Seminar to address problems facing ethnically diverse communities

A SEMINAR shedding light on the damaging impact problem gambling is having on Ballarat’s migrant community will be held on Monday.

The Ballarat Forum on Responsible Gambling in Multicultural Communities will bring together Victoria’s leading researchers into problem gambling in a bid to tackle the problem. 

Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council executive officer Anne Foley said the initiative was triggered by the disproportionately high use of electronic gaming machines among the city’s ethnically diverse communities. 

Ms Foley said research into the issue would be presented by academics from Monash University and Federation University, when they made their presentations to Ballarat’s Culturally Linguistically Diverse Communities, community leaders, welfare and health agencies at the seminar. 

Topics that will be discussed  include the cost of gambling to the Ballarat region and the impact of poker machines on regional communities.

Ms Foley said it was the first time a seminar of this nature had been held in Ballarat.

She said the challenges for ethnically diverse communities in seeking help were often complex due language barriers and lack of understanding. 

“It is about knowing where to access help, making sure information is in an appropriate and understandable language or in a format that can be delivered through community activities,” Ms Foley said.

“Our aim is to communicate to ethnically diverse people who are suffering from harm because of this type of behaviour and creating awareness of where they can seek accessible help.”

Guest speakers will include Child and Family Services Gambler’s Help Community Educator Nic Prince and Central Highlands Primary Care Partnership agency liasion officer Claire McKenna, Federation University professors Robert Townsend and John McDonald will also weigh in on the issue. 

Monash University’s  Harriet Radermacher will also discuss perceptions about gambling in two ethnic communities. 

The project is a collaboration between the BRMC and Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. 

The seminar will be held on Monday from 9.30am until 2pm at G PLACE (former Golden Point Primary School) at 102 English Street, Golden Point, Ballarat.

For details, call 5332 5941.

melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au