Settlement Services International has celebrated its 15th Anniversary in the company of members, founders, friends and partners, who enjoyed food, music, dancing, speeches and an anniversary video at SSI’s Bankstown auditorium on November 18.
The celebration marked 15 years since SSI (then called the NSW Migrant Resource Centre Association) was established as a provider of Humanitarian Settlement Services by its member migrant resource centres.
SSI went on to provide services and promote diversity, inclusion and meaningful social and economic participation for vulnerable communities, including refugees, humanitarian entrants and people seeking asylum in NSW. More recently, SSI has moved in to disability services through the Ability Links NSW program and employment services through the CoAct/Jobactive program to its growing
Guest speakers at the celebration included Australian human rights advocate Sev Ozdowski, Managing Director of Cultural Perspectives Pino Migliorino, , and CEO Multicultural NSW Hakan Harman.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis and Chair Kamalle Dabboussy spoke about SSI’s founding vision, history, recent growth and plans for the future.
Ms Roumeliotis said, “I think what kept SSI going for 15 years, why many of us are so driven, and why many of you are here today, is that Australia is a multicultural nation with many different communities, cultures, languages and religions, living together in harmony.
“It’s something that energises you to keep building. That’s what SSI’s leaders did 15 years ago and what we all do together still.”
A colourful highlight wasartist and choreographer Aruna Gandhi, who demonstrated her talents in Indian classical dance before being joined by two SSI clients.
Mr Dabboussy used the occasion to express SSI’s gratitude to the many individuals and organisations who had made outstanding contributions to the work of SSI. He announced the recipients of SSI certificates of appreciation:
- Nabi Akram Centre
- Dandelion Support Network
- Mission of Hope
- Wrap with Love
- The Embroiderers Guild
- Women Empowering Refugee Women
- Jews for Social Action
- Halal Food Bank
- Margaret Bailey
- Balmain for Refugees
- Afghan Youth (AYANA)
- Auburn District Cricket Club
- Australian Iranian Community Organisation
- Granville Men’s Shed
- Holroyd Rangers Soccer Club
- Mazi Mas
- Newington Gunners Soccer Club
- Old Knox Grammarians Association
- Opal Dental
- Parliament On King
- Playfair Visa and Migration Services
- Soroptimist International, The Hills District and
- Soroptimist International, Hornsby
The celebration was followed by SSI’s Annual General Meeting, which received the 2014-15 Annual Report.
Indian dancer Arun Ghandi performing a story for us pic.twitter.com/vMv4z5dpZF— SSI (@SSI_tweets) November 18, 2015
My friends @SSI_tweets supported 10 000 asylum seekers and refugees in the last 12 months. Great to be celebrating 15 years with them today.— Brad Chilcott (@bradchilcott) November 18, 2015
"The challenge before us is to move beyond fear towards compassion and justice" @AntonEnus pic.twitter.com/B3R1HphpCK— Welcome to Australia (@welcome2aussie) November 18, 2015