VMC Chairperson's update: August 2018

27 August 2018

It's been a time of warm celebrations and important initiatives at the VMC, and I’m very excited to share some recent highlights with you all -

The VMC celebrated its 35th anniversary in a very special event at the Immigration Museum, commemorating the VMC’s legacy and extending our gratitude to the sponsors of Cultural Diversity Week 2018. It was wonderful to share this evening with VMC Commissioners and so many members of the VMC family!

I also had the chance to discuss current issues facing multicultural communities in a meeting with my fellow Commissioners and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott, to canvass insights from our recent series of VMC Community Conversations. Thank you to all who took the time to attend the sessions, your contributions go a long way toward helping us focus the Commission’s work.

In the news, my recent media comment underlined the need to address the causes of youth offending, rather than racialising crime, as a better path to social cohesion.  In parliament, VMC staff also presented evidence at a federal inquiry into visa cancellations made on criminal grounds in Melbourne.

I had the opportunity to deliver the keynote at Leadership Victoria’s New and Emerging Communities Leadership graduation ceremony, where time and again, I am overwhelmed with the passion, skills and knowledge of community leaders. I am proud to say VMC Commissioner Sundram Sivamalai presented as a speaker at the Ballarat launch of the program and applications for the women’s program in Melbourne are now open.

In July I was also fortunate to attend some beautiful celebrations of diversity and inclusion – sport at the Melbourne Football Club’s Welcome Game, and food and art at the Multicultural Grandmothers’ Cook-Off at the Hellenic Museum -  where I even got to judge the dishes!

It was an absolute honour to participate in the Victorian Government’s LGBTI Inclusive Service Provision forum and facilitate a panel discussion of how services can best meet the needs of LGBTI Victorians. I was also inspired and impressed with the Strong Cities Network Global Summit after facilitating a panel as part of the evening activities for this landmark event, which brought together local and international stakeholders to develop region-specific, best-practice approaches to countering and preventing violent extremism.

Finally, it was as always an honour to chair the Multifaith Advisory Group meeting last week and host a visit from Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott and our Premier Daniel Andrews.

In the month ahead we have so many more opportunities to build on our great work supporting and promoting Victoria’s diversity - I look forward to sharing them all with you.

Best wishes,

Helen

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