Intercultural plan welcomed: Ballarat City Council

Fr Constantine Osuchukwu
Fr Constantine Osuchukwu

Delivering services to immigrants has formed the centerpiece of a new four-step draft plan to integrate new arrivals into Ballarat’s community.

Ballarat City Council’s draft intercultural strategic plan 2017-21 has been put on display for public comment.

The plan includes programs such as the Multicultural Information Place at the Ballarat Library to help  deliver intercultural services to the community.

A regional skilled migration scheme has also be instituted across the region and led by council.

Council’s regional certifying body service covers the Grampians region and the neighbouring Hepburn, Pyrenees, Moorabool and Golden Plains Shires.

Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council chairman Fr Constantine Osuchukwu said he was looking forward to working with the city to implement the strategy.

“The city faces high growth and development with more people coming from culturally and linguistically diverse communities,” he said.

“In Victoria in general, more than 60 per cent of people were born overseas or have parents born overseas, so I think this makes sense it is a key strategy for the council.

“We will be providing detailed comment to the council on the strategy and working together with them.”

The draft plan also outlines participation of different cultural groups as a key objective for the strategy to achieve.

This has included resourcing and leading the annual Cultural Diversity Week, which attracted more than 10,000 people to 35 activities across Ballarat in 2017.

Other events for include the NAIDOC Netball and Football Carnival, Refugee Week, Eid dinners at the Ballarat Mosque and recognition of NAIDOC Week.

There have also been five multicultural ambassador programs, involving 50 people, delivered over the last decade.

Ratepayers have until 5pm, October 26, to comment on the draft plan.

The full document can be viewed at mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au.