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.
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