On Saturday 20th August, the 2016 Queensland Multicultural Awards organized by Multicultural Affairs Queensland, was held at the Logan Entertainment Centre. At this gala event attended by key CALD community leaders, Ministers, politicians and government officers, there were 27 finalists from the private and public sectors, government and non-government organisations, nominated for awards. Multicultural Community Centre (MCC) and Diverciti Enterprises were finalists in the following categories: Employment, Education and Training Innovation: Non-government and Private Enterprise, and Business Excellence: Organisation.
It was indeed a huge honour for MCC when it won the overall Minister’s award, beating 26 other finalists, including Townsville Hospital and the Queensland Police Academy. MCC’s key business is to get migrants and refugees into the workforce, and integrated into mainstream society, through its “Migrant One Stop Shop’. Essential to its training and employment programme is the running of government – funded courses including Certificate III in Aged Care / Child Care, Certificate II Kitchen Operations, Certificate I in Business. Annually over 90 % complete their courses; while over 80% find jobs, with many going on to do Diploma or tertiary courses.
It was also wonderful that the newly established Diverciti Cleaning (a social enterprise) was also a finalist. The company was set up as a means of providing guaranteed employment and a steady above award income to unemployed CALD people, in cleaning, an occupation which is, possibly, the most unregulated in our society today. Diverciti seeks out cleaning contracts and guaranteed work paying above award wages, which is then ‘sub-contracted’ to a CALD cleaner. Thus Diverciti supports MCC by creating job opportunities for its clients as MCC has a pool of job seekers that has relevant skills set, some having been trained in Certificate II Assets Maintenance (Cleaning Operations). In addition, the cleaning industry has always been one of the ideal industries for starting up a small business and as a result MCC job seekers are supported in setting up small businesses to give them a sustainable and independent future.
These initiatives from both MCC and Diverciti Enterprises, enable migrants and refugees to settle down in Queensland, by promoting a sense of belonging, as all work together to build a prosperous, fair and harmonious nation. More importantly, all job seekers are able to participate fully in the economic, political and social life of the state. We live in a global village, with multi-national companies operating in our global economy. CALD migrants bring a diverse range of skills, talents, languages to the workplace; in addition to an extended network of contacts spanning the globe. Australia can benefit not only from this vast range of diverse communities economically, but the cultural and social contributions bring so much colour and variety to all of us to enjoy.