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

New website launches in Water Safety Week

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A new website launched in Water Safety Week (December 7 to 14) offers crucial water safety tips to help save lives this summer as people head to Sydney’s beaches and waterways.

The website and the week are the work of South East Sydney Multicultural Water Safety Committee, a group consisting of water safety education organisations, local councils, education providers, and local community service providers.

The Water Safety Directory Website shares a wealth of water safety messages on its homepage and offers a search function, which allows people to select the type of resource they are after (online, flyers, or courses) and filter according to language, location, and type. 

The site was put together by a team of UTS students who volunteered as part of the UTS Shopfront program. Individuals and organisations can still submit relevant resources to be included in the site through a form on the homepage.

Jenny Tang, Community Development Worker at Advance Diversity Services (ADS), said the website grew from a directory, first published in 2018, which helped workers to understand what resources around water safety were available to multicultural communities, and where the gaps were.

‘This multicultural focus is still important given that two populations identified to be at greater risk for drowning are ethnic minority populations and migrants.

‘The website is vital in helping service providers and community groups to find appropriate aquatic services and water safety resources for the communities they work with.’

Water Safety Week gives culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, a chance to hear from fishing, boating and water safety experts about a range of topics, including rock fishing and fishing safety, staying safe in boats, identifying dangers and hazards at the beach, spotting and surviving rip currents, and more.

Salvin Kumar, Youth Worker at ADS, said the timing of the week-long event was important because Royal Life Saving research shows that the largest number of drowning deaths occur in the summer months and that there is an increased risk of drowning during public holidays and school holidays.

‘We also know drowning deaths mostly occur during recreational or leisure activities,’ he said.

‘Our aim is to increase awareness and education to ensure people know how to enjoy the water safely, and to respond appropriately if someone’s in trouble.’

Water Safety Week sessions are free online via zoom. Participants can register using the link in the flyer on the ADS Facebook page

The session on Thursday December 10 will be offered in English in the morning and then in Arabic in the afternoon. Details of the Arabic session will be sent to participants who register and identify Arabic as their language spoken at home.

Additional background …

Water Safety Week is a collaboration between: Advance Diversity Services (ADS), Asian Women at Work Inc, Bayside Council, Department of Primary Industries, Georges River Council, Gymea Community Aid and Information Service, Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW, Royal Life Saving New South Wales, Surf Life Saving New South Wales, Sutherland Shire Council, Transport for NSW and Waverley Council. 

The South East Sydney Multicultural Water Safety Committee includes representatives from Surf Life Saving NSW, Royal Life Saving NSW, Randwick City, Waverley, Bayside, Georges River, Sutherland Shire Councils, ADS, Gymea Community Aid and Information Service, Kogarah Community Services and TAFE NSW.

The committee was an initiative of the St George Multicultural Network and led by ADS to address growing concerns about drownings among newly arrived community members, and based on a similar group in the Illawarra. It has gradually grown as a grassroots initiative and is now led by Surf Life Saving NSW and Royal Life Saving NSW, who have replicated this model across two other parts of Sydney. A NSW-wide network has also been developed. This shows the strength of local community organisations like ADS to kick start action around emerging issues.

Wendy Huang awarded Volunteer of the Year for Banks

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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.’

Migrant Information Day heads online in 2020

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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/

Research to probe CALD LGBTIQA+ service provision in COVID-19 context

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Advance Diversity Services (ADS) is partnering with the University of Wollongong (UOW) to enhance the ability of the settlement and community services sectors to serve the needs of CALD LGBTIQA+ communities.

The joint research project, funded by UOW’s Community Engagement Grants Scheme, aims to understand gaps in the knowledge and skills of diversity service workers when servicing culturally diverse LGBTIQ+ communities in the context of COVID-19.

‘This is a wonderful opportunity to pilot a collaborative approach to understanding the level of LGBTIQA+ acceptance, knowledge and skills of ADS’s service workers,’ said Anthony Scerri, ADS’s Manager for Settlement and Community Services.

‘Once we identify gaps, we can effectively target staff training. Our ultimate aim is to ensure people from CALD LGBTIQ+ communities receive the services they need and feel welcome and included.’

Dr Quah Ee Ling Sharon, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, is leading the research project. Dr Qua is a Singaporean-Chinese queer migrant woman academic whose work draws from decolonial, transnational and intersectional feminist perspectives and centres round community-based research, inequalities and social justice.

She said she was happy to be collaborating with ADS on the project to bring better outcomes for CALD LGBTIQA+ people.

Three innovative projects were chosen for UOW’s 2020 Community Engagement Grants Scheme launched at a virtual celebration on October 22.

Monique Harper-Richardson, Director of Advancement, UOW, and President of the UOW’s USA Foundation, said the quality of this year’s applications for grants was ‘at the highest level’ and all projects funded focused on resilience and recovery for communities affected by COVID-19.

‘These are extraordinary projects and I’m incredibly excited. I also extend my sincere congratulations to the three recipients.’

Special guest at the celebration Dr Belinda Kathlyn Gibbons, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Business, Sydney Business School, UOW, said the grants would help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals ‘to care for all things and to leave no one behind’.

Mr Scerri said the pandemic had been hard on many in the community and especially marginalised people from diverse backgrounds.

‘This research will help to ensure LGBTIQA+ people from CALD backgrounds receive the best and most appropriate service possible.’

Caption 1: Dr Quah Ee Ling Sharon, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Wollongong (UOW) at the virtual launch of a new UOW-ADS research project.

Advance Diversity Services gets gold in LGBTIQA+ inclusion awards

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On October 19, Advance Diversity Services (ADS) was presented with two major awards in the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards held at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.

ADS was chosen as the HWEI Gold Employer and HWEI Service Provider of the Year – great tributes to the work it has been doing to improve its services and practices to support people who identify with a diverse gender and/or sexuality (LGBTIQA+).

Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services, and Michael Cheung, Corporate Services Manager, were proud to receive the awards on behalf of ADS.

Mr Scerri said COVID-19 restrictions meant award recipients were initially announced during a virtual ceremony on June 11, so it was great to attend the more recent ‘live’ ceremony to celebrate ADS’s achievements.

‘In my speech, I was pleased to communicate how just far ADS has come in its journey towards inclusion of LGBTIQA+ people and of our desire to be a lighthouse to other CALD providers.’

Mr Scerri said one example of ADS’ educational leadership was the Pride in My Faith video project ADS is producing to help illustrate how for many people from CALD backgrounds faith and religion are entwined in culture.

‘The project features interviews with CALD LGBTQIA+ people who have embraced their queerness and faith and aims to help service providers make their policies, practices and environments safe and visibly accepting of LGBTIQA+ people.’

Another example of ADS’s commitment to inclusion was its recent partnership with the University of Wollongong in a COVID-19 / LGBTIQA+ research project, which will help ADS target effective inclusiveness training for its staff, Mr Scerri said.

The LGBTQ Inclusion Awards celebrate Australia’s top organisations for LGBTQ inclusion based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) and Australian Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI). They also acknowledge leaders, individuals and networks that have made a significant impact on LGBTQ inclusion within their workplaces.

The awards are run by Pride in Diversity, a social inclusion initiative of ACON.

In 2020, the Covid-safe awards ceremony attracted over 750 CEOs, dignitaries, senior executives, HR and diversity practitioners, employee network leaders and members of LGBTQ employee networks and allies. It was hosted by SBS World News presenter, Ricardo Goncalves, and featured the winner of The Voice 2016, singer/songwriter Alfie Arcuri. 

Caption: Anthony Scerri and Michael Cheung, Corporate Services Manager receive Advance Diversity Services’ HWEI Gold Employer and HWEI Service Provider of the Year awards at the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards in October.

New grant assists ADS to provide emergency relief for temporary visa holders

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Vulnerable temporary visa holders who live in southern Sydney and are adversely affected by COVID-19 can access greater support from Advance Diversity Services (ADS) thanks to a $40,000 grant received last month from Multicultural NSW.

Temporary visa holders from South East Sydney, St George, Sutherland or surrounding areas who are facing financial hardship can receive emergency food and supplies, medical support, telecommunications, transport and essential housing (i.e. crisis accommodation and rent payment) via ADS.

CEO of ADS, Antoinette Chow, said the funding is critical to ensuring the wellbeing of vulnerable temporary visa holders who have increasingly been at risk of hardship since the onset of the pandemic.

‘ADS and other specialist migrant and settlement services have been doing what we can to assist these people with essentials, but the grant makes it feasible for us to offer dedicated emergency support.’

To receive this support from ADS, people must:

  • Currently reside in NSW  
  • Demonstrate hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Not receive any income assistance (regular living allowance payment) from the Commonwealth Government
  • Currently hold a temporary visa which may include (but is not limited to) one of the following:
    • Temporary Working Visa Holders
    • Provisional Visa Holders 
    • Partner and/or Prospective Marriage Visa Holders
    • Bridging Visa Holders (excluding people seeking asylum) 

This includes all visa sub-classes who are deemed as temporary visa holders with the exception of asylum seekers* and international students** as they have been covered in previous funding measures.

Those seeking emergency support must also make an appointment with ADS by phoning its office on (02) 9597 5455. Please also phone for further information, if required.

Ms Chow said ADS was pleased to receive this NSW Government funding from Stream 1 of the Vulnerable Temporary Visa Holders Funding Tranche 2 Grants Program.

‘The $40,000 grant has boosted our capacity to provide essential services and emergency relief to people at the margins who are struggling in these difficult times.’

Extra support during COVID

Migrant Resource Centres, such as ADS, have been at the frontlineof providing extra support to members of the Australian community during COVID – and particularly to international students and asylum seekerswho have had limited overall support from the government. 

ADS is grateful to have received a number of grants to support this work from:

__________

*Asylum Seekers should be referred to one of the following funded organisations:

  • The Salvation Army
  • Settlement Services International
  • St Francis Social Services – House of Welcome
  • Asylum Seekers Centre
  • Jesuit Refugee Service
  • Australian Red Cross

**International Students should refer to the Study NSW website for further support.

Directory helps new arrivals devise job-seeking plans

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A newly revised training and employment directory, which offers information to new arrivals to help them develop effective job-seeking plans, was launched online by Advance Diversity Services (ADS) on July 17.

A joint project of ADS and the St George Sutherland Shire Employment, Training and English Action Network (SSETEN), the Directory: Employment and Training Pathways is particularly useful for new migrants settling in the St George and Sutherland Shire areas.

Alex Hu, who is a recent migrant from China, believes the employment directory will help new migrants find the right training pathway to increase their skills to get a job.

‘Language and lack of understanding of how the systems work here are the major barriers to most new migrant job seekers,” he said. ‘The employment directory provides comprehensive information on English classes, training, applying for a job and the Australian workplace. I think every new migrant would find it very useful.’

ADS Manager for Settlement and Community Services Anthony Scerri: ‘the directory is a vital resource and guide for ADS Community Services Officers when they provide clients with knowledge about training, employment, recognition of overseas qualifications and English classes.’

‘The directory assists our staff to help people find the right training organisations and courses, the appropriate job-search agencies, and the best options for voluntary work to gain local experience.”

Mr Scerri said the updated version of the directory in English will be helpful to new migrants in the local area and funding was being sought to get it translated it into a variety of community languages.

­See the Directory: Employment and Training Pathways online here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h0Wf6FMJK-YLKb8_efnedJBUCJApGJ0J/view

Refugee resilience featured in Facebook Live event

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Advance Diversity welcomed 86 people to a Facebook Live Refugee Week event hosted jointly with Georges River Council and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (also known as RACS) on June 18.

Three local refugees shared their lived experience in short films shown during the event. Hani from Somalia said the past was tragic but she was glad she’d made it to Australia where she was now studying journalism so she could ‘tell unheard stories’. Ebad from Afghanistan said he had not been safe from the Taliban, so he fled to Australia in 2013, where he was no longer in danger but missed his family. Sajeda, a Rohingya refugee originally from Burma, said she’d delivered 46 boxes of food to needy people during COVID-19, and her dream was to set up a Rohingya Women’s Organisation.

The films were made by cinematographer Bebi Zekirovski and his wife Liz Zekirovski who had visited the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh in late 2019. They said seeing the resilience of the people who had journeyed from Myanmar to the camp where day-to-day living still held myriad difficulties had been ‘life-changing’.

Hannah Gray, a Senior Solicitor at RACS, spoke of the challenges for refugees who arrive by boat to Australia. Refugees on Temporary Protection Visas were particularly vulnerable, she said, and this had been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Ms Gray outlined practical ways people could provide refugees with support, which included listening to people with lived experience and raising awareness through sharing positive stories. People could also donate to RACS and sign the RACS petition calling for the urgent expansion of financial support during COVID-19 to include refugees and people seeking asylum.

‘Thousands of people are facing extreme poverty and destitution because they are unable to access critical support,’ she said.

The petition calls for three changes to ensure Australia’s most vulnerable receive support and that the nation is ready to grow and rebuild once the COVID-19 crisis is over. They are: financial support for people seeking asylum; access to the Job Keeper wage subsidy for all; and continuous access to Medicare for all.

In his greeting, Councillor Kevin Greene, Mayor of Georges River Council, said in the last five years Georges River Council had welcomed over 100 refugees into the area, and was proud to be a Refugee Welcome Zone.

Anthony Scerri, Manager of the Settlement and Community Services division at Advance Diversity Services, said that Refugee Week offers a chance to raise awareness of the plight of refugees around the world and of the efforts to protect their human rights.

_____

To maintain social distancing and keep people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, all Refugee Week events in 2020 were held online from June 14 to 20.

For more information about the RACS petition see https://www.racs.org.au/petition

Read more about Advance Diversity Services’ work with asylum seekers and refugees here.

Welcome kit helps newcomers settle and thrive in Australia

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Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has released a new edition of its Welcome to Australia New Arrival Kit and the kit’s fresh design and updated information make it even easier for people to find the services they need to help them settle and thrive in Australian society.

The kit has been translated into Arabic, Bengali, Nepali, Thai and Simplified Chinese. It is also targeted to ensure newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants in St George and the Sutherland Shire have the information at their fingertips that will help them to build self-reliance and confidence, and to connect with mainstream and settlement-related services as soon as possible after arrival.

Purna Dawadi from Nepal used the kit to build skills and find work in Australia. “The early days were isolating,’ he said. ‘Thanks to ADS’s New Arrival Kit in Nepali I found a free English class and enrolled at St George TAFE where I completed Certificate III in aged care. I also joined ADS’s Nepalese Fatherhood Support Group, which led to my full-time job – and my family is settled, with a great group of friends.’

The kit contains information about: finding English classes and employment services; enrolling children in school and contacting universities and training colleges; accessing housing and health services; locating interpreters, translation, and legal services; connecting with churches, mosques and synagogues, and more.

Community workers can also use the kit as a trusted resource in referring clients to services for assistance.

‘Adjusting to a new country and its customs can be intimidating and overwhelming,’ said ADS Manager for Settlement and Community Services Anthony Scerri. ‘The kit helps newly arrived people to find their feet – assisting them with their search for employment, a place to live, health services, schools and language acquisition.

‘It’s a very accessible resource for them.’

___________

Download the Welcome to Australia New Arrival Kit here https://advancediversity.org.au/resources/

Advance Diversity Services is a leading non-profit services provider that assists migrants and refugees in the St George and Sutherland Shire to thrive in Australian society. It supports people in these areas who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all minority sexual and gender identities, including atypical biological sex (LGBTIQA+).

__________

Media Contact

Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services

Advance Diversity Services

Phone: (02) 9597 5455

Email: anthonys@advancediversity.org.au

Caption: Purna Dawadi from Nepal (pictured here with his family) said ADS’s New Arrival Kit in Nepali helped him find an English class, skills training, work and belonging.

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

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Getting Here

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