Wendy Huang from Advance Diversity Services’ (ADS’s) Rockdale Office has been chosen as a volunteer of the Year in the Banks Volunteer Awards 2020.
Federal Member for Banks, David Coleman MP, presented Ms Huang with her award on November 13 in a COVID-safe event at Olds Park Sports Club in Beverly Hills (the ceremony was broken into four half-hour events across the day).
Ms Huang works three days a week for ADS as a receptionist and admin clerk and also volunteers as a coordinator for ADS’ Learn to Drive Program.
CEO Antoinette Chow said ADS had nominated Ms Huang for the award for her outstanding contributions to local newly-arrived families, aged and disability services, and especially for her coordination of the Learn to Drive Program, which helps newly arrived migrants and refugees gain confidence behind the wheel.
‘The program provides English-language driving support and driving practise with volunteer mentors for learner drivers to help them obtain their NSW driving licences,’ Ms Chow said. ‘Wendy works with a team to make it all happen. We are so grateful for her enthusiasm and expertise.’
Health services, councils, community service providers, government agencies and utility providers are taking their messages for migrants online in a first for the St George region.
Migrant Information Day (MID) has been an annual event in St George for more than 20 years featuring stalls, activities and multicultural performances.
However, this year, when the coronavirus pandemic dashed hopes of holding the event face-to-face, its organisers had to think laterally.
The result is an online video festival, to commence on November 9, which will help newly arrived migrants and refugees find the support they need to settle effectively.
‘This year has forced us all to think of new ways to connect with the community,’ said Jenny Tang, Community Development Worker at Advance Diversity Services (ADS). ‘Happily, these new methods have also opened up opportunities for us and made our services and communities more resilient and adaptable.
‘One positive development has been gathering short videos from local agencies that offer insights into their services.’
Ms Tang explained that a number of community service providers, including ADS, had for the first time focused their attention on online marketing and invested money to create new videos to adapt to the lack of face-to-face promotional opportunities available.
The MID committee supported these marketing initiatives through the provision of subsidies.
‘This first-time video-fest is the fruit of these efforts,’ Ms Tang said. ‘A promotional blitz in November and early December will help to ensure the videos reach newly arrived refugees and migrants.’
Local services in the line-up include ADS, Kogarah Community Services, Rockdale Children and Families Hub, St George Community Transport and 3 Bridges Community. The South Eastern Sydney Local Area Health District and the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service have also provided videos which cover COVID-safe information, Quitline, the Liver Clinic, and mental health services.
Migrant Information Online videos can be accessed through a single convenient link on YouTube (bit.ly/mio-2020) and the videos will be available for one year.
The MID committee is comprised of representatives from Bayside Council, Georges River Council, Kogarah Community Services, Advance Diversity Services, TAFE NSW, South East Sydney Local Health District, Services Australia and St George Police Area Command.
ADS Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/advancediversityservices/