January 2021

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Caption: Van (Lanh Thanh) faces a dilemma over coming out in Goodbye Mother, which screens in Vietnamese with English subtitles at Event Cinema Hurstville on February 24.

Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has partnered with Queer Screen to offer a subsidised community screening of a compelling coming out story set in Vietnam at a local cinema next month.

The Australian premiere of Goodbye Mother is screening (subsidised offering at $10) at Event Cinema Hurstville on February 24, with a second (full price $21) screening at Event Cinemas George Street on March 1. Both screenings are part of the 28th Mardi Gras Film Festival (MGFF), which runs from February 18 to March 4, 2021.

ADS is proud to be an inclusive service and this partnership with Queer Screen, as part of MGFF, continues its work to inform culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people about LGBTIQA+ individuals and communities.

Goodbye Mother (directed by Trịnh Đình Lê Minh) is a universal tale everyone can connect with,’ says ADS Executive Officer Antoinette Chow. ‘The visual nature of film also makes it a great medium through which to raise awareness in the community – and particularly CALD audiences – about LGBTIQA+ community issues.

‘We also felt it was important to bring the film to the St George area of Sydney so that it would be accessible to the local population we work with.’


Goodbye Mother traces the story of Van (Lanh Thanh) who is the prodigal son who returns from the United States to Vietnam with plans to introduce his boyfriend, Ian (Võ Điền Gia Huy), to his mother (Hong Dao). When he learns his mother is ill, he is faced with the dilemma of how to honour his family responsibility but also to freely lead the life he has chosen with integrity.

The film won the Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival 2020 Best Narrative Feature Film and also the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2020 Audience Award. It is in Vietnamese with English subtitles.

Before the Hurstville screening of Goodbye Mother, there will also be a short talk by a representative from ACON’s Asian Gay Men youth project, which helps younger gay men from Asian cultural backgrounds take control of their health by providing a range of programs, workshops, resources and events.

The $10 tickets are only available at the Hurstville screening and you can book them here.

MGFF21 is also inviting people to create their own LGBTIQ+ film festival experience. In Sydney, along with more than 60 cinema screenings on offer, the MGFF is offering online and on-demand screenings across Australia for the first time. To in-cinema and in-home viewers MGFF21 is providing the best LGBTIQ+ cinema from around the world.

Goodbye Mother is just one of many great options for people to view during MGFF21,” says Ms Chow. “We’ve partnered with Queer Screen to encourage people in our communities to connect with narratives that will support them if they’re coming out and enhance their understanding if they’re unsure about the issues faced by LGBTIQ+ people.’

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Note: COVID-19 safety protocols will be adhered to at all screenings, including mandatory mask wearing.

Book your $10 ticket to Goodbye Mother at Hurstville cinema from Queer Screen here.

View the full MGFF21 program and book your other MGFF21 tickets here.

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Updates to a free parenting app facilitated by Advance Diversity Services (ADS) and the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) Child, Youth & Family Services are ensuring the Love Talk Sing Read Play (LTSRP) app is a ‘go-to’ reliable and practical source for parenting information rather than turning to Google.

Consultations with emerging communities in 2019 & 2020 saw 13 new key messages incorporated into the LTSRP app and translated into four community languages – Nepali, Bangla, Arabic and Simplified Chinese.

“The new messages support parents with age-appropriate feeding, screen time and child development tips, as well as where and how to access services. Parents receive notification reminders in their language about all the health checks and when they are due,” said Helen Rogers, SESLHD Early Parenting Program Coordinator.

“Parents can also add photos of their children to create a memory book – a great feature,” said Magdaline Shenton-Kaleido, Team Leader, Emerging Communities, at ADS.

SESLHD Multicultural Health granted funding for the collaborative project Nepali and Bangladeshi Early Parenting Key Health Messages Project (0-5) in 2019.

Community consultations, facilitated in 2019 by SESLHD cross-cultural community workers Rubina Huq and Bandana Karki, and ADS community workers Tasneem Rashid and Rishi Acharya, gleaned input from 63 Nepali and Bangladeshi parents, grandparents and carers to inform the co-design of culturally appropriate resources.

The consultations found key areas of concern for communities related to feeding practices, social participation, bilingualism, active play, screen time and sleeping.

A Consumer Reference Group with 10 members from Bangladeshi and Nepali communities was set up to discuss findings and next steps for the co-design of resources and community education sessions.  It was agreed that rather than reinventing the wheel, the findings would be incorporated into the already existing and well-respected LTSRP parenting app.

The LTSRP app now has 13 new key messages that relate to sleep time/sleep routine; supporting learning and development (using one’s own language and English); meal time to connect, share family food and support learning; and tummy talking to brain (in response to assertive feeding practices).

ADS also co-facilitated four (two Nepali and two Bangladeshi) community education sessions at the Kogarah Storehousewith SESLHD staff,  Jo Power, Suanne Hall, Voula Stathakis and Maree McGlinchey.

The two sessions covered:

  • First 2000 Days and child development facilitated by Child Health and Family Health nurses Jo Power and Suanne Hall (24 participants).
  • Active Play facilitated by St George speech therapist Voula Stathakis and occupational therapist Maree McGlinchey (24 participants).

ADS is promoting the LSTRP app with the new key parenting messages via parents and grandparents groups and social media. SESLHD cross-cultural workers Rubina HUQ and Galuh SAPTHARI are also promoting the app via antenatal and early parenting groups, and individual client conversations.

“Feedback from Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Arabic and Chinese backgrounds so far highlights the value of the free app for parents,” said Ms Shenton-Kaleido.

“It contains age-appropriate information for every family to help their children learn and develop.

“Parents and grandparents should download the Love Talk Sing Read Play App app through the App Store or Google. It’s so good – and so easy.’