Strengthening Social Cohesion In Greater Bendigo

Premier Daniel Andrews and Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) Chair Helen Kapalos today joined local members Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards to announce new social cohesion initiatives for the Bendigo community.

Delivered by the VMC in partnership with Believe in Bendigo, Bendigo Community Health and City of Greater Bendigo Council, the initiatives will further strengthen community relationships across Bendigo.

The VMC will undertake the following initiatives:

  • A research project to better understand local community attitudes and inform positive multicultural engagement programs
  • Education programs to support intercultural understanding in Bendigo

The Andrews Labor Government will also provide $60,000 towards the Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Service for the 2016 Bendigo Festival of Cultures.

These programs will help to further strengthen Bendigo’s proud multicultural fabric by breaking down disruptive barriers and challenging common stereotypes about ethnic communities.

They will provide an opportunity to bring together members of the community to educate and engage with disengaged individuals.

The VMC plays a key role in this process by promoting participation, understanding, cohesion and harmony across Victoria. It acts as a conduit of information and communication between Government, culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse communities and the broader community.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Bendigo should not be defined by outsiders spreading hate but for the welcoming, vibrant and diverse city that it is.”

“Diversity is Victoria’s greatest strength and alongside the Victorian Multicultural Commission, we will give Bendigo the support it needs to continue to grow and prosper.”

Quotes attributable to Victorian Multicultural Commission Chair, Helen Kapalos

“All Victorians have a right to belong and to participate equally in our diverse state. The VMC is passionate about finding ways to strengthen community understanding and acceptance of all cultures and faiths.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan

“I am proud to have lived in Bendigo all my life. The Bendigo that I know and love embraces diversity and multiculturalism, and these new initiatives will help support that.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards

“Given recent events it is vital that we support cross-cultural and interfaith exchanges – these programs will do just that.”

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