Welcome to the VMC Community Noticeboard. If you would like to promote your event here please email the details to the Victorian Multicultural Commission.


New Youth Employment Survey

THE Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) has launched a new survey to find out more about the employment experiences of young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Results from the survey will be used by CMY to better understand and improve employment support for young people from diverse backgrounds.

Survey participants who respond by Tuesday 1 December 2015 will go in the draw to win a $200 gift voucher. The survey is confidential and will not identify respondents in any way.

Recent research undertaken by CMY revealed that humanitarian migrants have the highest unemployment rate of all migration categories, and a significant proportion of these are young people.

It is critical that the right level of support is made available to young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds and that appropriate systems are in place to facilitate their transition into Australia.

CMY has a range of programs designed to assist young people to find and sustain employment and education, which the survey will help to develop.

Visit the CMY website to have your say or help distribute the survey.

Ethnic Business Awards Announced

A FAMILY who fled war-torn Lebanon to create a new life in Australia has taken out one of the top prizes at the Ethnic Business Awards.

The prestigious awards held recently in Adelaide are one of Australia’s longest running national business awards programs, which recognise the achievements and entrepreneurialism of Australia’s migrant communities.

The founder and Chairperson of the awards, Mr Joseph Assaf AM, said the awards aim to promote an awareness of the economic contribution of migrant communities, the benefits their business endeavours bring to the broader Australian community and the potential for harmony.

 “We all have the responsibility of sharing and celebrating our many differences and of working together to build a great and harmonious multicultural society,” said Mr Assaf.

The awards are comprised of three categories – Small Business, Medium to Large Business and Indigenous in Business.

Joseph Kairouz, who won the Medium to Large Business category, started out working with his brother in the meat industry to support their 10 siblings.

Today, Cedar Meats Australia, based in Brooklyn, Victoria, employs more than 400 people, exporting to the US, EU and China.

“Multiculturalism is not a passing fancy. It is not a hobby. It is not a government policy. It is not just a ‘nice thing to do’ or a marketing opportunity. Multiculturalism is a way of life - these awards celebrate all of that,” said Mr Assaf.

Each winner takes home a hand-crafted crystal trophy and a $10,000 cheque from the National Australia Bank.

Ethnic Business Awards website here.

Department of Social Services - Volunteer Grants 2015 now open

THE Australian Government is inviting organisations to apply for Volunteer Grants under the Strengthening Communities – Volunteering sub-activity category.

Volunteer Grants enable community organisations to apply for grants of up to $5,000. Grants may be used to purchase small equipment items to assist their volunteers, assist with the fuel costs incurred by volunteers (and transport costs for volunteers with disability who are unable to drive), as well as contribute towards the cost of training courses and background screening checks for volunteers.

To be eligible for a grant applicants must be able to provide enough information about the organisation to demonstrate that they are an eligible Australian not-for-profit entity.

Applications are open now and will close at 2.00pm AEDT on Wednesday 9 December 2015.

Funding is expected to be offered around 5,700 organisations with grants to be paid by 30 June 2016.

For more information on how to apply for a grant visit the Department of Social Services website here.


When: Until 2.00pm 9 December 2015

Phone Number: 1800 183 374

Media conference for youth - 27 November 2015

ARE you a culturally diverse young person who is interested in working in the media?

Organisers of the 2015 National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC) Radioactive Youth Media Conference, are encouraging young people of diverse backgrounds to come along to this special event on Friday 27 November in Melbourne.

The NEMBC Radioactive Youth Media Conference is the only event of its kind in Australia which brings together young community radio broadcasters, media makers and community organisations from a diverse range of multicultural backgrounds.

Organisers encourage young people of diverse backgrounds to come along to hear inspiring stories, learn from industry professionals and network with young broadcasters and media makers from around Australia.

The full program of events includes presentations, Q&A panels and workshops, headed up by keynote speaker Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, digital entertainment and lifestyle editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Other key speakers and presenters include award-winning SBS journalist, Santilla Chingaipe, the General Manager of SYN Media – Australia’s only radio station for people under 25 – Tess Lawley and NEMBC President, Tangi Steen.

The day will also include a performance by Eloji, a Melbourne based hip-hop artist who has just released his first original EP The Ugly Side.

Participants will have lunch provided  and the NEMBC are offering travel subsidies to enable those who live outside of Melbourne to attend.

(The 2015 NEMBC Radioactive Youth Media Conference, Friday 27 November, Oaks on Market, 60 Market Street, Melbourne.)

Register: https://2em.wufoo.com/forms/sh04hy90j2yvke/

VMC Deputy Chairperson launches book by refugees by migrants

A NEW book celebrating the work of Victorian refugee and migrant writers was launched last week by Mr Ross Alatsas, Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

Home Truths: An Anthology of Refugee and Migrant Writing, is a collection of stories, essays and poems written by a diverse group of writers, mostly from Africa and Asia.

The anthology is filled with first hand experiences of war and dislocation and of feeling at odds in a new culture.
“Sharing our stories not only honours the diverse voices and experiences of new Australians, it also helps capture the hearts and minds of the wider community,” said Mr Alatsas.

Jill Parris, a counselling psychologist and herself a refugee who initially worked with many of the authors using writing as extension of trauma counselling, says the project was about giving people a voice.

“We wanted to introduce our fellow Australians to our home countries. We wanted them to understand how and why we had to flee and why we needed their goodwill to flourish in our new homes,” she explained.

“This experience is the most valuable achievement I’ve had since moving to Australia.”, says Elham Shahhoseini, one of the authors.

The project received support from Writers Victoria, the Ecumenical Migration Centre and the Brotherhood of St Lawrence. Authors also received support from 18 Writers Victoria members who offered two years of sustained writing support for the storytellers.

All sales proceeds of this book will be donated to charities that support refugees.

(Home Truths an Anthology of Refugee and Migrant Writing is available from Readings bookstores. Price $20.00.)

Youth Central Discussion Paper - Have your say

THE 'What’s Important to Youth?' discussion paper is another part of the consultation process that will inform the development of the Victorian Government's new youth policy.

Youth Central encourages you to provide comment as it is important that there is a diverse range of voices, particularly those who work directly with young people, to help shape the policy.

In particular they want to know what should be done to improve the lives of young people in Victoria.

You can provide your thoughts on the discussion paper and the Victorian Government’s proposed vision electronically by sending your submission to youth@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Submissions will close on 6 November 2015.

For more information and to fill out the discussion paper visit the Youth Central website here

'Welcome to Australia' Walk Together

THIS Saturday everyone is invited to show that Victoria, and Australia, is a welcoming place.

The Walk Together event starts at 11.00am and participants are asked to gather at the State Library of Victoria before walking together to Federation Square where a small festival will be taking place. Welcome to Australia Ambassador, comedian Tom Ballard will MC the festival event.

Organised by Welcome to Australia, the aim of the nationwide initiative is to celebrate Australia’s diversity and showcase the country and its people as compassionate, generous and welcoming while sending out a clear message to those who are living and arriving should feel a sense of belonging regardless of where they have come from.

As well as joining the walk you can also show your support on social media by using #SayWelcome.

When: Saturday 31 October

Where: State Library of Victoria

New Multicultural Hub Celebrates Sunraysia's Diversity

A NEW multicultural hub has officially opened its doors to a range of culturally and linguistically diverse groups in regional Victoria.

THE Cultural Community Centre, managed by the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council (SMECC), is a multipurpose facility including two community rooms, a function space, reception area, meeting and training room, interview rooms, library, kitchen and a multi-faith prayer room.

The hub, which was part-funded by the Victorian Government, serves as a focal point for diverse community groups, particularly for newly settled communities, that may be experiencing difficulty in accessing services and support networks.

The community space has been designed to serve a variety of purposes and provides a safe and comfortable venue to host regular community meetings.

Click here for more information.

The Hope Prize - new literary competition launched

THE Brotherhood of St Laurence has launched a new literary competition.

The Hope Prize - a new national short story competition  -  is aimed at encouraging Australian writers to tackle subjects that are often hidden from public view or reduced to cliches.

The short story entered can be fiction or fact. However the story submitted must convey the experience of people facing hardship in their lives.

Three leading Australians, actor Cate Blanchett, author Kate Grenville, and the former Governor General Quentin Bryce, will judge the competition.

The judges are personalities who are well known for being passionate about defeating disadvantage in Australian communities.

"I am excited to take part in the Brotherhood short story competition and look forward to reading the stories that shine a light on disadvantage, " said Cate Blanchett.

"Stories enrich both the storyteller and the story-reader, bringing new understanding and new perspectives to both.

"I'm delighted to be part of such a good project, supporting such a very worthwhile cause," said author Kate Grenville.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence said they decided to name the competition 'The Hope Prize' because they wanted to encourage writing that transcends stereotypes of 'the poor'.

"We want to see perceptive prose and nuanced storytelling that reflects the resilience we know that people show in the face of poverty and testing times," a spokesperson said.

The winners will receive cash prizes:

  • First prize of $5000
  • Second prize of $3000
  • Third prize of $2000

Highly commended stories will each receive $500

An award of $500 will also be made to an emerging writer under 18 years of age.

The deadline for entries is 31 January, 2016.

Stories submitted must be between 2000 and 5000 words in length.

For more information click here

New Campaign Tackles Youth Unemployment In A New Way

A NEW campaign aims to improve employment opportunities for young people in the Inner North of Melbourne.

Running from September to November, the Jobs for Youth 2015 campaign, includes job-readiness events and activities aimed at young people aged 14-25 with an emphasis on fun.

Events include retail and hospitality information sessions, resume writing classes, animal care courses, dress for success workshops and job interview readiness programs.

“The Jobs for Youth Campaign will be critical to getting young people into work as well as redressing issues such as crime and mental health problems that are both linked to unemployment," said Chair of the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce David Kennedy.

The campaign is the result of a report into the effect of youth unemployment on the community, commissioned by the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce (INYET), which is composed of community leaders from the Darebin, Moreland and Yarra council areas.

For more information click here

New Multilingual Survey - A First For Australia

FOR the first time in Australia, a public opion survey will be conducted English and a range of other languages.

Australia@2015 is available in 19 different languages in total - with a focus on the languages of people who are recently arrived to Australia.

The survey aims to gather the views of people living in Australia on a wide range of subjects, providing a snapshot of the outlook of both Australian-born residents and migrants.

Subjects  include fairness in Australian society, life satisfaction, identity, the media, cultural diversity and neighbourhood life.

Led by Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University, the online survey is available in:

English; Arabic; Cantonese; Dari; Dinka; French; Japanese; Hindu; Indonesian; Korean; Malayalam; Mandarin, Persian (Farsi); Portuguese, Punjabi; Spanish; Thai; Tigrinya; Turkish and Vietnamese.

Information gathered from the results of the survey will be used to provide knowledge for policy makers, opinion leaders, researchers and local communities.

To fill out the survey visit here

ATO in-language tax videos

DID you know that the ATO website has many free-to-view videos that help explain tax and super in languages other than English?

Whether you have been an employee for many years or have just recently arrived in Australia, the ATO has a range of in-language videos on a variety of tax and super topics.

Not sure where to begin?

If you are an employee preparing your own tax return, the deductions videos explain what you may be able to claim for some costs connected to your job.

The deductions videos include easy-to-understand explanations and examples.

To help newcomers understand tax and superannuation the ATO have a video series called ‘New to Australia’.

The series introduces Australia’s tax and super systems through the individual stories of six migrants.

Topics outline how the systems work; getting a Tax File Number; completing and lodging an individual tax return; tax and super for those starting a business.

If you manage a small business, have a look at the SuperStream series explaining how you can get ready for SuperStream, a new way to make super contributions online.

You can watch the language videos on the ATO website in Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Farsi, Russian, and Somali.

To find resources in languages other than English click here.

Scanlon Foundation 2015 Community Grants Now Open

THE Scanlon Foundation 2015 community grants round is now open.

This year the organisation's annual grants round will be focusing on 14 local government areas in Australia, funding projects that support the transition of migrants into the local community.

The Scanlon Foundation is seeking expressions of interest for projects that empower multicultural communities and develop intercultural connections.

In Victoria expressions of interest are sought from the following areas:

  • Brimbank
  • Dandenong
  • Hobsons Bay

Expressions of interest can be for grants up to $25,000.

Scanlon Foundation CEO, Anthea Hancocks said the organisation saw real value in focusing on specific local government areas.

"We have identified key areas where communities are under-resourced and supporting local programs will offer great benefit to the wider community.

"Communities are continuously forming connections for new and innovative ways of building stronger support networks in their area and we are keen to assist this creativity to flourish," she said.

The Foundation is interested in projects that foster greater understanding between different culures and/or faiths and where the intent is to improve the transition pathways for migrants in Australia.

2015 Australian Human Rights Awards

THE deadline for nominations for the 2015 Australian Human Rights Awards has been extended to Friday 25 September.

The Australian Human Rights Commission said that due to a high level of interest in the awards and to ensure that no one misses out, they decided to extend the deadline.

Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission said human rights deserve to be recognised, celebrated, respected and most importantly upheld.

"Please help us celebrate ordinary Australians and distinguished community leaders who have contributed to improving human rights in Australia," she said.

The awards are a great opportunity to recognise remarkable individuals and organisations that are promoting and advancing human rights in Australia.

Nominations are invited across seven categories:

  • Human Rights Medal
  • Young People’s Human Rights Medal
  • Business Award
  • Media Award
  • Tony Fitzgerald Community Award
  • Law Award
  • Racism. It Stops With Me Award

For more information click here.

New to Australia at Tax Time

July to October is tax time in Australia which means you may need to fill out and lodge your tax return to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Are you new to Australia and not sure what to do at tax time? The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a video series in different languages to help you understand tax and superannuation.

The short videos are called ‘New to Australia’, and there are two new videos available:

  • ‘Paying your tax and super’
  • ‘Completing your individual tax return’.

The videos are available in Arabic, Assyrian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Dari, Farsi, Hazaragi, Korean, Nepali, Punjabi and Vietnamese.

The videos talk about:

  • getting a Tax File Number,
  • completing and lodging an individual tax return,
  • tax and super for those starting a business; and
  • how to get the most out of superannuation.

The videos can be accessed on the New to Australia page.

For more information

For more information, visit ato.gov.au/lodgeonline or call the ATO on 13 28 61.

If you don't speak English well, you can phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 for help with your call.

When: July to October

Phone Number: 13 28 61

Indian Cultural Precincts - Public Meetings

The Victorian Government is inviting all interested organisations and individuals to attend public meetings regarding the location of an Indian Cultural Precinct in metropolitan Melbourne and what such a precinct could incorporate.

The meetings will be an opportunity to provide your feedback on the suggested location for the Precinct and provide a unique opportunity to help shape a significant cultural precinct in Melbourne.

Three public meetings will be held across Melbourne.

The first public meeting will be held in Dandenong on Thursday 23 July from 6pm – 7.30pm in the Committee Room of the Drum Theatre, Corner of Lonsdale and Walker Streets, Dandenong.

The second public meeting will be held in Werribee on Monday 3 August from 6pm – 7.30pm in the Wyndham Community and Education Centre, 3 Princess Highway, Werribee.

The third public meeting will be held in Melbourne City on Tuesday 4 August from 6pm – 7.30pm at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, 1 Macarthur Street, East Melbourne.

All are welcome.

For further information and to RSVP, please contact the Office of Multicultural
Affairs and Citizenship before Tuesday 21 July 2015 on the contact details below.

Alternatively, written submissions can be made by emailing omac@dpc.vic.gov.au. Submissions are due by midnight Tuesday 4 August 2015.

When: July-August

Where: Various locations throughout Melbourne.

Phone Number: 9651 0628

Employers - are you ready for the SuperStream

DO you own a business that employs 19 or fewer people? If so, then it’s time for you to get ready for SuperStream. To help you prepare, the ATO has information about SuperStream available on its website in nine different languages.

SuperStream starts for small employers on 1 July 2015.

It changes how employers make super contributions for their employees; under SuperStream these contributions must now be paid electronically. SuperStream provides a simple, consistent way of making super contributions, and in many cases, a single channel for dealing with multiple funds.

Every business is different and there are many ways to get ready for SuperStream. You could upgrade your business’ payroll software or you can talk to a bookkeeper, accountant, superannuation clearing house or your default super fund. You can also use the free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to make super payments and meet SuperStream requirements.

Assess your options and choose a solution that best suits your business needs.

Rest assured, you don’t need to prepare for SuperStream alone – your accounting professional, super fund, payroll provider or clearing house can help.

You can find more information about SuperStream, including a factsheet and a step-by-step checklist to help you get ready, on the ATO website in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Serbian, Spanish,Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.

You can also find out more in English at ato.gov.au/SuperStream.

Community Safety Fund grants - Applications Now Open

LOCAL community groups and Victorian Councils are invited to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to support local crime prevention initiatives.

Eligible projects can include:

  • crime prevention awareness and education activities
  • activities supporting communities to work together to identify crime prevention priorities and solutions
  • initiatives for vulnerable groups at risk of offending and victimisation, particularly young people
  • activities to encourage community use of public spaces
  • installation of security equipment such as locks, vandal proof security lighting, alarms and fencing.

Applications close 4.00pm on Friday, 10 July 2015.

Late applications cannot be submitted.

The grants are part of the Victorian Government's Community Crime Prevention Program which helps promote community safety and prevent crime in communities across Victoria.


Phone Number: 1300 221 249

Overseas Income and Tax Advice

Overseas income and tax

Do you have a bank account in another country or receive income from foreign sources?

If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, you must declare any income you earn anywhere in the world. This includes income from overseas bank accounts such as interest, rental income from overseas properties, and capital gains from selling an overseas property.

Even if you have already paid tax on the foreign income in another country, you still need to include it in your Australian tax return. You can usually claim a foreign income tax offset in your tax return so that you’re not double-taxed.

Case study: Moving to Australia

Feng and his wife Janet permanently moved from Singapore to Australia at the end of 2014. They have a joint bank account in Singapore which they decided not to close. The couple also rent out their apartment in Singapore and the rental income is deposited into their locally-held account.

Feng and Janet visit a tax agent in Australia - Sandra - prior to the end of the financial year. Sandra asks them about their earnings and assets and Feng tells Sandra about the rental property and overseas bank account. When preparing the couple's tax returns Sandra includes the rental income they received from the apartment in Singapore under the foreign source income label. She also lists each spouse's share of bank interest (i.e., 50%) from the joint account.

Feng and Janet already paid tax on the rental income in Singapore. There is a Double Taxation Agreement in place between the two countries and they are able to claim a tax offset on the tax already paid in Singapore. When the returns are processed they each receive a refund.

You might be an Australian resident for tax purposes even if you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident. If you’re not sure, you can use a tool available in English at ato.gov.au/residency to work out your residency status.

For more information in English about foreign income tax visit ato.gov.au/internationaltax or contact the ATO by phone on 13 28 61.

If you do not speak English well you can phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 for help with your call.

Suitability Panel - Expressions of Interest

Appointment as Members

The Minister for Families and Children is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified people to appoint as members of the Suitability Panel in Victoria. The Suitability Panel, established under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005, conducts hearings, and makes findings as to whether or not an out-of-home carer who is alleged to have sexually or physically abused a child should be disqualified from being a carer or whether or not a carer who has been disqualified should have that disqualification removed.

Members will be chosen from a variety of relevant disciplines including law, social work, psychology and the treatment of sex offenders.

The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring that government boards and committees reflect the composition of the Victorian community. This includes appropriate representation of women, indigenous Victorians, young Victorians, Victorians living with a disability and Victoria’s culturally diverse community.

The successful candidates will work sessionally as Panel members.

Further information, the position statement and application forms can be found at www.suitabilitypanel.vic.gov.au or by contacting Ms Julie Paxton at Julie.paxton@suitabilitypanel.vic.gov.au

Closing date for submitting an expression of interest is close of business 20 July 2015.


Phone Number: (03) 8608

Events Calendar

  • 02 Dec

    Mapping Melbourne 2015

    more >
  • 09 Dec

    Forty Acts of Remembering

    more >
  • 12 Dec

    2015 African Music and Cultural Festival (AMCF)

    more >
  • 13 Dec

    Christmas By The Pier

    more >
find more events here >