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The holiday season may be at an end but now it's time to get ready for Victoria's biggest and brightest celebration of cultural, linguistic and religious diversity! Held from 17 to  25 March 2012, Cultural Diversity Week includes the always popular Premier's Gala Dinner and the lively Viva Victoria Festival held at Federation Square. This one-day festival of spectacular world music and dance performances, exotic global cuisine, colourful arts and crafts stalls, kids activities, workshops, roving performers and much more, makes this family-friendly event a day not to be missed. There is still time for you and/or your organisation to get involved, help support Victoria's community harmony and celebrate our rich cultural diversity. Opportunities are still available to become a sponsor of Cultural Diversity Week but you'd better be quick, applications close on Friday 27 January. Click on the link below for more details. And don't forget to order one of our promotional kits to help you create your very own Cultural Diversity Week celebration! These brightly coloured kits come in two sizes, and will include ribbons, bookmarks, stickers, wristbands, and posters and are ideal for community events and school classrooms. Promotional packs will be available to order from the VMC website from 14 February - watch this space for more details soon...

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 exciting mix of music, dance, food, historic 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 our 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 with a dazzling fireworks display.

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Training opportunity for young migrant or refugee women

The Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Alliance (AIRWA) is seeking one young woman of immigrant or refugee background from each State and Territory to attend a week of training in Canberra. Selected participants will have their flights and accommodation paid for by AIRWA and will receive training on the Federal Budget process, as well as training in lobbying. Following two days of training, participants will accompany AIRWA board members and staff to Federal Parliament where they will get the opportunity to use their skills to directly lobby politicians on the ratification  of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Applications must be submitted by 5pm EST on 1 February. Events will take place in Canberra between 28 February and 2 March.

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Melbourne Chinese New Year 2012

Organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations (Vic), Melbourne's annual Chinese New Year celebration held in Chinatown on Little Bourke Street is expected to attract tens of thousands of revellers. This year is especially significant because it will celebrate the Year of the Dragon. This colourful event is an annual highlight of Melbourne's cultural calendar, and showcases the city's rich cultural diversity and heritage. Enjoyed by young and old alike, come along to watch the street parade, sample aromatic Chinese cuisine and learn more about the ancient Chinese culture.

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Grants and Funding

The 2012 - 13 Settlement Grants Program funding round is now open.


The Settlement Grants Program (SGP)  is now open. The Program has recently been changed to build the capacity of the settlement sector to support newly arrived refugees and migrants and reflects a decision by the government to reinvest in long-term programs to help new Australians adapt to life in Australia. To be eligble to apply, an organisation must be one or more of the following: a not-for-profit, incorporated, community organisation, a local government organisation, currently funded to deliver services under the Adult Migrant English Program or be a government service delivery organisation in rural and regional areas. To ensure that SGP funding is directed to those most in need, services are limited to those permanent residents who have arrived in Australia in the last five years as: humanitarian entrants, family stream migrants with low English proficiency and dependants of skilled migrants in rural and regional areas with low English proficiency. Applications close at 5pm AEDT (Canberra time) Wednesday 1 February. For more information contact the SGP Helpdesk on 1800 453 004.

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Events Calendar

Tamil Pongal Festival - 21 January

Also known as Harvest Festival, come along to experience the ancient Tamil way of life.

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Casey's Cultural Showcase - 26 January

Enjoy a special Australia Day event to celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the City of Casey.


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Chinese New Year - 28 January

Bring a chair and rug to this community celebration, and remember to wear red to ward off bad luck!

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Exhibition of Iraqi Arts - until 23 January

Emerse yourself in the beauty of the Iraqi civilisation at this artistic showcase.

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Lost In Translation - until 31 January

Take the time to check out this unusual artistic collaboration in Ballarat.

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Community Noticeboard
Summer holiday sewing workshops - until 28 January

The Multicultural Women's Sewing Group in Brunswick is running a special summer holiday program of sewing and knitting classes. All the workshops are suitable for beginners and involve preparing simple but useful projects. The craft supplies are provided and children of all ages are welcome. The workshops are a great opportunity to learn something new, improve your sewing skills and meet new friends! You do not need to speak English to attend. Volunteers who would like to share their craft skills or assist with the group are also encouraged to come along. For more information contact Jennifer on 0416 049 647 or email her at jennifer.mok@rch.org.au

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New publication - Us and Them

This new publication by Australian Academic Press entitled, Us and Them: Muslim Christian relations and social harmony in Australia, contains cross-cultural research which provides exceptional insights into the hopes and fears of interacting with people who are different from ourselves. The book consists of 12 different essays which read together paint a picture of the diverse interpretations of interfaith relations and cultural harmony present across Australia today. In turn, the book attempts to offer an often overlooked truth about the interfaith relations as they are believed and expressed by Muslim and non-Muslim Australians.

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Hume Citizen of the Year to be announced

The City of Hume will celebrate Australia Day in true patriotic style by annoucing its Citizen of the Year at a special ceremony held at the Broadmeadows Town Hall on Thursday 26 January. The Hume Young Citizen of the Year will also be announced at this event which will include a ceremony where 100 residents will officially become Australian citizens. The presentations will be made by Hume City Mayor, Councillor Ros Spence, who said: "The winners of our citizenship awards are shining examples of how everyone can make a positive difference in our community". Free entertainment at the event will include local singer, Avah Nikoll, and a community morning tea.

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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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Feedback and Contribute

Tell us what you think and get involved.