Outstanding Project Promoting Social Cohesion and Community Harmony
Greater Western Sydney is made up of many diverse groups who come together to form one large community. The Outstanding Project Promoting Social Cohesion and Community Harmony Award recognises the work not-for-profit organisations in improving social cohesion and community harmony by working with these groups and helping them participate in the wider community.
Below are our nominees for the 2017 ZEST Award for Outstanding Project Promoting Social Cohesion and Community Harmony:
Bankstown Poetry Slam REAL TALK project – Winner
Bankstown Poetry Slam’s REAL TALK project is a series of spoken word workshops that engages young people of diverse backgrounds to use their voice to create positive impacts within their community. The workshops ran weekly for approximately 2 hours focusing on writing, performance, motivation and social issues including bullying, identity, racism and gender. The facilitators supported participants to construct an original poem with meaningful dialogue. At the end of the five weeks, all schools united for a final ‘poetry slam’ – an opportunity to showcase their talents to the wider community, meet new people and hear from diverse voices across Greater Western Sydney.
2016 Refugee Ceramics Workshops and Exhibition
2016 Refugee Ceramics Workshops and Exhibition worked with 10 Refugee women from Iraq and Syria to capacity build them as leaders in their community. We partnered with Multicultural Network and Navitas English to run three intensive workshops with Refugee women on developing new skills that they could use to support and build their communities. The workshops were facilitated by a local Ceramics artist where refugees were exposed to a brand new skill set and ran an exhibition of their works. the workshops were run out of Bankstown Arts Center.
Becoming Work Ready
The Becoming Work Ready Project is aimed at preparing refugees, not eligible for any government funded programs like AMEP, SEE or TAFE in the Merrylands area for work opportunities and more broadly to engage them more in their local community. The program was delivered by MTC Australia and supported by Settlement Services International (SSI) and Cumberland Council who provided initial seed funding. Once the funding ran out, we engaged with business and community stakeholders including Stockland’s Merrylands to provide a training room for free, SSI provides background support, and MTC Australia sourced volunteer teachers from the University of Technology and the University of Western Sydney.
KARI & NSW Police Force Debutante Ball
The annual KARI & NSW Police Force Debutante Ball is an event run in partnership with our local police commands. This program is designed to close the gap between the Aboriginal community and the NSW Police Force. Both KARI staff and police mentor the girls around healthy relationships and self-esteem, creating a positive relationship with the police, so the young women know it’s a safe place to go if they need to reach out. This event sees young Aboriginal women join partners with the NSW police commands for a night of dancing and a sit-down meal.
Learning Ground Bidwill
Learning Ground Bidwill provides community-based development and behaviour change programs to the most culturally diverse and disadvantaged youth and families in the Mt Druitt area of Western Sydney. A recent evaluation by researchers carried out by Western Sydney University stated that “Learning Ground was highly regarded by participants and stakeholders for the quality of its programs … its unique community-embedded model of operation and service”. Its programs include ‘Adolescent Programs, Family Life Skills and Enabler Programs. The latter is training for volunteers for assist paid staff to experience capacity building in community education and development to make learning experiences together. The aims include teaching participants to learn to respect themselves and then those who are helping them to live in their community in harmony.
National Mosque Open Day (NMOD)
National Mosque Open Day (NMOD) is a project that endeavours to break down common misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Islam. The initiative aims to counteract all types of prejudice, such as Islamophobia, as well as a mutual misunderstanding between Muslims and non-Muslims alike, by creating a platform for open discourse between both communities.This is achieved by having mosques around the country open their doors to the wider public. For a number of years, mosques across Australia have inconsistently held mosque open days. The intent of this initiative is to consolidate these open days into one, unified, national mosque open day.
The program name, Sobhiye, refers to a traditional, Middle-Eastern brunch where women would socialise and relax before attending to daily errands. Building on this tradition, Sobhiye hosted a number of catered workshops that provided young women of newly arrived migrant and refugee background (with a focus on unsupported single young mums who fall through the cracks) with pathways to vocational, educational, and local business opportunities in a casual and friendly setting. Ultimately, it’s about creating a community of young women who have ample opportunities for employment in local business and have established viable pathways to employment.
The Bulldogs and Brydens Lawyers Family Initiative
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are a National Rugby League (NRL) club involved in community projects that focus on three key areas within the Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Cumberland LGA including, violence prevention, social inclusion and health and wellness. In response to societal concerns identified by local community groups and as a part of their social inclusion initiative, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs partnered with Brydens Lawyers to provide 500 General Admission (GA) family memberships to disadvantaged and newly arrived refugee families. The aim of this program was to foster social inclusion in the local community by partnering with local service organisations. The Initiative saw business, community organisations and the Bulldogs collaborate to create social cohesion and social harmony.
The Mardi Gras Show
The Mardi Gras Show brings together the Australian society from diverse multicultural background, religious beliefs, political affiliations and different sexual orientation. The participants in the Show come from various parts of Australia and even from overseas. During the event, the participants showcase their talents which goes across the various sectors of the community. They are in turn supported by their families and friends from those sectors. Everyone enjoy an evening of great entertainment as well as being provided by knowledge on safe sex practices and tips on interaction and success.
The MYA program
MYAN NSW works in partnership with young people, government and non-government sectors to promote the interests and needs of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. We support the development of young people’s skills and networks to engage in advocacy and influence the regional, state and national agenda. The Multicultural Youth Ambassador (MYA) program supports and mentors young people to build on their skills and experiences to address social justice issues that matter to them. Our aim is that young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds feel connected to their community and are empowered to create social change.
The information on this website was supplied by the Award Nominators.
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