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City of Greater Bendigo receives Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence

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The City of Greater Bendigo’s efforts to become an inclusive city were rewarded last night when it received a Victorian Award for Excellence from the Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC. 

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of people and organisations that strengthen multiculturalism.  There are ten categories and the City of Greater Bendigo received the award in Government and Civic Leadership category for its leadership in developing and implementing the Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan (2016 - 2019) in partnership with many local organisations and multicultural community groups. 

Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the award recognises the work the City has done to make Greater Bendigo a welcoming community that fosters culturally inclusive attitudes and embraces increased multiculturalism.

“Our Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan set the standard for a strategic program of 146 initiatives to advance cultural inclusion and diversity and support Greater Bendigo to be a welcoming city for all,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“Advancing cultural diversity and inclusion has taken place  in partnership with dozens of local services, organisations and groups across the areas of health and wellbeing, social cohesion, sports and recreation and interfaith.

“The many projects delivered have supported local settlement services and multi-cultural support agencies to assist the settlement of new migrants and refugees, raised community awareness about human rights issues, celebrated different cultures, promoted religious and cultural awareness and supported community participation.

“It’s a great honour to take out the Government and Civic Leadership category because it  acknowledges the great work of the City and all  government departments and agencies who have delivered major initiatives that have improved multicultural citizen's access to community services. 

“Congratulations to everyone involved in putting the plan together and its implementation and delivery of a range of projects and programs that have ensured Greater Bendigo is a welcoming place for all.”

The City’s nomination highlighted a range of diversity and inclusion projects to Increase attendance and participation in libraries, in volunteering opportunities and employment including:

  • Developing connections with the Karen community and supporting the production of the We Are Karen video.
  • Holding Community Human Rights Forums and developing the Welcome Resource Kit for New Arrivals in both English and Karen.
  • Partnerships with community agencies to deliver projects such as the Multicultural Children’s Book, annual BeBendigo Diverse and Inclusive Work Place Award and showcasing Culturally Inclusive Sporting Clubs and Programs.
  • Raising awareness and undertaking community harmony activities to welcome Muslim residents.

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