NAVIGATION

VMC | UPDATING | Read the VMC's 2020-21 Annual Report | Wednesday 27 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

Thanks to the impressive vaccine uptake rate, the Premier has issued the updated Victorian Roadmap. This sets out the way forward over the coming months. 

Message from the Chairperson

Thank you all for the impressive work you've done in getting us here. 

This week, we can finally show you our 2020-21 Annual Report, which was tabled yesterday in Parliament. 

The VMC was involved in so many conversations, online meetings and roundtables, and helped in providing thousands of food parcels to multicultural communities across Victoria. 

We also continued our advocacy efforts on many matters, including employment, family violence, mental health, racism and systemic barriers that prevent members of the multicultural communities to participate fully in society.


Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

COVID-19 forum for parents | Thursday 28 October 2021 | 5.30-6.30pm

The Victorian Multicultural Commission, in partnership with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH), invites you to an online information session this Thursday. The forum will explore support services available for parents who cannot look after their children due to COVID-19-related isolation or hospitalisation.

You will learn about the COVID Family Finding service, the Family Recovery Program, food relief and more. 
 

Head to Health – mental health support

The ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have caused significant disruption for many Australians. It may have affected your work, family life or other plans. For some, life has returned to normal to a certain degree, but for others things remain uncertain.

Managing your mental health during this time of change and uncertainty can be an ongoing challenge.

If you are feeling impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in any way, the Australian Government's Head to Health page provides information, tips and resources to support you and your loved ones’ mental health.

It is also available to browse in the following languages:
 

Information webinar for Afghan community | Thursday 28 October 2021 | arrive online 5.50pm for 6-7.30pm

The Afghan Women's Organisation presents an online information session for the Afghan community in Victoria this Thursday.

The session will share advice on visa applications, pathways to settlement and settlement support, as well as support services available to the Afghan-Australian community. 

There will also be presentations from David WIlden, First Assistant Secretary for the Department of Home Affairs, and Paris Aristotle AO, Chair of the Refugee and Migrant Services Advisory Council.

Nominate for the Top 50 Public Sector Women | nominations close 22 November 2021 

Nominations for IPAA Victoria’s 2021 Top 50 Public Sector Women are now open.

Do you know an exceptional woman in the public sector who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the COVID-19 response or in adapting and steering an organisation in the context of COVID-19?

Women in established leadership roles have stepped up, taking on new responsibilities, secondments and COVID project work. Others have embraced the opportunity they have been given to step in as emerging leaders in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. They have all demonstrated agility, resilience and the ability to adapt and learn on the job. 

Help us to discover and recognise the public sector women from across Victoria in all levels of government who have made an exceptional contribution during COVID-19 – whether in front line work, supporting teams, rapidly adjusting business as usual programs or working behind the scenes.

Now is the time to acknowledge and celebrate these exceptional women across the public sector who exemplify leadership, commitment and strength. 
 

'Fab Jab' promotes the vaccine in LGBTIQ+ communities

The Victorian Government has partnered with Joy FM on Fab Jab, an effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in LGBTIQ+ communities.

Check out the website for details on how to get vaccinated, as well as frequently asked questions and further support services. 
 

National Anti-Racism Framework seeking submissions

The Australian Human Rights Commission is inviting submissions to inform the development of a National Anti-Racism Framework (the Framework).

The Framework will be a long-term, central reference point to guide actions on anti-racism and equality by government, NGOs, business, communities and other sectors.

The commission is very interested to hear from those with expertise and knowledge of anti-racism initiatives and in responding to racism at structural, institutional and interpersonal levels.
 

New payment to help women escape violent relationships

The Australian Government can provide women leaving a violent relationship with access to a one-off payment of up to $5,000 to help them establish a life free of violence.

Under the two-year Escaping Violence Payment trial, women will receive financial assistance of up to $1,5000 in cash with the remainder available for goods and services or direct payments of bonds, school fees or other support to help establish a safe home.

The Escaping Violence Payment will build on and complement existing programs offered by state and territories, as well as Australian Government support offered to women experiencing violence, including:
 

It's Children's Week! | Saturday 23 October–Sunday 31 October 2021

Before you chuckle and say, 'Every week is children's week' and go to your next email, you should know that the official Children's Week offers some fantastic free activities to keep the kids entertained.

Children's Week is a national celebration that recognises the talents, skills, achievements and rights of children. It is running this week with thousands of Victorian children taking part in festivities.

During Children's Week, local councils, not-for-profit organisations, schools and early childhood services organise open days, displays, special events, virtual spaces and online-based activities. These all celebrate childhood and showcase children's achievements.

All Children's Week events are free to families with children aged from birth to 12 years. It's a great opportunity for Victorian families to enjoy fun, engaging and educational experiences.
 

Coronavirus hotline 


MORE:

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


GOVV | UPDATING | Restrictions Victoria | Thursday 21 October 2021 | from 11.59pm

[Edited extract from public address]

At 11.59pm on Thursday 21 October 2021, Victoria will move forward in opening up when more restrictions will be eased.

The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds, including hospitalisation rates and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.

With Victoria's first dose vaccination rate at almost 90%, Victoria will this week hit a significant milestone on the Roadmap, with 70% of Victorians 16 years and over having received both their vaccine doses.

Metropolitan Melbourne: 

  • Up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes. To ensure this is done safely, it’s highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home.
  • Curfew and the 15km travel radius removed, however movement between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will only be allowed for permitted reasons. This is to ensure Melburnians don’t spread the virus further into regional Victoria while we push to our 80 per cent double vaccinated target.
  • Still work from home if they can. Anyone on the authorised workers list is required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work on site.
  • Childcare will be open to children who are already attending, as well as children whose parents or guardians are fully vaccinated. 
  • The return to school plan will also be brought forward in line with the rest of these settings, with the start of the staggered return of Grade 3 to Year 11 commencing on Friday 22 October.
  • Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be able to take place with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors subject to density limits and only if all attendees are fully vaccinated. Or, if vaccination status is unknown, 10 people are permitted indoors for funerals, weddings and religious gatherings.
  • Most outdoor settings – outdoor cafes, cinemas, and physical recreation facilities like pools – will open with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those fully vaccinated.
  • Indoor settings like restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors with density limits, and only if all attendees – including workers – are fully vaccinated. This is a higher cap than planned in the initial Roadmap and the change has been made after discussions between the sector and the public health team.  
  • Large scale construction sites will increase to 100 percent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated.
  • Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.

Regional Victoria:

  • Up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes. To ensure this is done safely, it’s highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home.
  • Indoor settings – like restaurants, cafes and gyms – will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated.
  • Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated. If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people.

The next milestone in the Roadmap 

Victoria is on track to hit 80% double dose vaccination target, predicted to be the first week of November. It’s important to remember the more Victorians who get vaccinated, the sooner the next target is hit and the more restrictions can be lifted.

If you haven’t booked your appointment, please book it today. Over the next week there are 52,465 first and second dose Pfizer appointments available, 6,244 first and second dose AstraZeneca appointments available and 15,477 first and second dose Moderna available. Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their trusted GP or pharmacist.

Additionally

  • You can leave home if there is an emergency.
  • You can leave home if there is family violence or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If you need to leave home, you must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.
 

Other ways to stay safe

  • Always wash your hands before you leave, and when you return home.
  • Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Never, ever go out if you are unwell unless it is to get tested.
  • After you get tested, you must go straight home.
  • Remember that the most important thing you can do is get tested, even if you have the mildest of symptoms.
  • Get vaccinated.
 

To learn more about Victoria's restrictions

 

 Relief and Community Support links:


COVID-19 Resources

Exposure sites

There are new coronavirus exposure sites across Melbourne as well as some regional areas. If you, or your friends or family, went to any of the exposure sites listed here at the times indicated, please follow the advice given for that particular site. 


Vaccinations

Getting vaccinated is our way out of this pandemic. The best vaccine you can get is the one that you can get today.

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

Have you booked your vaccine? Everyone in Australia can get the vaccination when it's their turn. Currently in Victoria, anyone aged 40 or over is eligible for the free vaccine, along with people with particular underlying conditions 

Resources for disability service providers

This Federal Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 vaccine webpage has comprehensive information and resources for people with disability. This includes a readiness toolkit with resources designed to assist disability service providers during the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Immediate Eligibility for NDIS participants and carers aged 16 years and over

All National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants aged 16 years and over and carers aged 16 years and over of NDIS participants of any age became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from 8 June. NDIS participants will be able to find a vaccination site using the Department of Health's eligibility checker. 

AUST | GOV | Arm yourself against COVID-19

The Australian Government has launched a new campaign to encourage eligible Australians to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Arm Yourself campaign urges Australians to protect themselves, their loved ones, the people they care about, and the wider community by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker in 15 languages to find out when you can book your vaccination and arm yourself. 

VIC | GOV | It's a no brainer Vaccination Video

Thursday Island resident Elsie Seriat OAM is a proud mum, runner and graduate from the Indigenous Marathon Foundation. In a new video, she explains how important it is to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19 by getting the vaccine when you can.

The video is part of a raft of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples explaining the importance of the vaccination. You can browse other resources here 

VIC | VCOSS | Getting Back To The Good Things and Performance Of A Lifetime Vaccination Videos 

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) videos feature ordinary Australians talking about the special moments in life they are looking forward to when life can be 'normal' again.


MELB | NWMPHN |  Goodbye COVID Vaccination Video

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) worked with local community leaders to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated protects yourself and your loved ones. When enough of us are vaccinated, life will be better for everyone.

Goodbye COVID videos are in 20 languages, along with scripts and more information. 

AUST | GOV | CALD and Aged Care vaccination videos

Watch new videos from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community members speaking in Mandarin, Cantonese, Nepali, Vietnamese and Dinka about why they got their COVID-19 vaccine.

Aged care residents have also shared their experience getting the COVID-19 vaccines. Videos come with captions in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean and Vietnamese. 

AUST | GOV | Showing proof of vaccination

After you get vaccinated, your vaccination provider adds your details on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) within 10 days. Most people can get their proof using their Medicare online account through myGov. You just need to make sure you’ve got a myGov account set up and that you’ve linked it to Medicare. 

MORE:

Office of the Premier
State Government of Victoria (GOVV)
Address: 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Victoria 3002 Australia

VMC | UPDATING | How to build a thriving community in a pandemic, Lockdown is ending this week! | Tuesday 19 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

The significant uptick in the vaccine rate has brought the end of lockdown restrictions forward to this Friday.

Message from the Chairperson

I hope this week’s Community Update comes to you in a time of optimism.There is significant work underway surrounding pop-up vaccine sites at local levels as well. As always, please continue to get tested if you have any symptoms.

Like many of you, I am pleased to see my children back at school, being able to visit my family and having a yarn with some friends in-person.\

Thank you for your collective efforts over the last several months. Please enjoy the opening up this weekend.

More news for multicultural communities can be found below.

Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

Community Hubs – building thriving communities through a pandemic

The National Community Hubs Program supports migrant and refugee families, particularly mothers with young children. They connect women with their children’s schools, with each other and with organisations that can provide health, education and support. 

The Community Hub at Dandenong West Primary School has been one of Victoria’s leaders in building a thriving virtual community through the pandemic.  

The VMC caught up with the school’s principal, Bev Hansen and Community Hub co-leaders Rahima Rizai and Abby Rezek, to learn how they turned their Hub into the focal point of the school’s new migrant community, despite six lockdowns. 
 

Fortnightly COVID-19 Update Forum

The Victorian Multicultural Commission, in partnership with the Department of Health and Services Victoria invites you to an online community information session discussing Victoria’s current COVID-19 status tomorrow night from 7:00 – 8:30pm. 

These updates have been held every fortnight throughout the pandemic.The intention of this week's information session is to keep you informed on the latest developments relating to easing of restrictions, the Moderna vaccine and vaccine certificates.
 

Youth Engagement Grants | open now, submissions close 13 December 2021 at 4pm

Small multicultural and Aboriginal clubs and community organisations are invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to support young people make positive life choices and reach their potential.

The Youth Engagement Grants are an initiative under the Victorian Government’s Crime Prevention Strategy. The grants provide funding to support projects that use cultural connection, sport, arts, music or other creative activities to engage young people aged 8-24 years old.

The program will involve an initial expression of interest (EOI) process, followed by support for selected organisations to plan activity and develop a quality grant proposal, which will be assessed for funding suitability.
 

Job alert: Victorian Skills Authority

The new Victorian Skills Authority is seeking talented applicants with expertise in community engagement, data, policy and programs to help strengthen links between industry needs and high quality skills for all Victorians.

Work with the new Victorian Skills Authority to really make a difference to skills-based training pathways that align with what businesses, communities and individuals need.
Applications close for several ongoing roles soon. 
 

Jobs Victoria wage subsidies deliver jobs

Scores of Victorians are finding permanent work each week with the help of a Victorian Government program that pays part of the worker’s wage – providing a major boost to small businesses gearing up as the economy re-opens.

More than 800 businesses across Victoria have successfully applied for a wage subsidy of up to $20,000 for some 1,300 new workers – including hairdressers, warehouse staff, bookkeepers, solar technicians and butchers.

The wage subsidies are part of a landmark $619 million investment in Jobs Victoria that is helping to connect people looking for work with employers seeking staff.
 

Respecting diversity in the coronial process

The Victorian Government has welcomed recommendations from the Coronial Council of Victoria to improve the experiences of multicultural and multifaith communities during the challenging coronial process.

Last week, the Council released its report on the appropriate handling of deaths in multicultural and multifaith communities by the Coroners Court. Its consultations identified ways to better respond to cultural and religious considerations throughout the coronial process, as well as how to improve communication with families.

This includes abiding by cultural and religious practices during investigations, ensuring timelines for release of the body better meet religious and cultural needs and favouring non-invasive post-mortem examinations where possible.
 

Job alert: Join the VPTA board

The Victorian Public Tenants Association is currently seeking Expressions of Interest from people who are interested in joining their Board.

They're particularly keen to hear from people who have lived, or currently live, in public housing in Victoria.

Membership of the VPTA Board is voluntary, and suited to people who have a strong interest in public housing and homelessness, as well as (ideally) some previous governance experience.
 

Coronavirus hotline 


MORE:

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

PWR | INVITING | All to Explore the Last Lineup of Luminaries, And Take Advantage of the Last Day of Registration | Saturday 16 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

The Parliament of the World's Religions is excited to announce the final round of featured luminaries joining the plenary stage.

The Parliament welcomes the latest Voices of PoWR to the diverse list of plenary speakers at the 2021 Parliament of World's Religions.
  • Sheikh Mowafaq Tarīf, The spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel and activist on the Syrian crisis, especially maintaining minorities rights.
  • Ann Smith, Former Director of Women’s Ministries National Episcopal Church and co-Convener of The General Congress of Women.
  • Rev. Charline E. Manuel, Inspirational Author, Speaker and Member of the Board of Directors of Unity World Headquarters.
  • Paul Knitter, Member of the Board of Directors at OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership. He is the emeritus professor at Union Theological Seminary.
  • Rev. Dr. Shanta D. Premawardhana, President of OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership.
  • Galaikai Patjaljinuk, Puringau (Sorcerer) of Paiwan, an Indigenous Taiwanese.
  • Rev. Stephen Avino, Chief Operating Officer & Acting Executive Director of the Parliament of the World's Religions.
  • David Hales, Environmental policy and sustainability expert, serving as Chair of the Climate Action Task Force at the Parliament of the World's Religions.
  • Awakeneers, Nomadic band of nine multi-instrumentalist songwriters with a mission to embody light, love, and truth.
  • Naeem Mohammad Baig, Former President of Islamic Circle of North America, ICNA, and currently he is Director of Interfaith Alliances.
These diverse voices join thousands of interfaith activists and inspiring global leaders at the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions. You don't want to miss it!
 
The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions is less than 24 hours away, and registration is closing soon.
Register Today!

Already registered? Thousands of attendees are already interacting live on the portal and exploring the agenda. Join them!
Considering registration? Today is the last day to register with the Parliament and the last day to access the Student rate, price increases to $110 for October 16th-18th on the host platform.

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Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)

PWR | ANNOUNCING | The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions goes live soon! | 16-18 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

This 8th global Convening offers attendees some of the great highlights from previous convenings: inspiring plenaries, diverse global programming, and a deep commitment to the global interfaith movement.

But the 2021 Parliament is also a Parliament unlike any other. Limitless opportunities to connect and 30 days of access to program recordings are just some of the few things that make this Parliament unique.

Here are 6 exciting things registrants can look forward to during the virtual Parliament.

A Special Message

The 2021 Parliament will feature a special Papal message and blessing from His Holiness Pope Francis to the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions!

The Regional Symposiums

The Symposiums provide registrants the opportunity to connect with faith and spiritual leaders from Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The Symposiums highlight global challenges, global successes, and global connections.

The Film Festival

The Film Festival at the 2021 Parliament offers registrants a unique opportunity to enjoy documentaries from award-winning directors, heartfelt stories of faith, profound stories of justice, and outstanding interfaith stories.

The Lounges

Modeled after the signature Faith Rooms at the in-person Convenings, the lounges at the 2021 Parliament provide attendees the opportunity to connect with participants based on faith, location, and interests.

The Expo & Networking Opportunities

Countless networking opportunities will be available during the Parliament. Registrants can connect face-to-face via camera with attendees all over the world, chat with each other throughout the platform, and connect one-on-one with exhibitors and sponsors.

A Special Guest

Join a special guest at the Closing Plenary on Monday 18 October 2021 for an exciting announcement!

You don't want to miss the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions, an online convening unlike any other.

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Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)

PWR | WELCOMING | Additional Global Faith Leaders as Featured Luminaries at the 2021 Parliament | 16-18 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

The Parliament of the World's Religions is excited to announce the latest set of PoWR Voices to join 100+ global faith leaders as featured luminaries for the 2021 Parliament of World's Religions.

  • Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh, Spiritual Leader and Chairman of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, UK
  • Terry Tempest Williams, Author, naturalist, and fierce advocate for freedom of speech.
  • Rev. Barbara Becker, Interfaith minister and author of Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind.
  • Dr. Zuzana Palovic, Central Eastern European and migration expert.
  • Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish, Head Shinto Priest at Tsubaki America Grand Shrine.
  • Soraya Deen, Coordinator of Women’s Initiatives and Partnerships at OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership.
  • Imam Saffet Catovic, Founding Member of the ISNA Green Initiatives.
  • Sri Dasmesh Band Also known as The Malaysian Sikh Band.
  • George Cork Maul, An East End composer, pianist and performance art specialist.

The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions offers unlimited opportunities to connect, learn, and share.

You don't want to miss regional symposiums, 500 + programs, and thousands of grassroots organizers available live and for 30 days after the Convening.
Want to share the announcement with your network? Be sure to remind them that the last day to register with the Parliament is Friday 15 October 2021.

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Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)

PHAAA | CALLING | All poets and poetry lovers for Poets Paradise | Sundays | 3-5 pm

[Edited extract from public address]

You are welcome to read your own, or another person’s poem relating to the particular theme for each event, or just attend as a listener.

Themes include: Conserving the Earth, Displaced Poems, Exile at Home and Free Poems.

Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, the events are planned to take place at the Mary Kehoe Community Centre or via Zoom.

For more information, email Josephine or visit PHAAA website.

MORE:

Planetary Healing Artists Association of Australia (PHAAA)

THWO | CALLING | First Nations storytellers for First Stories Festival 2022 | applications close 29 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

Across February and March of 2022, Theatre Works will present the inaugural First Stories Festival - a Deadly new writers festival for First Nations storytellers.

Proudly delivered #ByMob4Mob, who are currently seeking expressions of interest from First Nations and Torres Strait Islander participants, with applications open until 29 October 2021.

The week-long program aims to empower emerging writers and storytellers to find their voice in their own way. First Nations peeps, writers/creators are invited to make work that celebrates cultural diversity and inclusivity. Themes of rejuvenation, inspiration and uninhibited freedom are at the heart of this festival.  

Applications will only be accepted from First Nations and Torres Strait Islander persons.
Shortlisted applicants will be Interviewed either face-to-face or via Zoom in November. 
Successful applicants will be notified in the second week of November. 

MORE:

Theatre Works (THWO)
Address: 14 Acland Street, St Kilda Vic 3182 Australia
Tel: (03) 9534 4879

VMC | UPDATING | Opportunities in mental health and leadership, consultation sought on disability and language services | Tuesday 12 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

Things are looking positive this week. More than 85% of eligible Victorians have now received their first vaccination against COVID-19, and positive case numbers appear to be heading down.

Message from the Chairperson

Thank you to the collective efforts of each and every one of you.

The efforts of multicultural and multifaith groups have been instrumental in these results. Videos like this one by SistaHub, an initiative of Muslim women from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, are so important and influential.

Thank you also to the many of you who tuned in to our fortnightly COVID-19 update last Thursday to listen to State Commander Jeroen Weimer discuss the Roadmap. Please stay tuned, stay connected and reach out to each other. We all have a lot to look forward to if we get vaccinated.

I'd like to remind you that grants are being awarded from the Priority Response to Multicultural Communities During Coronavirus program right now. The program, which helps multicultural communities slow the spread of COVID-19, will close once funds have been exhausted, so please submit your application as soon as possible. The activities that organisations are seeking sponsorship for can take place from now until 31 March 2022.

Please read on below for a selection of news and opportunities that may be of interest to you.

Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

Mental Health and Wellbeing Interim Regional Bodies taking expressions of interest

Exciting opportunities are available for members of the Victorian public to shape the future of mental health and wellbeing in Victoria.

The Chairs of Interim Regional Bodies are at the forefront of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System's vision for regional governance in Victoria. They will have a pivotal role establishing regional planning systems, leading engagement with stakeholders and communities.

They will also plan for the transition to enduring governance under the structure of Regional Boards.
 

SSI Allianz Refugee Scholarships | applications for 2022 academic year now open

Settlement Services International (SSI) Allianz scholarships directly support people from refugee backgrounds in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria to achieve independence. The scholarships have been created to minimise the financial barriers experienced by refugees as they participate in the education system.

SSI, with the generous support of Allianz, continues to aim to achieve its vision of a society that values the diversity of its people. These scholarships help promote meaningful social and economic participation, and assist individuals and families to reach their potential.
 

2022 Active Citizenship Leadership Program

The Active Citizenship  Leadership Program provides an opportunity for up to 25 emerging leaders (18 years +) from Victoria’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities to develop their leadership skills, capabilities, and confidence to champion active participation in the democratic process within their communities.  

This highly interactive learning program will include working on collaborative community projects, listening to guest speakers sharing their active citizenship experiences, and access to an extensive network of peers and supporters. The program content is a mix of leadership-related learning, hands-on skills for community engagement, and active citizenship program content.  

Opportunities to apply to join the Victorian Electoral Commission as a casual Democracy Ambassador will be provided at the end of the program. 
 

Premier's spirit of democracy study tour

The Premier's Spirit of Democracy (PSoD) Study Tour explores the origins of democracy, building a deeper understanding of the influence that democracy has on contemporary Victorian and Australian society. It is an annual competition open to students enrolled in Years 9, 10 and 11.

PSoD offers up to 22 students and up to four teacher chaperones the opportunity to take part in a five-day study tour of Melbourne and Canberra during the Term 1 school holidays. 

Students will gain the skills and understanding needed to participate in our democratic structures and institutions so that they can use their voice to lead positive change in their communities and shape the future.
 

Online Consultation: Review of the Disability Act | Wednesday 13 October | 12-1.30pm

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is reviewing the Disability Act 2006 to reflect the Victorian Government’s changing role in the governance of disability, with the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

The Review is considering how the Disability Act can be amended to promote inclusion and participation for more than 1.1 million Victorians living with a disability.

ECCV is looking to consult with community organisations on how to best amend the Disability Act 2006 to bring it in line with human rights principles and promote greater inclusion for people living with disability.
 

SBS Language Services Review | 5 October to 12 November 2021

The Language  Services  Review  is a process undertaken every five years in line with the  national  Census, as part of SBS’s ongoing commitment to continue evolving to meet the needs of Australia’s rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society.

The Language Services Review is a detailed process that occurs over a seventeen-month period, beginning with the Australian Census on Tuesday 10 August 2021.

SBS is hosting a public consultation from 5th October to 12th November inviting audiences, communities and stakeholders to provide feedback on the draft Language Selection Criteria.
 

Coronavirus hotline 


MORE:

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

PWR | REGISTER | Now for 30 Days of Inspiration at the 2021 Parliament | 16-18 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

For the first time in its esteemed history, the 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions is about to convene online! 

If you’re like me - zoomed out - the thought of sitting in front of your computer for 2 days is anything but inspiring. BUT I have great news – when you register, you’ll have 30 days to experience the Parliament’s diverse, wise and inspiring presenters, heart-opening religious observances, performances, music and films, fascinating panels and workshops.

The 2021 Parliament offers the world, offers you, the best of who when we come together to share our grief, our hope, our compassion and commitment to heal what is broken in the world. After 2 years of loss and isolation, it’s time to open our hearts to the world.

It’s time to convene. I look forward to seeing you at the 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions, Oct 16 –18.
With gratitude,
Phyllis Curott, Rev. HPs, 2021 Program Chair

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Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Website: https://parliamentofreligions.org

PWR | WELCOMING | Additional Global Faith Leaders as Featured Luminaries at the 2021 Parliament | 16-18 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

The Parliament of the World's Religions is thrilled to announce additional Voices of PoWR set to join 100+ global faith leaders as featured luminaries for the 2021 Parliament of World's Religions.

Ravi Singh is the CEO and Founder of Khalsa Aid International, an international humanitarian aid organisation based in Slough. The Charity Khalsa Aid International was founded in 1999, Ravi’s passion to serve and vision to create positive change has seen him lead from the frontline in areas of a humanitarian crisis for over 20 years.
 
Most Respected Muni Shri 108 Praman Sagar Ji Maharaj is a Digambar monk. He is a disciple of the greatest Jain saint of  20th century era, Acharya Shri Vidyasagar Ji Maharaj. He has set free the religion from traditional abstruseness and made it practicable in life.
 
Dr. Jean Houston is a scholar, philosopher, and researcher in Human Capacities, is one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time. She serves as the Chair of the United Palace of Spiritual Arts in New York City and Chancellor of Meridian University.
 
Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger lives in Alon Shvut Israel and is one of the founders of Roots/Shorashim/Judur, The Palestinian Israeli Grassroots Initiative for Understanding, Nonviolence and Transformation. Currently he serves as its Director of International Relations.
 
Reverend Angie Buchanan is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Earth Traditions, a Pagan church, and of Gaia's Womb, an interfaith spirituality group that has been producing retreats for women since 1998. She is an activist for religious freedom, a spiritual counselor, and a rites of passage celebrant.
These uplifting Voices of PoWR join us on the plenary stage to share their inspiring reflections on faith, grief, inspiration, and action.

The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions goes live soon

Registrants can explore offerings of this groundbreaking Virtual Convening as early as this Sunday 10 October 2021.

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Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Website: https://parliamentofreligions.org

VMC | UPDATING | National Mental Health Month, Moderna vaccine now available, Join our community forum | Tuesday 5 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

It's National Mental Health Month in October, and it's important to remember that you're not alone if lockdowns or the ongoing threat of coronavirus has been affecting you. We should also acknowledge that this week may be the toughest yet for some of us. 

Message from the Chairperson

I know the impact on mental health and wellbeing is severe, so please take care and reach out. We continue to advocate for further supports. If you are struggling to cope, please seek help

Learning today's case numbers may have been hard for many of us, as well. For the people who have contracted the virus, the next few weeks will be even harder. Our thoughts are with you. 

Getting vaccinated is now much easier. From this week, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination is available at pharmacies across the country. This is another safe and effective vaccine that will be a key part of our state reaching the vaccination targets.

If you haven't booked your first dose of a vaccine yet, please click here to see if there is a pharmacy near you with Moderna supply. Many locations have appointments available soon, so book as soon as you can!

Thank you to everyone who joined our last COVID-19 fortnightly forum. It was wonderful to see some new faces. This Zoom call is always a great opportunity to check in and bring any of your community's concerns to the attention of the VMC and the Department of Health. I hope to see some more of you there at this Thursday's edition, you can register your attendance here.

We are so thankful to all of you who have contributed to making sure your communities get accurate information that can save lives. If you would like to prepare a vaccination video, learn how to here. There are also Victorian Government grants between $5,000 and $10,000 available for public health content creation (closing in two days), while another round of funding has opened for the priority response to multicultural communities during coronavirus program.

Elsewhere in this week's Update, you might be interested to learn about expansions to skilled migration under the Australian Agricultural visa and the new guidance on negotiating rent relief as a business. It's also World Sight Day next week, and a good time to book in an eye health check-up to stop vision loss in its tracks. 

Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

You can now get vaccinated at pharmacies

Getting your COVID-19 vaccination just got easier. The Australian Government is rolling out 440,000 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine through pharmacies across the country this week, with additional orders for next week to be finalised soon.

Like the Pfizer vaccination, Moderna is currently recommended for people between 12 and 59 years old.
 

New guidance on rent relief in your language 

Victoria’s small business tenants and landlords can now access the Victorian Small Business Commission’s latest guidance on rent relief in Simplified Chinese, Arabic and Vietnamese.

Learn more about the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, how to negotiate rent relief and how to access free help where a fair agreement can’t be reached. 
 

Make your own COVID-19 vaccination video 

The Australian Government Department of Health is committed to making information on COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia. The Department of Health is asking community leaders for their support in sharing this critical information via video.

The COVID-19 Vaccination – How to make your own video guide is designed to help community leaders develop their own videos to share vaccine information with their communities.
 

Australian Agricultural visa giving opportunities to overseas workers

In August this year, the Australian Government announced the Australian Agriculture visa to address workforce shortages in the agriculture sector. The Australian Agriculture visa is being designed for primary industry sectors including horticulture, meat processing, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries (including aquaculture) and forestry.

The program will be operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, leveraging their experience managing the successful Pacific Labour Scheme.

The Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme will remain the priority source of temporary migrant workers for Australia’s agriculture sector. The Australian Agriculture visa will address any labour gaps that cannot be filled by Australian and Pacific labour.
 

It's World Sight Day next week

With World Sight Day coming up on Thursday 14 October, it is the perfect time for Victorians to take the pledge to love their eyes.

According to Vision Initiative Program Manager Ché Stockley, even as restrictions are currently limiting accessibility of eye care in much of the state, there’s still a number of actions people can take to safeguard their vision.

“We are calling on Victorians to show their eyes some love by pledging to get an eye test just as soon as they’re able to." she said. "Even if people can’t get their regular eye test at the moment, it’s important they make it a priority when restrictions ease.

“But if you notice a change in your vision, such as sudden blurriness, optometrists are able to offer treatment for urgent care state-wide – so don’t delay seeking treatment.”

The Vision Initiative is an integrated eye health promotion program funded by the Victorian Government. It aims to prevent avoidable blindness and address the impact of vision loss in the Victorian community.
 

October is Mental Health Month

National Mental Health Month is an initiative of the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) to advocate for and raise awareness of Australian mental health. 

Throughout this month, many events have been organised in each state of Australia aiming to attract and unite Australians of all ages and backgrounds to promote better mental health for all. 

You can find some valuable mental health resources below.
 

Coronavirus hotline 


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


ARRCC | ADVOCATING | Faiths 4 Climate Justice Global Days Of Action | 17-18 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

Join with people of faith all over the world by being part of a massive global multi-religious ‘Faiths 4 Climate Justice’ Day of Action.

This will be timed for maximum impact two weeks out from the crucial COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. Join us by organising an action with your religious organisation or community on 17 and 18 October!

Together, we will send a clear message to governments and major financial institutions: destroying the planet is against our religions. We will not rest until governments, banks and investors get it right.

There will be actions over two days, the Sunday and the Monday. Each day will achieve a different purpose. 

We’d love it if you could organise a #Faiths4ClimateJustice action with your faith community or network on one of the days. If you and your community would like to participate on both days, all the better!


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Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)
Website: https://www.arrcc.org.au

S2B | WEBINAR | Feels Like Home Festival – Live Q&A, Friday Night Drinks & Laneway Mural

[Edited extract from public address]

A festival marking acceptance and respect through creative arts, reminding us that we all deserve to be safe and happy! Together we make a difference!

Street Art meets Culinary Art | Friday 8 October 2021 | 6pm

World renowned street artist and Space2b mural master Heesco will be joining forces with the multi award-winning, hat-accumulating chef Ben Shewry, owner of Melbourne's own Attica restaurant.

If you have any questions for Heesco or Ben, please email them to Luciana

Where: LIVE Q&A session via Zoom 
Bookings: Registrations essential, online through Eventbrite

Friday Night Drinks | Friday 15 October 2021

Just like "The Good Old Days", just with a twist of online. Come and join in the fun of our 'stuck-in-the-house' party to celebrate the end of our Festival Feels Like Home Festival by sharing some of our favourite drink recipes from around the world. Go on... you know you deserve it!

Where: online session via Zoom 
Bookings: Registrations essential, online through Eventbrite

Street Games Children Play Floor Mural | coming up

Plenty of wonderful things are planned once lockdown comes to an end, none more so than our super exciting laneway mural project led by Heesco and his amazing team of CALD creatives.

Laneway Festival | coming soon

Space2b, with the kind support of the City of Port Phillip, will be bringing even more colour and movement to our legendary laneway. There'll be a menagerie of local birds, oodles of indigenous flora and a brilliant array of children's street games from around the world that will spill out onto the laneway floor.

Make sure to follow S2b socials and checking in with our website for regular updates and launch dates.
 
Kindly supported by the Department Of Families, Fairness & Housing (DFFH)

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Space2b Social Design (S2b)
Address: 144 Chapel Street, St Kilda VIC 3182 Australia

PWR | WELCOMING | New Luminaries Joining the 2021 Parliament | 16-18 October 2021

[Edited extract from public address]

The Parliament of the World's Religions is deeply honored to announce new Voices of PoWR who join the growing list of featured luminaries at the 2021 Parliament of World's Religions.

His Eminence Muḥammad ˁAbdur-Raḥmān Muḥammad Aḍ-Ḍuwīnī serves as Al-Azhar Grand Imam’s Deputy and Professor of Comparative Islamic Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University. In May 1990, Aḍ-Ḍuwīnī obtained his BA Degree in Sharīˁah and Law, and later earned his MA degree in Comparative Islamic Jurisprudence. In 1998, Aḍ-Ḍuwīnī obtained his Ph.D. in Comparative Islamic Jurisprudence. 
 
His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson is the first Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, former President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on 11 October 1948 in Nsuta-Wassaw, Ghana. On 20 July 1975 he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast.
 
Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl serves as the Senior Rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City and is the first woman to lead Central’s Reform congregation in its 180-year history. Rabbi Buchdahl first joined Central Synagogue as Senior Cantor in 2006. In 2014, she was chosen by the congregation to be Senior Rabbi. 
 
Ming Hua Lin is a female Tao priest and the Vice-President of the Taoism Association in Taiwan. She also serves as a consultant for the Committee Member of Religious Affair, appointed by the Minister of the Interior in Taiwan.  Ming Hua Lin is officially ordained in a famous Taoist temple in Jianxi, China. She is the Chairperson at the headquarter of Treasure Lake Temples in Nantou, Taiwan and Trustee of ROC (Republic of China) Association of Taoism.
 
Nitin Ajmera is a senior management professional and practitioner of the Digambar Jain tradition. He is Chief Financial Officer at New York Sports Club and its family of brands. He also teaches at Drexel University. He has been associated with the Jain Center of America-New York and Jain Samaj of Long Island in many capacities ranging from a teacher in Jain Sunday School, committee chair, to the President. Nitin is the Chair of the Board of the Parliament of the World's Religions.

The 2021 Parliament goes live soon, the last day to register is 15 October 2021.

Continue to engage with attendees and watch programs for 30 days after the live Convening.
Full access to recorded luminary keynotes & programs, lounges, booths, and exhibits are included with general registration.

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Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Website: https://parliamentofreligions.org