Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV)
The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV)’s mission is to work to ensure that we remain a member driven peak body committed to empowering people from culturally diverse backgrounds. We strive to give voice to multicultural Victoria. We strive to advocate for human rights, freedom, respect, equality and dignity for ethnic and multicultural communities and in building a socially cohesive and inclusive Victorian community.
The organisation advocates and lobbies all levels of government on behalf of multicultural communities in areas like human rights, access and equity and improving services. As our core business, we advocate on any issue that is of concern to our members.
We are proud to have been the key advocate for culturally diverse communities in Victoria since 1974.
ECCV was delighted to have Parliamentary Secretary Josh Bull MP announce at our AGM on the 3rd December, $100,000 funding from the Victorian Government to bring the FECCA Conference to Melbourne in 2021, the first time since 2003.
The Melbourne FECCA Conference 2021 is an outstanding opportunity for the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, its members and the broader community, to showcase the amazing multicultural capability we have in Victoria. With key roles to be played by Multicultural, Affairs, the Victorian Multicultural Commission and a broad range of organisations in the FECCA Conference, there is also the opportunity for broader national discussion and problem solving to the shortcomings migrant and refugee communities faced across Australia during the pandemic.
In Victoria, migrant and refugee communities have been overrepresented in the total number of infections and deaths, with the lack of a national multicultural strategy letting a large percentage of the Australian population down. There is a quickness to praise multiculturalism when we are celebrating culture, but the systems that support cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia have been left to lag over the last two decades, all the while our country has been become ever more multicultural, multifaith, multiracial and multilingual.
FECCA recently published a policy paper on CALD Data Collection, that showed that National Standards for recording Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Australia have not ben reviewed and updated since 1999! This is a fundamental part of the problem of why services today are not reflective of and responsive to the fabric of contemporary Australia.
ECCV congratulates the Koorie community in Victoria for its work in keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lessons leant through the leadership of Aboriginal community controlled organisations, is an important example of how communities can meet the needs of their own communities, when governance structures and resourcing are aligned.
The Victorian Government is rising to this challenge, announcing $19m in further funding through the CALD Communities Taskforce to support multicultural Victoria at this continuing delicate time. Noting that CALD Victorians are overrepresented in their feelings of vulnerability about the pandemic and underrepresented in their engagement with the public health response, a genuine collaborative effort needs to take place to address this.
I was pleased to meet with the Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University regarding their recently announced decision to cancel the teaching of three languages other than English from 2022: Greek, Hindi and Indonesian. The lack of a national multicultural strategy, is similarly reflected by the lack of a national languages policy, which is leaving Australian universities in the midst of a financial crisis having to make impossible commercial decisions about continuing to teach languages other than English. This is something that ECCV will be pursuing through FECCA in 2021.
The recent announcement in the Victorian State Budget of $1.4m for the development of an anti-racism strategy, is welcome news to the ECCV, which has been calling for the development of a sustainable plan to address racism in our society. We look forward to working with the Victorian government and other communities on this in the coming months. On International Day for Human Rights on the 10th December, we were pleased to announce two further partners in the ECCVs anti-racism campaign All One Together, Darebin City Council and Port Melbourne Soccer Club. We welcome both organisations and look forward to continuing to drive this work in 2021.
On behalf of our Board, staff and volunteers, we wish you a safe and healthy festive season and a more positive, less stressful 2021. I thank you for your continuing commitment to multicultural Victoria.
Important information and key resources
We understand that you may be feeling worried, anxious and overwhelmed about COVID-19 and the impacts it has on your daily life, family and community, especially when we are experiencing social distancing. These resources can help keep you informed, connected and safe:
Important Phone Numbers
- Coronavirus hotline: If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days – on 1800 675 398
If you are an NDIS participant you can also call the national hotline on 1800 020 080
If you need an interpreter, please call 131 450 first.
- Department of Social Services Support Line – If you’ve lost income because of COVID 19 measures, call the dedicated hotline to see what support you can access – 1300 653 227
- National Debt Helpline: If you are in financial difficulty, free support is available at the National Debt Helpline: 1800 007 007. You can speak to a financial counsellor to get advice.
- Business Victoria coronavirus hotline: Businesses seeking advice about whether they are affected can also call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15.
- Australian Human Rights Commission: For information regarding discrimination or any other human rights violation, please contact National Information Service on 1300 656 419 (restricted hours)
- If you are distressed, please seek support from Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline 13 11 14
- In-language information about racial discrimination and race hate complaints translated in to 63 languages
- Important information from VCOSS regarding COVID-19 and the community sector
- National Debt Helpline’s COVID 19 Financial Survival Guide and Resources
- Cancer Council ‘Cancer & COVID-19’ English factsheet here. Support and information resources are available in 12 languages. If you would like to speak to someone in your own language, please call 13 14 50 and ask for Cancer Council or the Coronavirus Health Information Line.
- Important information for renters, business and others from Consumer Affairs Victoria
- Important information for NDIS providers: Minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19
- Australia Council for the Arts COVID 19 Response package to support artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations coping with the impact of COVID-19.
- Easy English COVID 19 Information sheets and resources
- Australian federal government’s economic response to COVID 19
- Latest updates and information on COVID 19 from the Victorian government’s Department of Health and Human Services
- FAQS regarding the virus, its transmission and testing, and preventative measures.
- In-language information regarding COVID 19 from Victorian government’s Department of Health and Human Services
- Latest updates and information from the Australian government’s Department of Health
- You can get help and information on looking after our mental health and wellbeing from: Lifeline and Beyondblue
- Embrace Multicultural Mental Health also have information for CALD communities
- Contact numbers of support services for women experiencing family violence from InTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
- Warm Safe Home for Older Victorians who may be experiencing financial hardships can connect with a financial counsellor who may be able to help
- From VCOSS: financial and emergency relief support & specialist services available to migrants, refugees and international students
For more information, please write to us on email@example.com or call 9354 9555.
We are proud to recognise the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, as the first Australians, cultural leaders and traditional custodians of the land from which we advocate for ethnic community groups. We pay our respects to their elders, past & present.