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Guiding New Beginnings, Empowering Humanitarian Entrants
Guiding New Beginnings, Empowering Humanitarian Entrants

In the heart of the vibrant Gold Coast, our Settlement team stands to support and empower people who have recently arrived in Australia as humanitarian entrants to access culturally appropriate services and navigate education, employment, and health systems to reach their goals and make Australia their home. To achieve this, we have two programs, the Settlement Engagement Transition Support Program (SETS) funded by our long-standing partner SSI and the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) in collaboration with our esteemed partner, Multicultural Australia. In our HSP program, our dedicated team assists clients in their settlement journey during the crucial 18 months following their arrival. Our goal is to help them orient themselves to the local area, access essential services, establish connections, and find the support they need. For those who have arrived within the last five years, our SETS program steps in to address their ongoing settlement needs in Australia. We understand that the journey doesn't end upon arrival and are committed to providing ongoing support. At MCCGC, we aim to empower and equip our clients with the necessary tools and resources to rebuild their lives, foster connections, and create a sense of belonging within the vibrant Gold Coast community. If you are a humanitarian entrant on the Gold Coast or know someone who could benefit from our Humanitarian Support Program, get in touch with us. Our devoted team is here to assist you, offer guidance, and provide further information on accessing our services. Together, we'll build bridges to new beginnings and brighter horizons. To learn more, please click on the links below: Humanitarian Settlement Program Settlement Engagement Transition Support Program

Cultivating Wellbeing and Connection
Cultivating Wellbeing and Connection

For MCCGC, nurturing wellbeing and fostering connections within multicultural communities is not just a mission, it's a lifeline that impacts countless lives in profound ways. We understand the unique challenges faced by migrants, including language barriers, cultural adjustments, and isolation. Our aim is to provide a welcoming space, offering vital support through programs like our Community Pathway Connector and NDIS Coordination and Access. In our Community Pathway Connector program we help multicultural communities find suitable and culturally safe support and services. If you know someone in need of additional support, we're here to facilitate connections with secure and compassionate resources. What makes our program exceptional? It's all about you—personalised, confidential, and available to individuals of all ages and visa statuses, without the need for a prior diagnosis. Your path to well-being starts here! In our NDIS Access and Support Coordination program we can help you to navigate the NDIS System in your preferred language. We can support your journey from applying to the NDIS program to point you in the right direction if you already have one. If you need help managing your NDIS funding, we can help you put your plan into action and make sure you're getting the most out of your funding. We'll help you understand what services and funds are available to you and connect you with your community and appropriate service providers. We have a unique understanding of personal needs in a cultural context based on our extensive experience with multicultural communities. In summary, MCCGC's role in supporting the wellbeing and connection of clients facing different barriers is immeasurable. This support not only enriches the lives of those we serve but also contributes to the broader goal of creating a diverse, cohesive, and harmonious Australian society. MCCGC's work is a testament to the transformative power of compassion, understanding, and community-building. If you want to learn more, please click on our links below: Community Pathway Connector NDIS Coordination and Access

Enrolling HSP young Clients in Primary and High School: A Heartwarming Journey
Enrolling HSP young Clients in Primary and High School: A Heartwarming Journey

The HSP team has successfully enrolled eight of our clients from the Humanitarian Settlement Program in three different schools on the Gold Coast. Witnessing these young students start their educational journey was a heartwarming experience. For some of our clients, this marked their first return to school in nine years, and others had faced interruptions in their education due to circumstances in their transition country. Going back to school was a dream come true for these resilient kids. A significant effort has been dedicated to reaching this milestone. MCCGC has been actively collaborating with schools to address the complex needs our clients have in their educational journey. We've also been proactively networking with stakeholders to overcome the various barriers our clients face. This includes meeting educational needs by partnering with organisations such as The Smith Family and St. Vincent de Paul, as well as engaging with school guidance office. In our commitment to supporting schools, we've proposed cultural awareness training for their staff. This training equips school staff to better understand our clients' cultural background and their journeys before arriving in Australia, enabling them to provide more effective support. We've worked closely with parents to educate them about the Australian education system, as well as the expectations and requirements of schools from parents. As a symbol of our support, we've provided our clients with school bags generously donated to MCCGC by Arcadia. MCCGC remains dedicated to closely working with and supporting our young clients in their respective schools. We will continue to build relationships and networks with organisations to ensure our HSP clients have a successful start to their educational journey and achieve their dreams. Additionally, one of our young clients will be joining TAFE, where she aspires to improve her English, start a pathway in nursing, and eventually pursue higher education to become a general practitioner and a doctor. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who collaborated with us to make this journey a reality. Your support has been invaluable in making these dreams come true.

Multicultural Queensland Month
Multicultural Queensland Month

Let's all celebrate diversity during Multicultural Queensland Month! We are a state of many cultures and languages; almost a quarter of Queenslanders are born overseas, and many of us have at least one parent born in a country other than Australia. Let's embrace the culture, skills, experiences, and stories that make Queensland so diverse.  We have created this event calendar for you to immerse in the wonders of multiculturalism. Multicultural Network MeetingLearn more about the latest visa updates and all things multiculturalism.Tuesday, 1st August 1:00 PM to 4:00 PMMCCGC Southport Office, level 1/60 High StreetBook now: BLEACH* Festival BLEACH* Festival, the Gold Coast’s biggest celebration of art, immersive performance, food and live music, returns to transform the city into a culture-soaked playground. Thursday, 3rd August 2023 | 12:00 PMSunday, 13th August 2023 | 8:00 PMNorth Burleigh, Currumbin, Broadbeach & Benowa More info: 07 5525 6468,  Sunday Sounds – Latin and Hot Salsa Enjoy a wonderful afternoon of free music in the Paradise Point Parklands with Latin and Hot Salsa. Sunday, 6th August1:00 PM - 4:00 PMParadise Point Parklands, Hope IslandMore info: 0404 482 551,  The People & The Place Experience the impact of Arts on social harmony, unity, and coherence. 40 original photos on cultural costumes that are stunning when our artists added a touch of paint and made them live and vibrant for this 'photo-painting' exhibition Thursday, 10th August5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Robina Art Gallery More info:, 0434932537 Soulful Singing Workshop Experience some musical joy with a weekend full of pop up performances, a workshop and a formal concert, with special guest appearance by Brisbane jazz vocal ensemble, Sound Avenue. Saturday, 12th August 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Helensvale Library and Cultural Centre, 62 Sir John Overall Drive, HelensvaleMore info: Salsa in the Park Salsa dancing is a great way to get active, meet new people and learn some new moves. Sunday, 13th August 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Northern Pavillion, Marine Parade, SouthportMore info: 07 5581 1615, Multicultural Community at the Philippine Village Feast Inspired by Multicultural Affairs, Queensland Government and Multicultural Australia, the GCFAPAE will celebrate this event.  Sunday, 13th August 5:00 PM to 10:00 PMRobina Community Centre Auditorium More info:  South East Queensland Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Circuitth Queensland's premier Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament returns to Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium for their Gold Coast Championship for a three-part series in 2023. Sunday, 20th August8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium, Sports Drive, Runaway BayMore info:, Gold Coast Kite Festival Kite festival is back with multicultural dance competition, food truck, face painting, jumping castle, and kites available on site to buy. Saturday, 26th August9:00 AM - 3:00 PMThe Great Lawn, Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, SouthportMore info:, Restorative Sound Immersion Upper Coomera Bathe in the deeply relaxing sounds of crystal singing bowls, gong and other healing instruments in this Sound Bath with Courtney and Steve from Heart Resonance. Sunday, 27th August2:30 PM - 4:00 PMSoul Squeeze Yoga Studio, 104 Coulter Rd, Upper Coomera More info: 0418 888 743,  Meet, Greet, Eat Celebrating multiculturalism, this event allows you to connect with community members, share important information, and have some yummy food Tuesday, 29th August 5:30 PM - onwards Wellness Centre, 1 Dominios Road, AshmoreMore info: 

Nurturing Mental Health: The Challenges Faced by Immigrants and Refugees in Australia

Angela Bird Placement Student Wellbeing Team In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the mental health issues immigrants and refugees face in Australia. As a multicultural nation, we welcome individuals from diverse backgrounds, but we must understand and address their unique challenges settling here. In this article, we'll explore the mental health landscape for immigrants and refugees and shed light on how we can better support their well-being. The Struggles They Face Immigrants and refugees often leave their homelands due to conflict, violence, persecution, or to seek better opportunities for themselves and their children. However, their journeys are not without difficulties. Many may have experienced traumatic events, loss of loved ones, and prolonged separation from their support networks (Feldman & Vengrober, 2011). Such experiences can affect their mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and adjustment disorders (Attanayake et al., 2009). Intergenerational (Sangalang & Vang, (2017) and cultural traumas (Subica, et al., (2022) can be ongoing and are passed onto the next generation. Sadly, many do not seek help for a range of reasons, such as shame (Link, 1987) and stigma around mental health (Corrigan, & Watson, A. C. (2002), cultural and spiritual differences about the cause and treatment of ill health (Kahissay et al., 2017), historical attitudes to governments (Westerman, 2021) and poor access to services (Lezcano, 2021). Cultural Adjustment and Identity Adapting to a new culture can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Immigrants and refugees face the challenge of understanding and integrating into a different society, grappling with language barriers, cultural norms, and unfamiliar systems (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019). This cultural adjustment process can cause stress, isolation, and a sense of not fully belonging (Fegert et al., 2018). We need to provide a supportive environment where these individuals can feel accepted, valued, and empowered to express their cultural identities within the Australian context. Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Services Unfortunately, immigrants and refugees often encounter barriers when seeking mental health support (Australian Institute of Family Studies, (2017). These barriers may include language and literacy barriers, limited knowledge of available services, cultural stigmas surrounding mental health, and financial constraints. Additionally, professionals may lack cultural competence or awareness of these individuals' unique and perhaps traumatic experiences. Building Culturally Competent Care To effectively address the mental health needs of immigrants and refugees, we must prioritise cultural competence. This involves understanding that immigrants' different cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and values impact their settlement experiences and well-being. Enhancing our own cultural competencies help establish trust, foster meaningful connections, and provide tailored support. Education in cultural awareness, collaboration with interpreters, using cultural agents and elders to moderate, and community support can be vital in delivering holistic care. Being trauma-informed, open, and curious about differences and how they arrived here when working with immigrants is critical and builds trusting solid ties. Promoting Resilience and Community Support Immigrants and refugees demonstrate remarkable resilience and resourcefulness despite their challenges. Most thrive and succeed (Aden, 2018; Poulsen, 2018) and can give back to the country that helped them (Boseley, 2020). We can support their mental health by fostering community, creating safe spaces, such as the Wellness Centre, for sharing experiences, and promoting social inclusion. Initiatives such as support groups, language classes, cultural celebrations, and community engagement can help individuals build connections, strengthen their support networks, and enhance their overall well-being. Advocacy and Policy Changes Although there are challenges, advocating for policy changes prioritising the mental health of immigrants and refugees (Robertshaw et al., (2017). This includes promoting equitable access to mental health services, addressing systemic barriers, and advocating for inclusive policies. By championing their rights and well-being, we contribute to a society that values the mental health of all its members. Finally, as we work together in a diverse workplace, let us remember the unique challenges immigrants and refugees face in Australia and their contribution to our society. By fostering cultural understanding, providing accessible mental health services, and advocating for change, we can positively impact their well-being. Let's continue to create an environment where everyone feels supported, empowered, and valued. Remember, our collective efforts can make a significant difference in nurturing the mental health of immigrants and refugees, helping them thrive in their new homes. References Aden, H. (2018). A place of hope: From refugee camp to international fashion model. Halima Aden.  Ted Talks: TEDxKakumaCamp [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. Akech, A. (2017, August 7). The new face of David Jones, Adut Akech, writes a letter to her 6-year-old self. Vogue Australia. Attanayake, V., McKay, R., Joffres, M., Singh, S., Burkle, F., Jr., & Mills, E. (2009). Prevalence of mental disorders among children exposed to war: a systematic review of 7,920 children. Med Confl Surviv, 25(1), 4-19. Australian Institute of Family Studies, (2017). Barriers to formal and informal supports for refugee families in Australia. Australian Institute of Family Studies. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (1992). Immigrants in Australia: a health profile, Summary Boseley, M. (2020, June 13). “If you want anything done, get the Sikhs”: community wins admirers for bushfire and Covid aid. The Guardian. Corrigan, P. W., & Watson, A. C. (2002). The paradox of self-stigma and mental illness. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9(1), 35-53. Fegert, J. M., Diehl, C., Leyendecker, B., Hahlweg, K., & Prayon-Blum, V. (2018). Psychosocial problems in traumatized refugee families: overview of risks and some recommendations for support services. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 12(1). Feldman, R., & Vengrober, A. (2011). Posttraumatic stress disorder in infants and young children exposed to war-related trauma. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 50(7), 645-658. Kahissay, M. H., Fenta, T. G., & Boon, H. (2017). Beliefs and perception of ill-health causation: a socio-cultural qualitative study in rural North-Eastern Ethiopia. BMC Public Health, 17(1). Lezcano, Y. (2021, Sept 10). The role of culture in mental health: Understanding diversity can help minorities overcome stigmas. Psychology Today. Poulsen, A. (2018, Aug 9). Refugees made good, help people of war-torn home. Geraldton Guardian. Robertshaw, L., Dhesi, S. & Jones, L. L. (2017). Challenges and facilitators for health professionals providing primary healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers in high-income countries: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative research. BMJ Open, 7(8), e015981. Sangalang, C. C., & Vang, C. (2017). Intergenerational trauma in refugee families: A systematic review. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 19(3), 745-754. Westerman, T. (2021). Culture-bound syndromes in Aboriginal Australian populations. Clinical Psychologist, 25(1), 19-35.

Our CEO attended FECCA’s Member Forum 2023
Our CEO attended FECCA’s Member Forum 2023

We were honoured to be invited to Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia – (FECCA) inaugural joint strategy and parliamentary advocacy days in Canberra earlier this week.  Our CEO Shane Klintworth had the opportunity to join FECCA alongside Multicultural service providers from across Australia.   This was an opportunity for the peak bodies to talk about the work they are doing to engage and empower multicultural communities throughout Australia.  FECCA is the national peak body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. They provide advocacy, develop policy and promote issues on behalf of the constituency to the government and the broader community. During the forum, members worked on forming the FECCA strategic direction and confirmed key talking points for the focus of discussions with Michael Pezzullo, Secretary Department of Home Affairs, and a council of Ministers in relation to multicultural communities. Moreover, members had the opportunity to address ministers: Dan Tehan – Shadow Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles – Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Linda Burney – Minister for Indigenous Australians Ged Kearny – Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Clare O’Neil – Minister for Home Affairs Amongst the many issues discussed there was a focus on: Migration and pathways to permanency Housing affordability and the requirement for coordinated efforts from local, state, and federal governments. Timely access to culturally appropriate and affordable health and mental health services Service design considerations (co-design principles, data collection, red tape reduction, evidence-based decision-making) Aged care services and the need for care coordination/navigation support for older Australians from culturally diverse communities/workforce. Engaging young people Early years education (focus on language development) Child safety Domestic and Family violence Infrastructure not consistent with creating inclusion, resulting in social isolation. Racism According to Shane, "…many of the issues are similar to those that we face daily; workforce pressures, capability gaps, building confidence and skills in emerging leaders, short term funding contracts, rapid rates of reform, and a lack of systems to support work. There was a commitment amongst participants to continue to work together and support each other where possible." Alongside the incredible policy discussions, we were honoured to be invited by His Excellency the Governor General David Hurley and Her Excellency Mrs Hurley to a private dinner at Government House, where they enjoyed a truly memorable evening! We thank FECCA for bringing all members together and having meaningful conversations to support the multicultural community in Australia. Photos source: FECCA

MCCGC partners with Multicultural Australia to deliver Humanitarian Settlement Program on the Gold Coast

Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast (MCCGC) is proud to announce we are partnering with Multicultural Australia as their chosen subcontractor in the delivery of the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) for clients in the Gold Coast region. We are excited to commence providing support to the clients under the HSP program as of 29th of May 2023 and will work closely with Multicultural Australia to ensure continuity of care to clients and communities through this transition. Each year, approximately 1800 refugees and migrants settle in Queensland under Australia's Humanitarian Settlement Program. The program supports integration into Australian life upon arrival and often includes assistance with airport reception, short and long-term accommodation, referrals to services, connection to community groups and activities, English language skills, education, training and employment. Clients usually exit the program after receiving support for between six to eighteen months and then are referred to the longer-term settlement services program – Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) - which focuses on social participation, economic well-being, independence, personal well-being, and community connectedness within the first 5 years after arrival. Multicultural Australia has been delivering the Humanitarian Settlement Program across Queensland for many years, working collaboratively with community partners to involve local communities in the design and delivery of settlement services.  MCCGC is the peak body for Gold Coast multicultural communities and has been supporting refugees and migrants through a range of programs for over 40 years. Christine Castley, Multicultural Australia CEO, is confident that the partnership will benefit clients and the sector. “Multicultural Australia has a longstanding relationship with MCCGC and is confident in its ability to provide continuity of care to clients and communities in the region,” Christine said. “Our partnership with MCCGC is a commitment to work with sector peers on delivering services, informed by local knowledge, that best meet the needs of our clients and communities.” “We are committed to client-centered, culturally humble, and holistic practice; and will ensure that all clients are well-supported and cared for in this transition.” Shane Klintworth, CEO of Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast, sees the partnership as an opportunity to continue to provide quality care to clients in the region. “We are very excited to be partnering with Multicultural Australia to deliver this important program. Our aim continues to be to encourage clients to have autonomy in their settlement journey, whilst working with their cultural and faith communities to enable connection and belonging. MCCGC is positioned well to carry out services to maximize clients’ full potential here on the Gold Coast.” MCCGC is committed to providing clients with information on all the local Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) providers so that they can make an empowered choice based on their own unique needs once they exit the Humanitarian Settlement Program.  We will continue to ensure a collaborative and holistic approach to information and referrals to enable clients to self-determine which services and providers are best suited to them. MCCGC will be recruiting experienced and qualified staff to carry out the program and continue to build our capacity over the next 18 months. We look forward to continuing to carry out the amazing work Multicultural Australia has done with the program on the Gold Coast to support as many newly arrived migrants and refugees transition to Australian life. For more information on Multicultural Australia, visit 

Our boys from Red Sea won the best soccer team award at the James Cup.

In a tough game, our boys from the Eritrean soccer team, Red Sea, made it through until the semi-finals of the James Cup tournament. They finished in third place and took home the ‘Best Team’ award and winning the ‘Coach of the Tournament’ recognition. This team was supported by our Ready Set Goal program. For the past seven years, MCCGC have delivered the Ready Set Goal program for newly arrived refugee young people to connect through the universal language of soccer. This has been identified as a positive sport to promote health, team building, and cultural awareness. The majority of the players on this team have been through the program, and they now independently coach themselves to play as an Eritrean community team. They get together every Sunday to train and prepare for community competitions and tournaments. Our support worker from the Settlement Engagement Transition Support (SETS) program, Majid Kerar, commented on the team, "We start the tournament placed in the toughest group, playing the former champions and finalists. We went undefeated through the group stage, only to play the African Lions, the best team in Toowoomba. We beat them in the quarterfinals in the final five minutes after being 2:1 down for most of the game. In the semi-finals, we got Best United, the best team in Brisbane. Additionally, we won champions of the tournament. We were winning until the final minutes, when we conceded a late penalty." We congratulations our boys from the Red Sea team for this amazing achievement.

Celebrate the diversity of the Gold Coast by visiting this unique photo exhibition.

Diverse GC Photography Exhibition in collaboration with Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast (MCCGC) and local photographer Andro Engelbrecht will showcase portraits of Gold Coast Multicultural community members at the Robina Community Centre Art Gallery. The exhibition allows the Gold Coast community to experience the multicultural faces that makes our city so diverse and learn about their stories. The exhibition will be open from the 8th to 21st of March to the public for free to celebrate multiculturalism in the lead up to Harmony Week. The portraits feature a diverse range of people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, people seeking Asylum, First Nations peoples and Australian South Sea Islander peoples. Asmeret Kesete, one of the portrait subjects, assists with MCCGC’s Settlement Engagement Transition Support (SETS) program to help newly arrived people on refugee visas connect with the community and access services and support. She grew up in Sudan but was born in Eritrea, and due to the ongoing conflict there, she and her family needed to flee. Her family then became refugees, got registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and got approved in 2013 to seek asylum in Australia. We asked Asmeret what she thought of the exhibition, “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be more aware of the diversity on the Gold Coast. Everyday Gold Coasters can learn more about the differences that make us all unique. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, I believe these portraits tell the stories of what we’ve been through, but also the triumphs we’ve overcome to now be part of this beautiful country that embraces us all”. Andro is a portrait and headshot photographer based on the Gold Coast, and a migrant himself. He loves people, photography, and this city, and has combined these three passions into a career over the past 7 years. His work mostly focuses on the people of the Gold Coast: small business owners, corporate professionals, actors, musicians, artists, sports figures, and TV personalities. MCCGC has been supporting multicultural communities on the Gold Coast for over 40 years, providing a range of services and supports to connect and empower individuals, families and communities. After the completion of the exhibit, framed portraits will be donated to organisations across the Gold Coast to spread positive images and stories of multicultural community members. We also plan to create coffee table books of the portraits and stories to donate to organisations, encapsulating the essence of the event to live on in the community well past the completion of the festivities. If you want to know more stories like Asmeret’s journey, come and join us as we celebrate multiculturalism. Diverse GC is a Queensland Government funded event. Dates: 8th to 21st MarchTime: 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 4pm Saturday & SundayLocation: Robina Community Centre Art Gallery, 196 Robina Town Centre Dr Facebook event here

The story of kidnappings

The story of kidnappings Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast (MCCGC) work with the recently resettled Eritrean community on the Gold Coast. Several community members have reached out for support after experiencing the kidnapping of a loved one. These kidnappings have occurred across the neighbouring countries to Eritrea such as Sudan, Ethiopia, and Libya. They are reported to occur to Eritrean refugees who have known links to The kidnappers usually hear that they have a relative who sends them regular remittances and are awaiting to receive a visa to be reunited with family. They target these people as they believe the relatives in Australia can afford large ransoms. Over the last 6-month period the MCCGC team has worked with three different families experiencing this form of kidnapping. An 18-year-old sister of a female Eritrean community member, who disappeared from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with another female friend. The kidnappers demanded the recently resettled woman at risk to pay $US5000, with threats of torture should it not be paid. The community member had tried to include her younger sister in her original application for a humanitarian visa, which was granted when they were both in a refugee campin Ethiopia, however, at that time, the sister was under 18 and her parents in Eritrea did not consent. The community member came to Australia on a woman-at-risk visa with her 2 children and since arrival has been trying to bring her sister here under a family proposed refugee visa. This has been received but not processed. After the woman paid the ransom, the sister was left in Khartoum, Sudan and is experiencing gender-based violence while still waiting on a visa outcome. Another community member, an elderly Tigrayan man, who has remaining adult children and grandchildren in Sudan, and has applied for family proposed refugee visas for them. His 20-year-old son was kidnapped from Khartoum, Sudan and held in Libya until the father was able to pay the $US7000. During the calls from the kidnappers, he reported hearing them beating his son until he was able to raise the money. The third situation in 6 months, is another Eritrean female whose husband was kidnapped in Ethiopia and is believed to be held in Libya still. The family here have applied for a split family humanitarian visa more than 4 years ago to reunite with their father and husband. All these situations required intensive support to the families during that time of dealing with the kidnappers, both emotional wellbeing and financial emergency relief. The community members here were newly arrived, still learning English and did not have savings or resources available. The families had to borrow money and fell behind on rent and bills. All the people kidnapped were close family members who should have been together with the other family members and granted visas to Australia. In all situations, the people were on proposed humanitarian applications awaiting processing at the time of kidnapping. The special humanitarian processing centre was kept up to date on the cases during and after the kidnappings and the family are still waiting on any visa outcomes.

Multicultural Queensland Month Events

Cultures in Harmony – 6 August MultiLink Community Services Inc. in partnership with Logan District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Elders invite all multicultural communities to attend Cultures in Harmony 2022! The Cultures in Harmony event celebrates the conciliatory efforts made by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Island communities to maintain peace and harmony in Logan and to celebrate our cohesive multicultural community. Venue: Logan Gardens, 12 Civic Parade, Logan Central Cost: Free Time: 10am  Independence Day of India & Gold Coast Kite Festival - 7 August Indian Community of Coast would like to invite you to join them in celebrating the 75th Independence Day of India & Gold Coast Kite Festival. All proceeds from the $2.00 entry fee will go to the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation . Date: Sunday 7 August 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (UTC+10) Location: Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport QLD 4215 Cost: $2.00 La Fiesta Tastes and Sounds from South America - 13 August La Fiesta Tastes and Sounds from South America is an established annual festival that showcases diverse South American cultures to the wider community. Activities will include live bands, cultural performances, competitions, interactive salsa dancing, traditional games and children’s activities. Venue: Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport Cost: $10 to $20 per ticket Time: 1pm - 8pm  Multicultural Fiesta through Visual Presentation - 27 August This event aims to provide an opportunity for diverse cultural groups to display their culture through showcasing colorful and unique national costumes, including a costume show with live music, photography and film. Venue: Robina Community Centre, 196 Robina Town Centre Dr, Robina QLD 4226 Cost: Free Time: All day  Bleach Festival - Crossing Borders with Multicultural Families Organisation (MFO) - 20 August Join Bleach and MFO for an intimate event sharing nine unique stories of nine extraordinary women from nine different countries, all of whom now call the Gold Coast home. Venue: Miami Marketta  Cost: $25 Time: 10am  City of Gold Coast - (re)connect events  Each week in August City of Gold Coast be opening the doors to one of their Community Centres where you will have the chance to (re)connect, learn about our community's rich diversity, enjoy a cultural performance and even grab a 'behind the scenes' tour of our facilities. It's free to attend! Simply secure your ticket via the link below for your preferred date/location: Coomera  When: Friday 5th August, 5pm-7pm  Where: Upper Coomera Community Centre  Tickets: Pimpama  When: Friday 12th August, 5pm-7pm  Where: Pimpama Community Centre  Tickets:  Kirra  When: Friday 19 August, 5pm-7pm  Where: Kirra Community Centre  Tickets:  Mudgeeraba  When: Thursday 25 August, 5pm-7pm  Where: Mudgeeraba Community Centre  Tickets:  Friendship Day Festival - 27 August  Together with Varsity Lakes Community Resource Centre we are hosting a family fun day to celebrate International Friendship Day! The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The event will be a fun filled day with a FREE jumping castle, live music & entertainment, and carnival games. There will also be a sausage sizzle, coffee van and sweet treats available to purchase. Venue: Varsity lakes Community Resource Centre - Jim Harris Park, Mattocks Rd Varsity Lakes  Cost: Free Time: 1.30pm - 4:30pm 

Gold Coast Primary Health Network

Members of the Month Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) is an independent, not-for-profit company, dedicated to building one world-class health system for the Gold Coast. GCPHN is one of 31 Primary Health Networks established by the Australian Government, to identify the health needs of local communities. To improve primary health services, GCPHN not only designs solutions to meet the needs of residents and service issues but funds various organisations to provide health services across a wide range of areas. These areas include mental health, alcohol and other drugs, aged and palliative care, persistent pain, suicide prevention, cancer screening, immunisation, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. GCPHN plays an instrumental role in enhancing the performance of the health system, within these areas, for patients and their families. To ensure a culture of continuous quality improvement, Gold Coast Primary Health Network is underpinned by a quality management system. This enables GCPHN to successfully adhere to their strategic goals: Improving the coordination of patient care. Increasing efficiency and effectiveness of medical services, especially for those at risk of poor health outcomes. Engaging with stakeholders to improve the Gold Coast’s health system. Consistently demonstrating organisational accountability. GCPHN collaborates with public, private and nongovernmental organisations in the primary healthcare sector, and across the acute care sector, to improve the health and well-being of the Gold Coast community. Find out more about the GCPHN here: If you are wanting to become a member, join here. 

Tamana's Story

Tamana was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. At 16 years old, Tamana and her family fled the capital due to ongoing threats from the Taliban. Tamana and her family were in Pakistan for four years before coming to Australia. They had to stay in Pakistan for longer than expected because the Australian visa processing times were so long. As Tamana described, ‘words fail to express the feelings at that time, it was very frightening’. In Pakistan, there is a lack of opportunities for people that are not citizens. Tamana couldn’t start studying at a university or even get a job, so she decided she’d study online courses. Her passion is education. She believes that the only way we can make enduring global change is through better education. Tamana will never forget the day she came to Australia, 23rd of March 2018. She was almost 20 years old. Tamana had seen pictures of the Opera House when she was young and would often say to her mother, ‘I want to go to Australia’. Her dream finally came true. Tamana knew once she got to Australia, there was going to be many challenges to overcome as she was stepping into a new country, a new culture, and a new environment. Tamana stated, ‘I am proud of how far I have come, but I am still struggling in other aspects. I want to fit myself into every facet of Australian life’. When asked if the label ‘refugee’ is something that Tamana finds restrictive or empowering (or both), she said, ‘In all walks of life there are people that have different opinions. Some people discriminate a lot, whilst others don’t’. She goes on to explain that some people have made her feel less worthy because she came to Australia as a refugee, whilst others find it very brave. Tamana doesn’t like the question, ‘where are you from?’. She studies a Bachelor of Business Management and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Queensland and often meets new people. When the question is asked, she replies that she is from the Gold Coast. People proceed to ask, ‘oh no, but where are you from originally?’. Tamana says that she is openminded about it, but there are so many other ways the question can be asked. Rephrasing and thinking about how the question would feel if someone was asking it to you is important. For Tamana, Australia is her country and a part of who she is. She doesn’t feel like a migrant and feels completely included in Australian society. She works in Australia, studies in Australia, and pays taxes in Australia. It’s her country and she is proud of that. Tamana advocates for more education around refugees and cultural awareness within Australian society. Tamana knows how tough (and brave) it is to leave your home, your culture, and your language. She and her family had to start their life again from scratch. We should never make refugees feel like they are not part of Australian society. For Tamana, lack of knowledge around cultures and religion needs to be addressed. Refugees have a right to international protection. Seeking asylum is a human right. Thank you for sharing your story with us Tamana!

Reflection on National Reconciliation Week 2022

We sat down with Natalie who founded 'Boots for One & All Community' to talk about the notion of reconciliation in Australia and how her not-for-profit supports our First Nations peoples.  What does 'reconciliation' mean for Boots for One & All Community?   Reconciliation is a notion for us to all come together and play a part in developing, maintaining and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, peoples, communities, and organisations across the Nation. Our charity has reconciliation at the centre of our core values and strives to maintain a respectful bond with the communities that we support across Country. Our steering committee meets regularly and comprises of a majority of First Nations representatives in order to give guidance and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocols and practices.  We are passionate about working alongside our First Nations communities to help bridge the gap and create positive change for future generations. The theme of National Reconciliation Week this year is ‘Be brave, make change’, how do you think the charity puts this into action? We are not shy in being one of the first to step up and reach out to those in need of a helping hand no matter what cultural background they are from.  Our volunteers and members are continuously working on how to improve relationships and better understand our First Nations communities and the issues that are faced daily.  The charity is very active in attending cultural significant events annually across the Gold Coast to show our support for the First Nations community. How does the charity bring people together in advancing our reconciliation with First Nations Australians? Through positive relationship building across the Gold Coast and surrounds we have been fortunate to have built long lasting connections within the First Nations community that has branched out to wider connections across the country.  The foundations of mutual respect across the Charity have always been paramount in establishing and advancing in strengthening Reconciliation ties with our First Nations people.  If you are interested in learning more about Boots for One & All Community, click here. 

Gold Coast Health Corona virus update

Gold Coast Health has provided the followin update as of 3 Feb 2020 to help keep you up to date with the latest information regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Update on the current situation: Two patients, who have tested positive to novel coronavirus, are in a stable condition at Gold Coast University Hospital. More than 200 people have been tested in Queensland, with no further positive results. Public Health Information: Everyone should continue their normal daily routines, except for the small portion of the community recently returned or arriving from mainland China (including Hong Kong). These people should self-isolate for 14 days from the date they left China. Self-isolation means staying at home and not accepting any visitors. Face masks – only people who have returned from mainland China (including Hong Kong) and are well should consider wearing a face mask. A mask is not necessary for anyone else who does not have symptoms. Testing – it is important to understand that testing is of no benefit for people without symptoms. Anyone who has been to China or Hong Kong (or been in contact with someone who has been there) within the past 14 days and is showing symptoms should immediately get assessed whether they need to be tested for novel coronavirus. Contact is defined as anyone who has had more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact or more than two hours contact in an enclosed space. Novel coronavirus is transmitted from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission may occur from contaminated surfaces, so it is important to frequently wash your hands. Where possible, stay one metre away from people coughing or sneezing. People with outpatient or specialist appointments should attend these as an important part of their healthcare. Gold Coast Health has a high level of infection control to ensure our facilities are a safe place for patients, staff and visitors. Further information can be obtained by calling 13HEALTH. Support for the Chinese community on the Gold Coast: We appreciate there may be people in our local Chinese community who are feeling stressed at the present time. If you are experiencing any mental health concerns please contact your GP as soon as possible for support and advice. If you are unable to get to a GP, call 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 2255) for specialist mental health care and support over the phone The service is available 24 hours, 7 days a week and the team will advise and direct you to the appropriate support you may need The service is free of charge and confidential An phone interpreter will be provided if required free of charge For the latest information on coronavirus, please visit the Queensland Health website:…/diseas…/diseases/coronavirus

Community Involvement
Community Involvement

Did you know that over 28% of all Gold Coast residents are born overseas? Become a partner of the 2018 International Café for your chance to connect and engage with this market. Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast, CÜRA: We make life better and Simply Caring Australia are getting together to deliver our signature annual event: INTERNATIONAL CAFE on August 22nd. This event will coincide with Seniors Week and Queensland Multicultural month offering a fun, vibrant and exotic cultural place for the 600 participants attending this free community event. The event will be held on Wednesday 22nd August 2018 between 9am – 2pm at Southport Church of Christ.  This year's edition will be based on the QLD Multicultural Month theme 'Move, Connect, Speak, Grow'. As this event is considered to be one of our major events that promote local businesses and community groups, we would like to invite you to be part of the day and partner the event with a donation. This is your chance to reach local multicultural communities and seniors at once! FOR ALL OUR PARTNERS:Your logo will be printed on the event flyer and distributed on the Gold Coast to aged care providers, aged care independent living facilities, Seniors’ Clubs, RSL’s, community centres and librairies, multicultural organisations and ethnic groups, local schools, and MCCGC/CÜRA network and customers. Each of the sponsors will be acknowledged through our social media and introduced from the stage by the MC on the day. Kindly find below the community involvement form for local ethnic groups, performers, local businesses and community organisations..

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