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16 Aug 2017


SSI Member Spotlight: Sydney Multicultural Community Services

Jessica Pleitez (Sydney MCS SSP Senior Community Development Officer) and Aiyub Torin (SSI Ability links) work together to see the multicultural community hub initiative succeed.

Its monthly multicultural community hub offers a one-stop-shop for migrant and refugee communities who face a number of barriers, including lack of knowledge of available services in the local area, language barriers, social isolation, cultural shame, and confusion due to the range of overlapping services.

Such problems have been identified in newly arrived refugee and migrant communities as well as among Cultrually and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) individuals who have lived in the area for over five years (outside the settlement period).

Sydney MCS Settlement Services Program staff members have observed protracted wait times for referrals or joint caseworker problem solving.

That can occur due to high workloads or limited resourcing. The result is that newly arrived migrants have limited information about the services available to them.

The Multicultural Community Hub:

  • Provides practical on-the-spot support to CALD communities living in the south-eastern suburbs
  • Provides an open forum for newly arrived community members to ask about how services work and what assistance is available to them in their area
  • Creates a platform for community members to express what services or information is relevant and the ability to cater to this by inviting those services or organisations according to need
  • Fosters community connections and capacity building for CALD community members
  • Generates communication in the community around getting alternative support for problems and potentially generating more referrals to the service in the long term

Assistance provided at the hub includes:

  • Housing NSW
  • Department of Human Services (Centrelink)
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Resume support
  • NDIS providers
  • Bill assistance/financial support

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