant New Zealanders living in Australia  an expedited pathway to citizenship but would like to see a simplified visa system and improved pathways for for other communities seeking a secure future in Australia. 
Last week we were delighted to attend the launch of Victoria University's anti-racism roadmap for Melbourne's south-east last week. Combatting racism is one of ECCV's key objectives, and it was fantastic to see the work being done to tackle racism on a grassroots level. We are pleased to be working with Victoria University on a research project aimed at improving reporting pathways and supports for Victorians who experience racism.
Anti-racism will be the theme of our upcoming Member Forum on Thursday, 15 June 2023, and we invite you to save the date. The Forum will focus on ways to address racism and improve anti-racism support on a local and statewide level. We look forward to sharing more information about the Forum soon.
Eddie Micallef, Chairperson

Supporting our communities to access the PSB

ECCV's multicultural outreach team has been busy working to support migrant and refugee communities to access the Victorian government's Power Saving Bonus. Since a new round of the Bonus began on 24 March, ECCV has helped more than 1500 households secure the $250 payment and learn more about how to save money on their energy bills. 

Update on emergency management partnership

ECCV is currently supporting the Multicultural Emergency Management Partnership (MEMP) to develop a governance structure to allow it to continue its work strengthening relationships and embedding a long-term, inclusive approach to emergency management. The MEMP is also working to build a wider network of emergency agencies interested in working with multicultural communities. 

Meeting of Victorian Access & Support Network

Last month, ECCV was pleased to host a workshop for the Access & Support (A&S) Network at our Coburg office. The workshop was highly insightful, with members discussing the challenges of navigating the transition from A&S to the new care finder program and their concerns for the impact of the reforms on older people from diverse backgrounds. 

Multicultural carer needs forum now online

In partnership with Carers Victoria, ECCV held an online forum in early April to discuss carer needs in multicultural communities. We had a fantastic turnout with more than 50 people attending. It was a great opportunity to consolidate what has been achieved as part of ECCV's Recognising and Respecting Carers project, and to consider what needs to be done next. 

Regional community session on anti-racism

Victoria University (VU) held its first anti-racism community session in Morwell this month to canvass the experiences and insights of local multicultural communities on racism and how to address it. The event was part of a research project aiming to improve anti-racism support, conducted by VU in partnership with ECCV and the Islamic Council of Victoria, funded by VicHealth. 

Free elder abuse awareness training program | 2 and 9 May 2023

ECCV is running a two-day bilingual community educator training workshop as part of our Elder Abuse Awareness project. This free training program aims to equip people with the skills and resources to deliver in-language information sessions on how to prevent, identify and respond to elder abuse. Educators are paid for the sessions they conduct. 

Hot off the press: Our Golden Years

The latest edition of Our Golden Years, ECCV's biannual print newsletter for multicultural and ethno-specific seniors clubs and associations, is out now. Our Golden Years has a reach of over 500 seniors clubs and associations across the state. This issue features an interview with COTA Senior Achiever Award recipient Jagdish Chander (pictured), a guide to future planning, and more. 


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

CoPP | UPDATING | Community Sector News | 27 April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Advising what is happening in the Grants and Funding space at Port Phillip Council to share with members of your community group.

There is an opportunity to be part of a Reference Committee that provides recommendations for Community Grants projects and Cultural Development to Council. Also, there is a new grant opening soon through the Palais Theatre to check out.

Do you have a passion for improving our community? | applications close midnight 15 May 2023

Applications are now open for our Community Grants Assessment Panel Reference Committee and the Cultural Development Fund Reference Committee.

Cultural Development Fund Reference Committee

Council is seeking nominations from community members for voluntary positions for the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Reference Committee for a 2-year term. The Committee will assist Council by providing advice and recommendations in relation to applications to the three streams Cultural Development Fund grants; CDF-Projects, CDF-Key Organisations and CDF-Festivals and Events grants

Who can apply?
Community members who:
  • live, work or volunteer in the City of Port Phillip or can demonstrate a strong connection to the cultural life of the City
  • demonstrate experience in cultural and creative industries and / or creative-based festivals and events including in production, programming, marketing, administration or management or precinct-based tourism / promotion.
  • demonstrate experience, passion and enthusiasm for the issues and challenges related to the purposes of the Reference Committee or Panel.
  • have the ability to appreciate a range of interests and factors impacting on the matters under discussion
  • demonstrate commitment to participative and consultative processes
  • experienced in Funding and grants, committee, board or volunteer would be desirable.
Find out more
To find out more and complete the nomination form go to Committee members wanted: help make a difference to your community - City of Port Phillip

For further information please contact the Arts Grants and Funding Officer on 0466 933 057 or email

Community Grants Assessment Panel Reference Committee

The Community Grants Assessment Panel Reference Committee provides advice, feedback and recommendations on applications for the annual Community Grants Program.

Selected committee members will be able to recommend opportunities for Council to partner with community organisations on projects that enhance diversity, enable community participation and decision making. They will also contribute to the building of healthy, strong and inclusive communities.

Who can apply?
  • Community members who live, work or volunteer in the City of Port Phillip.

Applications are encouraged from community who demonstrate some of the following:
  • Be committed to supporting and strengthening a diverse community that encourages the participation and inclusion of all residents.
  • Be understanding of issues affecting residents in City of Port Phillip including youth, families and children, seniors, women and marginalised community members.
  • Have knowledge of local community organisations and groups and an awareness of local networks. 
  • Involvement in the local community, including but not limited to clubs, organisations, committees and groups.
  • Experienced in the administration of community funded projects and or the grants assessment process.
Find out more
If you have a passion for improving the community, you fit the eligibility criteria and you’d like to apply for the Community Grants Assessment Panel Reference Committee go to Committee members wanted: help make a difference to your community - City of Port Phillip
For further information please contact the Grants and Funding Officer on 03 8563 7400 or email.

Palais Theatre Community Support grants

The next round of Palais Theatre Community Support grants for up to $5,000 is opening 15 May for community and creative organisation projects in Port Phillip. You can check out the list to see types of projects previously funded. Please share with any of your community groups who may like to apply for these grants.


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

ILF | UPDATING | Book Supply for 2023 was launched in April and more | Thursday 27 April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Yamandhu marang

Last month, Book Supply for 2023 was launched and over 1,990 Community organisations received an invitation to order their packs. We've already received 338 orders and book packs are already on their way, with the help of our major sponsor: Australia Post

Pleasingly, our stock of Books 4 Toddlers (0-3 years) and Books 4 Kids (4-7 years) are in high demand and quotas have already been reached and the Communities that miss out this time, will be sent packs in our second allocation in July. We receive incredible feedback when these books arrive in Community and kids are exposed to a beautiful range of quality, new culturally relevant books - and I pass on a thank you to YOU, for your support to make this happen!  

In more exciting news, a new book, NT Mob Sharing Stories in Language, is now available for pre-order. Featuring nine stories in nine Aboriginal languages from the Northern Territory, this book includes a mix of traditional stories and stories that reflect life in remote Communities today. NT Mob Sharing Stories in Language is a rich and rare collection. As ILF Ambassador Jessica Mauboy aptly says, “so deadly to see these nine wonderful stories come in one book for everyone to share. I hope you love this book!”

Another big announcement - Busking For Change our newest musical fundraiser, led by ILF ambassador Josh Pyke and designed for primary students is gaining traction. It's a simple concept - kids learn to sing a song in English and Kriol or play an instrument of their choice, and ask family and friends to sponsor them. Funds raised go towards our programs and publishing projects. It's a joyful multi-literacy celebration of music, song and language.

Lastly, I warmly welcome ILF's Head of Human Resources, Katharine Elkan, who joined the team this month. With over 20 years working in the corporate HR space, Katharine brings plenty of HR experience and is also completing her Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. Having someone of Katharine's calibre is a coup for ILF and the team are already revelling in her organisational and policy development skills. 

Mandaang guwu,
Ben Bowen, Chief Executive Officer

SPOTLIGHTING | Word of the Month

To celebrate UNESCO's second year of the Decade of Indigenous Languages, each month we encourage readers to learn a new word in either an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language. 
This month's word is day in Wiradjuri language! Wiradjuri Country is in central New South Wales

ASKING | Would your school love a visit from Andy Griffiths?

This year we are running an early bird offer, simply host your schools Great Book Swap and submit your donation by 30 June 2023 to automatically go into the draw to win a virtual visit from beloved ILF Ambassador, Andy Griffiths! 

SUPPORTING | Bianca Hunt supports the ILF on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

We are so grateful that we were the charity of choice for Bianca Hunt on the Australian TV series, 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here...' We had the pleasure of welcoming the wonderful Bianca Hunt to our Sydney office. Bianca used her platform on 'I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here' to raise awareness about the work we do at the ILF. She is extremely passionate about education and we are so grateful for her support. 

OFFERING | Busking For Change - tips for success from Summer Hill PS.

Summer Hill Public School jumped at the chance to participate in the Busking For Change pilot program in 2022. The joy and success of the program was accelerated by the school's active music program and the desire to give students an opportunity to participate in a brilliant fundraiser for the ILF. 

SAVING THE DATE | Indigenous Literacy Day | 6 September 2023

Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD) will be held on 6 September 2023. Make sure to save the date and celebrate stories, cultures and languages with us. Stay tuned for more information coming out shortly! 

CLICKING | For More Stories

GIFTING | Bags of Books to Babies and Toddlers

Over the last six years, many much-needed items have been distributed to remote and regional Communities by the Dr Steve Burroughs Foundation and now books from ILF’s Book Supply program are reaching families too. 

PRINTING | Can You Dance? translated into Miriwoong

This month we sent a translated edition of ILF favourite Can You Dance? off to print! Wanja warrg nemben? has been translated into Miriwoong by the Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre, and copies of the book will be given back to the centre. This is the first book published by the ILF in Miriwoong, and we're excited to send copies off to the Community soon!

PUBLISHING | First Commercial Children’s Picture Book featuring Thanynakwith Language!

The ILF is proud to publish a new book from Napranum Community, We Look, We Find representing the first time a children’s picture book featuring Thanynakwith language has ever been commercially published. We Look, We Find is a point of pride for everyone involved in the production of the story. 

SPOTLIGHTING | Ambassadors

Congratulations to ILF Ambassadors Dr Anita Heiss and Alison Lester for being shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year!
National Indigenous Television (NITV) has announced the appointment of ILF Co-Chair Natalie Ahmat as Head of Indigenous News and Current Affairs. Natalie holds a wealth of knowledge and is an extraordinary leader. We are very happy for her!
ILF Ambassador Debra Dank speaks about her book 'We Come With This Place'. Congratulations Deb on being shortlisted for the 2023 Stella Prize

OFFERING | Special Thanks

We would like to thank Oracle who have provided us with a generous grant to support our Book Supply and Book Buzz Programs in New South Wales. We love collaborating with companies like Oracle to achieve our program goals!

We are very grateful to Energy Australia who raised $7,000 from selling almost 20 artworks from their corporate offices which they donated to our Foundation.

We are very grateful to have the support of HubSpot. For every HubSpot Academy certification completed during World Certification Week (15-19 May 2023), HubSpot will donate $5 USD to our Foundation. 

We are indebted to our partner Australia Post for their support with the delivery of Book Supply packs to remote Communities and their ongoing fundraising. 


SHARING | Community Fundraisers 

Thank you to Murdoch Books who are donating $1 to the ILF for every copy of First Nations Food Companion by Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan sold. Additionally, the ILF would like to congratulate the recent winning of the Indie Book Award for Illustrated Book of the Year.

We would like to thank Evamor Valley Mudgee, who will be donating $10 from every hotel booking of their premier luxury glamping accommodation to the ILF. We are so grateful for their wonderful support!

A big thank you to our long existing supporters, Blue Island Press who have donated 5% of sales from their beautiful greeting cards designed by Quandamooka artist, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins to our Foundation and who have been supporting us over the last 5 years.


Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF)
Address: 17/207 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9280 0644
Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn

PWR | UPDATING | Readiness for Climate Action at the 2023 Parliament!

[Edited extract from public address]

WISHING | Happy Earth Day! 

The Parliament of the World's Religions celebrates our planet today, and every day, through the work of the Climate Action Task Force. Want to know how you can help save the Earth? Register for the 2023 Parliament Convening to experience all that interfaith organizations are doing to combat climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss.

The Climate Action track at the 2023 Convening feature over 80 programs and two Climate Assemblies, bringing forward voices from all over the world who are working on the ground to save our planet.

Wondering where to find your fellow climate activists during the Convening? Find us in the Climate Village, a special section of the Exhibit Hall for climate organizations, networking, and special programming. For inquiries regarding purchasing climate booths, please email.

Can't wait for August? Sign up for the Climate mailing list and keep an eye out for our pre-Parliament webinars on climate change, covering topics like eliminating fossil fuels, reducing plastic pollution, and more!

We look forward to seeing you in August. And once again, happy Earth Day!

My best wishes to you all,
Emily Echevarria, Director of Climate Action

SUPPORTING | The Climate Action Task Force! 

Your presence and donation helps the Climate Action Task Force to encourage and enable collective and individual action to reduce and counter the adverse impacts of human-caused climate change.


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

PWR | UPDATING | 2023 Parliament Program, Kids of PoWR, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and more | Friday 21 April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

EXPLORING | The 2023 Parliament Program

Explore the program and register for the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions by April 30th to save with the Advance Rate. The program at the 2023 Parliament Convening brings together faith and religious leaders, academic and industry experts, and institutions and grassroots organizers committed to interfaith dialogue and action.

Join thousands of global attendees all under one roof building capacity, networks of support, and actionable responses to the issues facing the world; there is no better time and no better place to convene than at the Parliament of the World's Religions.

ANNOUNCING | Spiritual Playdate with PoWR Hosting Kids Track at the 2023 Parliament Convening

Playdate at the Parliament is returning to the Parliament Convening, as the Parliament of the World's Religions and Spiritual Playdate partner once again to offer interactive programming as part of the newly launched Kids of PoWR track at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions this August.

The Kids of PoWR program track at the 2023 Parliament Convening is open to children ages 6-13 in the company of a registered parent or guardian.

WELCOMING | Mustafa Abu Sway, Nivedita Bhide, and Brian J. Grim to Address 2023 Parliament Convening

On 13 April 2023, the Parliament of the World’s Religions announced the participation of Mustafa Abu Sway, Nivedita Bhide, and Brian J. Grim as featured luminaries of the 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions.

Mustafa Abu Sway, Nivedita Bhide, and Brian J. Grim are joining thousands of global attendees committed to answering the call to conscience and taking a stand for freedom, democracy, and human rights.

SAVING THE DATE | UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Side Events

On 21 April 2023, join the Parliament of the World’s Religions, The Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion, Loretto at the UN, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for a series of side events hosted on the margins of the 22nd session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

SAVING THE DATE | No Faith in Fossil Fuels: A Climate Finance Summit

From 8-11 May 2023, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is joining people of faith at GreenFaith‘s No Faith in Fossil Fuels: A Climate Finance Summit. People are gathering to learn about how banks and asset managers continue to invest in the fossil fuel industries that are destroying communities in the U.S. and around the world. Together, participants can take the bold steps necessary to effect real change.

SAVING THE DATE | A Place for All People: The Possibilities and Challenges of Interfaith Organizations 

On 23 May 2023, Rev. Stephen Avino, the Executive Director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, is joining “A Place for All People: The Possibilities and Challenges of Interfaith Organizations,” an event aiming to grow understanding of inter-religious relations and discuss the direction of interfaith in America and the world over.

STAYING | Up to date with the work of the Parliament

MAKING | The mission of the Parliament of the World's Religions possible with support from individuals like you!


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

CUIN | WEBINAR | Quincy talks to people smarter than him: Wanah Bumakor | 27 April 2023 | 10–11am AEST

[Edited extract from public address]

The first webinar in a  series by Cultural Attaché Quincy Hall, speaking with Wanah Bumakor, Cultural Ambassador for Diversity Atlas, about Wanah's upcoming paper titled 'From Pitfall to Business Opportunity', which discusses ethnic diversity in Africa. 

In his article, Wanah describes the fact that despite the devastating effects of colonisation on Africa's ethnic diversity, reinvention can be possible. It is possible to relearn the appropriate attitudes towards others in order to establish a society where everyone feels like they belong. Through successful management of cultural diversity, companies in Africa could contribute immensely to political stability, economic prosperity and peaceful societies. Quincy and Wanah describe all this and more in an hour long discussion.

The webinar will take place via Zoom on April 27th between 10AM - 11AM AEST. You can access the live Zoom link below or watch the recording on our YouTube channel once it becomes available.

Meet the Host: Quincy Hall
Quincy Hall has had a 30 year association with Cultural Infusion and is the Diversity Atlas Cultural Attaché. Quincy also takes a keen interest in the development and management of our database - the world’s largest commercially available (and most accurate) database of world cultural groups. He lives in Colac, Victoria and in his spare time is the lead singer of a pirate-punk band.
Meet special guest Wanah Immanuel Bumakor
Wanah is the Cultural Ambassador – Africa at Cultural Infusion. He was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon and is a peace researcher and practitioner with over a decade of research, consultancy, analysis, and programming experience in the domains of African International relations, peacebuilding, conflict management, governance, state building, intercultural communication and dialogue. Wanah has served as an adjunct lecturer in International Relations at several universities in Cameroon. He has published numerous articles, contributed to local and international journals and has advised, trained and assisted high-level officials in peacebuilding approaches, conflict and crisis management.

Wanah has successfully led and designed several programs in intercultural dialogue, human rights, social integration, and youth empowerment. He holds a Master’s Degree in Peace and Development Studies from the Protestant University of Central Africa.


Cultural Infusion (CUIN)
Address: Suite 2, 273-277 Wellington Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066

S2b | UPDATING | Events, Art, Murals & Workshops | Autumn

[Edited extract from public address]

EXHIBITING | What's on the wall | 28 March - 29 April

HUMILIS is an exciting group exhibition by four Melbourne based artists, Elizabeth Milsom, Kate Shelton, Abouk Giir & Tamar Dolev.

Artworks explore individuals appreciation and relationships with the natural world. Including a range of mediums such as clay, natural dying, collage and paint. This is a wonderful collaborative exhibition not to be missed!

SELLING | What's on the floor by Camila Piaz

We are thrilled to be stocking the BRIGHT and COLOURFUL work of Camila Piaz.

Originally from Chile, Camila now resides in Australia, drawing inspiration from female empowerment, nature and her surroundings.

She designs and makes these luxurious velvet cushions and a beautiful range of tea towels right here in Melbourne.

Perfect gifts for Mother's day or a special present for someone abroad.

Available IN-STORE NOW

PICTURING | What's in the Lane Mural Festival | 17–30 April 2023

Space2b is super excited to be part of Urban Canvas Melbourne, a celebration of Art, Culture and Community. A mural festival, curated to engage artists and art organisations. Creating large scale public artworks and activations that inspire and engage the community in a meaningful way.

Six artists will be painting our laneway roller doors and telegraph poles at Space2b.

MOVING | With Bollywood and Keeping Fit | 8 May–5 June 2023 | 6.30-7.30pm

At Space2b, 144 Chapel St, St Kilda

Monday Motivation! READY, SET, DANCE!

Why not start your week off with a fun and energetic Bollywood dance class? Each week at Space2b, Jhoom Bollywood will take you through a step-by-step dancing workout, get fit and have fun!

Five weeks every Monday on 8, 15, 22, 29 May and 5 June 2023.

MAKING | Hands-on sewing circle with Maoko | Every other Thursday | 11am-12.30pm

A hands-on sewing circle, where you can bring a project to work on and take tips from our resident Japanese sewer Maoko.

Come and join like minded people, enjoy a cuppa from the cafe and learn how to mend your garments.

To book your place: email

TRAINING | Welcome Anudeepa to our Retail Space!

Anudeepa is a very talented artist, creative workshop leader and a wonderful mother and wife. She brings much joy and colour to our Team.

Recently, she has been busy painting the shop doorway, learning about stock management and customer service techniques.

Come and say hi to Anudeepa every Tuesday in our shop.
Open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-2pm

COOKING | Cafe's new opening hours

If you haven’t been here yet it’s time to schedule your next meeting at our café table. ⁠

Perhaps it’s been a while since your last visit in which case it’s time to sample some new delights.⁠

⁠Flavours of Syria Cafe (situated in our laneway, to the rear of the shop)) will be opening⁠:
Tues–Fri: 10am–2pm⁠
Sat: 10am–3pm⁠

CALLING | Mentors to share skills and volunteer time to mentor new migrant entrepreneurs

Sounds like this might be you?

We are looking for Business Mentors to work one-on-one with creative individuals from Migrant Backgrounds.

If interested, please email us

ANNOUNCING | Bas Clay 3D Relief Mural & Laneway Art Tours | Saturday 13 May 2023 | 11-1pm

A special thanks to the Palais for their funding towards Leila's clay workshops, everyone's having lots of fun learning!

The installation of the clay mural, kindly funded by the City of Port Phillip, will be happening soon, along with an official launch. We will also be running Street Art Tours...

CALLING | All Culturally & linguistically diverse artists!

We're looking for 3 x new designs that will become part of our artist range i.e. tea towels, soaps and chocolate.

Winners will receive $150, plus their design printed, a free month long exhibition, with 100% of the sales from the exhibition to go to the winning artists.


Space2b Social Design
Address: 144 Chapel Street, St Kilda, Melbourne Vic 3182
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

CUIN | UPDATING | Building harmony and making sure everyone belongs | April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Leading Voices in an Ensemble of Harmony & Belonging, Harmony Week begins at the end of March but carries on into April. 

This is an extremely busy time of the year where communities come together to celebrate the vibrant complexity of their differences. We remember the history of this week and we know that harmony isn’t the full story of how it came about. The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the 21 March 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa.

Last week, the Education and Experiences team delivered a community event at Armada Dandenong Plaza, featuring many wonderful cultural presentations. Our Projects and Partnerships Manager for Inclusion Atlas, Lana Perello, was interviewed by online publication HerCanberra, we provide details to an upcoming online Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) event, we welcome a new member to the team and highlight a cultural celebration in our diversity calendar. 

Community Event at Armada Dandenong Plaza

To kick off Harmony Week, the Education and Experiences team organised a community event at Armada Dandenong Plaza.

This year's international Harmony Week theme, 'everyone belongs', was at the forefront of the event as the community came together to celebrate the importance of cultural diversity and inclusiveness. 

There was a total of 11 vibrant presenters and 4 engaging workshops. The event included an Acknowledgement to Country and didgeridoo performance, Melanesian Music and Culture, West African Drumming, Polynesian Music and Dance, Middle Eastern Belly Dance, Bollywood Dance and Vietnamese Dance, providing hands-on cultural experiences for the community.

The event also ran interactive workshops including 'Learn A Language', for developing language skills such as basic phrases and greetings in French, Auslan and many more.
Throughout Harmony Week, our Education and Experiences team delivered over 100 cultural incursions, reaching over 90 Early Learning Centers, Schools and Community Organisations across Australia.

Harmony Week highlights the importance of promoting cultural respect and inclusiveness and we had such a blast working with Armada Dandenong Plaza alongside our incredibly talented cultural presenters.

HerCanberra Interview

This month, Inclusion Atlas' Projects and Partnerships Manager Lana Perello was interviewed by HerCanberra in an article titled 'Inclusion Atlas is showing where people of all identities can be safe, happy and accommodated.'

Lana envisions a world where every community can easily access information on the most suitable locations and venues that cater to their specific needs.

Inclusion Atlas allows users to find, rate, and review venues and public spaces based on how accessible and inclusive they are. The app collects user-generated content through a rating system where users can upload photos and provide feedback on various review categories, ranging from accessible parking to LGBTQIA+ friendly spaces. 

The platform also has a second function supporting business owners to improve their practices—both those starting out with little idea of how to be more inclusive and those who want to raise the bar.

Lana shared that during the app’s market testing phase, the team found that 93.5 per cent of people with a disability try to find information about the accessibility of venues before visiting, and retailers who displayed a positive attitude towards disability were reported to provide more positive customer experiences.
“Giving businesses an opportunity to show that they are listening to every one of their customers can demonstrate meaningful change in the pursuit of fair and equitable customer service... Inclusion Atlas is setting the standard for the way businesses and communities interact, where the needs and lived experiences of both users and business owners alike are recognised and reinforced, creating positive exchanges.”
- Lana Perello
To enquire or get in touch with Lana for a discovery tour of Inclusion Atlas, email them at or contact their direct line on +613 9412 6610.   

WEBINAR | Positive Actions in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: In conversation with Gamiel Yafai | Tuesday 9 May 2023 | 4.30–6pm (UTC+10)

You are warmly invited to join the event In conversation with Gamiel Yafai, organised by our very own Director of DEI, Roman Ruzbacky.

Gamiel Yafai is a multi-award-winning Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist and Board Director for the Global Centre for Inclusion. Gamiel is the co-author of ‘Demystifying Diversity’ and Yemen Proud, and Founder & CEO of the highly successful Diversity Marketplace.
Through storytelling and enquiry, Gamiel will provide highlights of some of the successful DEI initiatives and programs of work he has been involved with over the course of his career. He will unpack some of the key DEI issues and challenges of our time. We will aim to provide organisational leaders, DEI and HR professionals (and those interested in DEI) with some guidance, optimism and inspiration to continue their professional and personal practice and sustain their energy levels and efforts. 
  • Where: Online event 
  • Cost:  Free. Donations encouraged and accepted to the Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief Fund, through the Save the Children Appeal.
  • Bookings: online via Trybooking

WELCOMING | Mr. Syed Shah, Head of Education and Training

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Syed Shah to the Cultural Infusion team as the Head of Education and Training.

Mr. Syed Shah is a respected academic with more than twenty years of experience in lecturing and designing curricula across multiple disciplines for leading universities across the world and Australian Universities including RMIT, Monash, Victoria, and Curtin.

Apart from his academic experience, he has also been a management consultant and trainer to several government and private organisations. His vast corporate and academic experience, flexible and collaborative approach, along with sound business acumen enables him to deliver engaging, focused, and results-oriented training solutions.

Over the years he has taught and trained over 30,000 people, demonstrating his passion for empowering others to improve their lives through education. Syed has visited more than 40 countries and delivered countless lectures in more than 25 universities. Syed was born in Nigeria to Pakistani diplomats. In addition to English, Syed speaks Hausa, Urdu, Punjabi & Hindi.
Welcome to the team, Syed!

Cultural Calendar Spotlight: Belly Dance Day 14 May 2023 

World Belly Dance Day celebrates the popular dance style of belly dancing. This style of dance is incredibly artistic with complex moves, techniques and wonderfully embroidered dresses adorned with vibrant colours. Requiring lots of stamina and great core strength, belly dancing is not as easy as it looks.

Our belly dancing programs are both interactive and highly engaging, allowing students to immerse themselves in the vibrant and intricate world of this dance style.

Middle Eastern Belly Dance is available in Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and Queensland in person and virtually in some states.


Cultural Infusion (CUIN)
Address: Suite 2, 273-277 Wellington Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066

CHUFFED | RAISING | Awareness, Support and Funds for One of Australia’s Biggest Animal Sanctuaries that Needs a Tractor

[Edited extract from public address]

Andrew from Deep Peace Trust runs one of Australia’s biggest animal sanctuaries, and is crowdfunding for a tractor named Chamberlain to move hundreds of kilos of hay at a time.

At the moment the family still has to spend hours a day manually feeding hay even in the rain. 

Thanks to fellow animal lovers, they managed to raise a quarter of what they need so far. 

But Andrew is worried they won’t have it in him to manually feed over 400 animals needing more hay with winter approaching, and now he’s in his 60s. 

All the family needs is 100 more kind folks like you to pitch in $50 to lighten their load. Will you have their back?
“This community of fellow animal lovers has had my back before. Now I need you to help cut down hours of back-breaking work! Whatever you can afford to pitch in will make all the difference to the sanctuary animals (and to us).”
Help keep the sanctuary running smoothly.


Team Chuffed
Address: Level 2, 60 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia

PWR | UPDATING | 2023 Parliament Luminary Announcement & Program Updates | Friday 14 April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Answer the call to conscience at the 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions convening in Chicago this August! Over 1,400 presenters are offering their expertise in addressing the most critical issues of our time and thousands more are adding their voices to defend democracy, freedom, and human rights.

"Where are the people of courage and where are the people of conscience standing together to say this is not who we are and this is not who we will be?"
Rev. Phyllis Curott
Join us! Register by 30 April 2023 and save with the Advance Rate.

Luminaries Answering the Call to Conscience

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is honored to announce the participation of Mustafa Abu Sway, Nivedita Bhide, and Brian J. Grim as luminaries of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions.
  • Mustafa Abu Sway is the Integral Chair for the Study of Imam Ghazali’s Work at the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds University.
  • Nivedita Bhide is the Vice President of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari.
  • Brian J. Grim is the founding president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.
These luminaries are joining thousands of global attendees committed to answering the call to conscience.

Schedule Update Highlights Assembly & Plenary Foci

The newly updated week's schedule now features the focus of each assembly and plenary at the 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions.

Want to explore the full program? Registered presenters and attendees have already begun to explore the 700+ program offerings through our event hub. 


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

MELB | BPaG | GATHERING | Australia's Climate Policy – Effective or Greenwashing? | Tuesday 18 Apr 2023 | 6.30–8pm AEST

[Edited extract from public address]

The Australian Parliament is currently engaged in finalising and passing a key element of its climate policy, the Safeguard Mechanism

Polly Hemming, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Australia Institute is keynote speaker at this forum which will delve into the Safeguard Mechanism, climate integrity, carbon credits and whether this policy can be effective when it comes to the critical work of reducing emissions. 

Local federal MPs Josh Burns, Zoe Daniel (tbc) and Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah have been engaged to each give an address. There will be a Q & A with all participants following presentations.

The evening will be video recorded, with a link supplied after the event.

The moderator will be Dr. Kylie McIntosh, President of BCCAG
  • Where: Phoenix Theatre, Elwood Secondary College, 101 Glen Huntly Road, Elwood 3184 VIC
  • Cost: Free. Donations will be gratefully received to help cover costs of running the event, such as hall hire and advertising expenses.
  • Bookings: essential, online through Humanitix


This event is organised by a coalition of local volunteer groups BCCAG, PECAN and GECAN (BPaG):

VTMH | SEMINAR | Approaching work with interpreters in mental health settings | Tuesday 16 May 2023 | 9.30am–3.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

A workshop designed for all practitioners currently working with interpreters in mental health settings.

The workshop will explore challenges and realities in the interpreting environment, look at strategies for adapting practice for working with interpreters in a variety of mental health settings and consider key culturally responsive practices and principles, including cultural safety and cultural humility, in the context of working with interpreters.

Participants will receive hard copies of resources developed in the project (Approaching work with interpreters in mental health settings, VTMH, 2019), including a Practice Tips Poster and Report
The workshop is delivered face to face over one day and is complimented with some self-directed learning activities.

Open to staff working in publicly funded mental health programs across Victoria, including staff in clinical and community mental health services, as well as people working within mental health programs in community health and social services. Visit the link below for more information about workshop eligibility.  
  • Where: Formal Meeting Room, Level 2, Dandenong Civic Center, 225 Lonsdale St, Dandenong VIC
  • Cost: Free. Catering will also be provided.
  • Bookings: essential, spaces are limited. Please register early to secure a place. Online via VTMH 


Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (VTMH)
Address: St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Level 1, Bolte Wing, 14 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Tel: (03) 9231 3300

CMFN | GATHERING | For Multicultural Iftar Dinner | 15 April 2023 | Arrive 4.20pm for 4:30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Join this inclusive and multicultural Iftar Dinner bringing together people of different faiths and communities to enhance love, respect, and harmony while sharing commonalities.  

The event aims to It is an excellent opportunity to connect with your fellow community members and build bridges across different cultures and religions.

The event will feature speeches from speakers from different religions, including Sarita Kulkarni from the Hindu Community, Rev Ric Holland from the Hampton Park Uniting Church, and Respected Regional Missionary Imam Atif Ahmad Zahid, who will be giving a Ramadhan presentation. The event will also include a recitation of the Holy Quran, Q&A about Ramadhan, and Adhan Breaking Fast & Prayer.

Please come and hear their perspectives and insights on the importance of tolerance and understanding in our diverse community. We look forward to your presence at this celebration of diversity and interfaith dialogue. 

Organised in collaboration with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Hampton Park Uniting Church, and Casey Multi-Faith Network.


Casey Multi-Faith Network (CFMN)

PWR | ISSUING | Official Statement Responding to the Vatican's Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery | 7 April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

The Parliament of the World’s Religions joins Indigenous Peoples and all those affected by the Doctrine of Discovery in affirming its formal repudiation by the Vatican, through an official statement released jointly on 30 March 2023 by the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

A great number of Indigenous peoples, Catholic institutions, other religious bodies, civil society organizations, and individuals have advocated for many years for this much-needed repudiation. We join all those who have worked for this in commending the Vatican’s important action.

At the 2009 Melbourne Convening and the 2015 Convening of the Parliament, declarations by Indigenous participants – “An Indigenous People’s Statement to the World” and “An Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration for Action” – included a call for Vatican repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery and were adopted in plenary by the entire Convening. These statements were reaffirmed at the 2018 Toronto Convening. The Parliament also submitted an internal statement to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in 2020.

The “Doctrine of Discovery” is an international legal construct that some scholars contend originated with papal bulls or decrees of the 15th century in which the Pope granted to rulers of Christian nations permission to conquer non-Christian lands and have dominion over them, take their resources, enslave their inhabitants and convert them to Christianity – on the condition that those lands had not yet been “discovered” by some other Christian power. If the inhabitants of a territory were not Christian, the land was considered “uninhabited” and could be seized at will. These principles were incorporated into the law of colonizing powers and subsequently permeated culture as well as legal systems; they have continued to be cited in legal decisions into the 21st century in different countries, including in U. S. Supreme Court decisions as late as 2005.   

The Vatican statement says, “In no uncertain terms, the Church’s magisterium upholds the respect due to every human being. The Catholic Church therefore repudiates those concepts that fail to recognize the inherent human rights of indigenous peoples, including what has become known as the legal and political ‘doctrine of discovery."

The Parliament of the World’s Religions stands with those most affected by the Doctrine and honors the advocacy that made this a significant first step in addressing the damage done by the Doctrine of Discovery over the ages to cultures and land holdings. This is the beginning of a journey toward healing and righting what was wrong.

CALLING | Our Conscience

Wednesday 5 April marked the annual observance of International Day of Conscience, a day with a mission to promote a culture of peace with love and conscience. The United Nations affirms that the international observance aims to foster opportunities for dialogue and strong community relations based on a shared belief in human dignity, fundamental freedoms, and human rights.

This year let’s celebrate the world’s largest, most diverse, and inclusive interfaith opportunity for dialogue and community engagement, the Parliament of the World’s Religions!

SAVING THE DATE | No Faith in Fossil Fuels: A Climate Finance Summit | 8-11 May 2023

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is joining people of faith at GreenFaith‘s No Faith in Fossil Fuels: A Climate Finance Summit.

This year’s three-day summit will amplify the voices of frontline leaders of Turtle Island (what we now call the United States) and the Global South, whose communities bear the direct brunt of financial decisions made by Chase Bank, Bank of America, Vanguard, BlackRock, and others who invest in harmful oil and gas extraction. This summit is making connections between faith, finance, and climate, for money managers rooted in just climate values, or communities wrestling with these questions.

STAYING | Up to date with the work of the Parliament 

ADVANCING | The mission of the Parliament of the World's Religions is made possible with the support from individuals like you!


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

VMC | UPDATING | A Happy Holy Week and Nowruz/ Nevroz/ Newroz to all who celebrate and more |

[Edited extract from public address]

Welcome to April which marks Holy Week for Christians and Nowruz/ Nevroz/ Newroz, the new year for 300 million people across the world including the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

With all its significant occasions, this time of year highlights the very best in Victoria's cultural diversity and social cohesion. It's wonderful to see and even better to participate in.

For those unfamiliar with Nowruz, it's a 3,000-year-old tradition celebrating the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

I was fortunate to attend the Australian-Iranian Society of Victoria's Nawroz, which was held in honour of women, life, and freedom - for all the women and girls in Iran and worldwide fighting for basic human rights at a personal cost.

I would like to take a moment to thank my hosts for allowing me to join them on this special occasion and for the relentless advocacy of their all-female executive.

At the VMC we continue to pursue those core values of equity and gender equality.

I recently joined the Human Appeal Australia Sisters’ Iftar fundraising event and noted the power of sisters from different walks of life coming together to celebrate Ramadan.

They also raised funds for women in Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon who have lost their husbands in war, earthquakes and other tragedies.

I was overwhelmed by the sisterhood, compassion and generosity of these women.

At a systemic level, I took our shared vision for more Women of Colour leaders to the 2023 Chief Executive Women conference.

The theme was "BE BOLD", and I want to encourage you to "be bold".

Be bold with your ambition, and I promise we will be bold in our advocacy and support.

And finally, although our Multifaith Advisory Group have been very active in the first quarter of the year, they will hold their first official meeting this week. 

Their work is another arm of the VMC and works alongside our Regional Advisory Council and Multicultural Youth Network to extend our reach and listen to more people from more diverse places and backgrounds. Your perspectives play a big role in informing our work. 

Thank you
Viv Nguyen, Chairperson


 News and Events 

MELB | ASAC | ADVISING | Tickets for "Brown Women Comedy" are selling fast | 6-12 April 2023

Produced by the Australian South Asian Centre (ASAC), "Brown Women Comedy" is the largest lineup of Indian, Pakistani and South Asian women comedians at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Six shows.
  • Where: Queen Victoria Women's Centre and Trades Hall in Melbourne
  • Cost: $37-$50. Use the code "Community" for a 10% discount.
  • Bookings: Tickets Available HERE

VIC | GOV | GRANTING | Vouchers to support your child's sports and recreation activities

Applications for Round six of the "Get Active Kids Voucher Program" are now open!

If your family or child has a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, you may be eligible for up to $200 to put towards the cost of your child’s participation in sports and active recreation activities.


AUST | TSF | CALLING | Diverse Stroke Survivors to create culturally appropriate resources

The Stroke Foundation is seeking community's help to develop eight in-language versions of its health resource "My Stroke Journey".

Hospital health professionals deliver this resource in the first few days after a person’s stroke.

The Stroke Foundation is looking for culturally diverse people who have experienced a stroke or whose loved ones have experienced a stroke to share their stories.

This information will help stroke survivors and families from CALD communities have the best possible recovery. 

 Employment & Opportunities 

GRANTING | Applications for funding through the Multicultural Festivals and Events Program | close 3pm Tuesday 11 April 2023

Grants of up to $50,000 are still available to support multicultural and multifaith community organisations to host events and festivals.

Events must be held between 1 July and 31 December 2023. 

This round prioritises applications for events in regional and rural areas, events delivered by new and emerging community groups, as well as events led by multicultural women.

 Gender Equality 

CALLING | Nominations of exceptional culturally diverse women for the Victorian Honour Roll of Women | nominations close 11.59pm Monday 29 May 2023

The 2023 Victorian Honour Roll of Women is now open. More than 700 women whose achievements have helped shape Victoria, the nation and the globe have been inducted into the Honour Roll since it began in 2001.

The Honour Roll is proud to celebrate the contributions of women of all faiths, cultures, ages, sexual identities and abilities.

CALLING | Multicultural women for SisterWork's cultural spectacular | Saturday 9 September 2023

Join SisterWorks for a one-day event that promotes different cultures and helps enhance the economic empowerment of multicultural women.

Around 700 people are expected to join the SisterWorks cultural spectacular at the Abbotsford Convent.

The spectacular will feature sisters’ culture, stories, arts, craft, food, music, dance, and 40 stalls showcasing SisterWorks’ Entrepreneurship and Small Business Programs.


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

CoPP | UPDATING | Community Sector News | 4 April 2023

[Edited extract from public address]

Autumn, Easter and shorter days are upon us. As we head into colder months, many community organisations support those experiencing financial hardship and wellbeing issues. The Power Saving Bonus Round 4 has been released and community members need support to apply.

This edition promotes a lot of wonderful events happening in the local area to cross promote with your membership base and the wonderful Toy Library Service of Port Phillip share with us their Community Profile. 

 Training and Professional Development 

VIC | CAVI | WEBINAR | Become a Carer Friendly Place – online training

Did you miss the March face to face training? Now you can complete this Carers Victoria (CAVI) training online and become a Carer Friendly Place. This information and training session is for Community Groups and Community Centres such as Neighbourhood Houses to learn how to become a Carer Friendly Place. 

In Carer Friendly places carers can: 
  • meet in welcoming and warm spaces
  • find information about supports and services that exist for carers
  • connect with other people in their local community
  • participate in local programs and activities
  • enjoy spaces for support group meetings
  • connect to programs and pathways specifically for carers.

CoPP | GOV | Running a successful Community Group | Thursday 27 April 2023 | 9.30am–12.30pm

Are you a new community group, or been around for a while and are wanting tips for how you can improve your committee’s effectiveness? For a committee to be successful they need to function cohesively, be accountable for their direction, the way they function, and for achieving their short and long-term goals.

Topics include:
  • understanding the role of the committee
  • what good governance means for a community group
  • identifying the entity’s legal structure and the implications for this
  • appreciating what makes a committee and meetings effective (including a meeting template)
  • knowing what specific skill sets and attributes are required for each committee role
  • a checklist for good governance
  • the committee’s role in planning and keeping an eye on the future.
This session will help community groups to understand the role of a committee, their responsibilities, and what structures they need to have in place that provides the foundations for a successful community group.
  • Where: Council Chamber - St Kilda Town Hall - entrance Carlisle Street, 99A Carlisle Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182
  • Cost: Free (This training is funded by the City of Port Phillip Community Training Calender).
  • Bookings: essential, online via Trybooking

 Grants and Funding 

CoPP | GOV | Quick Response Grants Program

Quick Response Grants are available at short notice to eligible organisations and individuals to support the establishment and delivery of valuable services, programs, activities, and events to the City of Port Phillip community.

Category 1: Support for Individuals
Maximum funding per application: $500
Purpose: To fund individual residents experiencing barriers to participate in elite and competitive local events/activities in which they have been invited to attend.
Category 2: Support for Community Organisations and Social Enterprises
Maximum funding per application: $2000
Purpose: To fund community organisations and social enterprises to deliver programs and projects with a community building or social connections focus, that support Council to achieve its strategic objectives.


CSAS | SHOWING | Distant Shores | 17 March to 12 May 2023

DISTANT SHORES sees Melbourne/Naarm-based photographer Morganna Magee combine portrait photography, family photos and written testimony to tell the story of the migrant experience through themes of cultural connection, memory, longing and loss.

The work has been developed in collaboration with participating members of local migrant and refugee communities. Most of the participants are involved with Space2b, a social enterprise fostering community inclusion and supports new migrants to become financially independent.  

The exhibition also features paintings by four participants: Abouk Giir (South Sudan);
Anahita Diba (Iran); Tadros Hanna (Egypt) and Rahila Zeeshan (Pakinstan). These paintings draw from each artist’s cultural heritage, interests or concerns.  By including artworks by participants in this reiteration, extends this exhibition in a meaningful and insightful manner. DISTANT SHORES gently speaks to our shared humanity and is curated by Anna Monea.
  • Where: Carlisle Street Art Space, 99A Carlisle Street, St Kilda    

PPHC | SCREENING | Lost City of Melbourne | Thursday 27 April 2023 | 6–8pm

The attempted ‘modernisation’ of Melbourne in the 1950s destroyed much of the city, including its elegant cinemas and picture palaces. Now, a new Melbourne-made documentary brings them back to life.

As Melbourne grew, it became an epicentre of film culture and its hotels, restaurants and cafes became world renowned. Coupled with the city’s grand Victorian architecture, it was a first-class destination for travellers. But, in the 1950s, with the impending Olympic Games, Melburnians felt embarrassed about how they’d be perceived on the world stage. Our buildings were deemed too Victorian, the opposite of a modern metropolis and Whelan The Wrecker’s demolition blitz began.

The Lost City of Melbourne is a celebration not just of Melbourne’s beloved, bygone picture palaces, but also of its enduring relationship to the cinema itself.
  • Where: Emerald Hill Library & Port Phillip Heritage Centre (PPHC), 195 Bank Street, South Melbourne.
  • Bookings: essential, online via Trybooking

AKC | Y(Our) Fest – the festival designed by kids | Saturday 22 April 2023 | from 11am–5pm

Artists for Kids Culture (AKC), a for-purpose organisation that designs and creates opportunities for a new generation to emerge with creative confidence. The AKC artsbus offers free weekly arts programs at the Park Towers social housing estate for kids who might otherwise miss out.  AKC is hosting the second Y(Our) Fest on 22 April 2023, with proud support from the City of Port Phillip.  

Y(Our) Fest is a festival designed by kids for everyone. The children who attend the South Melbourne artsbus program have curated the music, activities, and food! The event features performances and workshops by artists from the Port Phillip area. AKC is pleased to work in partnership with the Port Phillip FReeZA Committee for this event.
  • Where: Sol Green Community Centre, South Melbourne.
  • Cost: Entry and activities are free for everyone and we are excited to host a free sausage sizzle for the community.  
  • Bookings: free tickets online via Humanitix

CELEBRATING | The global flavours of Port Phillip

Come Southside and take your tastebuds on a tour around the world!                    

Visit our online map to explore great places to eat across the City.

Visit old favourites and discover new flavours. 

Support our multicultural communities and share the important role that food plays in preserving traditions.

Enter to win
Snap and share a photo of your favourite food spot to Instagram using #SouthsideFlavours and #CulturalDiversityWeek up to 9 April 2023 and you’ll be in with a chance to win a meal.

WALKING | Guided walk: Montague Reborn | Sunday 30 April 2023 | 2–4pm

Hosted by Janet Bolitho, walk the lanes and streets to see the transformation of the former working-class community of Montague into a modern high-tech precinct.
  • Where: Location Start: Page Reserve, Cnr Boundary and Station Streets, Port Melbourne. Finish: South Melbourne Station, Light Rail Stop 127
  • Cost: Free
  • Bookings: essential, online via Trybooking

CONNECTING | Pathways for Carers - Monthly walk, talk and morning tea | 9.45am for a 10am start 

Are you a Carer needing peer support and gentle exercise?

Join us on a monthly walk on the 4th Tuesday of every month around the nature and beach paths of St Kilda. Every month there will be a guest speaker providing information and resources. Morning tea is included.

  • Tues 25 April 2023
  • Tues 23 May 2023
  • Tues 27 June 2023
  • Where: Meeting place/Morning tea venue: Victorian Pride Centre, 79-81 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
  • Considerations: Morning tea from 10.45am for those unable to participate in walk.
  • Download flyer for your community notice board.
  • Contact person: email Simone

 Other Programs 

HEARING | Your say: Shaping our new LGBTIQA+ Action Plan | submissions close Monday 17 April 2023

We want your feedback on our draft LGBTIQA+ Action Plan. 

The LGBTIQA+ Action Plan identifies the needs and aspirations for LGBTIQA+ communities in our municipality and is a key part of Council’s commitment to an Inclusive Port Phillip.

The draft Action Plan has been developed through community consultation and guidance from Council's LGBTIQA+ Advisory Committee.

ADVISING | Power Saving Bonus is Back!

Do you have community members who use your services that may need assistance to apply for the $250 Power Saving Bonus?

A new round of the Power-Saving Bonus opened on March 24. The program is open to all Victorians who hold a residential electricity account. The $250 Power Saving Bonus aims to ease cost-of-living pressures and encourage Victorians to compare their household energy prices and save money. If you have previously received the bonus, you can apply again in this new round and receive another $250.

Power Saving Bonus Application assistance in Elwood
Residents who are unable to apply online at the Victorian Energy Compare website or would like a hand to do so can apply for the bonus through Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Simply drop into the centre at 87 Tennyson Street, Elwood (Monday to Thursday between 9.15am-4.45pm), and bring your most recent electricity bill, along with your BSB and bank account number or nominate to receive the bonus in a cheque.
  • For more information call 03 9531 1954.

Power Saving Bonus Application assistance in St Kilda
Port Phillip Community Group can now assist residents to apply for the Victorian Government’s $250 power saving bonus. Their trained support workers can check your bill, ensure you are not paying too much for utilities, discuss hardship options, and submit your $250 PSB application for you. The new PSB4 opened up on March 24 so community members can contact PPCG from April 2023 and they can assist to apply for the latest power saving bonus. Don’t miss out!
  • For more information call 03 8598 6600 or email

 Community Profile 

Toy Libraries

What is the name of your organisation/group and when did it start?
Emerald Hill Toy Library has been operating for over 35 years. Middle Park was established in 1986, and South Melbourne opened in 2015.

What is your organisation or group’s elevator pitch?
For a yearly membership fee, that equals less than $2.80 a week, your children can access over 2,000 toys. Our toys cater for every stage of your child’s development from 6 months to 6 years.

Our goal is to support families by encouraging quality play time that develops skills and fosters each child’s imagination. We also seek to minimise environmental impact by reducing, reusing and recycling. 

Recent research by the Australian Toy Association and Sustainability Victoria shows that 220 million toys are sold in Australia each year. Of these toys, 51% are thrown out as waste within 12 months of purchase. Further, a UK survey found that, on average, a child loses interest in a toy within just 36 days. We want to keep children engaged, so families can borrow from a large range of toys and visit as often as they like to change them.

Great reasons to join include:
  • Use the toy library to rotate toys and keep things interesting
  • Keep the clutter out of your house
  • Try toys before you buy them
  • Borrow toys for an upcoming birthday party or event
  • Meet other parents and members of the community.
For the kids every visit is a bit like visiting a toy store and Christmas Day rolled into one!

We also now have Sara on board as the Toy Library Coordinator who can help families select quality toys that suit their children. She is really welcoming and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in play-based development in early years, as well as experience with neurodivergent children.

What is your name and role in the organisation/group?
My name is Yen Vuong and I’m the President of the Emerald Hill Toy Library Committee.

My role is to work with our volunteer committee and our paid Toy Library Coordinator, Sara, to run the toy libraries.

Our volunteer committee do all the behind-the-scenes activities to support our toy library operations:
  • Manage finances and payroll
  • Meet our statutory obligations (tax statements, annual reporting, etc)
  • Apply for grants - so we can buy toys
  • Coordinate advertising and social media
  • Liaise with council and community representatives
  • Provide support to our toy library coordinator.
How many active members do you currently have?
Across both toy libraries we currently have over 170 families using our services.

How can someone become a member?
Anyone interested in joining can drop into either of the toy libraries when they are open or they can sign up online.
What was the organisation or group’s proudest achievement in 2022?
Like many organisations, we were significantly impacted by COVID. We had to close our operations for a year and then could only open for Click and Collect in 2021.

In 2022 we were able to reopen our doors to our members and it was great to see parents and carers, and their children, come back into the library. Since then we have managed to grow our membership back to almost pre-covid levels.

What project or activity is coming up that you want everyone to know about?
We’re really excited to be announcing that from the 1 July 2023 members of both Middle Park and South Melbourne Toy Libraries will be able to access toys at both locations.

Up until now we have been running the toy libraries as two independent branches so members can only borrow toys from the branch that they had signed up to. Opening up both libraries means members will have access to over 2,000 toys and more toy library sessions to choose from – all for the price of a standard membership.

We’ve also got some great ideas and inspiration from attending the 16th International Toy Library Conference, held earlier in March, so expect to see more initiatives over the coming year.

Can you tell us one thing that works really well in your organisation/group and why it works well? 
Our volunteers are amazing.

It takes a bit of effort to run a toy library – our committee is made up entirely of volunteers who are juggling the responsibilities of family and work, as well as giving up some time to assist with the toy library.

We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers to assist us either in the library or on the committee so reach out if you’re interested. It can be just a couple of hours here or there, or focussing on a dedicated project, or just one specific task like Instagram reels. You don’t even need any special skills just enthusiasm!

It’s a great way to get to know others and contribute to your local community.


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