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Harmony Alliance: First Membership Forum

Last Monday, 4 June 2018 in Melbourne SCoA attended the Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change Membership forum. The forum was attended by members and supporters of Harmony Alliance, including the Council, the Governance Committee and the Young Women’s Advisory Group.

Forum: Insights on the subject of intersectionality and employment were shared by panelists highlighting the prevalent issues of migrant and refugee women in Australia. Maria Dimopoulos facilitated the intersectionality panel with Ann Foley of Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council, Anyier Yuol of Harmony Young Women’s Advisory Group, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli of Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC), Margherita Coppolino of  National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) and Tina Douvos-Stathopoulos of Pronia on the panel. Gail Ker of Access Community Services Ltd facilitated the panel on employment where Div Pillay of Culturally Diverse Women (CDW), Violet Roumeliotis of Settlement Services International (SSI), and Zena Lythgo of SisterWorks formed the panel.

SCoA echoes the concerns that the panelists have shared on the lack of support and opportunities in the area of employment for migrant and refugee women, as well as the need to have them represented in different spaces and work places. Indeed, applying the lens of intersectionality in tackling various issues affecting migrant and refugee women is a sustainable and balanced framework that we at SCoA likewise promote.

Round Tables: The second half of the meeting was opened to members, composed of roundtables on the Alliance’s priority areas which includes Access to Justice, Employment, Health, and other emerging new priorities. The space provided by Harmony Alliance was conducive to higher levels of consultations for member organisations to bring up pressing issues within the priority areas affecting migrant and refugee women and exploring various potential solutions and collaborations.

SCoA likewise believe that there are many opportunities and potential creative collaboration that organisations and supporters in the sector can address together in the areas of Access to Justice, Employment, Health and other new priorities.

Overall, SCoA congratulates Harmony Alliance for a successful first membership forum, and encourages more like minded organisations to join Harmony Alliance. For more information, contact Harmony Alliance Secretariat, at +61 2 6162 0361 or email secretariat@harmonyalliance.org.au.