Advance Diversity Services (ADS) celebrated its 40th anniversary with speeches, awards, Nepalese dancing and branded cupcakes at its AGM held in its Hurstville office on December 9.
Mark Coure MP, Member for Oatley, spoke about ADS’s outstanding work in the community and presented a 40-year Service Award to Branislav Musovski. Khalil Haragli, also a recipient of the 40-year Service Award, was unable to attend the ceremony.
Rodney Thompson (representing David Coleman MP) presented the Banks Volunteer of the Year Award to Martyn Perry, ADS Learn to Drive Mentor volunteer.
Anna Veneris, Group Facilitator, and Rosaline Havea, Board of Directors, received appreciation for 20 years of service and Mushrat Mishu, Finance Officer, and Vera Trajkovska, Community Care Worker, received their 10-year Service Award.
ADS CEO Antoinette Chow thanked board members who had completed their service and once again welcomed Chura Belbase, Marites Bairstow, Dr Rifaat Hanna, Rosaline Havea and Ruth Fyfe to their roles on the board.
She also praised Shreya Gyawali, the Nepalese dancer who performed at the AGM, and who happily serves a volunteer at ADS’s Nepalese cultural dance class.
Chairperson Ruth Fyfe said that while celebrations had been disrupted by the pandemic, the 40th Anniversary was still a milestone event for ADS.
‘In 1981, from a simple beginning as St George Migrant Resource Centre, ADS has achieved 40 years of proud service to the community,’ she said. ‘And it is still a values-driven organisation.
‘ADS has grown to include offices at Hurstville, Rockdale, Bexley and Sutherland from where Services are provided to South Eastern Sydney including Bayside, Georges River and Sutherland Shire local government areas.
‘It continues to provide high-quality services to the community by having an active commitment to social justice, compassion, inclusion, empowerment, integrity and collaboration.’
Ms Fyfe said ADS was fortunate to have highly skilled staff with extensive knowledge of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
‘Staff and volunteers speak over thirty community languages, she said, ‘and ADS continues to thrive in a constantly changing environment.’
Ms Chow said ADS has had a rich history and continues to build on a firm foundation established over decades.
Highlights from the last five years she noted, included, expanding the Settlement Services Program; running anti-racism workshops and domestic and family violence prevention initiatives; offering affordable driving lessons by trained volunteers to people from disadvantaged groups; adapting aged care programs to meet Australia’s aged care reforms; registration as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider; and winning several awards for our work in fostering diversity with a specific focus on the CALD LGBTQIA+ community, which includes launching our marketing campaign ‘Be YOU WITH US – You belong, We All belong’ and introducing ADS Diversity Champions.
That ADS had been able to purchase and move into its own premises in Hurstville CBD in 2019 was another high point she added.
‘Through our Strategic Plan 2021-2024, we will continue to enact our values of inclusion, collaboration, empowerment, compassion and integrity while focusing on the three strategic pillars: strengthening our industry leadership and partnerships; operating with excellence; and diversifying our services,’ she said.
‘Thank you all for supporting ADS over the last 40 years and I look forward to continuing to work together to build a strong ADS that is well-equipped to face the future.’
Read our annual report here https://www.advancediversity.org.au/resources/