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MSC_OCTOBER_2012_MINUTES Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                   PO Box 94
                                                                                  Forest Hill 3131
Chairperson:                                                                   Tel: 0424 441 051
     Sam Navarria
Deputy Chair:
     Cynthia Shaw

    Standing Committee of the Communities’ Council on Ethnic Issues (Eastern
                                Region) Inc
                                         Reg. No. A0017562S

                                     Minutes – October 5th 2012
                     Whitehorse Community Centre, 79 Mahoneys Road, Forest Hill

Sam welcomed MSC members and guest Sherrine Clark, Casework Coordinator, Asylum Seeker
Resource Centre (ASRC).

1. Present
       Leonie Burnham                     Eastern Community Legal Centre
       Linda Chen                         Community Member
       Chris Cosgriff                     CCOEI President, ANCHOR
       Maria De Monte                     DHS Centrelink MSO
       Rebecca Dunsdon                    MIC, Settlement and Community Development
       Belinda Gillam                     Knox City Council, Community Development Officer,
       Margi Jelovcic                     Central East Whitehorse MIND
       Penny Moore                        Maroondah City Council
       Jasmina Mulugeta                   Foundation House
       Sam Navarria                       AMES, CCOEI
       Cynthia Shaw                       CCOEI
       Sui Ting Tse                       Louise Multicultural Community Centre, CCOEI
       Clary Verbunt                      CCOEI

       Fiona Brown                        City of Boroondara
       Karen Connolly                     Swinburne University, Team Leader CALD
       Glenis Crocker                     CCOEI, Secretary
       Twanny Farrugia                    CCOEI Treasurer
       Michael Hardie                     JANSSEN Spirituality Centre, Director
       Scott Isha                         Yarra Ranges
       Cindy Kung                         Louise Multicultural Community Centre
       Deborah Lawrence                   Eastern Health Child and Mental Health Services
       Daisy Luo                          DIAC
       Railey Orger                       City of Whitehorse, Diversity and Ageing Officer
       Meg Scolyer                        EACH, Health Promotion Officer
       Liz Sidiropoulos                   VicPol
       Sherrine Clark                     Casework Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

2. Minutes of September 7th 2012 meeting
   Minutes circulated prior to the meeting. No amendments received.

3. Business Arising - incorporated in the meeting agenda.

4. Settlement Needs in your Area – on going item for input to DIAC re unmet needs.

MSC Minutes October 2012                                                                             1
5.   Calendar of meetings and forums – Calendar reflects updates.

    MSC                      MEETING FOCUS                   Proposed Forums/activities and         International Multicultural
   Meeting                                                              dates                        Calendar events in 2012
    DATE                                                             TBC = “to be confirmed”
 January        No meeting                                                                         Jan
 03 Feb         The Red Cross – International Tracing                                              Feb
                Services, Jane Billings
                Whitehorse City Council Diversity Policy
                and Action Plan – Railey Orger
                Community Detention (Team Leader Sarah                                             March 21: Harmony Day
                Brown, Red Cross) and Asylum Seeker
                Assistance Scheme (Team Leader Andrea
                Brookes, Red Cross);
 02 March       Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project
                (Community Liaison Coordinator Samantha
                Michael Hardie, Director, JANSSEN
                Spirituality Centre
 No meeting                                                                                        April 7 - World Health Day,
 in April                                                                                          recognized by the UN
 04 May         RCOA Update: Louise Olliff, Settlement      Family Violence Forum (date 25/5,      May 21 - World Day for
                Policy Coordinator, RCOA                    Mooroolbark Community Centre)          Cultural Diversity for Dialogue
                                                            Leonie (Convenor); Glenis, Jeska,      and Development,
                                                            Meg, Jasmina, Judy (MIC), MSO
                                                            Centrelink, local councils (Knox,
                                                            Maroondah, Whitehorse, Yarra
                                                            Ranges, etc).
 01 June        Eastern Region Regional Advisory Council                                           June 20 – World Refugee
                (RAC).Guest: Huss Mustafa, Chair RAC.                                              Day, June 26 - Day - Support
                                                                                                   of Victims of Torture
 July           No meeting
 03 Aug         Fire safety and water safety and CALD                                              Aug
                communities, Stephen O’Malley, MFB and
                David Holland, Life Saving Victoria
 07 Sept        Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)     (Date & month TBC) Contact: TBC;       Sep
                and Local Governments and their work with   Shahan, AMES Employment
                CALD communities – Con Pagonis and          Services; Thomas, Jennifer, Maria;
                LGA reps.                                   Karen; MIC (TBC)
 05 Oct         Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)        Employment Expo Date: Friday           October 17- International Day
                Speaker Sherrine Clark, Casework            October 19th Employment Expo focus     for the Eradication of Poverty,
                Coordinator, Asylum Seeker Resource         on services, jobs targeting refugees   recognized by UN
                Centre (ASRC)                               and migrants.
                                                            Convenor: Karen Conolly (Swinburne)
 02 Nov         Review MSC 2012 program; plan MSC                                                 November 16 - International
                2013 program                                                                       Day for Tolerance
                                                                                                   November 25 - International
                                                                                                   Day for the Elimination of
                                                                                                   Violence against Women,
 07 Dec         Meeting to be advised.                     Forum entitled “disAbility Voices”     Dec 3rd: International Day for
                                                            a focus on disability in CALD          People with a disability.
                                                            communities. Information Education
                                                            and Raising Awareness of Barriers.
Other focus areas: Successful CALD associations; family support programs and services; Provisional
spouse entrants: access/lack of access to services; refugee health and mental health; council grants;
interfaith networks.

MSC Minutes October 2012                                                                                       2
6.   The work of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC ), Sherrine Clark, Casework
     Coordinator, ASRC.

The ASRC is the largest asylum seeker organisation in Australia. Eleven years ago the organisation
started with $100 and a bag of groceries. Since then it has assisted over 7000 asylum seekers. 95% of its
funding comes from donations and philanthropic associations. Currently in 2012 the ASRC has 35 paid
staff and 750 active volunteers. It has 25 programs divided into 4 pillars: Aid; Justice; Empowerment and
Community. Its 2012 operating budget is over $2 million.

Australia signed the Refugee Convention on 22 Jan 1954. The convention centres on the status of
refugees being people with a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality,
membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The Convention is the key legal document
defining who are refugees and their rights.

There are different modes of arrival and how people are treated.
     By Plane: Arriving on a valid visa e.g. Visitors; business; student visas. These people then apply
        “onshore”. They live in the community and may be eligible for Bridging Visas.
     By Boat: Arriving without a valid visa and are placed in detention. No Visas

Challenges faced by Asylum Seekers:
    History of trauma and often torture
    Health and mental health issues
    “At Risk” behaviours: suicidal ideation/self harm
    Separation from family/friends/culture
    Homelessness, limited social supports
    Language/culture barriers
    Lack of government assistance – no right to work,
    No Medicare
    Lack of food, material items
    Lack of legal assistance
    Institutionalised behaviours – Detention release
    Lack of understanding of appropriate ways to behave
    Lack of knowledge of Australian laws and customs
    Difficulty adjusting to life in Australia
    Waiting process – deteriorating mental health

Strengths of asylum seekers:
     They are eager to make a genuine contribution to Australia
     They desire a peaceful life
     They have great perseverance, determination and resilience
     They come to Australia with a range of skills
     They have a powerful motivation to be successful in their new community

For a copy of Sherrine’s presentation of the ASRC access: Members of the MSC are welcome to
contact Sherrine on email:

7    Forum and agency reports

Forum reports

Disability Forum (Cynthia Shaw - CCOEI)
Forum to be held on the 3rd of December 2012: Convenor Cynthia Shaw. Volunteers/Members: Maria de
Monte; Twanny Farrugia

MSC Minutes October 2012                                                                               3
Forum entitled "disAbility Voices” Flyer will be sent out ASAP. The forum will be held in the Matsudo Room
Box Hill Town Hall. Limited places available. Speakers: Prof. Edmund Chiu; Robyn Kilpatrick (MIC); Keith
Hitchen (ADEC); Case studies by: Dorothy Docherty on vision impairment; Merilyn Spratling (EACH -
Refugee Health Nurse); Teena Lee (CYMHS) on Mental Health; and Elinor Porat (MIND) on Homelessness
in disadvantaged CALD communities

Employment Expo/Forum (Maria De Monte)
Employment Forum 19 October 2012: Convenor Karen Connolly. Volunteers/Members: Maria de Monte;
Michael Hardie; Leonie Burnham; Railey Orger;
Maria provided information in Karen's absence: a bus has been arranged for people attending the forum.
Volunteers are still required for the mock job interviews. So far 110 students are registered. The flyer will
be ready ASAP and will be sent out to members.

Agency Reports

EH Child and Youth Mental Health (Teena Lee): Spoke about the Virtual Cultural Advisory Group, MSC
members to encourage people they know to join.

ECLC (Leonie Burnham): Leonie is acting CEO. The Steps to Safety program is going well. Now
translated into 5 languages. Check the ECLC website for further information.

City of Knox (Belinda Gillam): Informed the MSC that she is leaving Knox. Her replacement in the
multicultural section of the Council will be available on Belinda will be
joining the MIC and her email will be from the 30th October and will be
available in 9275 6949

MIC (Rebecca Dunsdon): Holiday Program at METEC - calling for volunteer drivers. Mervat (MIC) is
running a new 6 week long course for newly arrived people who wish to start their own business. Need 10
people to commence this course. The MIC AGM is on 15th October 2012 in the Visual Arts Room in the
Community Hub of the Box Hill Town Hall.

DHS Centrelink (Maria de Monte): Spoke about many changes in DHS - Centrelink; FIS Seminars; New
phone application and new payments; also changes to payments when people leave Australia for 6 weeks
and proposed changes to Parenting Payments.

Note: Sam Navarria: Spoke about leaving AMES and would no longer be available on his old contact
numbers. A new email will be set up

Next Meeting: Friday 2nd November 2012
Focus: Review MSC 2012 program; plan MSC 2013 program. The MSC meeting will be from 9.30 -11.00
and will be followed by the CCOEI AGM (11-11.30) with refreshments and light lunch. All MSC members

MSC Minutes October 2012                                                                                   4

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