ECCV is working with the Victorian Multicultural Commission and regional Ethnic Councils and peak bodies to ensure the emergency response in regional areas effectively engages with local migrant and refugee communities.

    The collaboration follows the recent COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown in Shepparton, where Shepparton ECC was brought in to work with the Incident Management Team and Local Public Health Unit to support local communities, which provided greater access to those in need and the necessary support services to enable them to understand and adhere to public health directions.

    Ethnic Councils and key multicultural organisations in Geelong, Ballarat and Gippsland have since been working with VMC and the State Government during the recent outbreaks in their region.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of engaging the community quickly and effectively, and tailoring communications and engagement strategies to the specific needs, including through trusted community leaders, influencers and community and faith-based organisations and service providers.

    This initiative builds on ECCV’s Multicultural Emergency Management Project, which is being delivered in partnership with VCOSS and the Department of Health. The Project supports emergency preparedness and resilience among migrant and refugee communities, with a focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic.

    This project is supporting and strengthening the work of migrant and refugee community leaders, via the delivery of Masterclass training and building meaningful community partnerships with Emergency Services.

    Embedding the engagement of the multicultural sector within the regional local emergency management response and strengthening and supporting the vital work of community leaders will deliver better outcomes for all and mitigate the risks considerably; not only in a pandemic context but also in any emergency management response such as floods, bushfires and any other natural disaster.

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