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

Waste-wise initiative helps new arrivals learn the ins and outs of recycling

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A waste-wise initiative offered by Advance Diversity Services (ADS) in 2020 will help new arrivals in the Barton electorate match their good intentions and commitment with responsible recycling practices.

The Waste Wise Project, which received funding from the AusIndustry Business Grants Hub on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Energy in December, will extend ADS’s existing involvement with Clean Up Australia Day and have a strong a strong focus on reducing waste and litter in the local environment through practical activities.

‘ADS clients are new migrants and refugees who’ve often had no past recycling experience or knowledge of different recycling systems outside their country of origin,’ said Anthony Scerri, Manager of Settlement and Community Services for ADS.

‘They want to do the right thing but, for people who are learning English, knowing what to put in which bin and what’s recyclable can be a struggle. We want to help them with this.’

Mr Scerri said the Waste Wise Project will involve Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Arabic, Thai and Chinese local community members in a Clean Up Australia Day activity in Hogben Park in Kogarah, and provide information about recycling and waste collection in people’s language of origin. Support from ADS’s bilingual staff will also be crucial to fostering their understanding of responsible waste management.

Participants will be given a two-compartment bin (general waste and recyclable items) to help

them apply what they’ve learnt from the Clean Up Australia Day event. A follow-up phone survey will determine how effective the learning has been, and ADS will offer people further education if needed.

Bus trips to the Rockdale Resource Recovery Centre or similar centres will give participants further insight into recycling and the opportunity to ask questions or clarify their new understanding of responsible waste disposal.

‘We’re happy to be sharing practical knowledge with new arrivals about managing household waste, recycling, and “living with less”, said Mr Scerri. ‘Our ultimate goal is to reduce litter and waste in our local community.’

Caption: Members of the Nepalese community who took part in a in a Clean Up Australia Day activity in Hogben Park in Kogarah in 2018. Advance Diversity Services is planning a similar event in 2020 as part of its Waste Wise Project.

Grant kick-starts exploration of new settlement pathways for the Nepalese community in Auburn

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Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has joined forces with Auburn Diversity Services Inc. (ADSi) to explore innovative ways to provide migrant and refugee settlement services to the Nepalese communities in the Auburn (Cumberland Council) catchment area. ADS and ADSi whose core business has been the provision of settlement services, are keen to learn from this partnership.

A $50,000 grant announced in November activated the working partnership, which will test a new, collaborative, service-delivery model that builds on the local connections of each partner to maximise reach and impact.

ADS was awarded this funding as an initiative of the NSW Settlement Partnership – a consortium of community organisations, led by Settlement Services International, delivering settlement services in NSW.

Community Services Officer, Rishi Acharya from ADS – who has a strong history of working with the Nepalese community – has been appointed to drive the project, which aims to extend into the Auburn area core settlement support now offered to the newly arrived Nepalese community residing in the St George area.

‘Auburn now has the largest population of Nepali-speakers in Australia followed by Rockdale,’ said Mr Acharya. Hurstville is currently in third place. Both are in the St George area where I’ve spent the last 8 years building strong and supportive pathways for new Nepali-speaking arrivals.

‘I’m excited to be using my knowledge and collaborative skills to ensure Nepalese communities in the Auburn area will be well supported by the Australian Government’s Settlement Engagement and Transition Support Grants (SETS) program.’

SETS supports humanitarian entrants and other eligible permanent migrants in their first five years of life in Australia. The program focuses on social participation, economic wellbeing, independence, personal wellbeing and community connectedness.

Mr Acharya will collaborate with ADSi and the Nepalese Australian Association to tap into the needs of recently arrived Nepalese migrants and refugees, identify gaps in service provision, and offer practical face-to-face support to community members.

Mr Acharya said the Nepali speaking population in Australia had increased significantly with 62,002 members counted in the 2016 Census compared to 27,155 in the 2011 census. There had also been a huge upsurge in Nepali students in recent years.

‘We were awarded the grant from the NSW Settlement Partnership’s Settlement Innovation Fund because our project clearly promotes service experimentation and improvement across its network of partners,’ he said.

‘Our goal now is to be innovative with purpose!’

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.

Media Contact

Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services Advance Diversity Services

Phone: (02) 9597 5455

Email: anthonys@advancediversity.org.au

Caption: Cultural perspectives on gambling offered by Nepalese community members in a November focus group will inform an Advance Diversity Services project that aims to reduce gambling harm in the community.

New funding helps Advance Diversity Services improve settlement support for LGBTIQA+ people

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Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has been awarded $20,0000 funding for a Gender and Sexual Diversity project, which aims to ensure newly arrived migrants and refugees who identify as LGBTIQA+ receive inclusive settlement support.

‘LGBTIQA+ individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities need non- discriminatory settlement support – and we all have a role to play in supporting inclusive service delivery,’ said Anthony Scerri, Manager of Settlement and Community Services for ADS.

‘This project will ensure staff from CALD suppliers are trained to recognise what’s needed and to offer this without prejudice to LGBTIQA+ people as they settle in Australian society.’

ADS was awarded funding for the project in November as an initiative of the NSW Settlement Partnership – a consortium of community organisations, led by Settlement Services International, delivering settlement services in NSW.

ADS will use the funds to build on a successful pilot LGBTIQA+ forum it ran in partnership with ACON, Settlement Services International and Georges River Council at Georges River Civic Centre, Hurstville on October 21, 2019.

More than 50 people attended the 2019 forum, which included a panel of five LGBTIQA+ CALD community members sharing lived experience and a comprehensive introduction to issues faced by LGBTIQA+ communities.

Project funding will enable ADS to run a second forum in 2020 and to offer further inclusive- practice training for LGBTIQA+ client service delivery – with the overall aim of providing education to and raising awareness among staff.

This training will also offer ADS and the settlement sector opportunities to: build knowledge about and increase the visibility of the CALD-specific LGBTIQA+ community and their needs; build referral pathways; foster relationships with LGBTIQA+ organisations; and develop inclusive practices.

‘It is critical for LGBTIQA+ people to find the right support they need, when they need it,’ said Mr Scerri, ‘as we know this can make the difference between them thriving and surviving.

‘This project will help the sector get it right, and extend ADS’ work in this important area.’ ADS has also:

  • Formed an LGBTIQA+ Working Group to improve access and equity for LGBTIQA+ clients.
  • Become a member of the Welcome Here Project.
  • Ensured staff representation on the GLISTEN Steering Committee; the Settlement Services International Gender and Sexual Diversity Working Group; and the LGBTI Ageing Network Meeting.
  • More here.

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.

Media Contact

Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services Advance Diversity Services

Phone: (02) 9597 5455

Email: anthonys@advancediversity.org.au

Caption: ADS has placed a Welcome Here Project Sticker and Welcome Here Project Charter in prominent locations across its four office sites to assure people ‘at a glance’ that they are welcome regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

Funding propels driver education program for refugees and migrants

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Advance Diversity Services (ADS) will use $30,000 funding awarded by Transport NSW to roll out a driver education program for recently arrived refugees and migrants in the St George area.

The Learn to Drive Program recognises that learning to drive in a new country can be an important pathway for new arrivals in terms of mobility and economic and social participation.

It also supports learners to overcome barriers they face learning to drive in Australia, including language skills to comprehend licensing authority information, costs of training, access to cars and supervising drivers to prepare for tests, and learning different road rules from their country of origin.

Developed by Gymea Community Aid & Information Service, the program helps learners to pass their driver knowledge test, improve their English skills and gain driving practice with volunteer mentors.

‘While driving lessons aren’t part of the humanitarian settlement support package provided to refugees once they arrive in Australia, for a new migrant or refugee, being able to drive can mean the difference between successfully settling into a new community or being isolated,’ said Anthony Scerri, Manager of Settlement and Community Services for ADS.

‘Having a licence gives people independence. It also opens up opportunities for employment.’

The Learn to Drive Program is linked to a mandatory four-day TAFE course and assessment. Participants that require further driving experience are provided with lessons by a professional driving school. These lessons (up to six lessons per person) will be subsidised by the grant funding.

After the professional driving lessons, participants will be linked with volunteer mentors who are experienced drivers. Learner drivers can see their mentor for unlimited sessions until they get their licence.

Participants that require further support with tests are linked with volunteers who can sit down with them and go through mock tests and help them to gain experience and develop confidence.

The Learn to Drive Program was awarded the funding in round five of the 2019 Community Road Safety Grants.

‘We’re excited about the grant and to partner in this program,’ said Mr Scerri, ‘which will enhance the social and economic wellbeing of our clients.’

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.

Media Contact

Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services Advance Diversity Services

Phone: (02) 9597 5455

Email: anthonys@advancediversity.org.au

Caption:

Recent funding to Advance Diversity Services for a driver education program will help new migrants and refugees learn to drive, which can make a huge difference to how well they settle into Australian society.

ADS report reveals what newly arrived young people want from health services

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Depression, anxiety, drugs, body image, bullying, violence, peer pressure, relationship and friendship issues, and community connectedness are key health issues for newly arrived young people in the St George area.

They also want health services that are low cost, easy to get to, allow flexible or drop-in appointments, allow unaccompanied and confidential visits, and have non-judgmental staff who have good youth rapport.

These findings are from a new report produced by Advance Diversity Services (ADS), which offers insights from a Youth Health and Wellbeing consultation for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) young people held in Oatley on May 16.

Launched in October, the report aims to support community service organisations in providing services to newly arrived young people in the St George area by increasing understanding of their health and wellbeing needs.

ADS Executive Officer Antoinette Chow said the report identifies barriers that can stop young people from CALD backgrounds from using a health service or seeking advice about their health concerns.

‘It also makes recommendations that can improve young people’s access to services,’ she said. ‘Simple steps service providers can take include: offering a friendly space, having welcoming and culturally competent staff, and providing promotional resources that are youth friendly and presented in different languages.’

Forty young people aged 15 to 19 and drawn from local schools took part in the consultation, which was facilitated by 2Connect Youth & Community. All participants had been in Australia from six months to five years, and two-thirds of them for two years or less. Their countries of origin included China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Pakistan, Burma, Iraq, France, India, Hong Kong, Jordan, Thailand, and Syria.

This was the second CALD youth health forum organised by ADS, and feedback from both consultations was positive. This year, participants said they had learned important information about Kids Helpline, Medicare, headspace, how to contact health clinics and services, and how to find chaplains and mental health support.

Background and recommendations

In 2017, CALD young people in St George participated in a consultation as a strategy outlined in the Get Active-CALD Youth Project funded by South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Multicultural Health Service and coordinated by ADS.

This first consultation identified the need for current information to inform future service delivery and assist providers in their efforts to make a positive difference to the lives and health of youth in the region.

On the strength of these findings, ADS made a commitment to run similar consultations biannually.

To propel this initiative, ADS formed a project advisory committee, with stakeholders partnering with ADS to implement a second consultation in May 2019. Partner services included Georges River Council, headspace Hurstville, SESLHD and 2Connect Youth & Community, which facilitated the day’s proceedings at Georges River College Oatley Senior Campus.

Interactive activities helped the 40 young people who participated in the consultation to explore a range of questions including:

  • What are the health and wellbeing problems of newly arrived young people?
  • What knowledge do they have of existing services they can access for help and how comfortable are they in accessing existing services?
  • What features are most important for services that support young people from CALD backgrounds with their health and wellbeing matters?

Participants documented the day’s discussions which were later collated in the report along with charts and graphs to illustrate the findings.

The report also offers recommendations in the following four categories for health-oriented service providers who work with newly arrived CALD young people.

Environment. Services should project a youth friendly space to encourage young people (and their families) to feel safe, welcome and accepted as newly arrived young people may be anxious and unsure about accessing a service for the first time. This includes providing a calming reception area, free resources in different languages, and flexible opening hours.

Staff. Positive first impressions are important as young people engage with a service. All staff should be welcoming, non-judgemental, culturally competent and sensitive, and genuinely helpful.

Culture. Services need to ensure that all staff practise cultural competence in order to respond respectfully to young people from all cultures, backgrounds, languages, and religions. This includes employing staff who speak a second language, recognising cultural holidays and celebrations, and understanding bi-cultural conflict and parental expectations.

Promotion. Promotional efforts should prioritise relevant information young people are seeking, be presented it in a variety of youth friendly formats, and incorporate feedback from other young people who have used the service. It is also important to use social media in creative and meaningful ways, offer information in different languages, and encourage face-to-face engagement with service staff which builds trust.

ADS’s Multicultural Youth Officer, Settlement and Community Services, Salvin Kumar, said the 2019 Youth Health & Wellbeing Report gives practical suggestions to providers in the region who want to dissolve the barriers that prevent newly arrived young people from accessing health services.

‘Providers who want to make a positive difference to the health of CALD and newly arrived young people in our area will be better positioned to achieve this goal if they act on the report’s insights.’

Download the report from the ADS Resources page https://advancediversity.org.au/resources/

We have recently become a member of the Welcome Here Project

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We have recently become a member of the Welcome Here Project. The Welcome Here Project supports businesses/organisations throughout Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities. Click here for more information. Soon you’ll see a Welcome Here Project Sticker and Welcome Here Project Charter in visible locations across our four office sites.

LGBTIQA+ Forum for staff working with culturally and linguistically diverse and newly arrived clients

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Advance Diversity Services has partnered with ACON, Georges River Council and SSI Ability Links NSW to organise an LGBTIQA+ Forum for staff working with culturally and linguistically diverse and newly arrived clients. The forum is on Monday, October 21. To register, click on this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RX8Y6S7. More details in the attached flyer.

Seeking EOIs for ADS LGBTIQA+ Working Group

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We are currently seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from community members and representatives from organisations, service providers, community groups as well as ADS staff to join the ADS LGBTIQA+ Working Group. The Working Group has been formed to assist ADS to improve access and equity for LGBTIQA+ clients. 

If you’re interested, please read and complete the attached EOI. 

St George & Sutherland Business Breakfast

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The St George Sutherland Shire Employment Training and English Action Network (SSETEN) will be holding a complimentary Business Breakfast for business owners/employers in St George & Sutherland Region on Tuesday, 30 July 2019 from 8:00 am to 10:00am at Club Central Hurstville. It’s a friendly breakfast to engage local businesses to look at opportunities for growth and new ideas to expand.

Online booking: http://bit.ly/SSETENBreakfast

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