2017 Social Cohesion Conference Welcome

On September 27, 2017 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. On this page, we bring you the Conference Welcome from the sponsoring organisations.


Social Cohesion in the Goulburn Valley, Looking back, looking forward
Welcome from Latrobe University

La Trobe University, Shepparton Campus is pleased to co-host this conference marking ten years since our Cultural Diversity and Social Harmony Conference in September 2007. As we take this opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences, we will reflect upon the success factors and the tensions encountered in maintaining a socially cohesive society and hopefully inspire new ideas to address the challenges of the future. Part of La Trobe’s regional mission is to advance communities through the excellence of its research and engagement with the community. This conference seeks to play a significant role in achieving this mission. The University is proud to be part of such a unique community in our 50th anniversary year and we hope that this conference will further contribute to the social cohesion of our region.

I welcome all delegates and wish them a fruitful and stimulating conference experience.

Sue Nalder
Head of Campus
La Trobe University Shepparton


Social Cohesion in the Goulburn Valley, Looking back, looking forward Welcome from Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District

The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District is pleased to join with La Trobe University and the Shepparton Interfaith Network to present this
important conference.

Shepparton is often cited as a model for successful settlement and I am sure that people attending this conference will gain insights into that success and importantly hear first hand from ethnic community members outlining their experiences.

For over thirty years the Ethnic Council has been directly involved in the provision of services to the settling communities and advocating on their behalf. In recent years the role has grown from supporting entrants from traditional migrant backgrounds to intensive involvement with humanitarian entrants.

Ten years ago the Ethnic Council partnered in the delivery of a similarly themed conference and it will be interesting to revisit those discussions in the present day context.

Maria Brown-Shepherd
Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District


Social Cohesion in the Goulburn Valley, Looking back, looking forward
Welcome from Shepparton Interfaith Network

Welcome to the 2017 Goulburn Valley Social Cohesion Conference.

This conference has been in planning for some years, and we are grateful to La Trobe University for their sponsorship and including this conference among the events celebrating the University’s 50th anniversary.

In 2007 we conducted a foundation conference at Eastbank Centre which catered to many aspects of social cohesion and hearing the stories of those who have come and settled; these stories were markers towards providing services more effectively. At the conference end, Prof. Des Cahill addressed many challenges facing the community of Victoria and the Goulburn Valley in particular. These were challenges of inclusion, participation, worth, social justice and equity and promoting belonging, identification with Australia and trust in its machinery of justice and government. We – in the Goulburn Valley – have met many of these challenges and indeed many projects we undertake today have elements of these challenges.

In this conference, we attend to matters closer to the heart, where the steps we take are building, bridging, bonding and engagement. We bring you speakers and topics addressing the tasks of building a stronger community where all can actively participate in the economic, social, civic and national benefits we have to offer as a nation rich in resources and rich in social cohesion.

We hope you enjoy the conference offerings.

Rev. Chris Parnell
Executive Officer
Shepparton Interfaith Network




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