Posted on 26. Oct, 2010 in News

Mr Sam Afra, Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV), warned today that the next five years could prove crucial if Victoria is to maintain its reputation as a model of successful integration and cultural diversity.

“Despite Victoria being by far and away the multicultural capital of Australia, we are facing a range of social pressures that will affect the way many of us hope and expect to live our lives in the coming decade,” Mr Afra said.

“From climate change to the global economic crisis, a host of broader international issues are creating direct local impacts, many which have a particular relevance to our migrant and multicultural population.”

“Let’s not forget that factories and farms still represent a prime source of employment for many Victorians from newly-arrived and non-English speaking backgrounds,” Mr Afra added.

Mr Afra also pointed to the rapid increase in demand for social services and those requiring help as they age, fragmented disability services and difficulties getting overseas qualifications recognised as issues of growing concern for ethnic Victorians.

“All of these have the potential to undermine the cohesive fabric of our society so whichever party assumes power come the November state election, decisive action is going to be required on a host of issues,” Mr Afra said.

Mr Afra said he looked forward to a thought-provoking Q&A session when representatives of the three parties take their place at a special ECCV pre-election forum on Thursday, 4 November 2010.

“We especially encourage members of Victoria’s new and emerging communities to take up the opportunity to engage our political leaders on issues of concern to them,” Mr Afra said.

“Although anyone who wishes to forward a particular question for debate can do so by contacting ECCV prior to the event.”

ECCV 2010 State Election Forum

●        Hon James Merlino – Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs

●        Mr Nick Kotsiras – Opposition Spokesperson on Multicultural Affairs

●        Ms Colleen Hartland – Greens Spokesperson for Health, Community and Local Government

6.30pm, Thursday 4 November 2010

North Melbourne Football Club

204 – 206 Arden Street

North Melbourne

To register attendance, please contact 03) 9349 4122 or email :

NB : seats are limited so RSVPs are essential.

For further information, please call 0421 124 112 or 0417 489 226.

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