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Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland NEWSLETTER


The Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland Limited is funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

EVOCA, a publication of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ), is published quarterly.

EDITOR Carrie Barnett


ECCQ BOARD OF DIRECTORS 1 COMPANY SECRETARY Hon Gary Hardgrave DIRECTORS Dr. Mustafa Ally OAM Surendra Prasad OAM Gail Ker OAM Yasmin Khan Anthony Lin Alton Budd




MULTICULTURAL SENIORS HEALTH EXPO - GOLD COAST My Kitchen Rules Team, Paul and Blair, will open this exciting event on 18 June


DIVERSICARE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS as an indistry leader in aged care service provision


WEST END CONNECT Diversicare opened its first respite and activities centre in West End

6 ECCQ is Queensland’s peak body for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and cultural diversity. ECCQ membership comprises new and emerging and established ethnic associations, CALD individuals and community sector organisations. Members are supported through policy work and community support.

PLAY SAFE PROJECT ECCQ continues to raise awareness of sexual health through sport


AGED CARE REFORM What you need to know


ECCQ & MDA HEALTH CASE STUDIES on hospital to home transitions for culturally diverse

9 Diversicare provides quality community based and coordinated in home care for the frail aged and carers as well as education and training, resources and projects to support aged care service providers and cultural communities. Diversicare is a wholly-owned division of ECCQ.

EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT PATHWAYS ECCQ’s CALD Learning Project supports in undertake vocational training


CENTRAL QUEENSLAND STAFF EMBRACE CULTURAL AWARENESS after Partners in Cultural Competence training in Rockhampton

12 Berlasco Court Caring Centre is a residential care facility committed to high standards of care, with a particular focus on those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Berlasco Court is a whollyowned division of ECCQ. ECCQ P.O. Box 5916 West End, Queensland 4101

New mobile website refers users to local health services


Diversicare celebrated 25 years as an Aged Care industry leader on 9 April at the Parliamentary Annexe, hosted by the Hon Glen Elmes, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander & Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier. © ECCQ





PROFILES OF ASPIRING COMMUNITY LEADERS Alhajie Kanu and Ali Ghafoor are both participants of ECCQ’s Community Leadership Program


Welcome to the Autumn edition of EVOCA. There have been some changes at ECCQ House as a result of the recent restructure that will have ECCQ and its wholly owned divisions, Diversicare and Berlasco Court, working closer together. ECCQ’s Chronic Disease Program and the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and Sexual Health Program, both funded by Queensland Health, will now be managed out of Diversicare in order to pool resources and offer more effective and comprehensive health services to Queensland’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) communities. ECCQ House continues to offer community engagement activities and programs. The Community Leadership Program, funded by the Department of Social Services under the Settlement Grants Program, offers training to emerging community leaders on how to be effective leaders and how to develop informal and formal community associations. In this issue we feature two of the emerging leaders who are participating in the program. The CALD Community Learning Program, funded by the Department of Education, Training and Employment, has proven to be popular and in demand. It offers employment pathways for CALD Queenslanders in Brisbane, Moreton Bay and Rockhampton by providing culturally appropriate individualised support to undertake and successfully complete vocational training. The courses are run by Central Queensland TAFE and are free to eligible participants. Our ECCQ Executive Manager, Ian Muil, retired after 10 years of service and we wish him well. Our CEO, Nick Xynias, went on leave for 8 weeks and in his absence we appointed the Hon Gary Hardgrave, ECCQ Company Secretary, as Acting CEO until the end of May. Nick is now back in the office and has resumed the position of CEO of ECCQ and its divisions. In April Diversicare celebrated 25 years as an industry leader in aged service provision for culturally diverse communities. This demonstrates that this kind of service is needed and will continue to be needed as the Australian population ages. Diversicare provides community based and coordinated in home care to communities in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Mt Gravatt, Townsville and Cairns. We are very proud of the services we offer to our members and clients.

“When older people are uprooted from their homeland, there is an added dimension in the ageing process, that of culturally appropriate care.”

The bi-monthly Members’ and Communities’ Meetings always include interesting speakers on topics relevant to our members and CALD communities. Our April meeting covered Aged Care Reform. Paul Johnson, Director of Program Development at BallyCara, joined Vivienne McDonald, General Manager at Diversicare and Athena Ermides, General Manager of Berlasco Court in a panel discussion on what the reforms mean for communities and challenges ahead. In many cultures the care of the elderly is usually left to the family. In fact, the practice of many cultures is the parents stay in the ancestral home and one child and his/her family live with and care for the elderly parents. When older people are uprooted from their homeland, there is an added dimension in the ageing process, that of culturally appropriate care. Older people from CALD background often revert to their mother tongue in old age and can forget the English they learned in their younger days. As many ageing members of the CALD community face this, ECCQ has been very aware of this situation. Another issue of the ageing community is social isolation as most of the family members work and no one is left at home to care for them. Diversicare employs workers who are bilingual to assist older people in their homes. Clients are matched with the workers who help them with household chores, shopping and visits to doctors and other work which they can no longer do physically. In cases where a person needs high care, Berlasco Court, a 60-bed nursing home caters for people from CALD background. The Aged Care facility, located in Indooroopilly, has been providing culturally appropriate and inclusive care since 1988.

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MY KITCHEN RULES TEAM OPENING MULTICULTURAL SENIORS EXPO WELLNESS IN THE GOLDEN YEARS From left: Pat Xynias, wife of Nick Xynias, ECCQ Hon President and CEO, Gail Kerr, CEO of Access Community Services and ECCQ Director, Kathryn Giovanos, Principal of KRecruitment Solutions, Agnes Whiten, ECCQ Chair and Serge Voloschenko, ECCQ Deputy Director at Diversicare’s 25th Years of Service celebration.

Berlasco Court will have an exciting year ahead as the ECCQ Board reviews plans to expand the facility. We hope to bring you more news on that in the Winter edition. We commemorated another ANZAC Day. We commemorate all who served in Australian Armed forces. In this issue we feature a story from Wayne Tilly, who tells the story of his father, a WWI vet from New Zealand. Wayne is an ECCQ member and President of the Russian Community Centre. ECCQ made a submission to the Hon Senator George Brandis, Attorney General, on proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. In the submission, ECCQ urged the Federal Government to consider the likely impact of the proposed changes to vulnerable groups and to the future harmony of Australia’s diverse society. ECCQ sent out a survey to our members and those who responded felt that the changes meant a loss of protection and potentially an increase in racist behavior. The submission is available on the ECCQ website at, under publications. This is an exciting time of year as Brisbane is hosting many cultural festivals. I am coordinating the Brisbane Barrio Fiesta (Village Festival) being held on Sunday, 8 June 2014 at the Rocklea Showgrounds to commemorate the Philippine Independence. The annual festival, organised by the Federation of Filipino Communities in Queensland, celebrates and shares the vibrant and joyful Filipino culture. Tickets are available at the gate for $5 per person while children below 10 years old are free. For more details, please visit I commend this issue of EVOCA to you and urge you to provide us with feedback on the work we do at ECCQ House, Diversicare and Berlasco Court. We also hope to see many of you at our future Members’ and Communities’ Meetings.

My Kitchen Rules team, Paul and Blair, will be opening the Gold Coast Multicultural Seniors Expo – Wellness in the Golden Years being held on Wednesday, 18 June from 10am to 3pm at the Gold Coast Convention Centre with a cooking demonstration and a book signing. Hosted by the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Program of Diversicare, a wholly owned division of ECCQ, this exciting event will feature cooking demonstrations, healthy cuisine from all over the world, expert speakers in the health and vitality field, a beautiful array of vendor displays, vibrant performances, light exercise activities and free health screenings. Nicky Wood, Multicultural Expo Organiser and Workshop Facilitator at Wise Healthy Living said she is thrilled that Paul and Blair have joined an already packed program. “They will bring fantastic energy to the event, which is showcasing the best wellness providers in Logan and the Gold Coast,” she said. “This is a hands-on, fun and informative event for Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. “With the pension age rising to 70 for Australians born after 1965 and chronic diseases leading the cause of death and disability in Australia, it’s now more important than ever for seniors to stay healthy and independent for as long as possible. “The Expo provides the opportunity to receive valuable free advice from expert speakers on topics such as chiropractic care, back care, managing chronic disease, acupuncture and nutrition. “Guests can also learn from yoga and tai chi instructors, receive free health screenings related to blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol and get their hearing, vision and balance checked,” she said. “You can also speak with healthy ageing specialists and learn about fashion during the lunch fashion parade. There’s something for everyone.” All seniors from multicultural background are encouraged to attend. RSVP to Marilyn Topp by 30 May on 07 3343 7499.


DIVERSICARE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER By Carrie Barnett, Media & Communications Officer

Diversicare celebrated 25 years as an aged care industry leader on 9 April at the Parliamentary Annexe, hosted by the Hon. Glen Elmes, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander & Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier. The Hon. Glen Elmes congratulated and thanked Diversicare for its 25 years of service to Queensland’s CALD communities, providing culturally appropriate community based and in home care to frail aged people and carers, from its humble beginnings with one paid employee to the statewide organisation it is today. “I would like to congratulate Diversicare and ECCQ. The more I have to do with the organisation and its divisions, and the more I talk to the people who belong to it and care for it, the greater respect I have for it.” Diversicare General Manager Vivienne McDonald thanked the 250 Diversicare staff members working with communities in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Mt Gravatt, Townsville and Cairns for their hard work and commitment. “My journey with Diversicare began in May 2011 and I was, and I still am, amazed at the genuine passion and commitment of all the staff at Diversicare, to their clients and to their communities,” she said.

“I still am amazed at the genuine passion and commitment of all the staff at Diversicare, to their clients and to their communities.” In 1989 ECCQ secured funding from the Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health for a community options pilot program to assist frail aged people from CALD background to stay in their homes. With one coordinator and five case managers, the program initially provided services to communities from the Baltic states, Poland, the Netherlands, Croatia, and Vietnam. “I must emphasize that without the initial support from the first ethnic communities that we were funded for, Diversicare would not be able to grow and care for our clients in the community, so I thank those communities for their continued support during the last 25 years,” said Ms McDonald. Throughout the 1990s ECCQ was successful in obtaining funding for more Aged Care community programs and services, including the Multicultural Advisory Service, Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC), Community Partners Program and Community Visitors Scheme.

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In 2000, the Division was renamed Diversicare and today it has offices from the Gold Coast to Cairns with funding that includes 227 community aged care packages and over 1,200 home and community care clients.

“Our current clients are from over 65 different ethnic backgrounds, representing over 49 different languages,” said Ms McDonald. “That’s an achievement in itself. “There are many challenges ahead for Diversicare as there are for many community care service providers; however, without challenges we would not change, grow or adapt to allow us to remain leaders in aged service provision for culturally diverse communities.” ECCQ Chair Agnes Whiten OAM said she is very proud of the strong community Diversicare has created over the last 25 years. “This milestone is due to the hard work of the staff, led by Vivienne McDonald, and the great vision of former Director, Margaret Hess, and Nick Xynias, ECCQ Hon President and CEO,” she said. “It’s a tribute to Nick’s hard work, passion and commitment, but most of all it’s a testament to the support of our members because without them, community based organisations, like ECCQ, would not exist.” The event was partly sponsored by Access Community Services, which provided outstanding performances from glittering Bollywood dances to traditional Polish and Chinese dances.

For more information on Diversicare visit:


WEST END CONNECT: A HEALTHY MIND IS A HEALTHY BODY Diversicare opened its first respite and activities centre in West End earlier this year to bring communities together for social support, healthy lifestyle assistance and fun events. By Carrie Barnett, Media & Communications Officer

Diversicare’s West End Connect (WE CONNECT) offers uplifting physical activities and social events for Home and Community Care (HACC) eligible clients from CALD communities. At the beginning of 2014, Diversicare opened the newly renovated centre, located at 53 Thomas Street, to expand its current respite program by providing activities four days a week for about 13 different CALD community groups. Some of the activities include Tai-Chi, line dancing, bingo, dominos, music and in-house movies and enjoying relaxing morning teas and delicious lunches supplied by a local café. Krys Iwicki, Diversicare Activities Coordinator said the feedback from clients attending the centre activities has been very positive and that he is keen to keep up with demand.

Krys Iwicki, Diversicare Activities Coordinator, in front of the newly renovated respite centre, WE CONNECT.

“Since the centre opened I have been conducting surveys with clients who attend activities in our current respite program to find out what their interests are and to get a sense of what activities they would like to do,” he said. Before WE CONNECT opened, Diversicare’s respite program involved outings and picnics. The new physical space allows the program to be innovative and creative in the way it delivers activities and tools to connect. “There are so many possibilities for using this space,” said Krys. “We have state of art computers, so there is the possibility of offering computer classes, providing clients with access to skype and even free programming from other countries and other innovative ways for them to connect to their home country.” What sets WE CONNECT apart from other respite centres is that activities bring together people from the same cultural and language background.

Multi-group dance class at WE CONNECT.

“When they can converse with people in their first language, they are happier,” said Krys. “They are interacting and it keeps them mentally active. “Often times when people age they revert back to their first language, so it helps to be connected to people in their own community who speak the same language.”

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“WE CONNECT is about enriching the clients’ lives and giving them an opportunity to be involved in activities that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.”

PLAY SAFE PROJECT By Mekita Vanderheyde, Multicultural Resources, Training and Community Development Officer

ECCQ’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis & Sexual Health team developed the Play Safe Project in late 2012 which uses soccer to promote safe sex and HIV rapid testing to African men. Former staff member, Mavice Hove, developed the idea after she had seen the success of similar projects in her home country, Zimbabwe, and in other African countries she’s worked in. The idea was to run brief education sessions with young men in African soccer teams about sexual health to increase their awareness and knowledge of STIs, HIV, testing and relevant services and safe sex practices, i.e., using and buying condoms. To date, our program’s African bilingual health workers have worked with 10 teams and over 230 young people in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Logan and Ipswich and have plans for follow-up as well as sessions with new teams. Feedback from evaluations so far have been very promising, with between 50-80% of participants planning to get tested for HIV and/or STIs after the sessions.

Multi-group dance class at WE CONNECT.

There are planned activities for specific communities, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Laos, Croatian, Dutch, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish and German, and activities for multi-groups. These activities are conducted in English and bring together a diverse group to socialise. Astrid I’Dell, Diversicare Area Manager for South East Queensland said the WE CONNECT is about enriching the clients’ lives and giving them an opportunity to be involved in activities that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. “The worst thing for their health is to sit at home alone,” she said. “They can become lonely, depressed, lose their appetite and lose the joy of living. A healthy mind is a healthy body.” Kyrs says that in late May WE CONNECT will begin to include activities for people who are 65 and younger who are HACC eligible and live in the community and has exciting plans for the future that includes developing the garden space for a possible Men’s Shed.

Before one session, 95% of participants said that they would not share a meal with a HIV+ person. After the session, that number decreased to 15%. In another session, 78% of participants believed that all migrants and refugees are tested for STIs upon entering Australia. These false beliefs contribute to unsafe sexual behaviour and educating the young men about STI rates in Australia and the need to keep themselves and others ‘safe’ is invaluable in improving their health literacy and behaviours. What makes the Play Safe project effective and relevant is that it is delivered by their community peers in their own languages in an informal group setting with the cooperation of their coaches. Soccer players are not there to “attend an education session” but to attend soccer training as normal; the brief information session on sexual health is more of an informal pre-training talk which invites questions and interaction, rather than a formal lecture in a classroom. For more info or to request an info session for your sporting team, contact Deepa Gajjar on 3844 9166.

For more information about WE CONNECT contact Krys Iwicki on 04 0701 3541 or by emailing activitiescoordinator@diversicare.


AGED CARE REFORM WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW By Carrie Barnett, Media & Communications Officer

Changes to the way Aged Care is provided to Australians will take effect by 1 July 2014, creating a system that is less reliant on government funding by increasing financial contribution from aged care consumers. The Aged Care reforms are part of the Australian Government’s Living Longer Living Better package, which allocates $3.7 billion over a 5-year period to reforming the aged care services sector. This will be compensated by changes to means testing to assess a service user’s ability to financially contribute to the cost of their care.

“From 1 July income tested fees will apply to recipients of home care services and those living in aged care homes, with the exception of those on a full age pension.”

This also means increased potential for consumers and their families to have more choice about the care that they receive and a greater emphasis on support to help people remain in their homes for longer. Paul Johnson, Director of Program Development, BallyCara, spoke on the changes to the way aged care services will be delivered and then joined a panel with Athena Ermides, General Manager of Berlasco Court Caring Centre and Vivienne McDonald, General Manager of Diversicare to discuss progress made and challenges ahead at an ECCQ Members’ and Communities’ meeting held on 30 April.

Paul Johnson, Athena Ermides and Vivienne McDonald during the panel discussion on Aged Care Reform at a recent ECCQ meeting held at Diversicare.

The reforms also include initiatives to help people access in home support services, strengthening the aged care workforce, improving care for elderly with diverse needs and more assistance and education for carers.

She said choosing a residential home should be thought of as purchasing or renting accommodation, as this is quite separate from care, and both accommodation and healthcare costs need to be taken into consideration when entering a facility where you will be living for some time.

Paul said the main takeaway message is the change from a provider and government focus to a consumer and carers focus. The main driver for this shift is the new consumer directed care (CDC) approach to home care packages, which provides greater flexibility, more options and puts consumers in control of their care.

Athena also said that existing payment arrangements will continue for those who are already in residential aged care before 30 June 2014 and that any resident admitted after 1 July 2014 will be required to pay different (and possibly much higher) amounts.

From 1 July income tested fees will apply to recipients of home care services and those living in aged care homes, with the exception of those on a full age pension. Other changes include the concept of helping service users to gain greater independence and the introduction of a Quality Improvement System for Home Care Providers. Athena said that Government-subsided aged care homes now allow for accommodation bonds for low and high level care, allowing consumers to draw on the wealth of their assets.

From 1 July this year, residents will have up to 28 days after entering residential care to decide if the place is right for them. Residents will have a number of choices about how they pay their bonds. The panel emphasised that it will be important to try to plan ahead and to consult a financial advisor who has experience in and knowledge of the Aged Care System, prior to making financial decisions on how to pay for your care.

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ECCQ & MDA CASE STUDIES ON HOSPITAL TO HOME TRANSITIONS FOR CALD PATIENTS In partnership with the Multicultural Development Association (MDA), and funded by Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local (MNBML), the ECCQ Chronic Disease team is gathering in depth information on the transition process of patients from hospital to home and linkage to primary care services in the community.

Participants at ECCQ’s recent meeting on Aged Care Reform.

Paul said the new MyAgedCare website will now serve as a gateway into the aged care system and will centralise consumer details. The MyAgedCare contact centre and regional assessment services (when established) will match up consumer details and needs to appropriate service pathways and accommodation options. Vivienne said home and community care service providers and aged care homes will have to ensure they create detailed profiles on the website to make client matchups easier. The MyAgedCare website provides some translated resources and access to telephone interpreters. Consumers who speak English as a second language can receive help from providers including the Translating and Interpreting Service. The Aged Care System in Australia is very complex and the changes will take some time to filter through all the layers of services. It will be important for service users and their families to keep in touch with the most up to date information and advice, which they can find on the MyAgedCare website.

Check out the MyAgedCare website at For more information about Aged Care Reform and Services, visit the Department of Social Services at and click on Aging and Aged Care.

As the lead agency, ECCQ is coordinating and evaluating the project. ECCQ is conducting interviews with Pacific Islander people and other well established CALD communities accessing the Hospital and Health Services in North Brisbane and MDA is conducting interviews with newly arrived migrants and refugees. These case studies aim to improve understanding of the health needs of CALD populations and are part of the Collaborative CALD Community Engagement Project, funded and support by MNBML, which began in June 2013. The project provided information and recommendations to MNBML to ensure that the specific needs of CALD communities and refugees are considered in the future planning for provision of healthcare. The case studies will examine some common themes, experiences, difficulties, and barriers to good health outcomes of CALD communities. The intent for this project is to recommend practical solutions to provide better support for the hospital-to-home transition and ensure culturally appropriate practice is provided to CALD patients. The project will wrap up by the end of May 2014 with a report submitted to MNBML. For more information contact Anna Voloschenko, Senior Project Officer - Chronic Disease Program on 07 3255 1540 or at To view the Collaborative CALD Community Engagement Project report visit and click on ‘reports’.


EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT PATHWAYS THE KEY TO SUCCESS By Carrie Barnett, Media & Communication Officer

Cultural and linguistically diverse background communities are keen to invest in their education but need support to take advantage of all that Australia has to offer. Many migrants are committed to hard work, but can find negotiating the maze of further education systems complex and daunting. There are a number of supports that can really make a difference to the success rate of CALD background students within the education system, at all levels. National figures show almost 40% of all vocational training students drop out. The figure for CALD students is likely to be higher, prompting ECCQ’s interest in looking into appropriate ‘mentoring’ models to ensure individual student needs are met. In March, ECCQ commenced its CALD Community Learning Program, funded by from the Department of Education, Training & Employment to support and mentor CALD background students to undertake and successfully complete vocational training.

Dr Cheryl Livock, Manager of Special projects: Inclusive practices and retention at Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE says overseas students need to be taught how to study within an Australian context.

ECCQ has teamed up with Central Queensland TAFE to provide tailored Certificate II and III level courses for employment in the areas of aged care, disability, community services work, and hospitality and kitchen services, but with community support and mentoring capacity built in.

“Teaching materials need to be in plain English and free of industry jargon,” she said. “PowerPoint Presentations need to be themed so that students who speak English as a second language can understand the overall concept and track what they are relating to. And in their lectures, teachers need to be more explicit about the main points they want to get across.”

“We are seeking to encourage students from a CALD background to get the most from their study and to gain employment in their chosen field” said Hong Do, ECCQ Workforce Development Manager. ECCQ held a Policy Forum on Lifelong Learning and CALD communities in March to bring together experts in the field of adult education to discuss current support services that help to increase completion rates. Experts at the forum agreed that making some minor changes to the way the courses are organised and taught can positively impact on the success rate of students from a CALD background, particularly for students who speak English as a second language.

Dr Judith Kearney, Director of Community Partnerships, School of Education and Professional Studies and Dr Matthew Glen, Adjunct faculty and Research Manager at Griffith University have worked closely with the local community of Logan to increase retention and completion rates of students from Pacific Islander background. They have learned to make many changes to the way the university includes members of the Pasifika community. One important issue is that large immediate and extended families can’t all attend the formal graduation ceremony as they only cater for two guests per student. This is inadequate for most students, so the Griffith Pasifika Association holds its own ceremony where all family members are encouraged to attend to celebrate the achievements of the students.


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“We want to make sure that when people put in the effort to study that this can pay off with a real job at the end.”

Their research indicates that other issues Pasifika students experience are stress caused by financial difficulties, the pace and volume of study, academic language (jargon) and the need to shift from their previous peer group to be a successful student. There is often great shame associated with academic failure. Successful students had a great amount of family support and expectation of success. Speakers from both Griffith University and TAFE agreed on the need to engage support on an individual level for students from a CALD background, especially where they are the first in their family to embrace tertiary study. Having regular contact with a tutor or a supportive mentor really encouraged students to complete their studies. The CALD Community Learning Program will ensure that there is individual support for students to encourage their learning and to help them put their study into their own context. In addition ECCQ will support them in their job search by making strong links with local potential employers. ‘”We want to make sure that when people put in the effort to study that this can pay off with a real job at the end,” said Hong. The courses are run out of the Rockhampton CQ TAFE campus, but students in Brisbane and Moreton Bay can take courses online and also receive support, mentoring and post study employment assistance. The CALD Community Learning Program is part of the Queensland Government’s Great Skills. Real Opportunities. five-year plan to reform the state’s further education and training sector. Its purpose is to provide supported training places to disadvantaged learners to attain certificate level qualifications.


AVAILABLE COURSES: Certificate III in Aged Care Certificate III in Disability Certificate III in Community Services Certificate II in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations) Certificate II in Hospitality Operations Course in Core Skills for Employment and Training

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS ARE: - aged 15 years and over; do not hold Certificate III level or higher qualification; - Australian citizens or permanent residents residing in Queensland; - refugees and humanitarian visa holders living in Queensland; - New Zealand citizens residing in Queensland; - temporary visa holders living in Queensland with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency; - not on income support; and, - not accessing Australian Government employment services and assistance. This project is funded by the Department of Education, Training & Employment and the training is FREE to eligible participants in Brisbane, Moreton Bay and Rockhampton. ECCQ and CQ TAFE will provide individually tailored and culturally appropriate support during the training and will endeavour to work with the participant to assist in gaining employment post training. To check if you qualify and to register, please contact John Derrington at CQ TAFE on 0420 2155 or by emailing

For more information about the project contact Hong Do at


CQ TAFE STAFF EMBRACE CULTURAL AWARENESS AFTER PICC TRAINING SEMINAR By Lyn Anderson, CQ TAFE Marketing & Communications Officer and Hong Do, ECCQ Workforce Development Manager

Central Queensland TAFE teachers and staff have embraced a new perspective on multiculturalism during a unique training program run by ECCQ’s Partners in Cultural Competence (PiCC) team as part of the CALD Community Learning Project, funded by the Department of Education, Training and Employment. The “Culturewise Practice and Communication” training was held at the Rockhampton campus on 2 May and led by PiCC trainers, Caroline Bouten Pinto and Sandra Bennett. “The idea of the training is to introduce people to approach cultural diversity in a more relational way,” Caroline said. “It’s about being more culturally aware and having the abilities to cope with different situations.”

Participants at the PiCC training for CQ TAFE staff held in Rockhampton campus on 2 May.

CQ TAFE is a culturally diverse Institute, with migrants and international students on campus studying English and other subjects as part of the Adult Migrant English Program. As part of the training, staff engaged in discussions on various facets of cultural diversity in the workplace. Some staff also participated in a simulated exercise, where they experienced what it’s like to be a migrant. “This experiential learning really helped some of them to think differently,” Sandra said. Wendy Thomas, Business and HRM teacher at CQ TAFE, attended the workshop and said, “I was looking forward to attending the workshop so I could learn a few strategies to use when teaching in China…. however the information that Sandra and Caroline shared with us on the day really exceeded everyone’s expectations… it’s the best workshop I’ve been to in years! At the end of the day we all walked away feeling energised and with a deeper appreciation of culture from a personal and organisational perspective.” The training provided support to CQ TAFE trainers and support staff to work more effectively with students from CALD backgrounds.

The PiCC team (from left): Caroline, PiCC Trainer, Hedy Sri Munaswati Nicolson, Admin Coordinator and Sandra, PiCC Trainer.

PiCC is the only one-stop shop in Queensland for the delivery of cross cultural training and consultancy services. Cultural competence is the key to excellence in a culturally diverse society. It’s the awareness and ability of everyone in an organisation to understand and work effectively with the cultural diversity of customers and employees. PiCC exists to help organisations, professions and individuals develop cultural competence through active diversity management strategies that include effective cross cultural training and consulting. PiCC accepts in-house training, just send your inquiry to or call 07 3844 9166.




Culturally and linguistically diverse communities in North Brisbane and the Moreton Bay area will be shown how to access local health services that better meet their needs using a new mobile website. ECCQ and Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local will support a series of promotion activities to demonstrate the Health Navigator health assessment tool to CALD communities. Funded by the National Preventative Health Agency, Health Navigator is a free smart phone-enabled mobile website designed to raise awareness of chronic disease risk factors (e.g. poor nutrition, physical inactivity) and connect consumers to local health services. ECCQ Multicultural Health Workers (MHWs) have played a key role in promoting Health Navigator to members of the CALD community and have helped them to use the assessment tool. Medicare Local Clinical Trainer Sharon Horne, delivered a training session this week to MHWs on how to guide consumers to access Health Navigator via their smart phones or computers. “We hope this tool can lead to better health outcomes for CALD communities as this group is least likely to access primary care,” Sharon said. “Health Navigator users will be asked to fill out a health assessment based on clinical evidence that results in a personalised report that identifies their risk factors and refers them to GPs and local culturally appropriate health services,” she said. “For a more accurate assessment, users should provide height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol level. They can then print out a copy of their report to give to their GP,” Sharon said.

Sharon delivering the training session on 6 May for ECCQ MHWs on to guide community members to access and use the Health Navigator Tool.

ECCQ Health Workforce Development Manager Ms Hong Do said MHWs can provide assistance with basic health assessments during individual and group support sessions to assist individuals to use the online tool. “In addition, MHWs will promote Health Navigator to CALD communities through local and ethnic media,” Hong said. Health Navigator has a feedback button which will help to gather information about any issues users may have with the tool. There are plans to make the tool available in several languages in the future.

To access Health Navigator, visit: To request an information session for your community, contact Hong Do on 07 3255 1540 or at


REMEMBERING AN ANZAC SOLDIER ALEXANDER DAVIES TILLY Wayne Tilly recounts the stories his father, a WWI veteran, told him about the war. Wayne is the President of the Queensland Russian Community Centre, a member association of ECCQ.

I was adopted in 1945 in New Zealand by a WWI veteran, Alexander Davies Tilly, who was in his sixties and suffered from mustard gas poisoning; Dad had lost one lung in the war. Mustard gas caused devastating chronic health impairments for the rest of his adult life. Even decades after exposure he suffered severe long-term effects such as chronic obstructive lung disease and eventual lung collapse. He supported our family with a war pension as he was unable to work.

“Dad never marched on ANZAC Day or talked about the war, except when he was in hospital during those last days.”

Dad sailed out from Auckland in 1915 and returned to my mother two years and 183 days later. He suffered his first mustard gas attack In November of 1916. Records show he was taken by a field ambulance from the front in Boulogne, Belgium. He suffered his second mustard gas attack on February 28, 1917, but he was again taken back to the front to fight. Then on March 5, 1917 he was taken to Brockenhurst Hospital in Hampshire, England, which is where wounded New Zealand soldiers were taken for rehab before being sent back to the front. On February 2, 1918, he boarded a vessel from Liverpool called the RMS Tahiti, which was taking invalids back to New Zealand. My parents went on to have three daughters and it wasn’t until their daughters started having their own children that they decided to adopt. They adopted two other boys as well. My birth parents weren’t married so when my birth mother fell pregnant she went to the Bethany Centre for single mums at the Salvation Army. I was then adopted when I was 6 months old. I got in some trouble for some petty crimes as a teenager, so when I was 17 I decided to be a seaman. I boarded a Norwegian ship in 1963. I persuaded my father to sign the papers that made the captain my legal guardian until I turned 18. My Mother didn’t know as she would not have wanted me to go. I told Dad to let me know when he needed me and I would return. He was in his late 70s when I left.

Alexander Davies Tilly with his wife, Wayne’s adoptive parents.

I kept in touch with my parents and family often and then in 1967 I received a letter from my father that told me come home. He died six months later on August 19, 1968. Dad never marched on ANZAC Day or talked about the war, except when he was in hospital during those last days. He told me that in 1918 he stole a pearl handled colt revolver off an American who had just passed over.

>> EVOCA, MAY 2014


“They lined the Vickers (machine guns) and fired two short bursts in the direction of the voices. Then there was silence.”

Wayne, photographed outside the Queensland Russian Community Centre in April 2014.

They dragged the bodies back to the trenches and they were searched before being taken away. In the morning my father picked up a photo on the ground and it was a woman with a small boy on her knee dressed in a military uniform. Dad found someone who could translate German and it was the soldier’s wife and son, a three year old son he had never seen. From that day on my father lived with too much guilt and died at 84 when his surviving lung collapsed. I never understood why people glorify war. Dad turned me into a pacifist. Wayne, shortly after he was adopted.

I hugged my father when he told me, crying, about the truth of war. How he was ordered to be in a firing squad to execute a young Belgium spy. How they waited for British officers and then non-commissioned officers to sexually abuse her before she was dragged out and tied to a post, unconscious until they threw water on her to wake her up before she was executed. He told about a night he was manning a machine gun at the front in Belgium. The air was thick with fog in the early hours when he heard Germans calling out to each other. They lined the Vickers (machine guns) and fired two short bursts in the direction of the voices. Then there was silence. My father and his offsider were ordered to go out and bring back evidence. The two Germans had somehow managed to get lost and ended up in ‘No Man’s Land’, the area between the trenches. They were carrying a water barrel in a frame and were both dead.

I became involved in the Queensland Russian community after marrying my wife who is from Moscow. Next February the Queensland Russian Community Centre will host an event to commemorate the Russian ANZACs. They were the biggest group of volunteers within the Queensland migrant community that went to fight the war alongside their Australian mates. For more info on the Queensland Russian Community Centre, visit The Centre can also be hired out as a venue for community events and celebrations.

ECCQ will publish ANZAC stories in EVOCA leading up to the ANZAC Centenary Commemoration in 2015. If you have a story to share, email


ASPIRING COMMUNITY LEADER ALHAJIE KANU By Yutainten, an ECCQ intern and Indonesian awardee of Australia Awards Scholarship and a Post Graduate Student studying Communication for Social Change at The University of Queensland. ECCQ’s Community Leadership Program participant, Alhajie Kanu, is from Sierra Leone and lives in Brisbane with his family. He works as a Case Worker in the Community Assistance Support Program at the Australian Red Cross.

“I have learned a lot about community engagement and participation, within my culture and the Australian culture, and I have built networks. This has given me the opportunity to meet different people from different backgrounds. So I’ve had a lot of informal support.”

Alhajie came to Australia with four of his brothers and two sisters. They arrived in Brisbane in 2005 as refugees. What began as excitement for his new country turned into culture shock as Alhajie struggled with the language barrier and adapting to the Australian way of life. He overcame some of these challenges by becoming actively involved with his own community and seeking out education opportunities. In 2012, he graduated from Griffith University with a BA degree in human services, criminology and criminal justice. “I’m very resilient,” said Alhajie. “I’ve never asked for professional advice to overcome cultural and language barriers. I’m very humble, but thankful for the education I received from university.” Alhajie says he realises that adjusting to living in Australia is a never-ending process. He has had to overcome the challenges arising from adopting Australian values while holding onto his own cultural values and how that influences his role within his family. Alhajie is the fourth eldest son in his family and in Sierra Leone the eldest son takes on the role of protecting their siblings (especially women) in the family. His younger sisters arrived when they were young and are now growing up with Australian culture and are seeking to stake out their identities and independence from their family. In this sense, Alhajie represents the “cultural generational gap” when older family members have different point of views from those of the younger generation. “I try to maintain this balance between the Australian culture and my culture, even when I am having a conversation,” he said. “For example, in my culture we tend to speak very loud, but here, a typical Australian might interpret that as being aggressive. Now, I have learned to adjust the level of my voice to speak lower and more calmly every time I have a conversation with someone in or outside my community.

The desire to build his networks and give back to his community led him to ECCQ’s Community Leadership Program. Through the training program he says he has learned how to work with and assist people in his own community, how to link people in his community to support services, and how to create and maintain meaningful relationships. “I want to continue to build my networks. The more people I connect with, the better I can provide for myself and my community. If there are any problems within my community, there may be someone within my network that is able to link us to a service that can help.” Alhajie first got involved with the Sierra Leone Descendants Association of Queensland by assisting some community members, including new arrivals from Sierra Leone, with orientation to Australia. This includes taking them to the bank to open bank accounts, showing them how to use public transport, home appliances, and helping them with immigration applications for visas for dependent family members. He is part of the association’s steering committee for events and helps to resolve disputes within families in the community. Alhajie said the skills he has acquired in the community leadership program help him play a more active role within his community. “My involvement in the leadership program is an attempt to gain organizational and managerial skills which are required to run a community organization,” he said. “This program teaches participants how to be a leader, and, as a result make significant contributions to their community.”

EVOCA, MAY 2014 15

ASPIRING COMMUNITY LEADER ALI GHAFOOR By Nanda Nugrahanti, an ECCQ intern and Indonesian awardee of Australia Awards Scholarship and a Post Graduate Student studying Communication for Social Change at The University of Queensland. ECCQ’s Community Leadership Program participant, Ali Ghafoor, is from Iraq and lives in Brisbane with his family. He works as a Case Worker in the Community Assistance Support Program at the Australian Red Cross.

Ali, his father and two brothers arrived as refugees in Brisbane, Australia in 1995. He and his family faced many challenges adjusting to life in Australia, but the main obstacles they had to overcome were learning English and feeling isolated. Learning how to navigate the transportation system helped with accessing support services from the community and taking the initiative to get involved in the Iraqi community and Muslim groups helped him and his family to feel less isolated. “I started by helping out with social activities and seeking out organisations that can offer community support,” he said. “That’s what led me to ECCQ. I’ve been engaged with ECCQ for a long time now.” He decided to participate in the Community Leadership Program to develop his individual leadership skills to help his community engage at all levels of hierarchy – from government and business, to the community at large. “I want to voice community issues and be a mechanism for intercultural dialogue,” said Ali. This is my passion. I want to build bridges between Muslim groups and the Australian community and address Islamophobia on social media.” He recently helped to campaign on behalf of Muslim groups in Brisbane against proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, which he feels could lead to more divisive commentary. Ali says the leadership program empowers people to feel proud of their cultural identity, engage with their community and voice community issues. “This is a very good platform to gain knowledge, skills, information as well as network in order to understand how to organise community work within Australia’s system,” he said.

Ali (first row on the right) when he was 8 years old with his father and two older brothers. The picture was taken in 1994 when they were at the UN Refugee Camp on the border between Iraq and Turkey.

“I am really enjoying the leadership training. It provides me with a lot of opportunities to gain skills, and receive and share information with industry experts. “The user-friendly materials, the take away tips, the activities that are real-life based, peer discussion, and opportunities for sharing are what really make this program beneficial.” His passion for community work led to a career path in human services and clinical social work. He completed a postgraduate degree in health and service management from Griffith University and is a qualified clinical social worker. After completing this program, Ali expects to maintain his contact with ECCQ staff and the other leadership program participants, who are all from different ethnic community groups. “Definitely, I have been involved with ECCQ for many years and maintaining contact with the staff and the members from other culturally diverse communities will not only help me to grow my existing networks, but will also provide me with opportunities to expand my future community work.” He hopes that many more people will have the opportunity to join leadership programs like this, so they will in turn help members of emerging and established communities to successfully settle in Australia.


COMMUNITY LEADERS RECEIVE SUPPORT & TRAINING AT ECCQ By Anna McCormack, Program Manager - Community Leadership

The Community Leadership Program, funded by the Department of Social Services under the Settlement Grants Program increases community self-reliance, develops individual leadership skills and knowledge of mainstream organisations and directs participants to further training opportunities. The first group of aspiring leaders to participate in the training program will graduate with a certificate in leadership this June. In August 2013, a group of 20 aspiring leaders from Queensland’s emerging communities took the opportunity to partake in the 12 month training program. They represent communities from Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Bhutan. A formal program of free training sessions has been conducted throughout the year. The first part of the program included basic leadership skills such as effective communication, networking, cross-cultural communication, advocacy, working with media and conflict resolution. The second part, which commenced in March and will wrap up in June, focuses on governance skills including establishing an organisation and working with a management committee, liability and legal requirements, financial management, applying for funding, project/event management and strategic planning. The training is supported by Linking Leaders’ Lunches, meetings and visits to mainstream community organisations and assessment of further leadership development opportunities. Additionally, assistance is provided to participants interested in forming community associations. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the participants as they further develop their leadership skills and continue on their journey to establishing strong communities with strong links. For more information contact Anna or Hana on 3844 9166 or email

ECCQ MEMBERSHIP By becoming an ECCQ member you will be contributing to, and strengthening the voice of culturally and linguistically diverse communities across Queensland. Through individual and association membership, ECCQ can better represent the needs and interests of Queensland’s many communities, and influence positive change across all levels of government. As an ECCQ member you will not only be helping your local community, but you will also be receiving some great benefits

BUILDING A STRONGER MULTICULTURAL COMMUNITY • You will become an integral part of a diverse and robust network of individuals, groups and associations who support a multicultural society. • You will have voting rights to select who represents you on the governing body. • You will have the chance to contribute to ECCQ’s work in developing policy, undertaking advocacy and preparing submissions.

KEEPING INFORMED • You will be regularly updated on how your support of ECCQ is helping the community, and of the key priorities identified by ECCQ for action. • You will receive our quarterly EVOCA newsletter, fortnightly ebulletin, media releases and other critical sector information as it develops. • You will be kept up-to-date on community and sector news, events, training, resources and information.

ACCESSING SERVICES AND SUPPORT • You will have access to ECCQ’s resources, services and support on a day-to-day basis.

PROMOTING YOUR WORK • You will be able to promote relevant news, resources and events free through our fortnightly e-bulletin and website.

GETTING INVOLVED • You will receive invitations to interesting ECCQ events throughout the year. • You will be invited to attend bimonthly members’ and communities’ meetings, which feature interesting guest speakers, and opportunities to network. Join ECCQ by becoming a member today! Download the individual or association membership form at: If you have any further questions about becoming a member, please call 3844 9166 or email

Some of the participants at a leadership training held on 6 May.

EVOCA, MAY 2014 17

Evoca May 2014  

EVOCA is a publication of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland. It is published quarterly.

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