In 2007, the Shepparton Interfaith Network in conjunction with Latrobe University and the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District conducted a seminal conference with the title, Cultural Diversity and Social Harmony – The Goulburn Valley Experience at Eastbank Centre, Shepparton.
On September 27, 2017 – ten years to the day of the 2007 Conference, La Trobe University, partnering with the Shepparton Interfaith Network and the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District, presented Social Cohesion in the Goulburn Valley: Looking Back, Looking Forward, a conference to revisit the issues explored in the 2007 Conference and to consider the issues facing us today going forward as a regional community.
The 2017 conference will focus on the success factors and the tensions encountered in maintaining a socially cohesive society in the Goulburn Valley over the past decade. The positive value of a culturally diverse community will be explored as well as some of the emerging challenges that remain problematic and their likely impact on a socially cohesive region in the future. Particular attention will be given to the issue of employment, the barriers to meaningful employment, some successful employment enterprises and the potential for future initiatives.
The conference will draw on migrant, host community and service provider experiences, as well as insights from recent academic research.
Thursday, 27 September 2017
- 8.30am: Registration opens
- 8:45am – 1.00pm: Morning sessions
- 8.45 – 9.30 Welcome to Country
- Conference Opening: Cr Dinny Adem
- Hosts’ Welcome: Dr Mary-Jo Fortuna on behalf of Latrobe University, Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District, Shepparton Interfaith Network
- Panel discussion – Successes and challenges 2007 – 2017. Facilitator: Dr Lucinda Aberdeen (Latrobe); Participants: Fatima Al-Qarakchy (Kildonan), Cr Chris Hazelman (Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District), Omeni Nglovu (Salvation Army), Jan Muir (Empowered Communities)
- 10.30 – 11.00 MORNING TEA
- Keynote speaker: Professor Santina Bertone
- Opportunities and challenges: a mixed picture for skilled migrants and refugees in the workforce.
- Santina has held a number of positions at Victorian universities is currently Professor of Diversity Management in the Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology. Santina was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2008, and participated in the Australia 2020 Summit. Her current research focuses on skilled immigrants, temporary immigrant workers, immigrants and career progress, and changes in higher degree research policy.
- Round table sessions – ‘Dreaming a future’
- 1.00pm – 1.45pm: LUNCH
- 1.45pm – 4.30pm: Afternoon sessions
- Employment (opportunities, contributions, barriers)
- Dr Martina Boese
- Migrant employment in Shepparton – what do we know?
- Martina is a Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University. Her research interests include migrant and refugee mobilities and employment experiences; regional migration and settlement; Australian migration and settlement policies; racism and exclusion. Her current research includes an analysis of the employment pathways of migrants who have arrived in Australia within the last 20 years and reside in Shepparton.
- 2.15 – 3.15 Panel Discussion: Employment enterprises – what’s successful? Good ideas that work! Participants: Ann Conway (Hazeldenes), Betul Tuna (Hijack’d) Andrew Keast (Refugee and Migrant Talent)
- Open forum: ‘Dreaming a future’
- Overview of Social Cohesion
- Andrew Keast: Inclusion, Diversity, Globalisation and Talent, A New Perspective
- Sam Atukorala: Multiculturalism and Sport: Sport as a Social Connection Tool
- Rikke Mazzella: Making Luck Happen – A Practical Approach to Creating Opportunities
- Chris Parnell: Social Cohesion: My Faith, My Business
- Rashidi Sumali: Future Voices, building young people’s skills, aspirations and connection to community
- Jan Muir – Empowering Communities, Algabonyah
- Chris Hazelman: Citizenship and Values
- Frank Purcell: Keeping it local: A case for a Social Justice and Advocacy Research Centre