Advance Diversity Services has been working with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Multicultural Health Service (MHS) on the Get Active Project, delivered in Sydney’s St George Region. The below reports outline the aims and deliverables of the Project. They draw attention to the improved outcomes relating to health, wellbeing and social connectivity via participation in sporting activities and information sessions for young people who are newly arrived and/or from CALD backgrounds.
Project Report – Get Active CALD Youth Project 2015-2017:
Youth Health & Wellbeing Consultations – July 2017:
Advance Diversity Services (ADS) is looking for young people aged 15 to 24 to be part of its new Youth Reference Group. You’ll help drive social change on issues that matter to you – while developing leadership and professional skills for your future career and studies. Jenny Tang, Multicultural Youth Worker for the Settlement and Community Services Program of ADS, explains why you should consider being part of the team.
What prompted you to set up this new Youth Reference Group? What’s the need for it?
As a team working with young people from culturally diverse backgrounds, we want to give young people a voice in the community so that their ideas and opinions are heard on the issues that affect them. We want to be able to consult with young people to make sure that our own work at ADS truly reflects their concerns and needs, but is also informed by the strengths they bring. We want to equip young people with the skills and the knowledge to become leaders and to achieve the change that they want to see.
Have you seen something like this working effectively elsewhere?
The Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network has a Multicultural Youth Ambassadors Program, which also aims to give young people a voice and equips them with skills to advocate on the issues they care about. It’s a great program.
What can happen through this channel that might not happen effectively without it?
Without this group, we would not be able to consistently consult young people regarding our programs and initiatives. We might miss out on some wonderful ideas for advocacy or community engagement that a fresh and young perspective can offer us.
What freedom will the young people have to set their own agenda?
Youth Reference Group members will have the freedom to work collaboratively to come up with their own ‘constitution’ of sorts, under the guidance of the Youth Workers. They will be able to choose the issues they feel passionate about, and put forth their own ideas about how to best tackle them. Of course, these must be subject to standards regarding respect for other political, religious, and personal beliefs.
How will what the young people decide feed into ADS’s or other local community or broader decision-making?
ADS is part of several youth interagency networks including the St George Youth Network, Sutherland Shire Youth Network, Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network, and SSI’s Youth Collective. ADS also often participates in advocacy and other policy work. The members’ ideas, concerns and decisions will be fed through these platforms to give them the widest audience possible. Members may also have the chance to attend conferences and speak at events.
Are there youth issues that need to be addressed in ADS’s catchment area in terms of external funding or government policy change that won’t find traction without the voices of young people getting behind them?
It’s hard to pinpoint specific issues, but we know that proposals that come with evidence that’s based on consultation with the target group will certainly find more traction.
What’s the incentive for young people to get involved?
There will definitely be opportunities to develop leadership and professional skills such as public speaking, grant writing, project coordination, and meeting and networking with new people. We’re also hoping members will find it rewarding to be making a difference on important issues. These are all things that they can later put on their resumes to help with their future career. Oh, and there will be snacks at the meetings and fun team building activities every now and then (such as rock climbing). Incentive enough, we believe!
How do young people apply?
For more information and to get your application form, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jenny or Salvin on (02) 9597 5455. Applicants must live, work or study in the St George or Sutherland Shire areas, be aged 15 to 24, and be from a culturally diverse background. Applications close April 22, 2018.
More than 70 people, and many from Culturally and Linguistically (CALD) backgrounds, contributed to a round-table discussion about their experiences with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) at Marana Hall in Hurstville on February 21.
Settlement Services International (SSI) and Advance Diversity Services (ADS) co-hosted the discussion, which brought together local people with disabilities from CALD backgrounds; local CALD organisations and leaders; local mainstream disability services; representatives from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA); and NDIS Local Area Coordinators (LACs).
The aim of the forum was to identify issues that local people with a disability from CALD backgrounds have encountered with the NDIS, and to discuss solutions.
The group was divided into six tables to ensure the challenges people faced with the NDIS were voiced and noted.
Major issues identified included: a lack of understanding of how NDIS works; insufficient NDIS funds available to purchase the required services; and problems with navigating approved services.
Findings from the forum will feed into a statewide DiverseAbility: NDIS Inclusion conference to be run by SSI at the Novotel in Parramatta on April 19.
This one-day conference was prompted by research conducted by SSI’s FutureAbility project, which found that people from CALD backgrounds with disabilities are noticeably under-represented in the existing disability service and support systems in Australia, despite having similar disability rates as the Australian-born, English speaking population.
This is the first time in New South Wales that CALD and disability experts, practitioners, CALD NDIS users, and community groups and members will meet to identify ways to improve the participation of people with disabilites from CALD backgrounds in the NDIS – to achieve a better quality of life and increased economic and social participation.
People with disabilities and their carers are invited to attend DiverseAbility free of charge.
For more information and to register visit www.diverseability2018.com.au
Advance Diversity Services’ (ADS) Settlement and Community Services staff will coordinate a ‘messages of welcome’ activity – inviting people to offer greetings of inclusivity, diversity and hope at Georges River Council’s Harmony Day celebration in Hurstville on March 21.
ADS staff members have prepared more than 300 templates people can personalise with meaningful messages to help foster harmony across the community. These expressions of welcome will be displayed in a common area at Marana Auditorium—reinforcing the region’s and ADS’s commitment to openness and unity.
Key settlement information for new arrivals will also be available at the ADS stall, including information about housing, employment, training, recreational activities and case-work services.
People of all ages and cultures are invited to celebrate Harmony Day in Hurstville, which will feature henna hand painting, children’s activities, and multicultural stalls and food tasting.
The free Georges River Council Harmony Day celebration is on Wednesday March 21, from 10 am to 1 pm at Marana Auditorium, MacMahon Street, Hurstville.
Advance Diversity Services (ADS) was extremely proud to sponsor and take part in this year’s St George Aged Care Expo on August 24 at Rockdale Town Hall.
ADS joined more than 40 exhibitors who spoke with hundreds of people from more than 30 communities who attended the expo, which aimed to raise awareness of the goods and services available to ageing people in the region.
ADS staff also happily assisted with the expo’s Multicultural Awareness Program, which provided information to seniors in multiple languages about how to access My Aged Care – the Australian Government’s portal for information about aged care services.
The Nepalese Grandparents Choir pictured with ADS’s bilingual Nepalese case worker Rishi Acharya (front row far right), which has close ties with ADS, performed as part of diverse line-up of multicultural entertainment that enlivened the event’s atmosphere.
Senior Manager of Aged Care and Disability Services for ADS, Mrs Dimi Vourliotis, said the expo provided an important opportunity to showcase the services ADS offers seniors in the region so they can live safely and independently at home.
‘People were delighted to hear more about our expertise in providing care to ageing people from diverse cultural and language (CALD) backgrounds,’ she said. ‘They think it’s great we have bilingual staff that can help them to remain happily at home and to maintain their important cultural and spiritual traditions.’
Mrs Vourliotis said the expo was particularly helpful this year given the significant Home Care Reforms that were put in place in February across Australia.
‘We could highlight what the changes involved, dispel people’s fears, and give them vital information to enable them to find the right support to meet their needs.’
Advance Diversity Services hosts a free Justice of the Peace (JP) service in its Rockdale office on Friday mornings to help people with documents they need witnessing and/or certified.
We speak Bengali, Chinese, Hindi and Urdu.
What can a JP help you with?
JP volunteers play an important role in the legal system in New South Wales and provide a valuable service to the community.
A JP can witness and certify a range of legal documents (as follows).
A statutory declaration is a written statement which a person declares to be true in the presence of an authorised witness. Various organisations often require information to be provided to them in a statutory declaration.
An affidavit is a written statement for use as evidence in court proceedings. A person who makes an affidavit must promise that he or she is telling the truth, in the presence of an authorised witness.
Organisations sometimes accept a certified copy of a document, instead of the original. This avoids a person having to mail or submit the original of a precious document, like a birth certificate or academic qualification.
When, where, and more information?
Every Friday 11.30 am to 12.30 pm
552 Princes Hwy, Rockdale 2216
Please call (02) 9597 5455 for more information
Findings from a recent youth forum organised by Advance Diversity Services (ADS) will help shape health service provision in south-eastern Sydney to better meet the needs of newly arrived young people and youth from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds across the region.
More than 50 young people from local high schools, including Intensive English Centres (IECs), were consulted about their health and wellbeing during the June 7 forum at Rockdale Town Hall as part of the Get Active project funded by Multicultural Health, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
Forum participants, drawn from local schools such as Beverly Hills Girls High school and Kogarah Intensive Language Centre, provided insights which identified gaps in health service provision in the region. They also pinpointed the barriers they faced when attempting to access services, participate in sport, and get involved in other health-related and social activities.
Staff of St George Youth Services and headspace facilitated the forum discussion.
‘Bullying, stress, depression, peer pressure, intergenerational conflict and social isolation were some of the issues identified by forum participants as having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing,’ said ADS Executive Officer Antoinette Chow.
She also said these and other findings from the forum will be disseminated to relevant health service providers to help them to improve their outcomes and services, which will make a positive difference to the lives of young people in the region.
This was the first CALD youth health forum organised by ADS. It builds on ADS’s active partnership with local schools and IECs, and on its previous engagement with students.
The Get Active Project aims to improve outcomes relating to health, wellbeing and social connectivity via participation in sports activities and information sessions targeting both newly arrived young people and young people from CALD backgrounds.
Advance Diversity Services (ADS) is undertaking a survey to find out if there are community programs, activities or services that members of the St George community would like to participate in or need, but aren’t available for them.
We need your help with completing this survey. We would like to know the programs, activities and services that you want and need, so we can try to provide the programs to make living in the St George area more enjoyable for you and your families.
As appreciation for assisting us, you will have the chance to win one of five $50 Myer gift vouchers, by completing and returning this survey to us by 10th April.
You can return the survey by email to email@example.com or by post to Advance Diversity Services PO Box 381, Rockdale NSW 2216 or in person to our centre at 552 Princes Hwy, Rockdale.
Thank you for your help.