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2nd Advancing Community Cohesion Conference: 20-22 November 2017

L-R: SCOA CEO Nick Tebbey, FECCA Director Emma Campbell, SCOA Chair Dewani Bakkum and NEMBC President Tangi Steen

Nick presenting on the role of settlement services in promoting social cohesion.

In November 2017, SCoA Chairperson, Dewani Bakkum and CEO Nick Tebbey attended the 2nd Advancing Community Cohesion Conference hosted by Western Sydney University.

The conference brought together a range of speakers, from politicians and government representatives to grassroots community groups and a number of international speakers. It explored themes including Australia’s diversity and success as a multicultural society, as well as the work that is carried out across the country, in a range of sectors, to ensure cohesion, inclusion and respect.

SCoA was a proud sponsor of the event, and Nick was honoured to have the opportunity to make a presentation on the role of settlement services in promoting social inclusion and engagement as crucial ingredients of community cohesion.

His presentation analysed the role of migration in building Australia and, in turn, the work of the settlement sector in promoting inclusive settlement for all migrants. He explored the role of the National Settlement Services Outcomes Standards in promoting effective settlement outcomes and concluded that the provision of well-resourced and dynamic settlement services remains crucial to the maintenance of social cohesion in Australia.

A copy of Nick’s powerpoint presentation can be viewed here: ACCC Presentation – Nick Tebbey – Nov 17

In addition, a number of SCoA members, including the Australian Migrant Resource Centre, Settlement Services International, AMES Australia, Access Community Services and the Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia made interesting presentations about their work and their findings in the area of community cohesion.

One of the key takeaway messages for SCoA was that Australia gains so much from the diverse nature of its population; with people of all ethnicities, religions, ages, etc, having so much to contribute to our social fabric. However, there remains a need to ensure that community embraces this diversity and that from local grassroots organisations all the way up to the federal government, care is taken to ensure Australian policies and practices are inclusive and welcoming.

We thoroughly enjoyed the conference and the opportunity to meet many representatives of our members and other key stakeholders.