Multicultural Outreach Grants

01 July, 2020

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:21): It is 1 July 2020 today, and I believe South Australia is ready to press the reset button for the second half of the year. The first half of 2020 is officially over. We have survived many challenging days in the COVID pandemic and we have much to be thankful for. I take this opportunity to once again express my heartfelt thanks to SA Health, SAPOL, front-line heroes and all South Australians who have played a critical role in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of everyone. We are stronger together as a community.

The high level of cooperation and responsible action, such as staying home whenever possible, good practice of social distancing and making sacrifices over the last few months, have kept SA safe. We have become one of the safest and most enviable places in the world. This has better positioned our state to enjoy the freedom and liberty in opening up our economy, getting back to normality faster and getting SA moving again.

As South Australia enters step 3 of easing COVID restrictions, unfortunately we are seeing a concerning rise in community transmission in Victoria. Over the last week, we have seen a number of reports questioning the Victorian government's handling of the pandemic, and claiming that Victorian authorities had failed to engage with multicultural community leaders and needed to redouble their efforts to reach CALD communities in Melbourne hotspots.

In light of these reports and reflecting on the situation, I would like to highlight a different scenario for South Australia and acknowledge the incredible leadership and proactive response by our multicultural communities in our state in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a great honour to report that the Premier, the Hon. Steven Marshall, and the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, the Hon. Stephen Wade MLC, and I have demonstrated a strong commitment to support multicultural communities from the beginning of the pandemic. Our government has been working in collaboration with multicultural communities through SA Health, SAPOL and other government agencies to distribute vital translated resources and health information and emergency COVID-19 directives to our CALD community.

I have regular meetings with the Premier and minister Wade about the health and wellbeing of our multicultural communities and thank them for their great leadership. As a matter of fact, I will be catching up with the Minister for Health and Wellbeing later today to discuss how we can best support multicultural groups moving forward in a COVID-safe recovery.

I am very proud that the Marshall Liberal government, through multicultural affairs in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, has been proactive in repurposing the multicultural affairs grants program with community organisations to address the priority needs of the diverse CALD community in South Australia.

Multicultural organisations that have fulfilled all the criteria for funding were able to successfully access the government's multicultural grants to deliver the emergency COVID-19 outreach program to multicultural members who have been disadvantaged by COVID-19. For the public record, the funding criteria includes the submission of a detailed proposal with supportive documents such as quotes, association constitutions, latest AGM minutes, and relevant financial reports.

In addition, these multicultural organisations must not have any outstanding acquittals from previous funding rounds and are able to demonstrate proven management capabilities to deliver good community outcomes. It is my privilege to acknowledge the organisations that receive government funding for COVID programs, and they are:

  • the Adelaide Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara, for the Sri Lankan community;
  • the Amazing Northern Multicultural Services, to serve the African community;
  • the Australian Migrant Resource Centre;
  • the Brazilian Association of South Australia;
  • the Campania Sports and Social Club Community Centre;
  • the Greek Orthodox community of South Australia;
  • the Islamic Information Centre;
  • the Islamic Society of South Australia;
  • the Middle Eastern Communities Council of SA;
  • the Multicultural Communities Council of SA;
  • Multicultural Youth South Australia;
  • the Non Resident Nepali Association of South Australia, for the Nepalese community;
  • Radio Italiano 531;
  • the Sikh Society of South Australia Inc.;
  • the South Australia Chinese Community Culture and Trade Promotion Association, for the Chinese community;
  • the South Australian Bangladeshi Community Association;
  • the Thai-Australian Association of SA;
  • the Vietnamese Community in Australia/South Australian chapter; and
  • Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia, to serve the Hindu community of South Australia.

I sincerely thank them for their outstanding leadership and efforts to bring together many volunteers to support our most vulnerable communities during these unprecedented and challenging times.

I acknowledge them and thank them.