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Across Victoria communities will be holding Cultural Diversity celebrations in March - and now is the time to start planning your very own! From the 14 February you will be able to order FREE promotional kits to help advertise your event during Cultural Diversity Week (17-25 March 2012 ). Why not decorate your workplace, community centre, school or kindergarten with posters and encourage participants to wear an orange ribbon or wristband to show their support for cultural diversity and community harmony. The packs will be available in two sizes and also contain colourful stickers and bookmarks, which is another good way to spread the message and show all Victorians how cultural diversity is something we celebrate. Cultural Diversity Week is held annually in March. During the week, Victorians come together to share aspects of their culture, faith and language and celebrate the benefits multiculturalism brings to our State. Don't forget to mark March 25 in your diary and come along to say hello to the VMC at this year's Viva Victoria Festival! World music and dance performances, global cuisine, colourful arts and crafts stalls, kid's activities, roving performers and much more at this family-friendly fun day out. Also, tickets are now on sale for the Premier's Gala Dinner - it's hot ticket so you need to be quick off the mark. Click on the link beow for more details. (Photo: Shepparton Multicultural Festival 2010).

Harmony Fest 2012

Ballarat's Harmony Fest is on again and this year will be held earlier than usual, on Friday 10 February. This free community event includes a vibrant live concert featuring Ashanti, Massive Hiphop Choir and Tumbarumba. There will also be delicious international food stalls, craft and Koorie markets and a range of fun activities that will provide the whole family with an opportunity to celebrate the city's wonderful diversity.

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Odyssey - a one man show

Odyssey is a bilingual (Greek and English) solo theatre performance which weaves stories from the actor's family's experience of migration from Greece to Australia through Homer's epic poem of the same name. The play is a celebration of diversity and a search for identity and belonging. Performances will be stage from 13-31 March at the Open Stage in Carlton as part of the Antipodes Festival program. For more information call 1300 099 660 or click on the link below.

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Sisters for Sisters - cultural fundraising night

On Sunday 12 February the Fitzroy Learning Network (FLN) is collaborating with the Melbourne based fundraising collective, Sisters for Sisters, to create an amazing night of music, dance, spoken word and creative expression from some of Melbourne's leading ladies. This project has been created by women - for women, but everyone is welcome to come along to support and enjoy this diverse and captivating event! The money raised will fund a Women's Wellness project within the Refugee Support Program at FLN. Doors open at 7.30pm @ Toff in Town, 2/252 Swanston Street.

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Grants and Funding

EastWeb Grants - provides small grants for projects within Victoria working with Indigenous, asylum seeker or refugee communities.

EastWeb gives small grants of up to $2,000 to projects within Victoria working with Indigenous, Asylum Seeker or Refugee communities in the areas of: health care, employment, education, and cultural heritage promotion and maintenance. They will fund projects that build the capacity of communities to create long term strategies for change and look to fund whole projects - Eastweb is unlikely to fund parts of larger projects. The organisation can also help source in-kind support for your project, including volunteers to support your project, assistance with grant-writing or businesses willing to donate their products or services. They always welcome applications and have no closing dates or grant rounds. The Eastweb Board sits monthly to make funding decisions. The EastWeb Fund is a sub-fund of the Melbourne Community Foundation run by a group of young people who recognise that Indigenous, Asylum Seeker and Refugee communities can experience significant marginalisation and discrimination which hamper their ability to fully participate in community life. The group works to counter this disadvantage, promote community capacity and self-determination.

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Events Calendar

Anatolian Festival - 4-5 February

Experience the best of the ancient Anatolian culture at this free festival.

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TET Festival - 4-5 February

Come along to the TET festival this week-end, the biggest two day event of its kind in Victoria.

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Japanese Festival - 11 February

Savour the traditions of Japan in the heart of Melbourne's Docklands.

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New British Child Migrant Exhibition Program - 12 Feb-14 Apr

Visitors now have the opportunity to couple their visit with a complementary program of events.

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Fiesta Malaysia - 23-25 March

Try everything that Malaysia is famous for at this annual cultural showcase.

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Community Noticeboard
Regional migration & settlement - conference and forum

Join the University of Melbourne on 10 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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Legal Reporting Awards

Entries are now open for the 15th annual Victoria Law Foundation Legal Reporting Awards. The awards recognise and promote excellence in legal journalism in Victoria. The awards acknowledge the important role the media play in helping Victorians to understand the law and legal system, and reflect the Foundation's commitment to improving the quality of legal information. In 2012, awards are being offered in 14 categories for work published or broadcast in 2011, which is about or related to Victoria and also includes a: 'Best report in multicultural media' award. Entries for the awards close at 5pm, Wednesday 8 February 2012.

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English for Bilingual Health and Community Work

The NMIT English for Bilingual Health and Community Work course starts on 13 February 2012 at the Collingwood Campus. This is a 12 month, combined English and community work course for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, leading to a bilingual community/health work and/or further study in this area. Courses are also available in English and Childcare, English and Aged Care and English and Hospitality at the Preston Campus. For more information contact the NMIT's Vocational Pathways Department on 03 9269 8380 or email: vocational@nmit.vic.edu.au

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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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