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Christmas came early this year for over 170 individuals and organisations who were honoured for their outstanding service to Victoria's multicultural and wider communities, at a stately ceremony held at Government House. The event was hosted by The Hon. Alex Chernov AO QC, Governer of Victoria, and was attended by over 500 members of Victoria's multicultural and multifaith communities. This year's awards saw the introduction of two new categories - the Multicultural Business Awards and the Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll. Awards were presented by the Premier of Victoria Ted Baillieu, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Nicholas Kotsiras MLA and the Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission Mr Chin Tan, among others. Mr Tan said: "These awards have been running since 2002, and are a great opportunity for us to recognise and reward the contributions of individuals and organisations that promote the social, economic and cultural benefits of Victoria's multicultural community. I congratulate all the recipients and nominees - through their diligence and selfless hard work, these individuals and organisations have all made a significant contribution to Victoria's successful and harmonious multicultural community."

Mental Health Carers Survey

The festive period can be a stressful time of year for many people, and especially so for people who are caring for someone with a mental illness. The Mental Health Council of Australia (MCHA), the peak body for mental health, invites you to complete the 2011-12 Mental Health Carers Survey that is now available online and in paper format. The results of the survey will help to highlight issues of concern to people who have a mental illness and those who care for them. The MCHA wants to ensure CALD communities can have their say, so from mid-January 2012 hard copies of the survey will be available in Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Italian. The MCHA has also released a Young Carers Mental Health Survey on Facebook, specifically for people under the age of 18 who care for someone with a mental illness. To complete the survey online click here For more information contact Linda Rosie via email: linda.rosie@mhca.org.au or phone 02 6285 3100.

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Inaugural Piers Festival - A celebration of migration

On Saturday 28 January 2012, the inaugural Piers Festival will bring the Port Melbourne piers precinct to life with a spectacular display of music, dance, food, historical displays, the tall ship Enterprize and more. This wonderful display of Melbourne's diversity will link in with Victoria's Australia Day activities and highlight the state's rich history of migration. The Piers Festival will run on Station Pier from 12pm to 4pm and Princes Pier from 1pm to 9.30pm. The event is free, family-friendly and will culminate witha fireworks display.

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Sponsorship & stallholder opportunities for 10th Cultural Diversity Week

There’s still time to be part of Victoria's largest celebration of cultural, linguistic and religious diversity! The VMC currently has sponsorship opportunities for next year's 10th Cultural Diversity Week. The annual event, which includes the vibrant Viva Victoria Festival at Federation Square and the prestigious Premier's Gala Dinner, runs from 17 to 25 March 2012. There are many ways your organisation can support Victoria's biggest celebration of cultural diversity. Applications are still open for stallholders to be part of the 2012 Viva Victoria festival. Click on the link below to see full details of the sponsorship packages. Stallholders should apply by 5pm on Monday 9 January 2012.

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Grants and Funding

Multicultural Arts and Festivals Grants now open.


The Department of Immigration and Citizenship's (DIAC) Multicultural Arts and Festivals Grants (MAFG) program are still availble for those who are eligible. Through the MAFG, community groups and organisations can apply for grants of up to $5,000 for multicultural arts and festivals projects. Projects will be considered if they encourage social cohesion and mutual understanding through the sharing of different cultural experiences; seek to educate groups about other cultures through information sharing; and/or, address a genuine social cohesion issue, such as tensions between groups in a community. In 2011-12, $125,000 has been allocated for MAFG. Organisations are also encouraged to pursue multiple avenues to finance projects, including state and territory government grants programs, sponsorships and fundraising. Details on eligibility and how to apply, including the application form and information booklet can be found by clicking on the link below.

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Events Calendar

Australia Day Glendi Picnic - 22 January 2012

Everyone is invited to the Association of Greek Elderly Citizens Clubs of Melbourne and Victoria Australia Day picnic at Mornington Park.

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Stop Fest Halls Gap - 27 & 28 December

Come along to this free festival at Halls Gap where visitors can enjoy some dazzling shows on stage by didgeridoo players, kids activities and more.


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Koorie children art exhibition - until 5 February

Our Children Our Future is an exhibition at Melbourne Museum by Koorie children and youth that celebrates the strength, diversity and vibrancy of Victorian Aboriginal culture.

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Tooth and Nail Trail - 23 December - 15 January

This Chinese Museum exhibition celebrates the artistic exchange between East and West since the 16th century.

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Quang Minh Tet Festival - 22-23 January 2012

Celebrate Vietnamese Lunar New Year in Braybrook and watch performances, see displays, chants and eat vegetarian food.  

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Community Noticeboard
Regional migration & settlement - conference and forum

Join the University of Melbourne on 9 February 2012 for a free public forum: Whose Country is it Anyway? Opportunities and Challenges for Migrants and Refugees in Rural and Regional Australia. The forum will bring together a diverse panel of speakers to discuss issues of regional migration, settlement and multicultural affairs in Australia . Plus on 10 February there is an international conference called A Long Way from Home? The Rural and Regional Resettlement Experiences of Visible Migrants and Refugees featuring a range of guest speakersClick here to register for these events. 

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Survey: students with disability in Victorian schools

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) is keen to hear the views of parents, students and educators about the education of students with disabilities in Victoria. Following a successful call-in day on December 3, VEOHRC is extending their phone-in to weekday working hours, enabling parents, students and educators to give their views about what works and what could be improved when it comes to the education of students with disability in Victoria. A survey is also available online. If you need an interpreter, you can call the Commission interpreter service on 1300 152 494. For more information call 1300 292 153.

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Human Rights Education for Immigrant & Refugee Women

The Multicultural Centre for Women's Health (MCWH) has announced a series of professional development seminars for 2012. The first is entitled 'Getting to Know Your Rights: Human Rights Education for Immigrant and Refugee Women' and will be held on 23 February, 9am-2pm at the MCWH in Collingwood. This seminar will focus on sharing experiences for developing human rights education programs tailored to immigrant and refugee women. It will explore effective strategies for human rights education including the use of story sharing as a method for women to make sense of human rights in their day-to-day lives. Price is $88 per person (includes lunch).

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Tell us your news

We love to hear what you have planned. You can submit your events and details of any new resources with a multicultural focus via the form on our website. These get added to our online Community Noticeboard and Events Calendar. Selected listings will be included in the VMC Update each fortnight. Click on the link below to find out what's going on around multicultural Victoria.

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