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VICTORIA’S multicultural heroes were honoured this week at a prestigious award ceremony for the Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2014, held at Government House in Melbourne. Over 90 individuals and organisations were presented with an award at the event, which was attended by approximately 400 members of Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith communities.

A total of 73 individuals and 17 organisations received awards across 10 categories, which included education, local government, policing, business and the media. His Excellency, the Hon Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria and the Premier of Victoria, the Hon Denis Napthine MP, presented awards at the event.

Over 24 multicultural communities were represented at the Awards. Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson, Mr Chin Tan, said the awards were presented to individuals and organisations who worked tirelessly to achieve harmony within our culturally diverse community.

“The Awards celebrate the contribution that multiculturalism makes to the State – the social, economic and cultural contribution that gives us our wonderful diversity and strengthens our community.

“Victorians come from over 200 countries, follow more than 130 faiths and nearly half of the State’s population were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas – multiculturalism is a way of life in Victoria and the Awards acknowledge this by applauding the people who work hard to make it so,” said Mr Tan.

Established in 2002, the annual Awards for Excellence demonstrate the Victorian Government’s commitment to promoting Victoria as a multicultural place. 
“The Awards recognise the hard work that is taking place in numerous communities, small and large across Victoria, by people and organisations who are committed to the success of multiculturalism,” said Mr Tan.

The inspirational list of award recipients included Mr J Murray Lobley who was presented with the Premier’s Award for Community Harmony for his longstanding work in the Gippsland region, with a focus on interfaith work.

Footscray Community Arts Centre, located in the western suburbs, won an Ambassador Award for their commitment to engaging and collaborating with culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) and empowering them through creative pursuits.

Wilmot Road Primary School and Dandenong High School took out the Education Awards for their creative approaches to their multicultural student populations.

Greater Shepparton City Council received the Local Government Award for their obvious commitment to working with the CALD community and for taking a stand against racism and discrimination.

Awards were presented by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, the Hon Matthew Guy MLC; Minister for Local Government, the Hon Tim Bull MP; Minister for Education, the Hon Martin Dixon MP; and Chief Commissioner of Police, Mr Ken Lay.

Mr Tan said: “I congratulate all the award recipients and thank them for their important and positive contributions to multiculturalism in Victoria, which is the cornerstone of our dynamic, vibrant and harmonious State.”

A complete list of Award recipients and previous recipients can be found on the Commission’s website by clicking on the link below.

Applications Are Now Open For The 2015 Interpreter Scholarship Program

ARE you interested in becoming an interpreter? An interpreter is a person who transfers meaning from one spoken language into another to help people who speak different languages to communicate.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC) has now opened applications for their 2015 Interpreter Scholarship Program.

Graduates with a Diploma in Interpreting have found employment with language service agencies who provide interpreting services to government, commercial or community organisations and hospitals.

OMAC are offering scholarships to suitable applicants enrolled in the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Interpreting at RMIT University.

Students who complete the course and achieve at least 70 per cent in certain subjects, will be elidgible for professional interpreter accreditation through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). OMAC will cover the cost of NAATI accreditation.

Who Can Apply For A Scholarship?

To apply for a scholarship applicants must be fluent in English and one of the target languages. You must also be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency. Scholarship applicants will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • level of proficiency in English and the other language
  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • commitment to working as an interpreter
  • community involvement.

The Languages Targeted For 2015 Are:


Burmese, Khmer, Rohingya, Samoan, Somali, Tamil, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Polish, Turkish, Vietnamese. A regional program will also be offered in Mildura for the Hazaragi language.


The closing date for applications is Monday 24 November 2014.

OMAC are holding information sessions about the scholarships in Melbourne, Dandenong, Mildura and Broadmeadows from 2-23 October 2014. To find out more information and to apply online, click on the link below.

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New Multicultural Directory For The City of Knox

THE residents of the City of Knox now have access to a brand new online resource –  the Knox Multicultural Directory. The Directory was developed by the City of Knox in recognition of the area’s growing diversity and cultural vibrancy.

This useful resource lists the contact details of over 80 organisations compiled under five separate headings: Migrant/Refugee Groups; Faith Organisations; Relevant Services; Knox City Council Services; and Relevant Services (located outside Knox).

The Directory has a number of purposes, this includes providing information to the general public about the growing diversity in Knox. It is also designed to assist individuals and service providers with making connections to migrant and refugee groups based in Knox and to assist migrants and refugees in the area to connect with services.

Knox has a population of 154,000 people and the community is increasingly diverse. Based on the most recent data produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2011), approximately 28 per cent of Knox’s population (over 41,000 people) were born overseas. The top five overseas countries of birth (starting with the most populous first) are the United Kingdom, India, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Knox City Council states that every attempt has been made to provide accurate, relevant and up to date information in this Directory, and it encourages the public to contact Knox City Council’s Multicultural Communities Officer on 9298 8000 to provide any further updates.

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Australia's Biggest Ever Football Tournament

THE countdown is on to Australia’s biggest ever football tournament! The Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Asian Football Cup is held every four years and is the premier men’s football competition held in the region.

The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 will see the best teams from 16 countries in Asia compete in the tournament for the continent’s biggest sporting prize.

The event is a 32 game, 23 day festival of football with Melbourne playing host to seven of the games, which will be held at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium at Olympic Park.

Organisers estimate that the tournament will be the biggest sporting event in Australia in a decade and the largest football tournament Australia has ever hosted, drawing around 45,000 overseas visitors to Australia.

The tournament kicks off in Melbourne with Australia taking on Kuwait on             9 January 2015. The first match will also feature a colourful opening ceremony.

Other games held in Melbourne include a quarter-final, plus five group matches involving past Asian Cup champions – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the defending champions, Japan.

The event will be held from 9-31 January 2015 in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle. For more information click on the link below.

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Grants and funding

The Victorian Multicultural Commission Major Grants Rounds 2015-16 Will Be Opening Soon!

THE annual Major Round for the VMC's Community Grants Program is scheduled to open in mid-October.

You will be able to apply for grants through five categories.

The categories are:

  • organisational Support
  • building and Facilities Improvement
  • stregthening Multicultural Communities
  • muultifaith Initiatives and Interfaith Networks
  • community Language Schools.

The VMC can notify you when the round opens and post you a hardcopy application form. If you would like to be notified when the round opens see the contact details below.

For an online applications email alert, send an email to: community.grants@dpc.vic.gov.au


To receive a hardcopy grant application form call us on 
(03) 9651 0653 or (03) 9651 0602.


CALD Seniors Grants Program - Round Four Applications Are Now Open

ARE you part of a seniors group or organisation wanting to create or expand opportunities for isolated culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) seniors to participate in the community?

The fourth round of the Victorian Government's Participation for CALD Seniors Grants program is now open for applications.

This small grants program funds projects that help isolated people from CALD backgrounds to connect with existing or new support networks and activities.

There are two categories of grants available:

  • ethnic or multicultural seniors groups can apply for up to $4,000 if they are based in metropolitan Melbourne, or up to $5,000 if they are in regional areas; or
  • organisations can apply for a up to $10,000 for larger or more complex projects.

Grant applications are open until Friday 30 January 2015.

For more information and to apply for a grant online please click here

Events Calendar

Can We Talk? - 30 September

A one-day symposium exploring what it means to be a multilingual society.

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Royal Melbourne Show - 20 September to 1 October

Bring the family for all the fun of the fair at this year's Royal Melbourne Show.

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CMY 'Unconference' - 24 - 26 September

Young people aged 15-25 are urged to come along to this fun, free interactive youth leadership event.

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Wyndham Diwali Mela - 18 October

The message of this year's Wyndham Diwali is - "the world is one family".

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Festival of Lights - 25 October

The VMC is proud to support one of the most colourful nights of the year.

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Community Noticeboard
Organ Donation Information Available in 18 Different Languages

INFORMATION about organ donation is now available in 18 different languages.

DonateLife Victoria, which coordinates organ donation in Victoria and Tasmania, has translated a range of resources to help culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities access information about organ donation.

These resources are an initiative of the ‘DonateLife…the greatest gift’ community education campaign. This campaign, conducted in consultation with religious and community leaders, is a national strategic priority to ensure access to culturally appropriate and in-language resources for diverse faith and cultural communities in Australia.

The organisation aims to improve access to information about organ donation for all Victorians, and ensure that families have all the information they need to help with the discussion and decisions around organ donation.

Information booklets are now available in Arabic, Chinese (traditional), Greek, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese (simplified), Korean, Dinka, Somali, Dari, Punjabi, Indonesian (Bahasa), Macedonian, Serbian and Croatian.

The newly translated resources include the DonateLife brochure, which provides information to help with making donation decisions, as well as the registration form for the Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR).

Materials to support donor families after a loved one has donated have also been translated. These include the Understanding Death and Donation booklet which assists with understanding the donation process, and the In Reflection booklet, which provides information for donor families dealing with the grieving process.

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New Online Sister School Resource Kit

A NEW online resource kit to help schools establish overseas sister school partnerships and bring Victorian and overseas schools closer together, has been launched by the Minister for Education.

The resource kit aims to support Victorian schools at different stages of their sister school partnerships. The kit includes information for schools who want to take the first step to establishing a partnership with an overseas school, as well as for schools who already have an established sister school relationship.

The kit includes short video case studies of success stories, highlighting some of the obstacles that schools may encounter when establishing a sister school partnership and features strategies that can be employed to overcome obstacles.

Information on how to form sister school partnerships, foster that relationship and visit a sister school relationship, are all available in the resource kit.

This resource complements the Victorian Government’s Vision for Languages Education, where all Prep classes will begin languages education from 2015, building a foundation of languages education for all students up to Year 10 by 2025.

In addition to growing Victoria’s sister school program, the Government has invested $13 million to send 1,500 Year 9 students to China over the next five years.

The resource kit is informed by 2012 research commissioned by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) on effective practices in sister school partnerships. For more information click on the link below.

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FREE Information Sessions for CALD Communities On How To Vote

ON Saturday 29 November 2014, Victoria will be holding a State election. The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC) is working with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to deliver information sessions for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities on how to vote.

The Victorian Electoral Commission’s Education and Engagement Department has a team of Community Educators from the Horn of Africa, Sudan and South Sudan  communities. These Community Educators are holding information sessions about elections and voting in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Dinka, Kiswahili, Nuer and Tigrinya.

The FREE sessions will last between 60 and 90 minutes and include information about how to enrol to vote, the three levels of government in Australia, who represents you in government and how to vote correctly.

Enrolment for voting in the 2014 State Election closes on Friday 7 November 2014, and the VEC is urging those interested in booking an information session to do so now with the option of conducting a refresher sessions later in the year.

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New Australia-China Achievement Awards

THE Australia-China Achievement Awards are a new initiative by the Australia-China Council, which celebrate the successes of Australian organisations and individuals in advancing Australia-China relations.

Awards will be presented in three categories; education; entrepreneurship; and the arts. A monetary prize of $5,000 and a framed winner’s certificate will be presented in each of the three categories at a ceremony held later on this year. 

Nominations will be accepted from (or on behalf of) Australian organisations and individuals, and may relate to projects, activities and achievements in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Australia.

Nominations can either focus on a specific project by an Australian organisation or individual in China, or an organisation's or individual’s overall achievements in engaging with China.

In the case of individual nominations, the nominee must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. In the case of organisation entries, the organisation must be a legal entity that is head-quartered in Australia.

Nominations Guidelines are available here

Nominations must be submitted online here by 10.00am (Eastern Standard Time), 6 October 2014.

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Feedback and contribute

We love to hear your comments and what you have planned. You can submit your events and details of any new resources with a multicultural focus via email to info@vmc.vic.gov.au.

hese are added to our online Community Noticeboard and Events Calendar. Selected listings will be included in the VMC Update each fortnight.

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