Building Community Spirit, Bringing Cultures together.
সামাজিক মমত্রী বন্ধন সংস্কৃজির সম্মেলন
共創社區精神 匯聚各族文化
φέρνοντας και δημιουργώντας την ενότητα της κοινότητας μαζί
Creiamo uno spirito di comunità. Avviciniamo diverse culture tra di loro.
Градиме заеднички дух Ги зближуваме заедниците
Memupuk Semangat Kemasyarakatan Menyatukan Budaya
سا ز مان دادن جامعه با یک جا سا ختن فرهنگ
Creando espíritu communitario, Acercando las Culturas.
ร่วมสร้างพลังสังคม ร่วมระดมวัฒนธรรม
xây dựng tinh thần cộng đồng Kết hợp các nền văn hóa với nhau
بناء روح المجتمع و تقريب الثقافات معا

WELCOME

 

Advance Diversity Services is a community based, not for profit organisation based in Rockdale. We provide a wide range of services to communities and families residing in St George and the Sutherland Shire; with a focus on recent arrived migrants, refugees, youth, families, older people, people with disabilities and their carers.

 

Check out our new Facebook Page

SERVICES

At ADS we provide a range of tailored services.

 

ABOUT US

Advance Diversity Services (ADS) is a non-profit community organisation which has been providing support services to the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities since 1981. In particularly focus on recent arrivals, families, older people, women, youth, people with disabilities and their carers living in the Hurstville, Kogarah, Rockdale and Sutherland Shire Local Government Areas. ADS provides the following services:
  • – Migrant Settlement services 
  • – Centre-based Day Care for older people
  • – Home care package for frail aged
  • – Disability Support
  • – Mental Health
  • – Carer support
  • – Family, Women and Youth Program
  • – Community Development
To be a leading multicultural organisation that through its activities enhances the independence, potential and aspirations of individuals, families and the broader community.
The values that drive our organisation are:
  • Social inclusion and opportunities for community participation for all
  • Care and respect for individuals
  • Harmony and building community resilience
  • Tolerance and acceptance of diversity
  • Working collaboratively
  • Innovation, excellence and professionalism

By Constitution the Board consists of 12 Directors – 6 office bearers and 6 ordinary members; each of whom is to be elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Office Bearers of the Board 2016-17 are:

 

Mikall Chong (Chairman)
Mikall is an active community based volunteer with diverse interests including welfare groups, church and environmental programs. He has many years of experience engaging with various CALD communities.

  • Rockdale City Council Citizen of the Year Award 2012
  • More than 10 years of service on Advance Diversity Services Board
  • Member of Greater Sydney Police Multicultural Advisory Committee
  • Passion for development of Rockdale for tourism opportunities

 

Ruth Fyfe (Vice Chairperson)

This year is her 10th year on the Advance Diversity Services Board; Ruth has extensive working experience with new arrivals in St George and Sutherland areas, as a manager with the AMEP at a local college. As a manager Ruth was also responsible for staff and financial management. Ruth holds a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education (TESOL).  

 

Khalil Haragli JP (Secretary)

Khalil has over 30 years’ experience in community work and 20 years in management at Advance Diversity Services and St George Joint Lebanese Committee. He worked as the Multicultural Health Officer at the South East Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service. He is one of the Foundation Member of the Migrant Resource Centre and he has been on the Board of Advance Diversity Services since 1981.  

 

Reg Soares JP (Vice Secretary)

  • Involved in Moorefield Estate – The Neighbourhood Watch
  • Participated in Australian Taxation Office, Tax Help at Rockdale Community Services Inc.
  • Employed by Australian Electoral Commission
  • Member of Australian Institute of Management
  • Justice of Peace since 1990

 

Chura Belbase (Treasurer)

Chura has been working as a President of St George and Sutherland Nepalese Community Inc. He has served as a Treasurer of Non-Resident Nepalese Association, an umbrella organisation of Nepalese living in Australia. By profession, he is a public practice accountant, CPA and a registered tax agent. He believes he can utilise his qualifications and community work experience to contribute for the betterment of Advance Diversity Services. 

 

Marites Bairstow (Vice Treasurer)

Her working background has been in corporate sales and marketing roles in the information technology (IT) industry for some 20+ years.  She recently left corporate to establish a training organisation with her husband, delivering professional development courses in marketing and cross cultural training workshops. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Counselling and has engaged in various church and community activities over the years. Her skills are in the area of business development and marketing; and she has a sincere commitment and desire to be of service to our multicultural community.  

 

Azra Ahmed

She has been a board member of the Pakistani Australian Women’s Association for the last 5 years.  She has been an active member of Sydney Alliance and their campaign for the Arncliffe railway station lift.  She was part of the SGMRC’s Permaculture project.  She is a volunteer worker for the ADS DV team –providing social and moral support.  From time to time she has assisted Advance Diversity Services as a volunteer.

 

Sergio Bustamante

Currently Board Member of Advance Diversity Services for 15 years, Sergio is an Honorary Ambassador of the City of Rockdale since 2002. He has contributed in the welfare of the Spanish speaking community for many years. He received the Rockdale City Council Citizen of the Year Award in 2009. He completed Certificate III in Welfare at Sydney TAFE, St George College. He is also a NSW Government authorised interview panel member.  

 

Dr Rifaat Hanna JP

Board Member since 2009, an Australian of Egyptian origin speaking English, Arabic, Russian and French. Professor of Environmental Sciences and Socio Economic Sciences. Rifaat has organised, presented and supervised training scholarships and conferences in Egypt, Iraq, Russian, England, Yemen, etc. on environment issues. He is involved in many activities in the Arabic/Egyptian community and was previously Chief Technical Advisor for the UN in all Middle East. He is a Justice of Peace. He has lived in the St George area for over 30 years where he is involved in multiculturalism and social justice helping new arrivals and young people from the Egyptian and Arabic community.  

 

Rosaline Havea 

Rosaline holds a BA of Arts and a Master in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management. She has a strong involvement with community work particularly with the South Pacific Islander communities. Currently, she is working as a Human Resource Manager for a large non-Government organization.  

 

Branislav Musovski

Branislav has a long history as a volunteer. He has over 35 years’ experience with various management. He completed TAFE courses in welfare, public consulting, ethics and social welfare. He is the Management Committee member of Macedonian Australian Welfare Association. He has been awarded for his achievement by the Community Relations Commission. Branislav also has lots of experience and skills in the finance field.  

 

Litsa Nossar
Litsa possesses a Diploma in Community Welfare. She has a strong knowledge of the community sector and has been involved in community work for over 30 years. Currently works as settlement grant worker with Metro MRC. Litsa has sat on a number of boards as well as representing CALD communities and issues with both ethnic peak bodies e.g. Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW and mainstream organisations and groups e.g. NSW Children’s Forum. She has worked for Federal and State Governments as well as NGOs.

  • Member of Advance Diversity Services Board for past 23 years
  • Strong committee to social justice and multiculturalism
Advance Diversity Services  commenced operations in 1981 as the St George Migrant Resource Centre following recommendations from the Galbally Report (Migrant Services and Programs, 1978) which recommended establishing migrant resource centres to meet the needs of migrant communities. The Migrant Resource Centres were intended to support ethnic and community organisations and help them play a greater role in provision of migrant welfare, to serve as a base for ethnic groups and to encourage self-managed services at the local level.
We changed our name to Advance Diversity Services in 2015. Since our establishment we have worked with different waves of migrant and refugee settlers; we assisted and advocated for the people in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities to enable the effective use of their skills and capacities; and thereby maximise their access to the social and economic opportunities available in the Australian community.
Advance Diversity Services is funded by various Government Departments and receives support and sponsorship from business, organisations and individuals. We would like to acknowledge the following major funding bodies and sponsors; we greatly appreciate your support.
During the last period ADS clients have benefitted greatly from the consultations, feedback sessions, needs analysis and encouraging environment with the CALD communities in general, ADS continues to achieve excellent results on regular client satisfaction surveys which support the reputation it holds as a leading multicultural organisation in the area and the sector.

NEWS

Making accessories while raising awareness of domestic violence

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On December 2, our Thai women’s group enjoyed a basic accessory-making workshop at Advance Diversity Services while learning about the importance of recognising and responding to domestic and family violence. Kanyarat Tresise facilitated the information session with the help of volunteers, Tedheporn Antico and Khanung Ciserain.

Who came up with the idea of blending the making of accessories with raising DV awareness, and what was the thinking behind it?

In the Settlement Services Program (SSP) we like to provide useful and relevant information in a fun way. The reference group members suggested we run a session on domestic and family violence (DV) and family law information. Most female Thai migrants are on spouse visas, and cross-cultural family relationships, DV, divorce and other legal issues are common concerns for Thai women who feel stigmatised when DV occurs and relationships break down. Thai women also love practical and creative activities that they can apply to their daily life as a hobby or as a pre-employment skill. Combining these two sessions provided a soft entry to difficult conversations.

What accessories did the group make?

The women made necklaces, earrings and bracelets using beads – and the results were lovely (as these photos show).

What was the feedback?

Everyone was so happy and requested more jewellery making workshops! They had lots of fun and made new friends, and they found the Thai teacher Tedhiporn Antico and her assistant Khanug attentive and helpful. They were especially impressed that Tedhiporn provided all the materials and they were able to take home the jewellery for free.

Any closing comments? 

Thanks so much to Thai teacher Tedhiporn Antico and her assistant Khanug for providing the materials and the wonderful session. We look forward to another session soon.

– If you need help please call the Domestic Violence Line 1800 656 463.  

Dress for Success session equips Thai new arrivals for interviews

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To empower our Thai new arrivals with interview and styling skills, our Thai community worker, Kanyarat Tresise, organised a workshop with Michelle Bonner at Dress for Success in Marrickville on November 15. The informative and practical session was a success – and this Q&A with Kanyarat reveals why.

What was the highlight of the Dress for Success session?

The tips for preparing for an interview were great. For example: research the job and the organisation; ask for information about the interview (i.e. how many people on the panel etc.); check transport to make sure you’ll be on time; and when you’re a candidate in the waiting room, you should always sit in a composed way to impress.

What did Michelle Bonner say, show or provide to the women in terms of dressing/styling? 

While Michele Bonner helped me organise the session, however, she was not present on the day. Susan Dunn (pictured fourth from right) presented on interview skills.

What was one practical tip that participants will take on board when they are next going for an interview?

The standout tip: The candidate should feel comfortable in their clothing and the style of the clothes should be modest and conservative – not revealing. Be on the safe side and keep it formal for any role for which you have an interview.

Tell us more about the photo: Were participants dressed by Dress for Success to appear in the shot?

I’m standing next to Susan Dunn who presented on interview skills (she is fourth from the left). There were three Thai participants and the woman beside each of them is their own individual stylist. The women were able to take home the clothes they were dressed in. If any of these women gains employment they will be able to return to Dress for Success to get five sets of clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories for their working week.

– For more information contact Kay (Sineenat Khantaracha) sineenat@advancediversity.org.au (from January 2019) or visit https://sydney.dressforsuccess.org/

Butt Out helps Arabic speakers quit smoking

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Butt Out is a quit smoking project that targets Arabic-speaking communities in the St George region of Sydney. Its goal is to reduce the high levels of smoking in these communities by developing and delivering smoking prevention awareness strategies and practices that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.

In 2017, Advance Diversity Services (ADS) received an Innovations in Cancer Control Grant from the Cancer Institute NSW to implement this two-stage project over two years.

In February 2018, ADS completed stage one, which targeted the Chinese-speaking community. We are now developing stage two, which aims to reach Arabic speakers in the region who smoke, and empower them to quit.

Butt Out’s Arabic project worker, Hana Srour, and the project’s steering committee members have conducted a range of media interviews in Arabic to raise the awareness of the harms of the smoking. They have also actively promoted quitline services like iCanQuit and the NSW Quitline number 13 7848 (13 QUIT).

SBS Arabic radio interviews
In her first SBS Arabic radio interview on April 24, 2018, Ms Srour spoke about the prevalence of smoking among Arabic men living in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. She revealed that around 41.7 per cent of Arabic men in the region smoked as compared with 14.7 per cent of the general population. Ms Srour also translated much of the information about the project from English into Arabic to ensure she could more easily answer the interviewer’s questions.

Listen to the first interview here.

In her second interview with SBS Arabic radio on September 4, 2018, Ms Srour raised and reinforced awareness in Arabic-speaking communities of the harms of smoking. She also promoted Quitline’s services, support and contact number.

Listen to the second interview here.

Resources

• A good resource to help Arabic people understand the harmful effects of smoking is the booklet (in Arabic and English) Please don’t smoke near me.
• A video in Arabic outlining methods for quitting can be found here.
• Watch the video of Seham Gerges being interviewed by Aghapy TV about useful strategies for quitting smoking here.

Efforts rewarded
On August 5, Ms Srour was awarded a plaque at the Arncliffe Aurora Football Club community dinner to recognise her excellent work in the Arabic community to help stamp out tobacco use.

Anthony Scerri, Program Manager for ADS’ Settlement and Community Services Program, said ADS is proud of Ms Srour’s achievements relating to Butt Out. He is also confident stage two of the project will help many people recognise smoking is unhealthy and help them quit.

– For more information please email hanas@advancediversity.org.au

Launch/Workshop NDIS for CALD Communities

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On Monday December 3, Advance Diversity Services (ADS) will launch Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities’ views and experiences of the NDIS – a new publication by ADS and the University New South Wales (UNSW).

The launch is part of a workshop to explore how to make the NDIS work for diverse communities. It will feature a panel discussion with people with a disability and carers from CALD communities, representatives from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and representatives from the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Local Area Coordination Program.

An NDIA representative will talk about the NDIA’s CALD strategy including how it can help to ensure people with a disability are connected and included in the community and can achieve their goals.

ADS partnered with the St George and Sutherland Shire Disability Interagency Network to organise the event, which will be held in The Dragon Room, Georges River Council, Hurstville, from10 am to 12 pm.

Beatrice Taylor: ‘Boosting women’s sewing skills was a joy’

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We interviewed Beatrice Taylor, facilitator of our multicultural women’s sewing group, to find out what made her want to teach the course and what she learnt from its participants.

What made you want to run these sessions?

I believe everyone should have some basic sewing skills, and felt the women would appreciate and utilise what I could teach them. A lot of clothes that could be easily mended are discarded because people don’t have these basic skills. By running these sessions, I was hoping to help people save money and be creative.

What have you learnt along the way? 

Along the way I learnt about people’s differing learning styles and needs. Everyone has their own pace. Also, hands-on demonstrations worked best as English is many people’s second language in this community – another barrier to learning which made me want to teach this class.

Has it been gratifying to help the women develop skills and make such usable and beautiful items?

Running this course has been one of my most rewarding experiences. Helping women to feel empowered and confident in themselves and their creative and practical skills was a real joy. The course also created a wonderful community where women could come together to learn something new and have fun. It was an amazing feeling when women from the course with no sewing skills went home to practice and made beautiful clothes for themselves and their children.

– Advance Diversity Services’ multicultural women’s sewing group ran from August to October 2018.

2018-2019 Board of Directors Election Results Announced

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A big thank you to all eleven candidates for running in this year’s Board of Directors’ election. We had a strong pool of candidates interested in serving on the board, and each candidate was passionate about ADS. We are pleased to announce the results of the election which held on 5 July 2018, winning re-election to the ADS Board of Directors was Azra Ahmed, Marites Bairstow, Chura Belbase, Ruth Fyfe, Rifaat Hanna, Khalil Haragli, Rosaline Havea, Branislav Musovski and Reginald (Reg) da Lapa-Soares. Congratulations to the nine elected 2018-2019 ADS Board of Directors.

New Indonesian Arts and Culture Club launched at ADS

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A new Indonesian Arts and Culture Club (IACC) was launched at Advance Diversity Services on Sunday, July 1, by the Honourable Indonesian Consul General, Mr Heru Subolo, and his wife, Mrs Sinta Subolo.

Forty guests from Indonesian regions ranging from Aceh, Sumatra, South Sumatra, Lampung, Jakarta, Java, Sulawesi, Flores, to Papua attended the launch, which also featured beautiful Indonesian food and a display of traditional instruments.

The IACC aims to showcase the assets and talents within the culturally rich and diverse Indonesian diaspora living in the Bayside area.

It will also provide a much-needed community space for Indonesian islanders from all faith and culture groups to come together through the common thread of arts and culture.

Notable community leaders that attended the launch included Endi Dharma from Indonesian Community Council, Firdaus Muis from South Sulawesi and John Hardjono from Indonesian Rockdale Saturday Club.

Mirna Yusuf, ADS’ dance teacher from South Sulawesi, performed a traditional welcome dance called ‘Pa’duppa’ in beautiful traditional dress.

Such welcoming dances, in which guests are showered with loose flowers and confetti, are common throughout Indonesia and show the deep respect Indonesian people have for their guests.

Ms Yusuf’s performance also highlights the club’s commitment to ensuring the traditional dances and instrumental skills of the Indonesian people are passed on to younger generations in a fun environment. She will teach ‘Pa’duppa’ to all interested IACC members when the club opens on July 29.

Theresia Tomahu, the club’s president, and Andi Dwipasatya, the ADS community worker worked hard to ensure the launch was a great success.

The club is a community-driven initiative made possible by a ‘Doing it Differently’ grant awarded to ADS by Bayside Council and NSW Health.

Mr Subolo said he was very grateful that ADS had assisted the Indonesian community to get the grant, which would provide a vital meeting point in the region.

‘We’re excited to launch the club,’ said Ms Dwipasatya, ‘as it offers Indonesian people in our area the chance to share our cultural heritage, and pass it on to the next generation. We’ll also enjoy the opportunity to meet new friends, and forge closer ties.’

The club will be open every Sunday from 2–5 pm at ADS in Rockdale. To register your interest, please contact Andi Dwipasatya on (02) 9597 5355.

Communicate Connect Collaborate

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Come join us for our networking event, Communicate Connect Collaborate to be held on Tuesday 24 July 2018! Jointly organised by the St George Multicultural Network and the Sutherland Shire Multicultural Network, this informal afternoon event is an opportunity to make new connections with other services working with the multicultural community in the area.

Please click here to register:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/communicate-connect-collaborate-tickets-44388940516

Get Active offers youth a healthy start

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Sporting activities combined with health-related information sessions can improve the health, wellbeing and social connectivity of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) young people including those who are newly arrived.

This finding is detailed in two recently released reports from the Get Active Project funded by Multicultural Health, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and rolled out by Advance Diversity Services.

‘Research results from ADS’s Get Active Project offer valuable insights into the health and wellbeing needs of CALD and newly arrived young people in our region’ said Anthony Scerri, Program Manager of Settlement and Community Services and Youth Services Team Leader with Advance Diversity Services.

Mr Scerri presented Get Active findings at the Youth Health: Promoting Empowerment, Wellbeing and Safety Research to Practice Forum in Surry Hills, Sydney, on April 10.

The forum was organised by the Priority Populations Unit – SESLHD to showcase the latest research on the experience of young people accessing health services, and to highlight best-practice programs across the region for engaging vulnerable and at-risk young people.

‘I was invited to speak at the forum because Get Active is seen as a good example of a successful locally based project,’ Mr Scerri said. ‘Our aim was to improve the health, wellbeing and social participation of CALD and newly arrived young people through sports and information sessions – and Get Active achieved this.

‘Our results will also help local youth and health services providers in the St George region to target their services to ensure young people receive the support and information they need to foster their health and wellbeing.’

Get Active roll out

ADS received funding from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) Multicultural Health Grants Program: Healthy Communities Project to coordinate the project.

This included organising a series of table tennis clinics combined with health-related information sessions at Kogarah Intensive English Centre (KIEC) and the ADS Youth Club. It also incorporated a regional table tennis tournament held at Hurstville Aquatic Centre in partnership with St George and Sutherland Shire Table Tennis Association and Table Tennis NSW.

Throughout these activities ADS and other project partners gathered young people’s perspectives on a range of health-related issues, including the features they’d most like to see in the health services targeted to support them. Their feedback is documented in the Get Active project reports along with details of audits conducted by Health Promotion SESLHD (a project partner) to promote healthy environments for young people at the ADS offices in Rockdale (where the ADS Youth Club meets regularly) and the Kogarah High School Canteen. Since the Get Active Project ended, ADS has also funded weekly sport sessions at Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre, and KIEC has approached ADS to offer table tennis sessions.

The success of Get Active’s Youth Health Forum held in June 2017 led to a recommendation that similar forums be held in the St George region every two years. ADS Youth Worker, Salvin Kumar, will meet with service providers soon to prepare for a second youth health forum in 2019.

In his day-to-day work, Mr Kumar provides information about racism, bullying, exams and other issues of concern identified by young people involved in the project, and asks relevant services to provide sessions for youth on these issues. The Get Active reports also recommend that local services provide targeted information to CALD and newly arrived young people on these topics.

‘We’re pleased that after taking part in the Get Active health and exercise sessions the majority of Get Active participants felt their knowledge about healthy food, healthy relationships, being active, accessing GPs and using interpreters had increased’ said Mr Scerri.‘Their confidence in pursuing sporting activities had also improved.

‘These outcomes support evidence from the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH) in relation to the overall health and social benefits of recreational and educational projects,’ he said.

‘ADS will continue to build on these findings – to create programs that meet young people’s needs and can give them timely, accessible and relevant support.’

 

Read the reports now …

Project Report – Get Active CALD Youth Project 2015-2017: https://tinyurl.com/yc5lqw6t  | Youth Health & Wellbeing Consultations – July 2017: https://tinyurl.com/yasuwch2

 

Get Active participant backgrounds

Young people involved in the project came from diverse family and cultural backgrounds including: Thai, Russian, Chinese (not specified), Mandarin, Vietnamese,
Nepali, Malay, Greek, Hindi/Punjabi, Arabic, English, Bangladesh, Burmese, Cypriot, Egyptian, Indonesian, Iranian, Iraqi, Mongolian,  Pakistani, 
Palestinian, Peruvian, Filipino,
Syrian and Yemeni.

Get Active project partners

Advance Diversity Services including its Youth Club, 
Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre, Directorate Planning, Population Health and Equity – SESLHD, headspace Hurstville and Miranda, 
Kogarah Intensive English Centre, Multicultural Health Service – SESLHD
Primary Integrated and Community Health – SESLHD,
St George and Sutherland Shire Table Tennis Association, and St George Youth Services.

UPCOMING EVENTS

RESOURCES

GET INVOLVED

CONTACT US

Address

552 Princes Highway

Rockdale NSW 2216

Business Hours

Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm

TEL: (02) 9597 5455

FAX: (02) 9567 3326

Email: info@advancediversity.org.au

Postal Address

PO Box 381

Rockdale NSW 2216

Getting Here

By Train: catch the train to Rockdale station.  From here our office is an easy 5 minute walk