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


Survey for young people on the Multicultural Policy Statement

Tell us your thoughts on Multicultural Victoria for a chance to win a 64gb iPad Air (valued at $729) or one of two $100 Coles-Myer vouchers.

To be in the running, complete the survey to tell the Victorian Government about your own experiences as a young Victorian and make sure our new Multicultural Policy Statement meets the needs of all young people in our state.

The Policy Statement promotes the benefits of multiculturalism and looks at what we can all do to create an inclusive Multicultural Victoria. 

Complete the survey before it closes on Sunday 8 May 2016.

Watch the www.multicultural.vic.gov.au webisite for futher new on the development and release of the Multicultural Policy.

New Victorian Government Grants Programs - close dates extended

THE Victorian Government currently has recently opened a number of multicultural grants programs which now have their application close dates extended.

The Community Harmony Program 2016-17 aims to support all Victorians to have a strong sense of belonging by creating opportunities for Victorians to build relationships with one another.

Types of activities that can be considered under this program include local leadership initiatives, positive public narratives, intercultural sports, arts and youth programs and education programs.

Applications now close midnight on 24 April 2016.

The Capacity Building and Participation Program 2016-17 seeks to strengthen the participation, inclusion and contribution of high needs groups and emphasises a collaborative approach where communities work together on issues. Grants are split into two streams – small and medium and Strategic Partnership grants.

Examples of activities considered for grants funding include multicultural seniors and community language schools, capacity building projects benefiting high needs groups such as family violence prevention, multicultural regional communities and multicultural LGBTI Victorians.

Applications for small and medium grants now close midnight on Sunday 24 April 2016 and Strategic Partnership grants now close midnight Sunday 1 May 2016.

Multicultural Festivals and Events 2016-17 Program

The Multicultural Festivals and Events (MFE) Program encourages participation of the whole Victorian community in festivals and events to celebrate and embrace our vibrant multicultural diversity.
Types of activities considered for funding include multicultural festivals or events with one or more cultural groups, cultural days of significance celebrations and conferences and forums focused on culture and multiculturalism.

Applications now close midnight Sunday 1 May 2016.

FECCA digital government services survey

FECCA has launched its 2016 Access and Equity Survey, asking culturally and linguistically diverse community members and service providers to provide feedback about their use of digital government services and government websites.

Government services are increasingly moving online. You may use online services to apply for Centrelink benefits, report your income, manage your aged care package or fill out your tax return.

FECCA is consulting to find out how the move to online government services is affecting migrants, refugees, and culturally and linguistically diverse Australians.

The survey will include questions about the types of government online portals you may use, for example MyGov, whether you use those portals for yourself or on behalf of someone else and whether they are easy to use.

Complete the survey on the FECCA website.

For more information contact the FECCA Office – (02) 6282 5755 or admin@fecca.org.au.


Feast Asia Festival

EXPERIENCE Asia in the city with a sample of culinary delights, vibrant performances and iconic traditions from one of the most captivating continents on earth.

The Feast Asia Festival is one-day only event hosted by the Immigration Museum as part of their North South Feast West program

Festival goers are able to enjoy a range of hands on activities including Japanese Taiko drumming, Martial arts, mask making and Chinese Lion Dancing workshops alongside Filipino BBQ by HOY PINOY, Vietnamese coffee and Taiwanese street food from Ghost Kitchen.

Feast Asia will also feature an Asian beer bar, concert hall, panel discussions and tastings of the finest whiskey from the region.

Early bird ($15) tickets available until April 24.

Adults $17, Concession + Members FREE

Share the feast with Feast Asia Festival on Facebook and Instagram.


Premier’s Active April fitness program

VICTORIANS can improve their health and fitness and collect great prizes by signing up for Premier’s Active April.

Every year, thousands of Victorians of all fitness levels sign up to dedicate 30 minutes of each day during April.

It can be as easy as walking or cycling to work, taking the dog for a walk or backyard cricket with the family. Participants then log their progress online. The easy-to-use database includes healthy recipes, activity programs and motivational tips.

Research shows that more than 60 per cent of Australian adults fail to meet the recommended levels of physical activity, while 80 per cent of children don’t exercise enough.

Premier’s Active April is a great way for workplaces to boost morale and improve office health and wellbeing, and workplace teams are encouraged to apply. VicHealth studies show one in three Victorians is inactive for more than seven hours during the day.

Everyone who registers will receive:

  • 10 free passes to a participating YMCA or local government facility
  • Discounts at Sportsmart
  • Free tennis court hire at Melbourne Park or Albert Reserve
  • One free Get Into Cardio Tennis session
  • A two for one ticket offer at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
  • A chance to win great prizes, including tickets to the 2017 Australian Open tennis finals

To register and to find out more about the activities on in your area visit www.activeapril.vic.gov.au.

Something in common – a human rights resource for young people

Do you know where to get information about human rights, seek support if you are a victim of human rights abuses or to find out how to be involved in human rights?

The Something In Common website is an initiative for young Australians who need support on human rights abuses or are interested in learning about and promoting human rights.

Developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the website offers easily digestible information on different areas of human rights, including multiculturalism and learning more about human rights in Australia and internationally, including children’s rights.

The website also offers information on human rights groups, campaigns, events and other ways to get involved in promoting and protecting rights alongside resources for students.

Find out more at the Something in Common website and Facebook page.

Scanlon Foundation’s Australia@2015 survey – closing soon

The Scanlon Foundation’s Australia@2015 survey, one of Australia’s first public opinion surveys to be conducted in English and a broad range of community languages, will close on 29 February.

The Australia@2015 survey aims to understand the outlook of Australian-born and immigrants at this important time in our history – a time of rapid population growth, rising security concerns and a questioning of the working of Australian democracy.

Have your say in English or another language and go in the draw to win one of three $500 shopping vouchers.

Complete the survey here.

Dual Identity Leadership Program – apply now

Applications for the Dual Identity Leadership Program, which cultivates leadership skills for Vietnamese young people, are now open.

The program is as an initiative of the Vietnamese Community in Australia Victorian chapter aimed at young Vietnamese and other Victorians of multicultural backgrounds aged 18 – 35 who are passionate about community issues,
learning more about dual culture and making a difference.

A series of sessions running from April until August 2016 will engage 30 participants in exploring and debating a range of topics, including social and multicultural issues, leadership concepts and the meaning of dual identity and heritage.

The program aims to assist young Vietnamese Victorians, and other multicultural young people interested in Vietnamese culture, to re-engage with Vietnamese traditions and culture and reach their potential as future leaders in Victoria.

Sessions will also feature guest speakers. Past guest speakers have included Tim Costello, Julian Burnside and Malcolm Fraser.

Applications are open online until 3 March 2016.  Fees are $300 for working professionals and $100 for students.

Visit the Dual Identity Leadership Program website and Facebook page for more information.

Have your say - Victoria Police survey of culturally diverse communities

VICTORIA Police is seeking feedback from new and emerging and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities on how they access news and information about police and safety related issues.

Victoria Police is committed to ensuring Victoria's multicultural communities have regular access to news and information about police and safety related issues, including accessing this information from Victoria's CALD media outlets.

Community feedback will help improve how Victoria Police provides information to communities on police and safety related issues through CALD media and what types of information are provided to communities.

People who access news and information in languages other than English are particularly encouraged to complete the survey.

The survey will take approximately 2-5 minutes to complete and is anonymous.

Survey topics include language access, community safety, rights and responsibilities, national security and emergency services.

Have your say and complete the survey.

Settlement Council of Australia Triennial and International Conference

EARLY bird registrations are now open for the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA)’s Triennial and International Conference.

This conference aims to bring together settlement sector, community groups, service groups, academics, corporate and legal organisations and individuals from across the world to build on current settlement knowledge and practice.

The conference theme, 'Settlement and Citizenship in Civil Society', acknowledges the impact of the global domain on communities, societies and citizenship, providing a forum for current thinking, research and practice within international settlement contexts. Discussions will attract key innovators with an interest in how settlement can contribute to developing a productive, multicultural future.

Conference presenters will include Geoffrey Robertson QC, Professor Emeritus John Berry of the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University Canada and Oskar Eblad Deputy Director and Head of Resettlement and special operations at Swedish Migration Agency, alongside a range of leading academics, practitioners and service and advocacy leaders.

Check the event on our events calendar for more information and deduct 10% for early-bird registrations before Friday 26 February 2016.


CMY Game Plan

A NEW online resource is helping sporting clubs and associations to encourage refugee and migrant young people to get in the game.

Game Plan, an initiative of the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY), offers online resources to help local sports organisations adopt more culturally inclusive practices to encourage refugee and migrant youth, and their families, to get involved in sporting activities.

The online resource is designed to enable sporting clubs to increase their cultural diversity and attract and retain young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds as members, players, coaches, trainers and community leaders.

The resources’ modules include easily accessible information on the benefits of cultural diversity for sporting clubs, the challenges for refugee and migrant young people and how to develop a culturally appropriate action plan.

Find Game Plan on the CMY website or for more information email Nick Butera at CMY.

New Law Help Guide

THE Victorian Law Foundation has recently published a FREE, compact, easy-to-understand guide to legal services in Victoria.

The Law Help Guide 2016 is a useful guide to find a free or low-cost legal service, a complaint or dispute settlement service or a private lawyer.

Inside, you’ll find a handy list of services including community legal centres, which provide free legal advice, information and representation to the public, with a focus on people experiencing disadvantage.

Some of these centres provide help on a wide range of issues to people who live, work or study in a particular area, while others specialise in a particular field of law or assisting people with specific needs.

To order hard copies of the Law Help Guide 2016, download a PDF or find out more information by visiting the Victoria Law Foundation website.


No Jab, No Play

Victoria’s new No Jab, No Play legislation requires all children to be up to date with their vaccinations to be able to enrol in early childhood education and care services.

The legislation affects children enrolling in long day care, kindergarten, occasional care and family day care but will not affect children enrolling in primary or secondary school, outside school hours care, playgroups, casual occasional care services or school-age children’s care.

Under the legislation, which took effect on 1 January, 2016, parents need to provide evidence that their children’s vaccinations are current for their age, or that their children are on a vaccination catch-up program or unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons.

Vulnerable and disadvantaged children can enrol in early childhood services for a period of time without providing proof of immunisation, to allow their families time to access services.

Parents can find out about immunisations for children about to enrol in early childhoodservices by reading the Better Health Channel’s brochure, downloadable in 16 languages.

The Better Health Channel also has additional fact sheets, answers to frequently asked questions and information on what to do if your child is already immunised or not immunised.

Call for volunteers - Buddhist Council Victoria

THE Vietnamese community is one of the largest Buddhist communities in Victoria. It’s also an ageing one.

The Buddhist Council of Victoria (BCV) is seeking bilingual volunteers to assist non-English speaking Vietnamese patients and their families who require Buddhist spiritual care in hospitals and aged care communities.

These on-call Buddhist Spiritual Carers must be able to speak both English and Vietnamese and all training will be provided by the BCV. 

Volunteers are also sought by the BCV for each of its four major programs including Interfaith, Spiritual Care Prison, Spiritual Care Health and Religious Instructions in Schools, as well as for general administration duties, managing projects, organising events, work processing and creative thinking. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the BCV, visit the website for more information where you can also fill out a Volunteer Expression of Interest form.


A NEW website designed to connect the Australian and Indian communities was recently launched.

Bollyoz.com aims to highlight cross-cultural connections between the Indian and Australian cultures with high quality, multicultural online media.

The website will cover politics, news, cinema, fashion, sport, entertainment and the latest headlines from both countries along with special web documentaries, music videos and high profile interviews.

Content for the website will be created and edited by a diverse team of individuals with strong journalistic and creative backgrounds, including Indian journalist, Kirti Sehrawat, filmmaker and RMIT University academic, Vikrant Kishore, media professional, Abbaz Zaheer and respected Indian cartoonist and illustrator, Harvinder Mankkar.

Victoria currently has one of the largest Indian communities in Australia and is home to more than 111,000 Indian-born Victorians, representing 40 per cent of Australia’s Indian population.

Victoria’s first Indian cultural precinct was recently announced for development in Dandenong, with a second planned for the City of Wyndham.

Got an idea for a story? Get in touch with the team at Bollyoz.com.

Dandenong Young Leaders Program

ARE you a young person living in Greater Dandenong looking for an opportunity to have your voice heard?

The Young Leaders Program is for young people aged 16-25 who live, work or study in the City of Greater Dandenong. Aimed at motivated young people, there are two main parts to the Young Leaders Program:

  • Personal development - participants will focus on learning and developing leadership skills, such as project management, effective communication and public speaking, conflict management, media and promotion, and a range of other topics.

  • Research and development of community projects - participants will be supported to research the needs of young people in the community, and develop, plan and deliver community projects to address the issues and needs identified.

The program provides a nurturing environment for young people to enhance their skills, working in a team to develop and deliver community projects.

Participants will gain a better understanding of their personal leadership styles and how it influences their decision making, ultimately learning how to become effective leaders in the local community.

To apply for or promote the program, download an application form.

Applications for the Young Leaders Program close on Friday 26 February 2016.



Volunteers Wanted To Help Empower Young People

STARTING life in a new country can be a challenge, but a volunteer can make it easier for young refugees to make Australia home.

The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) seeking volunteers from the City of Greater Dandenong and the City of Casey to join the Ucan2 programme. Ucan2 volunteers empower young multicultural people to embrace every opportunity that living in Australia presents.

Ucan2 volunteers have supported over 1000 young people over the past five years by facilitating and supportting the social inclusion of newly arrived refugee young people in all aspects of community life.

Volunteers share their life experiences and skills with young people and help them make informed decisions about their education and career pathways. This is especially crucial for young people as they transition from learning English to studying or working in the wider community.

"Being part of Ucan2 was pretty special since it showed me that young people can change the world if they get the opportunity to gain new experiences and skills, said Mandana Azadi, a former Ucan2 volunteer.

"Ucan2 gave me the opportunity to support students to settle happily into work and study in Melbourne. I was also able to interact with others, share cultural interests and build strong relationships with other volunteers and students."

Former Ucan2 participant Sajad Sarvari said the program helped him evolve into a more confident young man with big dreams.

"At first school was really hard and could be overwhelming, but the Ucan2 sessions really helped me understand pathways, how to apply for a job and the Australian working culture," Sajad said.

Over the past year alone, Ucan2 volunteers worked with over 200 students in Melbourne who felt supported in discussing their goals and identifying education and career pathways.

Becoming a Ucan2 volunteer requires a commitment of 2.5 hours for 16 - 18 weeks. All necessary training is provided as well as ongoing support.

Ucan2 is a child safe program and volunteers are required to have a Working with Children Check.


2nd Conference of World Religions

A NEED for peace and a recognition of the common ground between all religions was a major topic of the 2nd Conference of World Religions held in Melbourne last month.

More than 350 delegates attended the conference, one of the largest of its kind, including leaders representing six major faiths, politicans, police officers, academics and community leaders.

Hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Victoria at Bait-ul-Salam (House of Peace) Mosque in Langwarrin, the theme of this year's conference was 'Role of my religion in promoting peace'.

Faith leaders discussed the place of religion in providing peace, harmony and justice in today's work. The host organisation's president, Imam I.H.Kauser, delivered a keynote address to answer these questions in light of Islamic teachings.

"I assure you that if the political leaders and the religious leaders get together, talk about peace and do their best to promote peace, then peace can be achieved," said Imam Kauser.

Imam Kauser concluded his address by urging people of all religions to make special efforts to pray for peace.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott MP, and Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Inga Peulich MP, congratulated the organisation on behalf of the Victorian Government for hosting the conference.

"I commend the Ahmadiyya commuity for hosting events which promote intercultural dialogue, for being leaders in our community and on building communication and understanding," said Ms Peulich.

The conference concluded with a silent prayer led by Imam Kauser.

Exhibition Unpacks Migration

THE suitcase is an evocative item encapsulating the hopes, dreams and aspirations of every migrant.

A new exhibition, Low Cost Diplomatic Bag, is using the humble suitcase as an artistic metaphor to unpack the migrant experience.

Devised by the Spanish Government, the project involved artists in 16 different countries transforming a diplomat’s suitcase into an artwork and delivering it to their nearest Spanish Embassy.

The first exhibition was held in Madrid before opening in 16 other countries where the suitcases originated. Now, it is due to arrive at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne on 17 December 2015.

Victorian-based artist, Peter Burke, created the Melbourne exhibit using a battered attaché case complete with handcuffs and key – a historical homage to the traditional mode of travel for diplomatic documents.

Mr Burke converted the bag into series of compartments containing tiny artworks by refugees from 24 different countries including Columbia, Iran, Vietnam and Poland, some of whom are still living in Melbourne detention centres.

“The refugee situation is a really well-publicised thing, but the voice of refugees isn’t always heard so I thought this would give those people a voice,” said Mr Burke.

The ‘Low Cost’ title  reflects the reduction in spending for the exhibition as the artists did not travel to Spain, just the artworks, a statement on Spain’s ongoing austerity measures.


Focus on Racial Discrimination

RACIAL discrimination continues to affect many Australians, according to a new report by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane launched Freedom from Discrimination: Report on the 40th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act .

The report, launched at the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils Australia’s 2015 National Biennial Conference, includes key findings of the Commissioner’s national consultation to mark the 40th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

“Despite our success as a multicultural society, many Australians continue to face racial discrimination, whether it be discrimination in employment, racial vilification or social exclusion.

“Over the past four decades the Racial Discrimination Act has been the foundation of racial equality and multiculturalism. Even so, the Act on its own cannot guarantee that every member of our society can enjoy freedom from discrimination,” said Commissioner Soutphommasane.

The consultations found strong support for the Act and educational measures aimed at reducing discrimination. However, there were also community concerns about limited protections against anti-Muslim discrimination and significant institutional racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The report sets out the future work of the Race Discrimination Commissioner, including convening an annual national forum on racial tolerance and community harmony, advocating for the national school curriculum to ensure adequate education about racism and exploring work to improve the treatment of cultural diversity in the media.

The Commission has also released a short, educational video to promote public understanding of the Racial Discrimination Act.

For more information about the report, video and the Commission’s activities to mark the Act’s 40th anniversary visit the page below.

Events Calendar

  • 30 Apr

    Family Day Camp

    more >
  • 05 May

    Triennial International Conference of the Settlement Council of Australia

    more >
  • 14 May

    Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival

    more >
  • 14 May

    Family Day Camp

    more >
find more events here >