Our Blog

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.  

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) [email protected] (from January 2019) or visit https://sydney.dressforsuccess.org/

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 [email protected]

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.

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.

This program is a partnership between Advance Diversity Services (ADS) and Beverly Hills Girls High School.  The position will provide homework help for newly arrived migrant and refugee students aged 12 – 18 attending Beverly Hills Girls High School, many of whom have a low level of English.

We are looking for volunteers with teaching experience, or are studying a course related to education, to assist students one-on-one, or one-on-two, with high school subjects.

Students will be bringing to the sessions their own work that they need assistance with, and volunteers will be expected to assist them to the best of their abilities.

Volunteers will also be expected to make basic but accurate records of the work completed after each session.

Location: Beverly Hills Girls High School, Broadarrow Rd, Beverly Hills NSW 2209

Time Commitment: 

  • Ongoing – minimum four months
  • 2 – 4 hours a fortnight – from 3:00pm
  • Plus occasional additional trainings, meetings and performance appraisal, when required

Activities & Tasks: 

  • One-on-one, or one-on-two, educational support with students
  • Learning materials and resources will be provided by Beverly Hills Girls High School

Skills & Requirements for this role:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent oral and written English skills
  • Sensitive to the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse and refugee backgrounds
  • Sensitivity, patience, and willingness to learn
  • Friendly manner and ability to build a rapport with students, staff and other volunteers
  • Working with Children Check
  • Report any concerns about students’ well-being to your relevant supervisor
  • Not attend the program under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Dress appropriately
  • Where possible, notify ADS Youth Worker in advance of absence
  • Adhere to and follow all of ADS and Beverly Hills Girls HS policies and procedures
  • Only duties arranged by ADS Multicultural Youth Worker
  • To keep private information, gained as part of the position confidential

For more info please contact Salvin Kumar on (02) 9597 5455

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.

0

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.

0

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

0

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.