On Thursday, 25 September a forum was held by the CALD HACC Volunteer Managers’ Working Party to both summarise and celebrate the group’s previous two years of work. The theme of the event was One Language. Sharing the Caring, and it brought together the many HACC funded CALD organisations to meet, network and share their experiences on CALD volunteering issues.

Some organisations also had stalls in order to help promote their programs, as well as taking the opportunity to distribute their newest leaflets and brochures. MAC’s stall offered information materials on culturally appropriate care provision, as well as distributing the newest edition of the ever popular Guide to Services.

After all the stalls were made ready, MC Vivien Hope of Multicultural Communities Council invited everyone to watch the Tai Chi presentation, courtesy of Chinese Welfare Services. The presentation was thoroughly enjoyed and loudly applauded. Meanwhile, the eagerly awaited food buffet was being prepared, showcasing various dishes that the participating organisations had brought along.

Two representatives from the Department of Social Services attended the event, and the forum was officially opened by Margot Chiverton, DSS Departmental Officer. Guest speaker, Associate Professor Eric Bouvet from Flinders University spoke about the Language in Action project.

Language in Action is an initiative to link students learning a foreign language with given communities; as volunteers, they are then able to brush up their new linguistic skills while ‘on the job’. Next, two volunteers – Maria and David – shared their respective stories.

Two presentations rounded off the day: Kelley Russo, Executive Officer at PISA Italian Meals, spoke on Partnerships and Agnieszka Chudecka, Business Manager and Training Officer at MAC spoke of the many benefits of Accredited Volunteer Management Training.

Following the last of the presentations, afternoon coffee (along with some amazing sweets), was served. The forum finally ended on yet another ‘high note’, with Greek songs and dancing, courtesy of the Greek Welfare Centre.

Best Stall Display was won (rightly so!) by ANFE, with the prize donated by CO.AS.IT. Judge was Vincent Tarzia, MP State Member for Hartley.

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