Victorians from various cultural backgrounds gathered in Melbourne today to explore how they could become more involved in volunteering activities across the metropolitan area.
The Strength and Diversity in Supporting Communities seminar at Melbourne’s Multicultural Hub was launched by Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras on behalf of Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan.
Minister Kotsiras said the event was one of six Coalition Government funded seminars organised by Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES) to promote the benefits of volunteering to people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
AMES is one of four volunteer-driven peak bodies that each received $175,000 last year to help community organisations attract and retain volunteers in a way that is best for them and their specific community needs. Other organisations that received funding are the Youth Advisory Council of Victoria, VicSport and Parks Victoria.
Mr Kotsiras said around 200 Victorians from different multicultural backgrounds are expected to attend the free AMES seminar series, which also includes sessions in regional and rural Victoria.
“AMES’s Strength and Diversity in Supporting Communities seminars celebrate Victoria’s culturally diverse society,” Mr Kotsiras said.
“Members of CALD communities across our state can provide a precious resource, with their wealth of cultural knowledge and language skills. Volunteering also allows people from CALD backgrounds to feel more engaged with the wider Victorian community and can provide valuable workplace experiences for migrants.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the Coalition Government highly valued the enormous contribution volunteers made to the broader community.
“Volunteering is vital to building strong communities. It not only improves the lives of others but also provides benefits to volunteers who can learn new skills, extend their networks and experience a sense of fulfilment through helping someone else,” Mr Ryan said.
“Research shows people who volunteer often enjoy improved health and wellbeing.”
Mr Ryan said people interested in volunteering could find useful information and a range of volunteering opportunities at Victoria’s Volunteering Portal at www.volunteer.vic.gov.au
110419 Ryan - Budding volunteers bring wealth of cultural and language skills (PDF 43KB)