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Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2016 - 2019 Report Card

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Page 1: Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2016 ...

Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2016 - 2019

Report Card

Page 2: Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2016 ...

The City of Greater Bendigo is pleased to report on the success of the Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2016-2019 as we commence a process to develop a new plan for the next four years.

Greater Bendigo is a welcoming community and the City has a strong commitment to furthering cultural diversity and inclusion into the future. The following is a summary of the many initiatives and activities that have taken place since the first plan was developed in 2016.

Achieving Advanced Welcoming City StatusIn 2020 the City of Greater Bendigo became the first local government in Australia to be accredited as a Welcoming City by the Welcoming Cities Network.

Welcoming Cities is a national network of cities, shires, towns and municipalities, who are committed to an Australia where everyone can belong and participate. Greater Bendigo is one of 52 members of the Welcoming Cities Network with the Network representing over 30 per cent of Australia’s population.

The accreditation recognises Greater Bendigo’s commitment to cultural diversity, Aboriginal reconciliation and social cohesion. It also highlights the contribution of our community agency partners and settlement services who have, and continue to, assist the City to deliver actions in the Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2016-2019.

2019 Victorian Multicultural Excellence AwardThe City of Greater Bendigo won the 2019 Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in the category of Government and Civic Leadership. This award, recognises government bodies for major initiatives that meet the needs of their culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse communities.

Welcoming City award



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Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan (CDIP)• 22 organisational partners

• 56 steering committee and working group members

Staffing• Inclusive Communities Officer, CDIP (ongoing)

• Karen Connections Officer (contract)

• Community Harmony Project Officer (contract)

• Intercultural Ambassadors Project Officer (contract)

• Inclusive Communities Officer, Human Rights (contract)

City of Greater Bendigo Staff Training• 28 diversity and inclusion training sessions

attended by 572 staff

• 6 training sessions on how to use phone interpreting services

• 6 Understanding Islam and 1 Understanding Karen Culture training sessions with 79 participants

Intercultural Ambassadors Program• 10 Intercultural Ambassadors recruited

• 17 Intercultural Ambassador monthly meetings

• 77 engagements with various City programs and initiatives

• 48,000 plus reach of the Intercultural Ambassadors’ song and video ‘You and I’

• 6 Intercultural Ambassadors included in City videos for Tourism, parks and library promotions

• 7 Intercultural Ambassadors participated in various City meetings and committees

• 3 citizenship ceremonies attended by Intercultural Ambassadors (January, September and November 2019)

• 9 interviews published with Intercultural Ambassadors on the ‘Help your Neighbour’ Facebook page reaching over 70,000 in the local community

• 3 Intercultural Ambassadors included in the ‘Voices of Optimism’ video/interviews for the Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival (2020BIIF) (August 31 to Friday September 4, 2020)

• 7 training and capacity building opportunities attended by the Intercultural Ambassadors


City of Greater Bendigo Intercultural Ambassadors


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Community Outreach• Production of Greater Bendigo 2019

Welcome Resource, supporting our new community members to feel welcome in Greater Bendigo

• Production of Building Culturally Inclusive Sporting Clubs and Programs in Greater Bendigo booklet, showcasing the success stories of multicultural sports and recreational activities in Greater Bendigo

• We Are Karen video produced to increase understanding and acceptance of the Karen community in Greater Bendigo

• 100 members of culturally and linquistically diverse communities participated in information sessions learning about City’s roles and services

• 12 City documents translated into Karen language

• 16 ethnic associations and groups supported to incorporate and develop governance structures by Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services (LCMS)

• 3 videos produced by the City and ABC Education Unit to tell the Karen community’s story. The videos are on ABC’s Education website and used as curriculum resources by schools throughout Australia

Bendigo Karen Youth Network Cane Ball Tournament

We Are Karen video


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Community Organisations and Members Training Initiatives• A series of 7 videos called Step Up produced

for local businesses to demonstrate the ease and benefits of employing culturally diverse jobseekers

• The Cultural diversity and volunteering in Greater Bendigo - Toolkit for volunteer organisations booklet was developed for volunteer organisations in Greater Bendigo to help them support volunteers from culturally diverse backgrounds so they feel supported, welcome and included

• Initiation and sponsorship of Excellence in Workplace Diversity Award and Inclusion by Be.Bendigo

• 100 business community members participated in Culturally Inclusive Workplace workshops.

• 80 participants attended the How Well Does Your Community Organisation Mirror the Community Forum

• 8 Cultural Competence training sessions for community organisations with 380 participants (LCMS)

• 13 multicultural community organisations participated in 27 capacity building workshops (LCMS)

• 35 culturally diverse community members supported to lodge online tax returns, and 2 trained to provide further support to the community (LCMS)

• 24 culturally diverse young people participated in a Multicultural Youth Film Project with 12 mini-documentary videos produced (LCMS)

Friday Food Safari pre-employment and enterprise (LCMS)• 30 women graduated from a pre-accredited

training course

• 4 food stalls catered and operated at Zinda Festival

• 13 women secured employment in the hospitality sector

• 4 community groups providing community catering


Friday Food Safari


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City of Greater Bendigo Community Harmony Project• Premier Daniel Andrews, along with 150 Greater

Bendigo residents, attended the launch event of turning of the first sod for the Bendigo Islamic Community Centre (BICC) in 2019

• 150 participants attended the 2019 Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) Hope for Harmony forum to promote social cohesion while responding to racism at the local level, hosted by City of Greater Bendigo at the Capital Theatre

• 13 Understanding Islam workshops held for community organisations and attended by 230 participants with 200 Fact Sheets about Islam distributed

Social Inclusion through Sporting Activities• Cane Ball Tournament: 12 teams in 2018, 16

teams in 2019

• Mini-Roos project: 16 canteen volunteers, 29 junior soccer players subsidised

• Multicultural Social Soccer program: 32 pop-up social soccer sessions attended by 20 participants and 16 Junior Soccer Clinics with 20 participants

• Bike Skills workshops: 9 young Afghan girls attended 4 workshops to learn bike safety and maintenance and gain confidence in their bike-riding skills

• Swimming programs: 322 free adult swim lessons offered to culturally diverse residents. 39 women attended 14 women-only swimming sessions

Turning of the sod with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at the Bendigo Islamic Community Centre site


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Mayor Margaret O’Rourke welcomes

Mayoral Welcome

Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS)• 50 participants attended hepatitis infection

information sessions

• 36 culturally diverse women participated in 7 sexual and reproductive health sessions in collaboration with Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and BCHS Sexual Health Hub

• 2 Youth Leadership Training Programs delivered in collaboration with Centre for Multicultural Youth

• 309 culturally diverse residents attended 10 Alcohol and other Drugs sessions and 10 mental health information sessions

• 10 Healthy Eating and Cooking sessions delivered

• 109 culturally diverse youth attended 3 health-focused youth camps

• 708 participants benefited from Bushfire Safety Pilot Project

• 241 CALD residents attended Road Safety training sessions

• 3 Nowruz Celebrations – supporting the Afghan community with planning and implementation

Other social inclusion initiatives• 6 Mayoral Welcomes provided to around 80 new

arrivals through the Humanitarian Settlement Program in 2019

• Annual Interfaith Dinners with 240 participants

• Interfaith Forum - 300 students per year

• Tranquillity Zone created at Bendigo Library - 12 sessions with 144 participants

• Spirituality by the Lake with 30 participants

• Bus trips by Bendigo Interfaith Council to diverse places of worship - 5 trips with 116 participants

• 3 Believe in Bendigo family picnics and numerous Interested Interesting Ladies Community Dinners

• 27 Feast of Stories Dinners, 2 Luncheons with an average of 144 attendees (LCMS)

• 300 students from 6 Bendigo Schools attended Anti-racism Bystander Training (LCMS)

• 55 students aged 16-19 from Bendigo Senior Secondary College attended Youth Leadership Training Day, learning about ‘Building Empathy and Connection’ and ‘Unconscious Bias’


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City of Greater Bendigo Inclusive Multicultural Libraries Project with Goldfields Libraries• 120 culturally diverse residents participated in

4 workshops to narrate and illustrate 2 children’s story books from Karen and Afghan cultures

• 100 copies of 2 Karen and Afghan children’s story books published and distributed to 9 libraries and 20 schools

• 125 participants attended the 1.6 Billion Ways to be a Muslim photographic exhibition at Bendigo Library

• 75% of permanent library staff attended 1 or more of 8 sessions to build competence, sensitivity and skills for working with cultural, faith and linguistic communities

• 60 people participated in Celebrating Stories with Catherine McCauley College. This involved newly arrived migrant students’ story-telling, community mentoring and an exhibition

• 10 Community Champions engaged and 1 employed to support Goldfields Libraries in rendering culturally safe services

• 250 people participated in the annual Bendigo Chinese New Year Dragon Dance, plus the Little World Story Time sharing bilingual stories

ZINDA Festival – Bendigo’s Annual Multicultural Festival• 4,000 audience for Zinda Night in the Park event

• Average of 100 performers, 40 volunteers, 16 activities

• 12 multicultural food vendors: community food stalls from South Sudanese, Hazara, Karen and Malayalam communities.

• 305 participants in the Zinda night Canvas Bunting project

• 66 people participated in the Zinda Paste-ups in the City project with LCMS and Bendigo Senior Secondary College

Children’s book project participants


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Creative Victoria and Multicultural Arts Victoria Initiatives• 25 families from Bangladeshi, Indonesian,

South Sudanese and Karen communities visited Bendigo Art Gallery for increased access and participation of families from CALD communities

• 25 CALD artists attended the Mooncake workshop with Phuong Ngo at Bendigo Art Gallery

• 108 attendees at the Multicultural Community Dinner, a networking event of Bendigo Art Gallery for Refugee Week

• Enlighten Festival: 4 nights, 40 volunteers, 68 culturally diverse participants with an audience of 2,000 people

Other cultural festivals• 4 Annual Karen Wrist Tying ceremonies with an

average of 400 participants

• 4 Karen New Year celebrations with an average of 400 attendees

• 3 Nowruz Festival (Afghan New Year celebrations) with an average of 350 participants

Karen New Year celebration

Nowruz Festival


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The initiatives undertaken could not have been achieved without the support of many local community groups, individuals, organisations and agencies. The City of Greater Bendigo acknowledges the support and contribution of the following organisations:

• ABC Education• Adult Migrant English Program• Ames Australia• Axe Creek Cricket Club• Be.Bendigo• Believe in Bendigo• Bendigo Amateur Soccer League• Bendigo Art Gallery• Bendigo Chinese Association• Bendigo Community Health Services• Bendigo Futsal - Australian Futsal

Association• Bendigo Health• Bendigo Interfaith Council• Bendigo International Students Club• Bendigo Islamic Community Centre• Bendigo Karen Youth Network• Bendigo Regional HR Network• Bendigo Senior Secondary College• Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre• Bike Bendigo Inc• Breastscreen Victoria• Creative Victoria• CVGT Australia• Enlighten Festival• Friday Food Safari• Goldfields Libraries• Haven; Home, Safe• Karen Organisation of Bendigo• La Trobe University• Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services• Mini Roos• Multicultural Arts Victoria• Multicultural Community Lunch• Old Church on the Hill• Paul Sadler Swimland• Rotary Bendigo• Rural Australians for Refugees• Sports Focus• Swimsafe Bendigo• Victoria Police• Welcoming Cities• Women’s Health Loddon Mallee• ZINDA Festival

Bushfire Safety Pilot Project

Feast of Stories