Migrant Information Day (MID) 2022 will be unique in highlighting the contributions of Ukrainian new arrivals who have settled in the local area over the past eight months.
‘The Bayside and Sutherland Shire LGAs make up the top settlement locations of the Ukrainian nationals that have arrived here since April,’ said Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services at Advance Diversity Services (ADS).
‘This year’s MID will feature the distinctive crafts, artwork and food of ADS’s Ukrainian clients,’ he said.
More than 500 locals and 40 stallholders will celebrate MID at Rockdale Town Hall on Wednesday, October 26, from 10 am to 2 pm.
This free event – which returns ‘face-to-face’ after several years of virtual offerings – gives newly arrived migrants in the region the opportunity to gain information about health, government, education, employment, youth, community and CALD-specific services.
Mr Scerri said MID was an opportunity for new arrivals and migrants to connect with service providers and the community – regardless of what stage they were on in their settlement journey.
‘This year it is especially important as we welcome Ukrainian new arrivals who have settled in our community and are very much in the early stages of their settlement journey; learning English, registering with essential services and finding out about life in Australia.
‘Although the settlement journey can be difficult for many, there is a real sense of resiliency and also wanting to give back to the community among the Ukrainian new arrivals. For them, MID will be a great opportunity not only to find out about supports available to them but also to share their skills and contributions through artwork, food and jewellery stalls.’
A warm welcome and multilingual resources
MID has been an annual event in St George for more than 20 years and, in 2022, participants can enjoy:
- A free and delicious BBQ cooked by the Lions Club of Lugarno.
- Friendly chats with service providers and organisations in the local community, including TAFE NSW, Mission Australia, Royal Life Saving, the NSW Ombudsman, Sydney Water, Max Employment, Gymea Community Aid and Information Service, Headspace Hurstville and many others.
- Cultural performances from local artists – with Chinese and Indigenous dancers expected to be highlights.
- A range of guest speakers, including the Mayor of Bayside Council – Dr Christina Curry, the Hon. Linda Burney MP (via pre-recorded video), Steven Kamper MP, the Hon. Mark Coure MP, and Joseph La Posta, CEO of Multicultural NSW.
Multilingual information will be available from government and non-government organisations, and bilingual workers will be on hand to provide further language assistance in Nepali, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Bengali and Ukrainian.
‘Gathering the many services available in one place to easily share information with newly arrived migrants and refugees is a fantastic way to support those settling in our community,’ said Mr Scerri. ‘We’re excited to welcome new arrivals to this face-to-face event and we hope they make connections, have fun, and feel a sense of belonging in Australian society.’
MID 2022 showcases the cultural diversity of the St George region and is financially supported by a grant from Multicultural NSW – Stronger Together Grants Program and a range of organisations including: ADS, St George Community Transport, Georges River Council and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District – Priority Populations Unit. Bayside Council is host council for the event and has offered significant in-kind support.
Organising committee members include: Divesh Naryan – Settlement Services International, Sherie Skaines – Bayside Council, Marguerite Elson – Georges River Council, and Ronnie Wang – Asian Women at Work, and other ADS staff.