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Multicultural conference in QLD
Three CFA volunteers from District 8, 14 and 13 attended the biannual Federation of Ethnic Communities' Council of Australia (FECCA) conference in the Gold Coast on 7 and 8 November 2013.
The conference was for Australia-wide agencies involved in multicultural engagement at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. The theme for this year’s conference was Breaking down the barriers: A strength-based approach for a just society. The biennial conference drew together leading decision makers, thinkers and practitioners to discuss and debate key issues that relate to Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity. These were explored through a series of plenary addresses, panel discussions and presentations.
Robyn Stebbing from D13, Terence Sanford from D8 and Sirima Wadasinghe from D14, acommpanied by Josh Davis of the Volunteer Support Program, attended relevant sessions, discussed ideas and strategies relevant to the CFA and used the opportunity to network with Australia's leading thinkers and agencies in multicultural engagement.
The Engaging Diverse Communities project within the Volunteer Support Program (VSP) is working closely with several volunteer and integrated brigades in developing and strengthening multicultural engagement practices. These multicultural engagement strategies are already bearing fruit and being adopted into brigades around the state. For instance Noble Park brigade are working closely with the VSP to work alongside the local primary and secondary English Language School. In District 14 Craigieburn Brigade are working with the VSP and the local migrant resource centre to host an Iraqi community event raising the profile of the CFA in this community.
The conference was aimed at providing positive professional development opportunities for volunteers and strengthening their commitment to the work of multicultural engagement for the CFA over the longer term.