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Mayor to launch Cultural Diversity and Volunteering Toolkit

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The City of Greater Bendigo, the Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre and Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services will launch a Cultural Diversity and Volunteering in Greater Bendigo Toolkit to enhance the engagement of volunteers from multicultural backgrounds.

The toolkit will be launched by City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke at 10am on Thursday August 1, at the Bendigo Library.

Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre (BVRC) Manager Helen Yorston said the creation of the toolkit supports the work of the BVRC and further embraces the value of cultural diversity in the volunteer sector. 

“With many volunteer organisations looking to recruit more volunteers, the BVRC believes the toolkit will help creative thinking and encourage the development of new ways to involve people from all cultural backgrounds,” Ms Yorsten said.

 “The toolkit builds on the feedback received from cultural competency training sessions held for volunteer groups in 2018, where information was gathered on the gaps facing organisations to be more inclusive.”

City of Greater Bendigo Community Partnerships Unit Manager Steven Abbott said the toolkit promotes the benefits of cultural diversity and also volunteering in Greater Bendigo.

“It also incorporates a cultural safety audit that shares ideas and guidelines for culturally competent practices and strategies for volunteering organisations,” Mr Abbott said.  

“It’s an important resource that supports the City’s Community Volunteering Strategy and responds to actions in the Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan.”

Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services Administration Volunteer Silvia Moon said she initially became a volunteer because it was part of her university requirements but she also wanted to gain work experience and learn new skills.

“However, since volunteering with Multicultural Services I’ve gained more than expected. It gave me a chance to meet new people, create networks and feel a sense of belonging.

“The staff are friendly and treated me with respect and they empowered me to step out from my comfort zone. It’s been great to actually make a difference in my community while helping those in need,” Ms Moon said.

Copies of the toolkit will be available at the launch from the BVRC.  In addition online versions will be available through each of the partnering organisation’s websites.

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