In March 2015, FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia) will be holding a number of community consultations to gather information about the experiences of Australia’s migrants and refugees in accessing government programs and services. The FECCA Community Consultations will take place in Shepparton on 10 and 11 March 2015.
The Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate, lobby and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.
FECCA’s Access and Equity work
The Australian Government is committed, through its Access and Equity Strategy and Framework, to ensuring that government programs and services are able to be accessed equitably regardless of a person’s cultural, linguistic or religious background. Each year FECCA is commissioned by the Department of Social Services to conduct a number of community consultations to gather information about the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse Australians in accessing government services. FECCA then presents this information in a report to DSS and so the outcomes of the consultations mean DSS and other Australian Government agencies are provided with first hand and up-to-date information on the experiences and views of culturally and linguistically diverse Australians accessing government service and programs.
Consultation in Shepparton 10th 11th March at African House.
The consultation in Shepparton would be one of the four consultations that FECCA hopes to undertake as part of the Access in Equity work in 2014-15.
Shepparton has been chosen as a rural and regional location due to an expressed interest from the Government and FECCA members in exploring some of the social cohesion issues in the region and because FECCA has not held an Access and Equity consultation in this location in the past. Shepparton also has a significant population coming from a humanitarian background, which FECCA are trying to target at the moment. The consultation would be an opportunity for the Iraqis, Afghanis, Sudanese, Congolese and Iranian communities in the Shepparton region to share their experiences in accessing government programs and services.
The consultation will be organised through FECCA’s Rural and Regional Advisory Committee (RRAC), most probably with direct assistance from a smaller steering subcommittee made up of RRAC members. The consultation aims to assess the effectiveness and availability of services relevant to people from new and emerging communities, and to understand how the provision of services and programs impacts economic participation and social cohesion in these communities and in the region.
On the 10th March between 3.00pm and 5.00pm the FECCA and Government people wish to meet with local service providers and key stakeholders including:
- Local Settlement Planning Committee (includes local school, police representatives, health providers, etc.)
- Local Government representatives
- Local RDA representative
- Church representatives
- Migrant Resource Centre/Ethnic Communities’ Council
- Local employers/businesses
- State service delivery representatives
- Community groups
The attached flyer promotes and details the consultation.
On the 11th March FECCA will meet with each communities leadership group.