SSI News Blog

SSI and Northern Settlement Services, members of the Hunter Multicultural Advisory Committee, were integral in facilitating the CALD Child Protection Forum held in Newcastle last week.

Newcastle Programs Co-ordinator Debbie Carstens said the forum demonstrated the great depth of knowledge and experience of practitioners working in the sector in Newcastle, and the openness they have to working together for better outcomes for CALD children, young people and families.

“It was such an inspiring day and finished with a genuine energy and enthusiasm to continue finding ways to work together,” Ms Carstens said.

A panel of seven local practitioners from key organisations worked through a case study of a recently arrived family of refugee background facing domestic violence issues.

A culturally responsive and collaborative approach to addressing child protection issues within a CALD family context was discussed. The panel explored factors that could have contributed to the situation such as trauma, settlement and cultural factors.

The group them explored possible support services for the family and considerations for prioritising implementation of support in a sensitive and achievable way.

Feedback was very positive and participants enjoyed networking with such a large and broad gathering of providers.

For more information about keeping families strong, happy and healthy as they settle into Australia, a parenting booklet and audio-visual resource called Caring for Children,, available in 10 languages, can be found here.

Success stories

SSI Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Vile

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenSue Vile was among the first to be inducted into the SSI’s Armidale volunteer program, bringing with her a wealth of experience and existing training gathered from her time in aid work, in Australia and abroad.

A retired school teacher and nurse, Sue has dedicated an enormous amount of her time in recent years on the front line of humanitarian services, helping refugees at many stages of their journey to safety.


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