News & Media

BBQ opens doors

  • Karen Community

By: Catherine McLeod

Category: Community Safety

  11.13 AM 11 February, 2013

Location: District 14 News

Views: 2846

A BBQ at Wyndham Community & Education Centre has opened doors into the Karen speaking community.

On Friday, Northern and Western Metropolitan Region had an opportunity to share a BBQ lunch with a Karen speaking men's group at the Wyndham CEC. Project Coordinator Multicultural Engagement, Catherine McLeod, said the BBQ provided a relaxed atmosphere in which to introduce the group to CFA. The men who are learning English and job seeking, had seen the bushfires on TV and driven past the local CFA station, but that was their only knowledge of CFA.

After the BBQ, the group discussed the Can I or Can't I? brochure and assessed whether their BBQ would have been compliant on the preceding day, when a Total Fire Ban was in place. The group had not been aware of what a Total Fire Ban was, or how to find out if one had been declared. According to Catherine 'the group asked some really good questions.  They were very interested to hear about free services which could provide important bushfire information such as VBIL, the CFA phone App, website and radio broadcasts’.

The group also had some really interesting questions about contacting Triple Zero (000), such as whether there was a cost, and whether the police would arrest you for having a fire on the stove. Catherine said ‘it really highlighted the importance of CFA developing relationships with multicultural communities. Many of us have grown up with CFA at local events, seen the brigade helping Santa round town and doing visits at our local schools. Many new arrival communities have not had that history, so we need to put those building blocks in place’.

According to Catherine the group was also very interested in finding out more about both career and volunteering opportunities once they heard about what these roles involved.

Settlement Services Coordinator Craig Spicer, who arranged the day, has indicated there are many opportunities for CFA to engage with new arrival groups at the Wyndham CEC. He would welcome CFA’s involvement with cooking, craft and English classes, as well as the community garden.

Anyone who would like more information is welcome to contact Catherine at the Melton office (03) 8746 1416.

Last Updated: 11 February 2013