ECCV Executive Officer Chris Christoforou was pleased to travel to Shepparton and Wodonga in late May to meet with staff and Board members of regional Ethnic Communities’ Councils.

    This included being hosted by the Ethnic Council of Shepparton & District, where a range of challenges faced by different multicultural communities in the Goulburn Valley was discussed over a staff and Board lunch. Some of the issues raised were housing and employment, refugee settlement, mental health, ageing immigrant communities, youth issues, and intercultural engagement.

    Ethnic Council of Shepparton & District Executive Officer Chris Hazelman also arranged a community consultation with local service providers and members of the community for ECCV’s policy research project on issues faced by CALD seniors in the regions. A group interview was facilitated by ECCV Senior Policy Officer, Nikolaus Rittinghausen.

    Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities’ Council (AWECC) Community Advocacy Officer Brett Sanderson arranged for Chris to meet with staff and Board members of AWECC, including at the Bhutanese Community Farm on the banks of the Murray River and at a beautiful lunch in Wodonga which included a number of organisations from the Albury-Wodonga region representing the local South Asian, German, South Sudanese, and Koorie communities.

    “The hospitality shown by the community in Shepparton and Wodonga was humbling,” said Chris. “I’d like to thank Chris Hazelman and Brett Sanderson for their efforts in making the travel and engagement meaningful and inspiring.”

    “ECCV looks forward to future opportunities to work with regional colleagues in strengthening outcomes for culturally diverse communities across Victoria.”