New chair to guide multicultural group

Sign on Hume Global Learning Centre - Broadmeadows
A welcome sign: Hume is one of Australia's most diverse communities. 

An important committee that helps Hume City Council to work closely with newly-arrived residents has elected its new chairperson.

Gulten Metin, the executive officer at Migrant Resource Centre North West, will lead Council’s Multicultural Action Plan Working Group for the next 12 months.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said the working group aimed to strengthen services for people who had recently settled in the local community.

“It’s a vital body that’s been the force behind initiatives which make a real difference, like the refugee expo that was held recently in Broadmeadows,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“The group brings together representatives from associations like the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, and the Broadmeadows Family Relationship Centre.

“It meets every three months and allows Hume City Council to communicate directly with people who assist refugees, asylum seekers and other residents who are new to Australia.

“The working group assists Council to ensure that services like home help and immunisation are made available to newly-arrived residents.

“It also provides a way for local organisations to share their experiences so that people who work with refugees and asylum seekers can learn from each other.”

The Multicultural Action Plan Working Group represents more than 60 organisations, many of which offer services to residents who have long been settled in Australia.

The associations deliver support in areas like parenting, mental health, disability, homelessness and family violence.

Representatives from Victoria Police and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade are permanent members of Hume’s Multicultural Action Plan Working Group.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said the committee had recently advocated to the Australian Government.

“The group wanted to find out more information about the additional numbers of Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are scheduled to soon arrive in Australia,” she said.

“We expect that many of the refugees will settle in Hume, and local organisations want to be prepared so that the new arrivals can access accommodation and health services.

“It’s important that agencies in Hume understand how many extra people they will need to assist, and whether any additional support may be made available through the Australian Government.

“Each year, the organisations that are represented on Hume’s working group help more than 800 refugees and asylum seekers.

“They do this with great skill and compassion, and Hume City Council is there to partner with every association that wants to positively support newly-arrived residents.”

People who live in Hume come from more than 160 different countries and follow in excess of 25 faiths.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume’s diversity made the community a better place.

“People who have been born overseas are an indispensable part of Hume, because they start businesses, operate restaurants, and boost our manufacturing industry,” she said.

For further information about Hume’s Multicultural Action Plan Working Group, call 03 9205 2200.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 24 June 2016


Updated : 3:50 PM, 24 June 2016

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