Media Releases

7 November 2022 | NSW government partners with 15 councils to host major cultural events and festivals

The state’s events calendar just got bigger thanks to the NSW Government investing $8 million into 21 major cultural festivals and events run by local councils across Sydney, the Hunter and Newcastle, and the Illawarra.
Grant funding of up to $500,000 a year for two years has been awarded to 15 local councils across the state’s Six Cities regions to host major multicultural events and festivals in partnership with the NSW Government.
Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said each partnership with the councils will help make their events bigger tourism attractions and local economy boosters.
“To have 21 different multicultural events hosted by 15 councils across the state’s Six Cities regions is a testament to NSW’s rich cultural and religious diversity,” Mr Coure said.
“This funding will help each of these councils take their events and festivals to the next level.”
Councils receiving grant funding include:

  • Blacktown City Council 
  • Campbelltown City Council 
  • City of Canterbury Bankstown 
  • Cumberland City Council 
  • Georges River Council 
  • Inner West Council 
  • Lake Macquarie City Council 
  • Liverpool City Council 
  • Maitland City Council 
  • City of Newcastle 
  • Port Stephens Council 
  • Shellharbour City Council 
  • Strathfield Council 
  • Willoughby City Council 
  • Wollongong City Council 

Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the partnerships will be a real win for the residents and visitors of local communities.
“Local Councils are the level of government closest to the community, so the NSW Government working directly with councils in our six cities will ensure these celebrations benefit their communities directly,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“By partnering with councils, we are boosting local cultural celebrations led by local leaders, helping to cater for bigger crowds so tourists can experience everything their city has to offer.”
The Six Cities Regions comprise the Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City, Central Coast City, Illawarra-Shoalhaven City, Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City.
Successful councils can use the funding for festivals in 2023 and 2024. All successful councils will partner with the NSW Government and co-fund to host events. For more information, visit www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au

MEDIA: Scott Hodder | Minister Coure | 0455 094 282 Damien Bolte | Minister Tuckerman | 0498 359 624

 

 

31 October 2022 | Applications to join religious communities advisory council now open

The NSW Government is now inviting current and emerging leaders of religious communities across the state to apply to join the new Religious Communities Advisory Council. 

Headed up by the Chair of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board, Nick Kaldas, the council will advise the NSW Government on issues and policies affecting religious communities.  

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the Religious Communities Advisory Council will support the NSW Government’s work in continuing to build and strengthen the state’s rich multicultural and multi-faith society.  

“During the pandemic, religious leaders helped connect us with their communities to keep them safe,” Mr Coure said.  

“We want to continue this great and collaborative relationship by formalising what we have built up over the last two years and bringing people together through this new advisory council.” 

Multicultural NSW Advisory Board Chairperson Nick Kaldas urged community members to nominate themselves or colleagues. 

“The NSW Government has shown it is committed to embracing all voices across this State,” Mr Kaldas said.   

“Never before have had diverse communities, who now call NSW home, had so many opportunities to have their voices united and amplified.” 

Council members will hold their office for two years. They will be appointed based on their demonstrated respect within their communities, their commitment to diversity and their upholding the principles of multiculturalism. 

The council will meet quarterly and report annually through the Community Relations Report. Interested applicants will have until Wednesday 23 November to apply.  

To register to join, or for more information visit, multicultural.nsw.gov.au 

MEDIA: Scott Hodder | 0455 094 282 

24 October 2022 | Sydney Opera House shines Gold for Diwali

The NSW Government has added to the hundreds of millions of lights burning brightly around the world for Diwali by lighting the sails of the Sydney Opera House in gold.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure welcomed the lighting up of the sails to officially mark the start of Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains.

“By lighting up the sails of the Opera House, we are sharing in the rich colour, vibrancy and values of Diwali,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Tonight also symbolises our unity as a multicultural state, that no matter our cultural background, our faith or the language we speak, Diwali can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone in NSW.”

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said celebrating events like Diwali is about celebrating NSW’s greatest assets, its people.

“Thanks to our rich diversity, we have the opportunity to join in celebrations right here at home that you would otherwise have to travel overseas to experience,” Mr Coure said.

“For generations, the contributions of our Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese and South East Asian communities have been woven into the social fabric of our state, and by celebrating their culture tonight we are also celebrating their contributions to making NSW a multicultural and multifaith success story.”

Multicultural NSW Advisory Board chair Nick Kaldas encouraged all residents to enjoy the festivities during Diwali.

“Cultural festivals like Diwali give us all a window into the contributions that diverse communities make to the rich cultural mosaic of NSW,” Mr Kaldas said.

Diwali is held on the last day of the month of Kartika in the lunar calendar (falling between October and November). It is celebrated by lighting small oil lamps called diyas, which symbolise the lifting of spiritual darkness and the renewal of life, and is a time to pray for health, knowledge and peace.

MEDIA: Clem Hall | Premier | 0499 818 662
Scott Hodder | Minister Coure | 0455 094 282

20 October 2022 | Nominate a multicultural champion today

Community members now have the chance to recognise the outstanding contributions people have made to NSW’s multicultural society by nominating them for a Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal.

Submissions are also open for the Multicultural Honour Roll, which gives posthumous recognition to people who have made significant achievements in NSW.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said for 10 years, the NSW Government has been recognising the remarkable contributions of individuals, groups and organisations in serving the state’s multicultural society.

“While these awards give an opportunity to acknowledge their amazing service, they also give the people nominating them a chance to say thank you for all that they do,” Mr Perrottet said.

“I believe it is important to give people the chance to acknowledge the amazing work in our multicultural communities and the profound difference they make in other people’s lives and their communities.”

Among the twelve categories that people can nominate for include a brand new award—the Community Languages Teacher Medal, which will recognise the achievements of an outstanding and innovative language teacher who instils knowledge and a love of language and culture in their students.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said these medals recognise NSW’s greatest asset—its people.

“It is because of the extraordinary people and significant contributions they make that position NSW as the most successful multicultural society in the world,” Mr Coure said.

“I encourage everyone to look within their community and nominate someone, a business or an organisation that is selflessly serving for the benefit of others.”

Nominations close Friday 18 November, with the medal winners and honour roll inductees announced at the annual Premier’s Harmony Dinner in 2023. For more information or to nominate, visit www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au.

 

MEDIA: Clem Hall | Premier | 0499 818 662
Scott Hodder | Minister Coure | 0455 094 282

11 October 2022 | Further Festivals and Events Funding Available to Multicultural Communities

Further funding is available for festivals and events that celebrate the rich cultural spirit of our State through the NSW Government’s Stronger Together Festival and Event Grants Program.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said local groups and community organisations can now apply for a share of $500,000 through the program.

“Community festivals and events are integral to the success of NSW and provide a meaningful way to share in our state’s cultural diversity,” Mr Coure said.

“These celebrations bring the colour and vibrancy of cultures across the world to our local communities.”

“Most importantly, they serve to break down barriers between people by fostering mutual respect and understanding.”

The program has previously funded vibrant events such as Little India Harris Park Business Association’s 2022 Deepawali Festival in Parramatta, the Australian Korean Association’s Korean Festival in Strathfield and Buddha’s Light International Association’s Moon Festival in Willoughby.

Mr Coure said this funding is in addition to the more than $1 million the NSW Government has already invested in cultural events and festivals this year.

“If you are an organiser of a community festival or event anywhere in NSW, now is your chance to apply for funding to support community harmony.”

The Stronger Together Festival and Events Grants provide between $5,000 and $15,000 towards the running of celebrations held between 1 February 2023 and 30 June 2023.

The grants program is now open. Applications close at 3pm, Friday 28 October, with outcomes announced in early December.

For further information about the grants, visit www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au.

MEDIA: Sarine Soghomonian | Minister Coure | 0449 904 730

20 September 2022 | NSW Government to partner with local councils to host major cultural festivals

People wanting to experience the world will now be able to enjoy everything other cultures have to offer at home, thanks to the NSW Government offering million-dollar investments into major council-run cultural festivals and events.

Grant funding of up to $500,000 a year for two years is now available for local councils across the state’s Six Cities to host major cultural events in partnership with the NSW Government.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said this partnership will benefit the state’s Six Cities Regions, including celebrating our rich diversity, driving tourism and boosting local economies.

“We are talking about working with councils to host events that will attract tens of thousands of people from far and wide that want to experience our state’s diverse cultures,” Mr Perrottet said.

“By partnering with councils, we will be able to support them cater for bigger crowds, which will benefit their local economies and especially small businesses.”

This funding has been made available thanks to the NSW’s 2022-23 Budget, which saw a record $28 million invested into the state’s multicultural future.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said cultural events help celebrate NSW’s greatest asset—its people.

“Councils in our major cities all have a major event that is synonymous with their local community, whether it be Lunar New Year, the Mid Autumn Festival, Ramadan, Diwali or even Christmas,” Mr Coure said.

“Every year, people wait in anticipation for those events to enjoy the vibrancy, the colour and the culture they are known for. That is the beauty of our multiculturalism— you don’t need to travel overseas to experience other cultures. You can do it right here in NSW.”

All councils across the state’s Six Cities are eligible to apply to support existing major cultural events or to establish a new one.

Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said councils understand local needs, and were best placed to drive social and cultural events.

“Local Councils are the level of government closest to the community, so the NSW Government working directly with councils in our six cities will ensure these celebrations benefit their communities directly,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“By partnering with councils, we are boosting local cultural celebrations led by local leaders, helping to cater for bigger crowds so tourists can experience everything their city has to offer.”

The Six Cities Regions comprise of the Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City, Central Coast City, Illawarra-Shoalhaven City, Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City.

Successful councils can use the funding for festivals held in 2023 and 2024. Successful councils must partner with the NSW Government and co-fund to host events. Applications are now open and close on Friday, 7 October. For more information, visit www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au.

MEDIA: Clem Hall | Premier | 0499 818 662
Scott Hodder | Minister Coure | 0455 094 282
Damien Bolte | Minister Tuckerman | 0498 359 624

15 September 2022 | More young people empowered to stand against hate

The NSW Government’s flagship program helping empower young people to fight racism and hate has nearly doubled in size, with ten new partnership projects joining the initiative.

Each of the new partnership projects have been awarded a share in $1.6 million through the Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) program, to run projects specifically designed to help young people combat hate, racism, and divisive attitudes.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said each partnership is made up of a collection of community groups and organisations wanting to work together in their local area to help young people fight hate and division.

“We now have 24 COMPACT partnership projects involving over 80 organisations who are willing to stand up and stand united as champions for community harmony,” Mr Coure said.

“There will always be individuals who want to threaten and divide our society by inciting fear and hatred along racial or religious lines.

“COMPACT is all about denying these negative forces what they want, and we see young people as the key to achieving this. We do this by working with grassroots organisations to draw on the strength of our unity and foster a sense of connectedness among young people.”

Mr Coure said many of the new partnerships are in regional NSW, including Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Shoalhaven, and Wagga Wagga.

“Our multicultural society is not confined to one area or city, it extends right across NSW,” Mr Coure said.

“It is really promising that we have so many community organisations rallying together to create projects that will benefit young people in their local areas.”

Among the 10 new partnership projects joining the program are:

  • Cohesive Communities: Building social cohesion through youth agency: a project led by the Institute for Economics and Peace and partnership with PCYC NSW and Rotary International in Sydney, particularly South-West Sydney.
  • Mount Druitt Youth for Peace and Understanding: a project led by Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA) in partnership with Blacktown City Council, The Street University (Ted Noffs Foundation) and Settlement Services International.
  • Stand Up – Multicultural Youth Conference: a project led by Queanbeyan Multilingual Centre bringing young people from across regional NSW together to stand united against racism and hate.

Established in 2015, COMPACT has engaged over 50,000 young people, inspiring a new generation of community leaders, critical thinkers and champions for community harmony to stand united against hate. It is a proven model for building social cohesion and community resilience. The NSW Government is investing $3 million each year for three years through the NSW Countering Violent Extremism Program to expand the COMPACT Program from 2021 to 2024.  

For more information, visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/compact/

Media: Scott Hodder | 0455 094 282

8 September 2022 | Premier's Multicultural Media and Communications Awards Winners Announced

The winners of the 2022 Premier’s Multicultural Media and Communications Awards have been named, recognising the important contributions they make to supporting NSW’s diverse communities.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure announced the winners at a special ceremony tonight (Thursday 8 September).

“The NSW Government has been proudly hosting this awards ceremony for five years, and it is the only one of its kind in Australia that celebrates the valued contributions of the multicultural media and marketing industry,” Mr Perrottet said.

“I commend this year’s winners and finalists and would like to personally thank them for their ongoing work in supporting, engaging with and informing diverse audiences across our state.”

Among the 12 winners were Mimi Chau who won the Lifetime Achievement Award, India Link’s Rhea L Nath who won Young Journalist of the Year, and Muslim Women Australia who won Best Use of Digital or Social Media.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said our diverse media and marketing landscape is a testament to NSW’s rich multicultural society.

“There is a newspaper, magazine, online publication or radio station for almost every language and culture here in NSW,” Mr Coure said.

“They speak directly to those communities, keeping them not only informed, but also connected to their culture and language.

“I am proud that NSW is the only state in the country to recognise multicultural communicators with this standalone awards ceremony.”
The winners are:
• Best audio-visual report – Plus61j Media
• Best text report – Indian Link’s Pawan Luthra, Rajni Anand Luthra
• Publication of the Year – SBS Dari/SBS Pashto
• Young Journalist of the Year – Rhea L Nath from Indian Link
• Alan Knight Student Award – Boushra Elkheir
• Best Audio Report – National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council
• Lifetime Achievement Award – Mimi Chau
• Public Interest Award – SBS Insight
• Best Use of Digital or Social Media – Muslim Women Australia
• Agency Campaign of the Year – Loud and Identity Comms
• Business Campaign of the year – NSW Department of Customer Service, NSW Health and MHCS, UM/Identity, Etcom
• Community Campaign of the Year – South Eastern Community Connect

For more information about this year’s winners, finalists and the awards program, visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/

Media: Clem Hall | Premier | 0499 818 662
Scott Hodder | Minister Coure | 0455 094 282

2 September 2022 | NSW Government bolsters engagement with diverse communities across the state

Communities will have a greater opportunity to have their voices heard by the NSW Government thanks to a new state-wide engagement initiative.

Launching the Regional Engagement Program today (Friday 2 September), Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this will see nine Regional Community Networks established throughout the state.

“Our multicultural society is not limited to one city or suburb—it extends right across NSW,” Mr Coure said.

“This program has been designed so that each network will reflect the diversity of the communities it represents, and include the voices of young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and new and established migrant communities.

“I am calling on people to register their interest to have a seat at the table and help share their experiences, knowledge and insights on cultural diversity in their region.”  

The Regional Engagement Program will include a range of engagement opportunities throughout the year including listening tours, roundtables and annual summits.

Mr Coure explained the initiative, funded through the 2022-23 State Budget, was inspired by the meaningful outcomes the NSW Government achieved by working more closely with local leaders and organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic presented us with a unique opportunity to forge even stronger relationships with diverse communities. It was through this grassroots collaborative working relationship that we were able to achieve the strong vaccination rate we did and keep people safe. We now want to formalise these networks so we better serve the people of NSW,” Mr Coure said.

Each of the nine networks will include 15 formally appointed members. Two networks will cover Greater Sydney, with the others covering Western NSW, Illawarra-South East, Northern NSW, New England and North West NSW, Hunter and Central Coast, Murray Lower Darling and Riverina. For more information about the Regional Engagement Program, Visit www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au

MEDIA: Scott Hodder | 0455 094 282

8 August 2022 | NSW Government Provides Greater Support to Asylum Seekers

As part of its continued effort to ensure temporary visa holders and asylum seekers receive the support they need, the NSW Government has awarded additional funding to the service providers helping them.

Funded through Multicultural NSW’s Emergency Relief Support Grants program, 15 non-Government Organisations have received a share in $4.2 million so they can continue their work.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this funding was about filling a funding gap these NGOs were facing in trying to support the state’s most vulnerable across Greater Sydney and regional NSW.

“These organisations needed a leg up in their ongoing work helping more than 7,000 temporary visa holders, the majority of which are asylum seekers,” Mr Coure said.

“An example of one of these organisations is Multicultural Youth Affairs Network, which received $190,000 to support young people aged 15-25, including young parents, people with disability and those who identify as LGBTIQA+.

“We understand that temporary visa holders and especially asylum seekers are not always able to access what they need as easily and COVID-19 certainly didn’t make things easier, so this funding is about ensuring these vulnerable people do not get left behind.”

The funding will help provide emergency relief essentials, medical support, essential housing support, telecommunications and transport support to young asylum seekers and vulnerable temporary visa holders, across Greater Sydney and regional areas including the Illawarra and Murray Riverina regions.

Mr Coure added across the last two financial years, the NSW Government had provided more than $16 million in funding to support temporary visa holders.
For more information about the Emergency Relief Support Grants, visit multicultural.nsw.gov.au/emergency-relief-ngo-support-grants/.

1 August 2022 | Multicultural Events and Festivals set to Brighten Local Streets

A bumper number of cultural events and festivals have been scheduled between now and January 2023 with support from a record $1 million investment by the NSW Government.

More than 160 community groups have been awarded a share in $1.09 million through the NSW Government’s Stronger Together Grants Program to host local cultural events and festivals.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this investment has been made possible thanks to the $28 million multi-year funding that had been secured through the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

“This is the first time we have been able to fund this many events at one time,” Mr Coure said.
These events and festivals are just what NSW needs to help celebrate our diverse communities and bring people together in family-friendly environments,” Mr Coure said.

“While bringing people together they will also help break down barriers between cultures and build mutual understanding and respect of each other.”
Groups that applied for funding were awarded between $5,000 and $15,000 to host their events.

“We are about to see a great many cultural events happen soon, including mid-Autumn festivals. The Korean Community Welfare Association for example will use $15,000 to host a Korean Moon Festival, which will help reconnect their community with activities,” Mr Coure said.

From today (Monday, 1 August), community groups will also be able to apply for grants through the Stronger Together Project Grants. Funding between $20,000 and $40,000 is on offer to groups wanting to develop projects that help drive social cohesion in their local area.

Funding will be available for projects delivered between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023. Applications for these grants will be open until 5pm Friday, 26 August. More information about the grants can be found at https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants

28 July 2022 | 100,000 Seniors Now Using Digital Seniors Card

Seniors in NSW are continuing to embrace digital with more than 100,000 people now taking advantage of the digital Seniors Card.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said while there would always be a non-digital version, it was great to see so many seniors taking advantage of the digital option to access discounts and benefits on dining out, entertainment and travel.

“This milestone shows the seniors of NSW are confidently using digital products and demonstrates the real impact and benefits these solutions can have in all age groups,” Mr Dominello said.

“After a successful pilot in March involving 4,000 people, we are currently seeing more than 30,000 people getting their digital Seniors Card each month.

“We are now looking at ways we can continue to expand the program with a focus on businesses, and we are developing an application process similar to the successful Dine & Discover NSW program which will enable many more to easily sign up.”

Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said it was great to see 100,000 people take up the digital option in just a few months.

“The Seniors Card has come a long way since it was first introduced in 1992—it is now the largest program of its kind in Australia,” Mr Coure said.

“For 30 years, it has been helping ease the cost of living for card holders by providing access to discounts and rebates at shops, travel, entertainment, and professional services providers.

“There are more than 6,500 businesses and service providers with discounts, and I encourage more to follow.”

To find instructions on how to add a digital Seniors or Senior Savers Card to the Service NSW app, or to learn more visit service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/nsw-seniors-card-program.

23 July 2022 | New Interpreting Graduates Ready to Help the State's Diverse Communities

More than 40 multilingual students are set to bolster the NSW Government’s interpreting ranks after successfully completing its Interpreting Scholarship program.

Facilitated by the University of NSW, 42 students have graduated from the NSW Government Interpreting Scholarship program and will now be able to put their new qualifications into practice through Multicultural NSW, where they will also be given additional mentoring and professional development.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the new graduates will be welcome additions among the state’s interpreting professionals.

“Multicultural NSW is Australia’s leading provider of interpreting services, and each of these graduates has a chance to join its ranks and fill shortages in key languages,” Mr Coure said.

Among the key languages the new interpreters will be covering include Filipino, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Macedonian, Nepali, Portuguese, Serbian, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Mr Coure said with a growing number of people in NSW speaking a language other than English, interpreters are more important than ever.

“The latest census data shows us that more NSW residents are speaking a language other than English at home. Those numbers will continue to grow as more of the world’s citizens choose to find a brighter future in our great state,” Mr Coure said.

“This scholarship program is about tapping into the availability of these languages in NSW, where we can create job opportunities for people to use their language skills and in turn help their communities.”

Turkish-Australian student Sena Uzun said she felt the course had prepared her well for community interpreting after completing a bachelor’s degree in translating and interpreting in her former homeland of Turkey.

“I think what Australia is doing in terms of providing support, and services to multicultural and linguistically diverse communities is very important,” Ms Uzun said.

Thai-born Lydia Armour said she felt she was better equipped to support her Wollongong Thai community after the course.

“The level of support from Multicultural NSW and the depth of knowledge from lecturers, tutors and the Thai tutor was amazing,” Ms Armour said.

“I’m very invested in my Thai community and this is an important way that I can ensure everyone has fairer and more equitable access to services and information.”

“Interpreting is a very difficult and demanding profession that requires high-level training of competent bilinguals, UNSW is pleased to work in collaboration with Multicultural NSW to extend its course offerings to include more languages as needed in the community,” Professor Sandra Hale said.

“Training opportunities for many community languages have been limited in Australia. UNSW is very excited to work with Multicultural NSW to fill this critical gap.”

Multicultural NSW and the University of New South Wales worked together to develop the 20-week micro-credential to help fill language shortages.
Each of the 42 scholarship graduates will now be able to sit a Certified Provisional Interpreter test allowing them to work as interpreters for Multicultural NSW.

Through the 2022-23 NSW Budget, $8 million per year for two years has been committed to boosting the NSW Government’s languages services, including an expansion of its Interpreter Scholarship Program.

15 July 2022 | NSW Government Steps up COVID-19 Support for Vulnerable Communities

The NSW Government will provide free Rapid Antigen Tests to vulnerable communities and expand its existing program to include those accessing tests through the Federal Government’s Concessional Access Program, which is due to finish at the end of the month.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the NSW Government is committed to making sure no one is left behind and ensuring vulnerable communities have the support they need through winter.

“We are making sure those people who need it most get the help they need to help keep themselves and the community safe through winter by stepping in and providing free Rapid Antigen Tests,” Mr Perrottet said.

Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said the expanded program would allow eligible Commonwealth Concession Card holders in NSW to access 10 Rapid Antigen Tests over three months up until 31 October 2022.

“The NSW Government has already been distributing free Rapid Antigen Tests to vulnerable communities, and we have the capacity to extend this to those still needing them through the Federal Government’s program,” Mr Coure said.

“There is no need to rush or panic about whether or not you will be able to access tests—we have enough tests to support you.”

The NSW Government has already made millions of Rapid Antigen Tests available to vulnerable communities, including multicultural communities, people with disability and their carers, homelessness services, social housing tenants, and children and young people in out-of-home care.

Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the decision to expand the program to include those currently eligible under the soon to end Federal scheme, is about keeping people safe.

“We want to keep the pressure off the state’s most vulnerable as much as possible, and the expansion of this program is a key way for us to do that,” Mrs. Maclaren-Jones said.

If you are at a higher risk of severe illness, plan ahead. Speak to your doctor now about antiviral or other early treatment for COVID-19, so you understand your options if you test positive. If you are not at higher risk of severe illness, do a rapid antigen test unless you have arrived from overseas and have COVID-19 symptoms or your doctor tells you to have a PCR test.

Tests will be available through 210 neighbourhood and community centres located across the state. For more information and to find neighbourhood and community centres providing Rapid Antigen Tests, visit www.dcj.nsw.gov.au/rapid-tests

14 July 2022 | Gambling Support for People from Diverse Communities

The NSW Government is investing in a new campaign, aimed at helping people from diverse communities that are facing problems with gambling and are uncertain of how to get help.

The four-month campaign has been designed to specifically support people struggling with gambling addicition from across Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic and Hindi communities.

Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said “The Number that Changed our Life” campaign has been rolled out across TV, Radio, print and social media for those people in these communities to seek help.

“Even though culturally and linguistically diverse communities gamble less than the general population in New South Wales, they are more vulnerable to gambling harm and experience more gambling problems than the general commuity,” Mr Anderson
said.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this campaign is another example of the NSW Government ensuring no one is left behind in our rich multicultural society.

“It can be difficult for anyone to come forward and ask for help. For some, there may be cultural sensitivities to gambling, which makes it harder for them to talk to their families or friends, or which may make recognising when someone is in trouble harder to identify,” Mr Coure said.

“This campaign helps to cut through to both those that are experiencing trouble, their friends and family around them, and ensures no one is left to suffer alone in silence.”

Natalie Wright from the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling said there are excellent multilingual resources and counsellors on hand via GambleAware, but the first step to seek help is often the hardest.

“This is why The Number that Changed our Life campaign not only targets the gambler, but also their family and friends, as having the tools to reach out to loved ones, could be the difference between having the problem and addressing it.

“The number that changes your life won’t be one of those lucky numbers that never come through, it’s the number for GambleAware’s counselling service – 1800 858 858. That might be the biggest win you have,” Ms Wright said.

4 July 2022 | NSW Seniors Festival Grants Now Open

Local organisations and community groups can now apply for grant funding to host events and activities as part of the 65th annual NSW Seniors Festival.
Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said organisations can apply for grants up to $10,000 to help see their event be part of the largest celebration of seniors in the Southern Hemisphere.

“For 65 years, this festival has been celebrating our state’s older people in recognition of the contributions they have made and continue to make to our great state,” Mr Coure said.

“These grants give an opportunity for local organisations and groups to join in this massive celebration and help seniors connect with like-minded people, meet new friends, and even rekindle a passion for an old hobby.”

Mr Coure said community organisations looking to apply for funding should make sure all seniors are able to join in.

“This is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to ensuring older people remain active and connected within their communities no matter where they live, the language they speak and irrespective of their abilities,” Mr Coure said.

“This year’s festival, we saw grant recipients host some 140 different activities from dance classes to modified sports, computer classes and gardening workshops for the green thumbs.”

Local councils, community groups and not-for-profit organisations across NSW are among those who can apply for a grant.

The Seniors Festival will run from 1 to 12 February 2023. Applications for grants are open from 4 July to 1 August 2022. To apply and for more information about the grants, visit www.nsw.gov.au/seniors-festival

29 June 2022 | NSW Government Connects Newcomers wit the New Opportunities in Regional Communities

Migrants and refugees are being offered new opportunities to resettle in regional communities, thanks to the NSW Government’s Growing Regions of Welcome (GROW) Program.

Officially launching today, the NSW GROW pilot program is a $3 million investment by the NSW Government, which is helping new migrants and refugees in Western Sydney find new opportunities in the Murray and Riverina regions.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said vibrant communities like Leeton and Walla Walla offer excellent lifestyle and employment opportunities.

”These regional communities have a long history of welcoming people from all walks of life with open arms, particularly newcomers to Australia who want to build a better life for their families in our great state,” Mr Toole said.

“Regional NSW offers unique lifestyle and employment opportunities, as well as infrastructure and services that makes these communities the perfect place to live and raise a family.”

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the program is about enabling newcomers to make an informed choice by showcasing the opportunities available in these communities.

“This is especially the case for refugees who may be unfamiliar with what our great multicultural state offers ,” Mr Coure said.

“The NSW GROW program provides avenues for people to find a home, work and connect with the communities in the Murray and Riverina.”

One of NSW GROW’s regional Backbone Coordinators is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who settled in regional NSW and is now helping others do the same.

As part of the program, Western Sydney Regional Employment Hub will provide a gateway between participants and employers, and will help migrants and refugees make informed decisions about relocating and help facilitate the move.

NSW Coordinator General for Settlement Professor Peter Shergold added that the program harnesses and enables newcomers' social and economic contributions to areas such as the Murray and Riverina regions.

“Resettlement allows regional Australia to benefit from the skills, aspirations and entrepreneurship of people when they come to live in Australia,” Professor Shergold said.

For more information about the NSW GROW program and to take part, visit multicultural.nsw.gov.au/nsw-grow.

23 June 2022 | Applications Now Open for NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program

If you have the skill to speak another language, then you may have the unique opportunity to pursue a career as an interpreter, thanks to the NSW Government’s world-class scholarship program.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said more than 265 people have already become qualified interpreters through the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program since it was introduced in 2019.

“NSW is home to people that speak more than 215 different languages and dialects and I believe it is important to tap into that to create job opportunities for them and help them benefit their community,” Mr Coure said.

“Successful scholarship recipients for new and emerging community languages will have their course fees paid, and upon graduation, they will be provided with ongoing mentoring and casual employment by Multicultural NSW.”

People that can speak Afrikaans, Amharic, Bislama, Cook Islands Māori, Creole, Dari, Dinka, Ewe, Fijian, Hazaragi, Kannada, Karen, Karenni, Khmer, Kinyamulenge, Kirundi, Konyanka Maninka (Mandingo), Krio, Kurdish-Kurmanji, Lingala, Mongolian, Ndebele, Shona, Somali, Swahili, Tamil, Telugu, Tetum, Tigrinya are all encouraged to apply for the program.

Mr Coure said these languages represent the communities that are growing as more newcomers settle in NSW.

“As people make the choice to come to live in NSW, we understand they may not be able to fully understand or be able to access services,” Mr Coure said.

“That is why interpreters are so important—they help make our society more accessible to people with low or no proficiency in English and ensure they don’t get left behind.”

Students who successfully complete the course will also be eligible for certification as an interpreter through National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

For more information about the scholarships and to express your interest in the program visit multicultural.nsw.gov.au

21 June 2022 | Major Budget Boost for Multicultural Communities

The 2022-23 NSW Budget will see $28 million invested into the State's rich multicultural communities over the next two years.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said a major funding boost of $14 million a year for two years had been secured through the NSW Budget to support whole-of-government language services, boost community cultural events and festivals, and increase engagement with multicultural and multi-faith communities.

“This major funding boost will bring Multicultural NSW’s total recurrent expenses budget to $69 million in 2022-23, which will mean it can do more to support our State’s diverse communities,” Mr Coure said.
"That includes $8 million a year over the next two years into improving our language services, which will also see expansion of our Interpreter Scholarship Program.

“This will not only help us secure our interpreting and translation needs for the future, but it will also provide new career pathways, especially for young people who may be able to speak another language, helping to build a brighter future for our State.”

As part of the $28 million package, $5 million a year for two years will go towards cultural events and festivals, while $1 million a year for two years will go towards improving community engagement with multi-faith and multicultural communities.

"Thanks to our diversity, our State is home to some of the biggest and brightest cultural events in the world, which are also great tourist attractions," Mr Coure said.

"These events are fantastic for showcasing the rich mosaic of cultures we have, and they also play a meaningful role in breaking down barriers between people and fostering mutual respect and understanding."

The $28 million package will complement the ongoing work of Multicultural NSW, including the Community Partnership Action program, which is being funded by more than $3 million each year until 2024, and various programs to support new and emerging communities with more than $2 million until 2024.
For more information about Multicultural NSW's programs and initiatives, visit: www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au

10 June 2022 | Nick Kaldas To Chair Multicultural NSW Advisory Board

The NSW Government has named Nick Kaldas APM, one of the state’s most decorated and respected former senior Police officers, as the new chair of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said after a merit-based selection process, Mr Kaldas has been appointed the new head of the advisory board, which supports him in matters relating to multicultural communities across the state.

“Mr Kaldas has a story that many people from our multicultural communities can relate to, having been born overseas in Egypt and migrating to Australia with his family as a teenager,” Mr Coure said.

“From there he started a journey which would lead to him to having a distinguished career spanning some 35 years in the NSW Police Force, ten of which he was Deputy Commissioner.

“In his time as Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kaldas was the spokesperson for multiculturalism and community engagement, a role which saw him improve engagement between the Police and diverse communities.”

“I would also like to thank outgoing Chair and board member Dr G.K. ‘Hari’ Harinath OAM, for his dedicated service to supporting the NSW Government and the state’s multicultural society.”

Mr Kaldas said he was honoured to be taking the reins from Dr ‘Hari’ Harinath.

“I was a champion for multicultural issues and engagement within my career in the Police and I’d like to think that this is an opportunity to continue this important work,” Mr Kaldas said.

“In this leadership role I see myself helping to contribute to social cohesion right across New South Wales.

“Dr Hari certainly left big shoes to fill, but I’m confident I can live up to his legacy.”

Dr Hari thanked Mr Coure for his support and said Mr Kaldas is an excellent choice to take the reins of the advisory board.

“I think Nick is going to be a fantastic chairperson and I cannot wait to see what he achieves in the future,” Dr Hari said.

As the new Chair of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board, Mr Kaldas will also chair the newly announced Religious Communities Advisory Council. For more information about the advisory board, visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/advisory-board-members/

10 June 2022 | NSW Government Makes Record Investment Into State's Multicultural Future

Note: A recording of this morning’s press conference, can be found here.

The state’s rich multicultural society and its communities are set to benefit from a record level budget spend.

A $28 million package, secured through the upcoming NSW Budget, will support whole-of-Government Language Services, boost community cultural events and festivals, and increase engagement with multicultural and multi-faith communities.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the multi-year funding will benefit the state’s diverse cultures by providing important information in many languages, and bringing different communities together to celebrate their shared values.

“One of the key takeaways from the pandemic is the critical role of multicultural and faith communities in ensuring we are all connected, engaged and supported,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We are now acting on those learnings and investing in areas that will enable a stronger and brighter future for multicultural communities across the state.”

Treasurer Matt Kean said today’s announcement represents the single biggest budget allocation any government has provided to support Multicultural NSW, and was only possible because of the government’s strong economic management.

“This is investing in the state’s greatest asset, its people. We want to respect cultural diversity while at the same time celebrating the values we all share,” Mr Kean said.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the financial boost to the Government’s Language Services alone is a massive win for the state’s multicultural society.

“This will greatly improve our Government’s translation capabilities, which in turn will make sure vital information is accessible to everyone no matter the language they speak.

“Importantly, we will also be investing in a scholarship program, which will secure our state’s translation and interpreting capabilities into the future.”

As part of the initiative, the NSW Government will establish a Religious Communities Advisory Council. Its first order of business will be addressing concerns regarding the safety and security of places of worship, which is a priority for the faith communities.

1 June 2022 | Investing in Youth Key to Strengthening Harmony in NSW

A stronger and more harmonious future rests with young people, and that is why the NSW Government is investing in communities and offering funding to groups running youth-focused initiatives that promote social cohesion.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said through the Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) Program, non-for-profit and community groups will be able to apply for a share of $1.5 million to run programs and projects that empower young people to build social harmony and put an end racism.

“It is one thing to denounce racism and hate, but we will never be truly rid of it in NSW without meaningful action,” Mr Coure said.

“The NSW Government recognises one of those actions must be to empower young people to promote social harmony in their communities.

“This funding will go towards programs that not only help achieve that but will also secure a more peaceful and cohesive future for NSW.”

Mr Coure said the COMPACT Program is a first of its kind in Australia, which focuses on building social cohesion and community resilience.

“To date, the NSW Government has invested in programs such as the creation of the Islamophobia Register Australia, providing support to victims of these hateful attacks and working with other victim groups to present a united front against all hate crimes,” Mr Coure said.

“Programs, such as this one, have engaged tens of thousands of young people and empowered them to build inter-cultural and inter-faith harmony in their communities, securing a brighter future for NSW families.

“This is only possible through the NSW Government’s strong economy, which means more money for key programs.”

Applications for the COMPACT grants program close at 5pm Friday, 10 June 2022. For more information, visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/compact-grants/

30 May 2022 | New Service Helping Victims Recover from Identity Theft

It is now easier for victims of identity theft to take back control of compromised documents thanks to a new service launched by the NSW Government.

ID Support NSW is a nation-leading service that acts as a one-stop-shop for victims of the crime to seek help and securely recover Government documents and private information, such as their driver’s licence and birth certificate.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said the service is about making the process for people to recover more efficient.

“ID Support NSW takes the pressure away by bringing all the key call points into one location—NSW Police, Transport for NSW, Service NSW, The Office of the Children’s Guardian and Births Deaths and Marriages,” Mr Dominello said.

“Through the service, people can also access counselling services and even advice on how to protect themselves in the future.”

Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said this new service will be a great support to older Australians, who are disproportionately affected by the crime.

“It can be incredibly distressing having your identity stolen, especially for older Australians who represent 37 per cent of all reported cases,” Mr Coure said.

“Victims of the crime can lose an average of $4,000 and spend a total 34 hours talking to individual people to try to solve the problem.

“This service will help seniors have more of a fighting chance to recover their documents and information.”

ID Support NSW operates between 9am and 6pm from Monday to Friday via the toll-free number 1800 001 040. For more information on ID Support NSW, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/id-support-nsw

18 May 2022 | NSW Government Continues Pandemic Recovery Support for Multicultural Communities

The NSW Government has made $11 million available to grassroots organisations helping vulnerable multicultural communities continue to recover from the pandemic.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said part of the $11 million would see 69 multicultural organisations receive a share of $4 million through the Empowering and Supporting Local Communities grants scheme.

“This funding is about supporting grassroots organisations and NGOs to help local multicultural communities become stronger and more resilient after the pandemic,” Mr Coure said.

“The $4 million will go towards increasing COVID-19 testing and vaccination rates, among new and emerging communities, and even help improve the way they receive important health information.”

Mr Coure said $7 million is now available through the Emergency Relief Grant Scheme for NGOs that specifically support specialist migrant and settlement service providers to help temporary visa holders, with a focus on asylum seekers.

“This funding can be used to provide food, or pay utility bills, transport expenses and mental and physical health services,” Mr Coure said.

“Our Government is working to ensure people fleeing to our shores and those that help them have the resources they need to stay healthy and safe.”
NSW Coordinator General for Settlement, Professor Peter Shergold AC, welcomed the State Government stepping up to provide extra funding for community groups.

“This money will directly address the urgent needs of vulnerable temporary visa holders in our community who are experiencing great hardship right now,” Professor Shergold said.

This $11 million forms part of a total $69.7 million the NSW Government is investing into community-run programs, helping the state recover from the pandemic. Applications through the Emergency Relief Grant Scheme will close 5pm Friday, 27 May 2022. For more information, visit multicultural.nsw.gov.au/emergency-relief-ngo-support-grants/

14 April 2022 | NSW Government Helps Tonga Fight COVID-19

The NSW Government has answered the call to support the Kingdom of Tonga to combat rising COVID-19 cases.

Following a request for aid through the Island Nation's Consulate General, the NSW Government has donated 100,000 Rapid Antigen Tests and new linen, worth close to $500,000.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said this donation follows some 115 hospital beds given by various Sydney hospitals.

“These resources will take the pressure off the people of Tonga, who are fighting the pandemic while working tirelessly to rebuild after the devastation caused by the tsunami,” Mr Kean said.

The Rapid Antigen Tests come from the NSW stockpile, which still has ample supplies for use across the state.

The state’s supply of tests has strengthened the NSW COVID-19 response and made our health system and schools more resilient

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the NSW Government is committed to helping our neighbours to recover as soon as possible.

“NSW has a proud history of standing by all people when adversity strikes and this is another example of us doing exactly that,” Mr Coure said.

“I know many living in NSW have family and friends in Tonga, and I hope today's announcement will be welcomed news to them that NSW is standing by them.”

2 April 2022 | NSW Government Supports State's Largest Multicultural Festival

The NSW Government has granted a quarter of a million dollars to the City of Canterbury Bankstown for its flagship event, Ramadan Nights Lakemba, which kicks off tonight.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said it was great to see the event return for the first time in two years, which will see up to a million people attend during the 30 days of Ramadan.

“Our Government is proud to support this significant event with $250,000, which will help ensure the event runs smoothly, is safe and enjoyable, Mr Coure said.

“Multicultural events such as these are key to helping us bounce back and reconnect with one another after the challenges caused by the pandemic.

“I look forward to attending the event and sharing in the spirit of reflection and togetherness this holy month.”
City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour said the funding would help secure the event’s successful reintroduction after two years of hibernation.

“From humble beginnings, Ramadan Nights Lakemba has grown into one of NSW’s premier cultural events,” Clr Asfour said.

“From tonight, Haldon Street will see up to 30,000 people attend each night to enjoy everything our City has to offer.

“Our City is appreciative the NSW Government is supporting the return of this culturally significant event.”

Dozens of food vendors and traditional clothing stalls will turn Haldon Street into a global bazaar every evening from today to Sunday 1 May, from dusk until late.

21 March 2022 | Multicultural Champions Leading by Example

This Harmony Week (21–27 March), the NSW Government is encouraging everyone to follow the example of 16 extraordinary people who have helped make NSW the multicultural success it is today.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure presented awards to 16 people and organisations at an awards ceremony earlier this month, recognising their contributions toward making NSW a better place.

“We have the world’s most successful multicultural society because of people like these. Each of them, among many other outstanding individuals and organisations, has been a champion of this year’s Harmony Week theme Everyone Belongs,” Mr Coure said.         

“That is especially the case for those we celebrated posthumously for their contributions, such as Eddie Jaku OAM.

“I personally want to acknowledge these outstanding individuals and organisations again for their contributions and selflessness in putting the needs of others above their own.”

Mr Coure said Harmony Week celebrations coincided with a range of cultural events held as part of Multicultural March.

“For those wanting to get out and about, there’s a great mix of festivals and events happening this month,” Mr Coure said.

For more information about events during Multicultural March, go to multicultural.nsw.gov.au.

Information about the award winners is available here.

 

Award recipients:

Medal

Winner

Carla Zampatti Arts and Culture

Lliane Clarke

Adaps Pty Ltd Business Excellence - Corporate

Navitas Skilled Futures

Welcoming Cities Business Excellence - Local Government

NSW Police Force Multicultural Liaison Officer Program

Business Excellence - Not for Profit Medal

3Bridges Community

All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Language Services Medal

Ashraf Abdelbaky

SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal

Rosa Loria

Settlement Services International NSW Human Rights Medal

Ravi Prasad

CommBank Regional Unity Medal

Joy Harrison

Village Plaza Sports Medal

Western Sydney Football Club Limited - GWS Giants Football Club

National Rugby League Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal

Shubha Kumar

NSW Rugby League Youth Medal

Khadijah Habbouche

ICC T20 World Cup COVID Champion

Srey Kang

Multicultural Honour Roll

Eddie Jaku OAM

Multicultural Honour Roll

Aziza El Saddik

Multicultural Honour Roll

Sath Srey

Multicultural Honour Roll

Carla Zampatti

12 March 2022 | Strategic Partnerships Help Multicultural Communities Out of COVID-19

12 Multicultural organisations can continue supporting vulnerable communities with the help of additional COVID-19 funding from the NSW Government.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the NSW Government will be providing an extra $15 million to grassroots organisations and NGOs to make sure they have the resources needed to help their communities recover from the pandemic.

“For the past two years, local organisations and specialist support services have been working tirelessly to help our most vulnerable multicultural communities,” Mr Coure said.

“This funding is on top of the $54.7 million our Government has already invested in community-run programs, which are helping NSW bounce back from the pandemic.”

Mr Coure added that through the partnership with grassroots organisations, the NSW Government had also distributed 150,000 Rapid Antigen Tests to vulnerable community members.  

“These COVID-19 support measures have helped community groups to take the pressure off vulnerable people in multicultural communities,” Mr Coure said.

Thanks to the partnership, Western Sydney Multicultural Resource Centre will receive an additional 800 Rapid Antigen Tests.

“Individuals from vulnerable and isolated communities have been able to get a test, so they can make informed decisions to keep themselves and others safe,” Centre Chief Executive Kamalle Dabboussy said.

“We welcome the distribution plan for free tests, and this complements the support we already provide to many of the at-risk groups who may not be able to access them."

The additional $15 million will support community-run programs and local service delivery. As part of that $15 million, groups and organisations can now apply for a share in $4 million through the 2022 COVID-19 Empowering and Supporting Local Communities Grants program.

For more information, visit www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au.

11 March 2022 | NSW Government Ups Support for People Affected By Conflict in Ukraine

The NSW Government has partnered with NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) to expand its services to support people affected by the conflict in Ukraine and elsewhere overseas.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the program was expanded on 28 February 2022.

“This is a critical service the NSW Government is backing to support our Ukrainian community and others affected by conflicts overseas,” Mr Coure said.

“The stress on our Ukrainian community continues each day and this service is just another part of us ensuring they can get the help they need.

“This service is also a gateway to other specialised and mainstream assistance,” he said.

Mr Coure added the dedicated staff working at STARTTS are experienced in helping people through trauma related to war and violence.

Operating from 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday, the service can be accessed by calling 1800 845 198 within NSW.

For anyone needing mental health support, the NSW Mental Health Line is also available.

This service runs uninterrupted – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be accessed by calling 1800 011 511.

If English is not your first language, you can speak to a mental health professional by first calling the telephone Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 and ask them to ring the NSW Mental Health line on 1800 011 511.

9 March 2022 | Nominations open for Premier's Multicultural Communication Awards

Media and marketing outlets across NSW can now nominate for the annual Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards.

The awards cover 11 categories recognising the exceptional work multicultural media outlets have done in reporting for their communities, and marketing companies and professionals for representing the diversity of NSW.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the NSW Government was proud to host these awards, the only one of its kind in Australia.

“For five years our Government has proudly hosted these awards recognising the vital contributions professionals in the multicultural media and communications sector make here in NSW,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Their work translating vital health advice during the pandemic, keeping people informed in times of emergency and showcasing the charitable character of our vibrant, diverse communities has been key to keeping our State informed, safe and cohesive.”

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the diversity of the State’s media and marketing landscape is one of the greatest qualities of our successful multicultural society.

“There is a newspaper, magazine, online publication or radio station for almost every language and culture here in NSW,” Mr Coure said.

“They speak directly to those communities, keeping them not only informed, but also connected to their culture and language.”

Included among the 11 categories are Publication of the Year, Best Audio Report, Best Text Report, Young Journalist of the Year, and Public Interest Award.

All eligible multicultural media and marketing professionals are welcome to apply for the awards, with nominations closing 5pm Wednesday, 8 June 2022. For more information, visit www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au.

9 March 2022 | Community Programs Receive $1M to Drive Social Recovery from COVID-19

9 March 2022

The NSW Government has awarded $1 million to 19 community-led programs restoring social cohesion in communities impacted by the pandemic.

The funding was allocated through the COMPACT Social Cohesion and Community Resilience Grants Program, which aims to strengthen community connections and safeguard social cohesion against hateful and divisive influences.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this $1 million is a special round of funding under the proven COMPACT Program and brings the Government’s total investment in COMPACT to $3 million in 2020-21.

“The pandemic has shown us that social unity and connectedness is important for the overall wellbeing of our communities,” Mr Coure said.

“These are grassroots organisations that play a fantastic role in fostering and maintaining that wellbeing.”

Mr Coure said each of these programs promote positive change in local communities, such as the PCYC Better Together project, which is designed to help connect Ezidi refugees and new migrants with broader communities in regional NSW.

“Our Government is committed to not just recovering from the pandemic, but building stronger and even more resilient communities,” Mr Coure said.

“These programs look at helping our communities through a myriad of other issues, such as empowering new arrivals in NSW to connect with their broader community, stamping out racism, supporting young people and helping establish future leaders.

“Again, I want to thank our local groups and organisations for stepping up and being fantastic advocates for building and maintaining a healthy and harmonious State,” he said. 

Projects funded through the program were scheduled to commence in February 2022.

8 March 2022 | Three New Members Join Multicultural NSW Advisory Board

8 March 2022

The NSW Government has appointed new members to the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board following an independent merit-based selection process. 

Mr Ramneek Singh, Councillor Sally Betts and Councillor Sam Elmir joined the board, and were welcomed at the first meeting on Friday 4 March 2022.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure welcomed the new members.

“I am focused on delivering the best outcomes for NSW’s multicultural communities and ensuring they are heard. I look forward to working with the new members and the entire board to deliver meaningful outcomes for multicultural communities,” Mr Coure said.

Chaired by Dr G.K (Hari) Harinath, the board’s role is to offer advice and guidance on a range of matters relating to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Biographies

Ramneek Singh

Mr Singh is a senior consultant for Monitor Deloitte, and an entrepreneur with experience across finance, digital production and design, strategy, start-ups and social impact.

Clr Sally Betts

Migrating from South Africa in 1974, Clr Betts is the longest sitting Councillor on Waverly Council, having served 26 years, including eight as Mayor. Clr Betts has extensive experience working with charities and multicultural communities. During her time as Mayor, Clr Betts led and promoted various multicultural events such as for South American and Jewish communities.

Clr Sam Elmir

Clr Sam Elmir joins the Advisory Board with experience as a pharmacy proprietor, Councillor on Georges River Council, and is involved with a number of not-for-profit organisations, including the Australian Christian and Muslim Friendship Society.

Multicultural COVID Response Funding Boost

Digital literacy, health and wellbeing for seniors and domestic violence prevention are among programs to benefit from $2.9 million in NSW Government funding, supporting innovative programs run by multicultural communities responding to the COVID pandemic. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said 32 creative, community-led programs, prioritising areas hardest hit by the pandemic, were recipients of up to $200,000 under the Innovation Grant program. 

“Many of our multicultural communities have had to dig deep and think outside the square to safeguard people’s wellbeing during this pandemic,” Mrs Ward said. 

“We’re now backing these communities to foster that spirit of innovation through developing local solutions to pandemic-related problems. 

“And the rewards don’t stop with the individual projects – funding recipients will also be required to share their experiences, so communities across NSW can benefit.” 

The Innovation Grant program was developed with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice to support vulnerable communities to innovate and collaborate. 

Cumberland Women’s Health Centre said the funding for its Café Connections program will bring women from diverse cultural backgrounds together to talk about health and wellbeing issues. 

Centre Manager Salwa Al Baz said the program is an easy, innovative way for women to make social connections and combat the isolation many have experienced during the COVID pandemic. 

“Being able to chat to women with similar experiences and concerns breaks down cultural barriers and builds friendship and understanding,” Ms Al Baz said. 

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said the work of community organisations like Cumberland Women’s Health Centre was vital in helping support the local diverse community during the COVID pandemic. 

“This funding from the NSW Government will ensure they can continue this important work and expand their programs that help our migrant and multicultural community,” Mr Lee said. 

Other examples of funding recipients include:

Organisation 

Priority group 

Activity/service funded 

Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts Inc 

Pacific and Maori communities 

Pacific Cultural Arts Therapy and Wellbeing Program will address COVID-related issues through cultural storytelling, dance and song. 

KU Children's Services 

Migrants and refugee communities 

Provides COVID-19 isolated migrant families with early childhood learning online. 

Bridge Housing Limited 

Indigenous communities 

The Caring for Community in COVID program is a comprehensive wellbeing initiative for communities in areas hardest hit by the pandemic. 

Somali Australian Community Association of NSW (SACA) 

African and multicultural young people 

The Youth Activating Youth (YAY) Project will improve social cohesion and allow young people to connect. 

For more information visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants/. 

Cultural Festivals Funding Boost

Our diverse communities are being encouraged to enjoy a vibrant start to 2022 with a NSW Government funding boost for multicultural festivals and events. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the second round of the $400,000 

Stronger Together Festivals and Events Grants program is now open for applications for events being held in the first half of next year. 

“NSW is home to a wonderful, harmonious blend of multicultural communities and we want to shine on a light on the traditions that make our state such a great place to live,” Mrs Ward said. 

“Whether it’s a festival in one of our beautiful parks, or an event that showcases a culture’s culinary delights, we’d like to hear from our multicultural communities about their plans for 2022.” 

Non-profit organisations are eligible to apply for up to $15,000 to assist with the cost of holding cultural festivals and events. 

“This year so many of our great events had to be cancelled, or be held online, due to COVID restrictions. As we move to the next phase out of lockdown, it’s great to able to plan for a return of our much-loved festivals,” Mrs Ward said 

“Because of COVD-19, applicants from our first round were unable to hold their events, so we’re working with them to see what’s possible as we move into 2022.” 

Support totalling $200,000 is available during this round for events held before 30 June 2022 and all applicants must show how they will ensure a COVID-safe environment. 

Applications close Friday 17 December 2021. For more information, visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants/. 

$13.4 Million Youth Program To Counter Hate

The future of an essential youth initiative has been secured after the NSW Government committed $13.4 million to continue the Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) program until at least mid-2024. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the funding would ensure further projects could be supported, in addition to the existing 15 COMPACT initiatives promoting social cohesion and community resilience, such as sporting programs addressing racism and bullying. 

“These projects connect our young people with mentors, community leaders and youth work specialists through networks, forums and events,” Mrs Ward said. 

“The initiatives support young people to stand up to social injustices, become active volunteers, take charge of issues in their community and improve social cohesion.” 

The funding will further develop the COMPACT program, which has already reached tens of thousands of young people across NSW, including through schools. 

As part of the funding, applications for a new $1 million round of COMPACT grants open today. 

“These programs will connect with young people through volunteering, creative communications and cross-cultural and interfaith network building,” Mrs Ward said. 

The package also includes $800,000 over four years to expand and strengthen the online communications initiative, Remove Hate from the Debate. 

“Keeping our young people safe is more important than ever as we continue to see concerning levels of hateful and harmful materials online,” Mrs Ward said. 

“It’s vital we empower them with the tools and resources to speak out against online hate and utilise their voices to promote positive messages of community harmony.” 

Grants of up to $50,000 per project are now available through the COMPACT program. 

Applications close on Wednesday, 1 December. For more information see: 

https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/compact/

Opera House Glows Gold For Diwali

The iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House shimmered in gold tonight to mark the Diwali festival, celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains around the world. 

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet joined Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward in watching the spectacular illumination and wishing those celebrating Diwali a safe and happy festival. 

Lighting up the Opera House is our chance to share in the joy of Diwali, an occasion that celebrates freedom, the triumph of good over evil and the renewed hope of a brighter future,” Mr Perrottet said. 

“The pandemic affected our ability to gather with loved ones and observe religious and cultural traditions as we normally would, so this year’s event is extra special. 

“I wish all those celebrating the festival a safe and happy Diwali as they enjoy precious time with family and friends while staying COVID safe.” 

Mrs Ward said Diwali brings more than a billion people of Indian and South Asian heritage together around the world. 

“Diwali showcases our rich multicultural society here in NSW and is celebrated across various religious traditions, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism,” Mrs Ward said. 

“By illuminating the Sydney Opera House, we are projecting the Diwali message of peace and hope across not just our State, but to the world. 

“The projection of the brilliant hues of yellow and gold symbolise the traditional ceremonial candles lit during Diwali.” 

Nominate Your NSW Harmony Champion

Outstanding work promoting social cohesion and unity during challenging times will be recognised during this year’s peak multicultural awards program for NSW.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward announced nominations are now open for the 2022 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals and the Multicultural Honour Roll.

This year’s awards program will also pay tribute to renowned Italian-born Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti, through the Carla Zampatti Arts and Culture Medal.

“This terrific awards program is our chance to acknowledge the everyday multicultural heroes in NSW who we rely on day in, day out, to support our communities,” Mrs Ward said.

“2021 has been another incredibly challenging year and our community and religious leaders have played a crucial role in delivering vital health information to help keep us safe.

“Countless individuals and organisations have stepped up across all backgrounds to help vulnerable people experiencing extreme hardship and to keep us connected.”

The Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal winners and Premier’s Multicultural Honour Roll inductees will be announced and presented in March 2022 at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner.

Mrs Ward said medal categories honour the achievements of community members working in diverse fields including youth, business, arts and culture as well as regional communities.

Past winners have included a Muslim community leader who dedicated her life to supporting Muslim women and a Syrian Australian priest who leads programs and activities supporting the vulnerable and recently-arrived refugees.

“I urge everyone in our community to nominate their unsung heroes today,” Mrs Ward said.

“We are really looking forward to thanking our community for their incredible efforts at the 2022 Premier’s Harmony Dinner.”

The NSW Premier will also posthumously recognise the legacy of people who have made lasting contributions to NSW through the Multicultural Honour Roll on the night.

For more details: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/premiers-multicultural-community-medals/

$5.5 Million Allocated To Organisations Supporting Aslyum Seekers

An urgent boost to emergency support and care for vulnerable temporary visa holders, in particular asylum seekers, is on the way after $5.5 million was allocated to specialist organisations through a NSW Government funding package. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said 14 non-Government organisations (NGOs) will deliver much-needed essentials including food, cleaning products and medical support. They will also assist with transport, housing and utilities costs, along with providing culturally-appropriate case workers and translation and interpreting services. 

“We know that asylum seekers, who are already among our most vulnerable, have been greatly impacted during the current COVID outbreak. This support will help pay the bills, keep food on the table and access critical medical support and care in their native language,” Mrs Ward said. 

Settlement Services International Chief Executive Officer Violet Roumeliotis said there has been a steep increase in demand during the current outbreak. 

“This money will continue to ensure asylum seekers have access to all the essentials to keep them going and living in dignity,” Ms Roumeliotis said. 

Successful funding recipients are: 

  • Fairfield Community Resource Centre (Community First Step) 
  • Lebanese Muslim Association 
  • Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS) 
  • Asylum Seekers Centre 
  • House of Welcome 
  • Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre 
  • United Muslim Women Association Incorporated 
  • CCA New South Wales 
  • Hills Community Aid and Information Service Inc 
  • Settlement Services International 
  • Multicultural Youth Affairs Network of NSW 
  • Australian Red Cross 
  • HOST International
  • The Salvation Army 

Top Multicultural Communicators Unveiled

Stories of survival in the face of persecution and investigative reports about scams targeting diverse communities are among the winners of the 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward today revealed the successful entries across 12 categories.

“These awards recognise the vital role our multicultural communicators play in delivering critical information and connecting with our diverse communities,” Mrs Ward said.

“Our multicultural media professionals have been tireless in sharing crucial health messages throughout the pandemic and have been instrumental in helping keep our community safe.

“I commend this year’s winners and finalists and would like to thank them for their ongoing support in communicating with diverse audiences across NSW.”

Mrs Ward said the winning media and marketing entries were recognised across categories including Best Audio-Visual Report, the Public Interest Award and Business Campaign of the Year.

“Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions, an in-person event to announce this year’s winners can’t take place, but that of course doesn’t take away from the importance of their work in our community,” Mrs Ward said.

“We look forward to celebrating the outstanding achievements of our winners at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner next year.

“I sincerely congratulate our outstanding winners and finalists for bringing an important voice to topics such as racism, migrant exploitation and the impact of COVID on our diverse communities.”

“I am delighted that the NSW Government is the only state in Australia to recognise multicultural communicators with a stand-alone awards program.”

For more information about the Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/premiers-multicultural-communications-awards/

NSW celebrates vital work of translators and interpreters

The crucial and tireless work of NSW translators and interpreters in delivering vital health messages during the COVID pandemic has been recognised on International Translation Day. 

More than 160 interpreters and translators were thanked by the Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward at a NSW Government forum acknowledging their key contribution. 

“It’s a great representation of our wonderful multicultural community that more than 200 languages and dialects are spoken across NSW, and more than a fifth of our population speaks a language other than English at home,” Mrs Ward said. 

“The demands on our Multicultural NSW translators and interpreters during COVID have been greater than ever, and I’m so grateful for all of their wonderful efforts. Many have worked long days and nights to ensure critical information has been made quickly available.” 

Since the start of the pandemic, Multicultural NSW has translated more than 3000 COVID resources into almost 60 languages. 

“This represents almost 1 million words translated to the highest standards,” Mrs Ward said. 

“These resources include essential information about public health orders, the importance of vaccination, support services and financial help.” 

Multicultural NSW translator Costa Potiris has been translating COVID health messages into Greek since the start of the pandemic. 

“Translators and interpreters are the voice of our multicultural society. It’s our job to make sure every member of our community has the same access to vital information and services,” Mr Potiris said. 

“My colleagues and I have been proud to translate materials that have made a real difference during the pandemic. Without a doubt that has contributed to our vaccination rates and helped protect our community and save lives.” 

More than 1200 translators and interpreters are employed by Multicultural NSW. 

For more information, see: https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-translation-day. 

More Grassroots Support For Vulnerable Communities

Grassroots organisations can now apply for the latest tranche of a record $43.2 million funding package to support vulnerable people and multicultural communities across NSW. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said community-led grassroots initiatives will be able to share in $3.6 million to provide immediate and essential services. These include food and school products, services to help those experiencing domestic and family violence and seniors facing social isolation, wellbeing checks and community activities such as youth groups. 

“The NSW Government has responded urgently to support those in need during the pandemic. This is the second round of funding for vulnerable people and multicultural communities delivered through our Empowering and Supporting Local Communities program,” Mrs Ward said. 

The first round of the program has been finalised and will deliver more than $3.4 million to 194 grassroots community organisations across the state. 

“This latest round builds on the initial funding and will support communities big and small across our metropolitan, rural and regional areas with grants of up to $30,000,” Mrs Ward said. 

“As we continue racing towards our vaccination targets and look to easing restrictions, we want to make sure no one is left behind.” 

Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Mark Speakman said communities across NSW have stepped up like never before to support and care for each other, and to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“These grants will help ensure critical support for some of our most vulnerable, including women and children impacted by domestic and family violence and other hardships during the pandemic, thanks to the many dedicated frontline services working across the state,” Mr Speakman said. 

Eligible not for profit non-Government organisations must be currently located in, or service communities in NSW. 

As part of the $43.2 million package, almost $18 million worth of grants have supported communities in the 12 LGAs of concern, including grants for local councils, non-Government and grassroots community organisations, and a program engaging the innovation sector. 

Applications close at 11am on Monday, 11 October. For more information, visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants/

Extra Funding Boosts Emergency Food Relief, Vaccination Services and Cultural Case Workers.

Delivery of emergency food relief, promotion of vaccination and testing services and support through culturally-appropriate case workers are among areas to be boosted by a NSW Government funding package, to help vulnerable people and multicultural communities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the $24.4 million commitment by the NSW Government was in addition to a $18.8 million package announced last month, more than doubling the amount to a record total of $43.2 million.

“I have held dozens of meetings with community and religious leaders during the COVID-19 outbreak. All have told me that further support is urgently needed for our most vulnerable,” Mrs Ward said.

“This money will be used for the delivery of emergency food relief, to promote vaccination and testing services, provide support and care through culturally-appropriate case workers, mental health and wellbeing programs, and the continued delivery of critical health messages through multicultural communications.”

The commitment forms part of the NSW Government’s recently announced $287.5 million COVID-19 financial support package to help workers and vulnerable communities in metropolitan, regional and rural NSW.

Those support measures include expanding COVID-19 emergency hardship payments, Test and Isolate support payments and community empowerment grants across NSW.

Organisations are encouraged to develop innovative ideas to expand support services for vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19, with grants of up to $250,000 available.

“We are looking for ideas that will meet the needs of priority groups, including recent migrants and refugees, people with lower digital literacy and those experiencing isolation and hardship,” Mrs Ward said.

For more information, see: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/innovation-grants

Multicultural Media Organisations Share in Funding to Deliver Vital COVID-19 Messages.

More than 70 multicultural media outlets in NSW have received a share of $2 million funding to support the delivery of vital health messages during the COVID outbreak.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the Multicultural Media Grants program is the next step in ensuring critical messages surrounding the importance of vaccination and following public health orders reach all corners of our community.

“We are so lucky in NSW to have a rich presence of multicultural media outlets doing such incredible work to keep all members of our community informed,” Mrs Ward said.

“They provide a crucial link between their audience and the NSW Government in delivering important details about health orders and support available during this difficult time.”

A total of 74 multicultural media outlets based in NSW, working across all channels including radio, print, TV and online, have received a share of funding.

“Priority was given to media outlets which operate in languages other than English and reach audiences in the highly-impacted LGAs (Local Government Areas),” Mrs Ward said.

“The pandemic has amplified their critical role in communicating with multicultural communities, in particular those who speak languages other than English.”

Mrs Ward said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant downturn of revenue for many outlets, with advertising dollars decreasing.

“Often these community radio stations and newsrooms are run by or rely heavily on volunteers,” Mrs Ward said.

“Right now, demand for information from trusted media outlets is higher than ever.”

The Multicultural Media Grants program is in addition to a $6 million ongoing rollout of vital health information in multiple languages during the current outbreak, including print and radio advertising, by the NSW Government.

Applications Open for $10 Million Covid-19 Partnership Grants Program

Applications have opened for eligible grassroots organisations to share in a $10 million funding package, to support vulnerable people and multicultural communities living in priority areas during the current COVID outbreak.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the program would support non-Government organisations (NGOs) to link those in need with vital support services, including family and parenting supports, food and essential items, and specialist counselling to address issues such as mental health concerns, drug and alcohol abuse and family and domestic violence.

It will target those needing urgent help in the 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of concern, including those who are required to isolate due to COVID-19.

“This program will boost the delivery of more critical services that vulnerable people and multicultural communities are increasingly relying on,” Mrs Ward said.

“The current outbreak is amplifying hardships for already vulnerable people in our community including recent migrants, young people and seniors.

“We know more emergency support is needed now, and the NSW Government is responding quickly.”

The $10 million COVID-19 Partnership Grants program is part of a $18.8 million emergency relief package being delivered by the NSW Government, a record amount during this current outbreak.

Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Mark Speakman said listening and responding to community feedback during the pandemic has been a top priority for the Government.

“So many are doing it tough right now, and that includes women and children impacted by domestic violence whose abuse may have been exacerbated due to the lockdown restrictions,” Mr Speakman said.

“Importantly, this program will help those who must isolate due to COVID-19, to make sure they can continue to have access to the support services they need at this critical time.”

Eligible organisations, who already provide proven support services to vulnerable members of the community in the 12 LGAs of concern, will be directly invited by the Department of Communities and Justice to participate in the program.

To learn more about the grants, visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants/

Afghan Leaders Updated On NSW Response To Crisis

In response to the evolving humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the NSW Government has held a forum with Afghan Australian leaders to show its support and provide an update on measures to help the community at this difficult time. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the NSW Government stood in solidarity with the Afghan community in NSW and was advocating on its behalf. 

“This is an incredibly distressing time for Afghan Australians. I have been absolutely inundated with inquiries from the Afghan community seeking advice on how to bring their family members to Australia,” Mrs Ward said. 

“This is the second forum we have convened with Afghan leaders in a matter of weeks. NSW has always shown it has a big heart when it comes to supporting communities fleeing war and persecution.” 

The forum was attended by Afghan Australian community leaders, peak multicultural bodies and settlement groups. 

It followed a meeting earlier this week between Multiculturalism Ministers across Australia to discuss a combined response to support the resettlement of Afghan nationals. 

The Ministers committed to work together to support coordinated and effective settlement arrangements including access to legal advice, mental health services and timely visa processes. 

“Those coming here from Afghanistan have been through an incredibly stressful and distressing time and it’s important they know they are welcome and will be looked after,” Mrs Ward said. 

The NSW Government recently announced a $6.25 million funding package to support vulnerable temporary visa holders, particularly asylum seekers, who need urgent help during the current COVID outbreak. 

In June, the NSW Government launched its innovative three-year ‘NSW Growing Regions of Welcome Pilot Program’ to address critical workforce needs, and link refugees and migrants in metropolitan Sydney with employment and lifestyle opportunities in regional areas. 

NSW Coordinator General for Settlement Peter Shergold AC said Afghan arrivals would be supported as they began a new life in NSW. 

“We stand ready to make sure they get the best start in NSW with our world class healthcare and education system, and tailored services including housing, English language support and specialist counselling through the Humanitarian Support Program,” Professor Shergold said. 

Hundreds Join Nsw Government Multicultural Forum

Hundreds of multicultural community, religious leaders and representatives of peak bodies have attended a forum to discuss the NSW Government’s roadmap to freedom for the fully vaccinated, and deliver feedback on the response to the COVID outbreak. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward hosted the online event, attended by 270 people, to continue to hear critical input about the needs of the multicultural community during the pandemic, and reinforce the importance of delivering crucial health messages. 

“I cannot thank our religious and multicultural community leaders enough for their vital work since the start of the pandemic, and especially during this current lockdown,” Mrs Ward said. 

“It’s fantastic to see our community respond overwhelmingly to the vaccination message. We need to keep our foot on the accelerator to get more jabs in arms, so we can return to doing the things we love and keep our communities safe.” 

Leaders asked questions and shared insights about the vaccination rollout, the newly-announced roadmap to ease restrictions for fully vaccinated people once NSW reaches 70% double dose vaccination, mental health and financial supports. 

“We place great value on important insights from our leaders, who know their communities best. We are working in partnership with them to respond with community-based and culturally appropriate supports and solutions,” Mrs Ward said. 

The NSW Government recently announced a record $18.8 million emergency relief package for grassroots organisations to deliver vital support to vulnerable people in the 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of concern. 

It’s also delivering a $6.25 million support package for temporary visa holders, especially asylum seekers, and is holding weekly news conferences with multicultural media. 

More than 45 community forums have been facilitated by Minister Ward and Multicultural NSW, representing more than 4000 individual engagements with religious and community leaders. This has included forums with the peak migrant resource centres and forums with young people, community organisations and community leaders in western and south-western Sydney. 

Record Support Package For Vulnerable Communities

A record emergency relief package of $18.8 million will be delivered by the NSW Government in the latest boost to support vulnerable members of our community during the latest COVID outbreak.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the package will focus on the 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of concern to give urgent help to those experiencing hardship.

“The NSW Government knows this support is needed right now. This is the largest package of funding delivered during this current outbreak which supports local organisations to help those who need it most,” Mrs Ward said.

“We know these are incredibly tough times for vulnerable members of our community including recent migrants, young people and seniors.

“This package responds to feedback from our daily discussions with community and religious leaders who have told us more support is urgently needed.”

The $18.8 million package will help grassroots organisations deliver emergency food relief, promote vaccination and testing services, and provide culturally appropriate support and care to diverse communities.

This will include support services by organisations that are already well connected to community needs, including culturally specific case workers.

The package includes a $13 million grants program delivering emergency relief through not-for-profit and multicultural community organisations, as well as local councils.

Local community groups are now eligible to apply for grants of up to $30,000 to deliver grassroots projects supporting vulnerable communities.

It also includes $4 million for ongoing multicultural communications, including interpreting and translation services, to deliver critical health messages.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said it was vital the NSW Government partnered with local councils in response to the current outbreak.

“Local councils know where their communities are hurting and how best they can be supported during this very difficult time,” Mrs Hancock said.

“Grants of up to $250,000 for the 12 local councils of concern will enable them to deliver tailored programs and services to help build resilience in their communities including translators and case workers.”

This package is in addition to existing NSW Government support during the current outbreak, including $6.25 million to help support temporary visa holders, particularly asylum seekers, $4 million for multicultural communications and $750,000 for grassroots COVID-support grants for multicultural projects.

Grants of up to $30,000 for local organisations are now open. Other grant streams as part of the $13 million package will open soon. For more information, see https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/

Urgent Asylum Seeker Funding Boost Opens

Specialist organisations supporting asylum seekers and temporary visa holders who need emergency support can now apply for a share of a $5.5 million funding boost from the NSW Government, in response to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the grants process was now open and funding would be directed to non-Government organisations (NGOs) who could help where the need was greatest.

“This funding will be available to NGOs who deliver immediate support to temporary visa holders, particularly asylum seekers, who are among the most vulnerable members of our community,” Mrs Ward said.

“It will help them provide emergency relief including food, medical support, essential housing and transport.

“It’s important this support gets to where it is needed most, as quickly as possible.”

The total funding package to support asylum seekers and temporary visa holders in response to the current outbreak is now $6.25 million, including $5.5 million for this program and $750,000 initially allocated for emergency relief.

The funding boost complements the work undertaken by the NSW Government to reach multicultural communities including:

  • Direct engagement with more than 3000 religious and community leaders in dozens of online community forums;
  • Multicultural NSW coordinating more than 150 individual interviews with community leaders to understand community needs;
  • More than 1500 translated resources covering specific health information including stay-at-home orders in almost 60 languages;
  • A partnership with SBS to interpret the daily COVID news conferences into Arabic, Assyrian, Cantonese, Khmer, Mandarin and Vietnamese, in real time;
  • Urgent grants to more than 150 multicultural community organisations with grassroots community-led initiatives.

Eligible NGOs can apply for the latest grant through: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants

150 Organisations Share In $750,000 Multicultural Support Package

More than 150 multicultural community organisations will share in almost $750,000 in emergency funding for grassroots projects to support vulnerable members of the community impacted by the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the Stronger Together Grants Program supports urgent relief projects by providing assistance for food, transport, mental health support and communicating public health information in languages other than English.

“I would like to thank our exceptional multicultural community organisations who have worked so fast to urgently respond to the current outbreak,” Mrs Ward said.

“Often they are the first port of call for vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community.

“Many of these organisations rely on volunteers and are on the front line providing immediate support to those facing serious hardships.

“These grassroots projects will provide crisis assistance including contactless delivery of food packages, mental health support and services in languages other than English.”
Examples of funded projects include:

  • The purchase and delivery of food packages and other essential household items including face masks and hand sanitiser for disadvantaged members of the community;
  • Expanded mental health services and information in languages other than English, providing culturally appropriate psychological support and wellness checks over the phone;
  • Transport for vulnerable people with limited mobility to access services such as medical appointments, including vaccination appointments, and shopping for essentials.

“We know how urgently this help is needed and that’s why we are getting the money out of the door as soon as we can,” Mrs Ward said.

For more information about the Multicultural NSW Stronger Together Grants Program, see: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/

$6 Million Emergency Support Package For Asylum Seekers In NSW

Asylum seekers in NSW who need emergency support during the current COVID-19 pandemic will be the focus of a $6 million funding boost by the NSW Government.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the money would be used to help organisations with direct links to temporary visa holders to provide urgent relief including food, housing, medical care and other essentials.

“We know that temporary visa holders, particularly asylum seekers, have become increasingly vulnerable during the pandemic,” Mrs Ward said.

“The NSW Government recognises urgent support is needed and this funding represents an emergency safety net for members of our community who may be on the brink of homelessness and financial destitution.”

The funding will be available to non-Government organisations (NGOs) who can deliver immediate help, such as providing food, supporting clients to access medical care, including mental health care, and helping them meet rental payments.

NSW Coordinator General for Settlement, Professor Peter Shergold AC, said the funding would be targeted where it is needed most.

“Specialist migrant and settlement NGOs working on the ground have experienced a sharp rise in the number of temporary visa holders they need to support with emergency relief,” Professor Shergold said.

“This money will directly address the urgent needs of vulnerable temporary visa holders – mainly asylum seekers - in our community who are experiencing great hardship right now.”

The funding is in addition to a $6 million NSW Government crisis package provided from June 2020 to support temporary visa holders, including asylum seekers, which finished last month.

The funding will be administered by Multicultural NSW. For more information about Multicultural NSW visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/

Daily Covid-19 press conference to be translated into Arabic and Vietnamese.

The NSW Government has announced an Australia-first program to deliver daily vital public health messages in languages other than English, through live interpreting.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward announced the pilot program – in partnership with the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) - would support live translation of the daily NSW Government COVID-19 press conference into Arabic and Vietnamese in real time.

“The NSW Government is exploring every avenue to ensure our public health messages are reaching our culturally and linguistically diverse communities,” Mrs Ward said.

“We see SBS and all our multicultural community media outlets as critical partners.

“This pilot program will ensure Arabic and Vietnamese speakers can translate vital public health information, at the same time as it is being delivered.”

Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said the NSW Government would share and promote the live interpreting feed over its social media channels.

“The service will also be able to be shared by other multicultural and community broadcasters for wider dissemination,” Mr Dominello said.

“It’s critically important we reach as many people as possible so we can work together to help keep each other safe.”

The pilot program will be evaluated for effectiveness and continue to evolve to meet community needs.

SBS Managing Director James Taylor said the multicultural public broadcaster was delighted to partner with the NSW Government on this Australia-first initiative.

“SBS is uniquely placed to reach and engage those who speak a language other than English, and we are pleased to be working with the NSW Government to deliver this important multilingual service at a time when access to reliable information and urgent health and safety updates is critical,” Mr Taylor said.

“This expands on SBS’s ongoing work providing essential support for diverse communities during the pandemic, delivering trusted, independent and accurate information in more than 60 languages across our multiplatform services.

“As the country responds to the impacts of the latest COVID-19 outbreaks and the national vaccination rollout continues, SBS is proud to be the place for multicultural and First Nations communities to access vital news and resources, to ensure all Australians receive the information they need to protect themselves and their communities.”

The interpreted daily press conferences will be streamed live on SBS Arabic24 and SBS Vietnamese Facebook pages, as well as SBS Radio.

For translated information about COVID-19 in NSW, please visit here. 

Multicultural Media Grants now open

Multicultural media outlets operating in NSW are now eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000 per outlet to help deliver vital public health messages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the $2 million NSW Multicultural Media Grants Program was a direct response to the current outbreak and an important part of the NSW Government’s commitment to deliver critical information to all members of our community.

“I want to thank our multicultural media outlets, who have a unique ability to reach deeply into multicultural communities, for helping deliver crucial health messages,” Mrs Ward said. “These outlets have been a vital part of our public health response and ensure all members of our society have access to trusted and credible sources of information in their language.”

The grants program is in addition to $2 million already allocated by the NSW Government during the current restrictions to deliver messages to multicultural communities across channels including radio, print and online.

“This program will also represent a lifeline for those multicultural media outlets in NSW which have been struggling during the pandemic, at a time when their contribution is so important,” Mrs Ward said.

Funding will be based on factors including target markets, audience reach and demonstrated evidence of a downturn in revenue due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The funding will support disseminating key NSW Government health information and piloting new ideas to engage with multicultural communities,” Mrs Ward said. “The grants will also support operating, production and editing costs, and developments in technology to help reach new audiences.

“I encourage all eligible multicultural media outlets in NSW to apply.”

Applications are now open and close at 5pm on Friday 6 August 2021. To apply or for more information visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/

$4 Million to disseminate important health messages to multicultural communities

The NSW Government has announced it will spend $4 million to disseminate important health messages during the latest COVID-19 outbreak across multicultural communities.

The targeted package includes a $2 million grants program, announced today, to support multicultural media deliver crucial health information during the pandemic.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said multicultural media organisations have been vital in distributing trusted and credible public health information to our communities.

“We rely on our multicultural media operating in NSW to deliver crucial messages far and wide,” Mrs Ward said.
“This is especially important with our non-English speaking communities who depend on these outlets for their news.”

The grants program is in addition to $2 million already allocated during the current restrictions by the NSW Government to deliver messages to multicultural communities across various channels including radio, print and online.

The multifaceted approach has also included forums with religious and community leaders, and working with our leaders and community groups to share information through their networks.

Multicultural media operating in NSW will soon be able to apply for the NSW Multicultural Media Grants Program, with up to $50,000 available per outlet.

“This funding will support the delivery of news and information across traditional print and radio media as well as reaching a wider audience through digital capability,” Mrs Ward said.

“I again thank our hard-working multicultural media outlets and our community leaders for working with us to ensure everyone in our community has access to reliable and trusted information.”

For more information please visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/

 

Religious And Multicultural Leaders Thanked For Delivering Message

Religious and community leaders are being thanked by the NSW Government for helping deliver the crucial stay at home message to our multicultural community. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said there is overwhelming support to ensure everyone is aware of the public health orders. 

“I want to thank all members of our community for supporting the NSW Government’s response in our fight against COVID-19.” Mrs Ward said. 

“People are hearing our messages and are overwhelmingly following the restrictions. 

“To ensure we are reaching as many people as possible, we have been rolling out a targeted campaign in key community languages. 

“I am extremely grateful to our faith and community leaders who have been working tirelessly with us to ensure everyone in our community has access to reliable and trusted information.” 

The multifaceted campaign has included: 

  • Translated resources covering specific health information including stay at home orders in almost 60 languages. 
  • Religious, community and multicultural online media forums engaging hundreds of leading representatives. 
  • Online videos in multiple languages shared with community organisations and networks promoting the stay at home message. 
  • Increased presence on multicultural community radio. 
  • Working with religious and community leaders to share information through their networks. 
  • Outreach work by the local health districts. 

 

Full page newspaper advertisements will also appear in multicultural media this week. 

“No matter what language we speak, it is critical all members of our community understand the public health advice,” Mrs Ward said. 

“I again thank our leaders for disseminating the information and guiding their communities through this time. It is vital everyone knows to stay home to keep you and your loved ones safe.” 

For more resources in your language, please visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/resources-other-languages 

$8.5 million in support for migrants and refugees

 

 To mark Refugee Week, the NSW Government has announced $8.5 million over three years to continue important support programs for refugee, new and emerging communities as part of the 2021-2022 NSW Budget. 

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the multi-year funding will ensure the continuation of key projects for newly arrived communities. 

“Funding in this space will ensure we can continue to support our refugees, newly arrived migrants and emerging communities with programs to help them settle and thrive,” Mr Perrottet said. 

“Programs such as these are central to the successful integration of newcomers. In particular, they are crucial in helping to reduce social isolation for families who don’t have established networks or access to support.” 

The funding will enable the continuation of programs to help newcomers find educational and employment opportunities, navigate and access support services and create community connections. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the NSW Government works incredibly hard, through cross-sector collaboration with our broader community, to ensure newcomers feel welcome and supported. 

“We are committed to bringing existing and emerging communities together, and seeing people from all backgrounds thrive,” Mrs Ward said. 

“Refugee Week is also a chance to extend our gratitude to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers for their valuable contributions to our communities.” 

The NSW Government is also committed to progressing opportunities for regional resettlement through an existing $3 million investment to deliver the NSW Growing Regions of Welcome (NSW GROW) Pilot Program, which has launched today. 

NSW GROW aims to attract and retain newcomers, and to assist with relocation to regional NSW. 

“This funding will improve NSW’s capacity to promote social cohesion and encourage successful settlement across the state,” Mrs Ward said. 

The NSW Coordinator General for Settlement, Professor Peter Shergold AC, said this significant investment will continue to achieve positive outcomes for NSW. 

“NSW GROW will address critical workforce needs in regional areas that would usually be filled through overseas migration,” Professor Shergold said. 

“This Program will support coordinated efforts across sectors to create secondary migration linkages between western Sydney and regional NSW and drive sustainable social and economic outcomes for participating regional communities and newcomers alike.” 

The Australian Red Cross and Regional Development Australia will support delivery of NSW GROW in western Sydney, and the Murray and Riverina regions. 

For more information about Multicultural NSW, visit: www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au 

Nominations Open for 2021 Multicultural Communications Awards

Nominations for the 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards (PMCAs) are now open.


Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward encouraged all eligible professionals to apply for the award program, which recognises excellence in multicultural communications across 12 categories.


“The NSW Government is proud to deliver the only standalone awards program in the country recognising excellence in multicultural communication,” Mrs Ward said.


“We have relied on our multicultural media professionals to communicate vital health information with our diverse communities more than ever during the pandemic.


“In addition, our marketers play an important role in ensuring our State’s diverse identity is reflected on our screens and communicated to all members of our society.”


The media categories are Publication of the Year, Best Audio Report, Best Text Report, Best Audio Visual Report, Best use of Digital or Social Media, Young Journalist of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Public Interest Award and Alan Knight Student Award.


The marketing categories are Business Campaign of the Year, Agency Campaign of the Year and Community Campaign of the Year.


The awards are open to all eligible multicultural media and marketing professionals. Nominations close at 5pm on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.


For more information, please visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/premiers-multicultural-communications-awards/

Scholarships for NSW’s newest interpreters

Applications are now open for people who speak new, emerging and in-demand languages to receive scholarships to become qualified practicing interpreters. 

Minister for Multiculturalism, Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program will support up to 30 budding interpreters in 2021. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how vital our interpreters are, especially in providing access to high-quality health care and advice,” Mr Lee said. 

“We need to make sure our qualified interpreters speak new, emerging and in-demand languages so everyone enjoys access to high-quality interpreting services. 

“The scholarship recipients will benefit from subsidised world-class training at TAFE NSW and universities to train our next generation of interpreters.” 

Course graduates will be eligible to become Recognised Practicing Interpreters with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. 

People who speak Acholi, Bari, Chin (Tedim), Chinese (Hakka), Dinka, Ewe, Fijian, Fullah, Hakka (Timorese), Hmong, Karen, Kayah, Khmer, Kirundi, Krio, Malayalam, Mongolian, Mun (Chin), Nuer, Oromo, Samoan, Somali, Tetum, Tibetan, Tigrinya and Tongan are encouraged to apply. 

The NSW Government has invested $650,000 over four years to train up to 400 interpreters as part of the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program. 

Expressions of interest for new and emerging languages will be accepted until 5pm Wednesday 9 June 2021. 

For more information about the NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program and to express your interest in the program, please visit: 

www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au 

Syrian priest awarded top honours by NSW Premier

Syrian Australian priest, Father Fadi Nemme, who has dedicated his life to serving Arabic speaking communities, has been awarded top honours at the 2021 Premier’s Harmony Dinner. 

This annual event is a celebration of the diverse cultures, languages and religions of all citizens in NSW. A highlight of the evening is the awarding of the Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals that recognise outstanding achievements. 

This year’s recipient of the prestigious Barker Henley Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal was awarded to Father Fadi Nemme of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said all the award winners have made significant contributions to the community, especially over the last year through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I congratulate all of tonight’s medal recipients for their outstanding service and dedication,” Ms Berejiklian said. 

“I especially want to recognise the sacrifices you have made over the past year, and thank you for the support you have provided to vulnerable members of our community.” 

Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee congratulated Father Fadi on his outstanding service to the community, particularly in support of newly arrived refugees and migrants. 

“Father Fadi is a devoted community leader who has dedicated himself to spiritual and community service since arriving in Australia 25 years ago,” Mr Lee said. 

“He has worked tirelessly over the decades to promote social cohesion, supporting people of all faiths in the Bankstown area.” 

Member for Miranda Eleni Petinos praised Father Fadi for his work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Due to Father Fadi’s leadership, the Church was quick to respond to support the most vulnerable in our community affected by the pandemic with emergency food parcels and relief,” Ms Petinos said. 

Father Fadi said he was delighted to be recognised by the NSW Government. 

“This medal means a lot to me and my community. This acknowledgement of my service over many years by the NSW Government is amazing,” Fr Fadi said. 

“Harmony for me is working across all faiths and backgrounds to promote our common ground and what unites us all as a community. I am honoured to be the recipient of this medal.” 

For more information about the Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals 

and Multicultural Honour Roll see: http://multicultural.nsw.gov.au 

Photos from the event will be available at this link from 9am Sunday, 14 March: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fyg1101v8mnhscn/AABVND6OucrdXZP1i1J0lJnra?dl=0 

The full list of 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals recipients include: 

  • Australian National Maritime Arts and Culture Medal - Ghada Daher-Elmowy 
  • ADAPS Corporate Business Excellence Medal - Navitas English 
  • Welcoming Cities Local Government Business Excellence Medal - Tamworth Regional Council 
  • B1 Group Not for Profit Business Excellence Medal - Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS) 
  • All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Language Services Medal - Prof Rifaat Ebied 
  • SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal - Abla Tohamy Kadous 
  • Settlement Services International NSW Human Rights Medal - Dr Roger Gurr 
  • Commbank Regional Unity Medal - Miza Torlakovic 
  • Village Plaza Sports Medal - Bevan Stuart Calvert 
  • Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal - Rev Fr Fadi Nemme 

 

Highly commended - International Student Water Safety Video 

  • National Rugby League Youth Medal - Angelica Ojinnaka 

 

Inductees to the Premier’s Multicultural Honour Roll include: 

  • The late Maria Cheng 
  • The late John Homeh 
  • The late Dr Amarjit Singh More OAM 

NSW welcomes lunar new year

The sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House have been lit up in red to mark the upcoming Lunar New Year. 

Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee welcomed the upcoming Year of the Ox. 

“Lunar New Year is such a special time of year for our many Asian communities in NSW marking new beginnings, good fortune and precious time devoted to family and friends,” Mr Lee said. 

“Lunar New Year will again be different this year and we ask all communities to follow the latest COVID-19 restrictions and the health advice while they celebrate. 

“I’m proud of how our communities have continued to adapt and find new ways to celebrate cultural festivals and traditions while keeping our State safe.” 

Lunar New Year is an inclusive and integral part of NSW culture and celebrated across many East Asian and South Asian communities. 

“The Ox is said to be steadfast, strong and reliable and we can all draw on these qualities as we work to stay safe during these unprecedented times,” Mr Lee said. 

“The NSW Government wishes all communities celebrating Lunar New Year a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.” 

Link to media downloads: https://bit.ly/3rGObQv 

Nominations Open For 2021 Multicultural Community Medals And Honour Roll

The NSW community is being encouraged to nominate a person or organisation who worked hard to promote our common values and social harmony during 2020.

 

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee has opened nominations for the 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals and the Multicultural Honour Roll.

 

“There are so many inspiring individuals and organisations doing incredible work in our community, striving to maintain harmony and peace in NSW during what has been a difficult year,” Mr Lee said.

 

“This program acknowledges these everyday multicultural heroes and champions, particularly those who have actively helped us in our messaging to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and supported the most vulnerable in our community.”

 

The medals honour the achievements of community members working in many fields including youth, business, arts and culture as well as regional communities.

 

“We have expanded the program this year to recognise even more individuals and organisations making a difference to our community,” Mr Lee said.

 

“It’s been a tough year but as we look forward to 2021, I encourage all those who know incredible change-makers leading significant projects, programs and events to nominate them for a Multicultural Community Medal.”

 

The Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal winners will be announced and presented in March 2021 at the Harmony Dinner.

 

The Premier will also posthumously recognise the legacy of people who have made lasting contributions to NSW through the Multicultural Honour Roll.

 

Nominations are open until 5pm on Friday 22 January 2021.

 

For more information about eligibility and the Community Medals visit: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/premiers-multicultural-community-medals/

$1 Million for COVID-19 Multicultural Support

Culturally diverse media and grassroots groups will benefit from an additional $1 million in new funding to support community-led responses to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said supporting the community to drive the recovery is crucial to NSW’s success.

 

“The trials and pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic have touched all parts of the NSW community including our diverse multicultural communities,” Mr Lee said.

 

“We are excited to partner with organisations and groups to create projects, festivals and events for the year ahead, which celebrate and strengthen our communities in NSW after a challenging year. 

 

“During 2020, our multicultural media sector has proven to be an indispensable part of our response to the pandemic and has helped us communicate important health messages to all members of our community.

 

“Grants of $10,000 will be offered to multicultural media outlets to reach new audiences and pilot innovative approaches to disseminate public health information to harder-to-reach communities.”

 

This funding is additional to the $600,000 of COVID-19 immediate support grants delivered in June, to 120 multicultural community organisations.

 

Applications for funding open Thursday 17 December and close Friday 29 January.

 

For more information go to: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants/

Multicultural Media Winners Announced

The impact of COVID-19 on migrant and diverse communities is a theme which resonated strongly amongst the winners of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee announced the winners in an online awards ceremony today.

2020 Multicultural Communications Finalists Announced

Reports highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on migrant and diverse communities are in the running to win NSW’s leading multicultural communications awards.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee today announced the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards finalists.

Calling all multicultural marketers

Nominations for the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards (PMCAs) are now open.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee encouraged all eligible marketers to apply across three award categories.

Calling all multicultural communicators

Nominations for the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards (PMCAs) are now open.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee encouraged all eligible multicultural media and professionals to apply for the program which recognises excellence in multicultural communications across 12 categories.

Funding for vulnerable temporary visa holders

Emergency grant funding is now available to support vulnerable temporary visa holders and specialist migrant and settlement services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee today announced $4 million in support funding is now available for those in need.

Funding Boost to Unite NSW Youth

A funding boost for a leading youth engagement program will inspire and empower young people to stand united against extremism, fear and division.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee announced a further $3 million over 12 months to expand the Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) program.

NSW Government Extends Support for Refugees

NSW Government Extends Support for Refugees

Newly arrived migrants and refugees will benefit from over $4 million in NSW Government funding, announced today on World Refugee Day.

The funding will support key programs which aim to reduce social isolation and help schools to provide specialised care for refugee students.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said it is vital newly arrived migrants and refugees have the support they need to settle into NSW.

 

Funding to Support Multicultural Communities during COVID-19

Funding to Support Multicultural Communities during COVID-19

Multicultural community organisations are encouraged to apply for over $500,000 in funding to provide immediate assistance for basic necessities like food, transport and language support for vulnerable people. Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said the COVID-19 Community Support Grants program will provide critical support.

 

Caringbah Student Receives Top Honours

Caringbah Student Receives Top Honours

A Caringbah High School student has been awarded top honours by the NSW Government. The National Rugby League Youth Medal was presented to Luiza Knijnik as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

 

NSW Government Supporting Multicultural Communities through COVID-19

NSW Government Supporting Multicultural Communities through COVID-19

Help is on its way to the most vulnerable people affected by COVID-19, with the NSW Government providing over $6 million for our multicultural communities including migrants and temporary visa holders. Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said it’s vital these people are given the urgent help they need.

 

South Sydney Artist Awarded Premier's Honours

South Sydney Artist Awarded Premier's Honours

A performing artist and choreographer who delivers Indian cultural dance workshops to young people has been awarded top honours by the NSW Government. The Australian National Maritime Museum Arts and Culture Medal was awarded to Shyamla Eswaran as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

Western Sydney Leader Awarded Top Honours

Western Sydney Leader Awarded Top Honours

A South Sudanese refugee who has dedicated his working life to inspiring and engaging culturally diverse young people through basketball has been awarded top honours by the NSW Government. The Barker Henley Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal was awarded to Mayor Chagai as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

Changes for Worship, Weddings and Funerals

Changes for Worship, Weddings and Funerals

More people can attend religious services, weddings and funerals from 1 June but worshippers will be asked to maintain social distancing and changes to communal practices will be required. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said from Monday, up to 20 people can attend weddings, 50 at funerals and 50 at places of worship, subject to the four square metre rule.

Pacific Advocate Awarded Top Honours

Pacific Advocate Awarded Top Honours

A Pacific communities advocate who has dedicated her working life to raising the profile of marginalised descendants of Australia’s indentured slave trade has been awarded top honours by the NSW Government. The Settlement Services International Human Rights Medal was awarded to Waskam Emelda Davis as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

A not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting and representing diverse communities in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region has been awarded top honours by the NSW Government. The Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI) was awarded the B1 Group Business Excellence – Not for Profit Medal as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

Jewish Community Leader Honoured by NSW Premier

Jewish Community Leader Honoured by NSW Premier

A late Jewish community leader and media professional has been posthumously inducted into the NSW Government’s Multicultural Honour Roll as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals. Joshua Levi's courage, passion and commitment to journalism led to many honours, including Best Investigative Story in 2016 and Best News Story in 2016 and 2017 at the Premier's Multicultural Media Awards.

Cooma Leader Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

Cooma Leader Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

A Cooma community member committed to supporting migrants and refugees has been awarded top honours by the NSW Government. The Commbank Regional Unity Medal was awarded to Yvi Henderson as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

Pioneering Multicultural Broadcaster Honoured by NSW Premier

Pioneering Multicultural Broadcaster Honoured by NSW Premier

A late media professional and founding member of SBS has been posthumously inducted into the NSW Government’s Multicultural Honour Roll as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals. Marena Manzoufas had a longstanding commitment to advancing multicultural broadcasting and made a lasting contribution to its development in Australia.

Arabic Interpreter Receives Top Honours

Arabic Interpreter Receives Top Honours

The All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Language Services Medal was awarded to Chamoun Salameh Bechara as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals. Mr Bechara is an Arabic interpreter who supports interpreting across hospitals in Western Sydney and has received top honours from the NSW Government.

GWS Giants Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

GWS Giants Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

The GWS GIANTS has been awarded top multicultural honours for its program of activities promoting participation and community harmony by the NSW Government. The Shepherds Bay Plaza Sports Medal was awarded to the GWS GIANTS as part of the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.

Fairfield City Council Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

Fairfield City Council Awarded Top Multicultural Honours

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Multiculturalism, Geoff Lee, announced the Fairfield City Council as the winners of this years Premier’s Multicultural Business Excellence (Local Government) Award.

Multicultural Community Leaders Honoured

Multicultural Community Leaders Honoured

A medical professional and humanitarian champion supportingthe NSW Chinese Australian community for more than four decades has won top honours in the Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals. Dr Leng Tan, a GP and community leader,was awarded the SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal on a virtual presentation call with all winners hosted by Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee.

Celebrating a decade of Parramasala

CHAMPION COMMUNICATORS

Reports on dowry abuse, the Christchurch terror attack and an innovative multilingual radio podcast for children were among the winning entries at tonight’s Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards.
Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said the NSW Government was proud to celebrate the exceptional journalism of multicultural media and marketers.

Don't miss Harmony Dinner early bird tickets

Early bird tickets for the 2020 Premier’s Harmony Dinner, the NSW Government’s flagship event to celebrate the cultural diversity of our State, are now on sale.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said the event showcases NSW’s incredible achievements and successes as one of the greatest multicultural states in the world.

“This year the community can expect a bigger and better Harmony Dinner experience with a packed program of entertainment in a state-of-the-art venue,” Mr Lee said.

Supporting grassroots community projects

Grant funding is now available for projects supporting multicultural communities across NSW, Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Mr Geoff Lee announced today.

“The NSW Government’s Celebrating Diversity Grants will support projects that break down barriers and create opportunities for greater social cohesion across our community,” Mr Lee said.

“I encourage all our eligible community organisations to consider applying.”

Nominate your Harmony Champions

Nominations for the 2020 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals are now open.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said the awards recognise the everyday heroes and champions, who celebrate and strengthen our multicultural society.

“This program is dedicated to our colleagues, friends, family and neighbours doing incredible work in our community,” Mr Lee said.

Funding Now Open For Multicultural Festivals And Events In NSW

Applications for the NSW Government's Celebrating Diversity Events Grants are now open. Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti said all eligible community organisations should consider applying for the program.

“NSW is home to hundreds of world class multicultural festivals and events that celebrate our diversity,” Mr Sidoti said. “This program offers a helping hand of up to $10,000 to the many hardworking community organisations who promote social cohesion in our community.”

2019 PMCAS Nominations Now Open

Nominations for the 2019 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards are now open.

Minister for Multiculturalism, John Sidoti, acknowledged the important role of community media and marketing professionals in the media landscape.

Western Sydney Migrants & Refugees Learn About The Law

Nearly 500 multicultural students will visit Fairfield and Liverpool Courthouses next week to learn about the criminal justice system, Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti announced today.

“The open days are a great opportunity for the newly-arrived migrants and refugees, who are studying English at Navitas, to learn about legal services in NSW, and to understand how courts operate,” Mr Sidoti said.

The students come from a variety of backgrounds including Iraq, Syria, Vietnam, Burma and Afghanistan.

“Some of the students may have had negative experiences with authorities in their homeland and it’s important they understand that in NSW we have a fair justice system where corruption is not tolerated,” Mr Sidoti said.

The open days will tackle myths about police and the courts and will educate them about their legal rights and how they can access support.

Scholarship Fund Creates New Jobs For Interpreters

The next generation of interpreters are being fast-tracked into employment after graduating from a NSW Government Scholarship Program at TAFE NSW.

18 students excelled in the 10 week course, representing Burmese, Chaldean, KurdishKurmanji, Nepalese and Assyrian speaking communities.

New NSW Citizens Take To Footy Field

Today 300 new citizens enjoyed their first moments as Australians as the guard of honour for the players at the AFL GIANTS Welcome Game against Carlton, following their citizenship ceremony.

Minister for Multiculturalism and Sport John Sidoti said coupling the citizenship ceremony with an iconic sporting event was a fabulous introduction for the newest Australian citizens.

Connecting Refugees With Regional NSW

Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti today attended the ‘Take the LEAP Employment Expo’ that helps migrants and refugees in Western Sydney overcome employment barriers by introducing them to regional job opportunities.

The Expo in Fairfield provides an opportunity for regional towns to promote themselves to job seekers and present information on incentives to support regional job relocation.

NSW Youth Build Interfaith Bridges

Hundreds of young people will come together with religious leaders from across Sydney to create the first interfaith statement of unity in NSW - the ‘Sydney Statement’.

Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti said the NSW Government was proud to commit $100,000 to support the two-year program which will encourage young people to champion interfaith harmony.

Anti Domestic Violence Advocate Receives Top Honours

Lawyer and anti-domestic violence advocate, Dr Chandrika Subramaniyan, has been recognised by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for her pro bono legal work with refugee and migrant women.

Ms Berejiklian presented the Stepan Kerkysharian AO Harmony Medal to Dr Chandrika Subramaniyan at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner tonight.

Inspiring The Next Generation Of Young Leaders

Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams today announced the successful Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) Program received an additional $1.2 million for 10 new projects.

“Over the last two years, an extraordinary 20,000 young people and 130 schools in NSW have already benefitted from COMPACT,” Mr Williams said.

Celebrating Our Cultural Diversity

Multicultural communities across NSW will benefit from $250,000 to support vibrant festivals and events that celebrate our diversity.

Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams encouraged all eligible organisations in NSW to apply for a Celebrating Diversity Event grant.

Scholarships For Budding Interpreters

Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams today launched a $100,000 pilot program paving a pathway for up to 45 students across NSW to become practicing interpreters.

The NSW Interpreter Scholarship Program will support people who speak in-demand languages with fully funded scholarships to study interpreting at NSW TAFE.