Tag: Victoria

Victoria’s first Indian community centre in Rowville inaugurated by Alan Tudge & Michael Sukar

An outside view of the community centre.Photo-SAT

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 26 March 2021: It was a proud moment for Indians in Victoria with the inauguration of the first ‘Australia India Community Centre’ in Rowville. The years of failed attempts and attempts finally bore fruit with Aston Alan Tudge MP Minister for Education and Youth & Federal Member for Aston and Michael Sukar MP, Federal Member for Deakin and Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing opened the place with great fanfare in the presence of hundreds of guests. A Bollywood dance item performed to celebrate the event enthralled the audience present.


The Centre was partially funded by the Australian Government with $2.5 million funding in addition to funding by the seven Trustees of the Australian Indian Community Charitable Trust. Mr. Vasan Srinivasan, who heads the Centre told SAT, ” The State Government has promised another $ 95,000 which has yet to come.

MR. Vasan Srinivasan addresses the audience. Photos-SAT

He disclosed the two-story Center has a built-up area of 1040 sq Meters and lots of parking. An application has also been made for permission to hold events at the Centre.”

” The backside of the Centre will soon have sports facilities and the first floor now has the ‘Dr. Dinesh Parekh Museum India’, shifted from Foster Street, Dandenong. The Museum is a highlight of the Centre with Dr. Dinesh Parekh’s collections of paintings, photographs, stamps, coins, and books. Dr. Parekh died last month and today his wife, son, and daughter-in-law were present to grace the occasion.

Among those who addressed the gathering were Minister Alan Tudge, Michael Sukar MP, Mr. Raj Kumar, India’s Consul General in Melbourne, Dr. Parekh’s son, Mathew Guy, and Vasan Srinivasan. Mementos were also given away.

In his address, Alan Tudge said that once final council approval is complete the two-story building will be used as Victoria’s first Indian Community Centre, and include multiple assembly halls, a commercial kitchen, meeting and storage rooms, a car park, an administration, and reception area, offices for three Indian community peak bodies as well as a secure area for Museum India which showcases India’s rich history and heritage.

Mr. Alan Tudge addresses those preesent. Photos-SAT

“This was an election commitment of the Morrison Government and I am so pleased to see it up and running,” Mr. Tudge said.

He also read out the message of PM Scott Morrison. ” This Centre, I know, will give much – not only to this community, but to the wider community, and to everyone who passes through its doors. I foresee many gatherings, full of color, family, friendship, and of course food!
My congratulations and very best wishes for the long life of the Australia India Community Centre,” he said.

Chair of the Australia India Community Charitable Trust Vasan Srinivasan said he was truly excited for the community centre to officially opened.

“I wish to thank the Morrison Government and our Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack for the funding and approval of this project, along with Hon. Alan Tudge and Hon. Michael Sukkar for their support to see this project formalized and delivered,” Mr. Srinivasan said.

“I am also excited to see the Community Centre become the new home of the Museum India, which will be named in memory of Dr. Dinesh Parekh – the collector and curator of the museum’s collection.”

The community centre is situated at 16-18 Kingsley Close, Rowville, Victoria 3178.

(The story will be updated soon with more text and photos)

Victoria establishes Ministerial Taskforce to curb sexual harassment in workplaces

Photo- @GabbyWilliamsMP

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 8 March 2021: The Andrews Labor Government has begun work on a new plan to stamp out sexual harassment in Victorian workplaces. Already the Victorian Government benches comprise 28 % women and its cabinet is majority female (12/22, says Gabrielle Williams MP, State MP for Dandenong & Minister of Family Violence, Women & Aboriginal Affairs in a Tweet.

Acting Premier James Merlino joined Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt and Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams on International Women’s Day today to announce the establishment of a Ministerial Taskforce on Workplace Sexual Harassment to develop reforms that will prevent and better respond to sexual harassment in workplaces.

Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams says, “Too many women have had to deal with the disrespect, humiliation, and intimidation of sexual harassment when we are simply trying to do our jobs – these reforms will go a long way to improving workplace culture for everyone.”

A key initiative of this reform program will be starting consultation on a mandatory incident notification scheme that would require employers to notify WorkSafe of workplace sexual harassment.

The Taskforce will consider ways to strengthen the occupational health and safety framework to address sexual harassment, clarify employer obligations to boost accountability, encourage and support workers to speak up, and consider measures to prevent the misuse of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment matters.

The Taskforce will be co-chaired by Parliamentary Secretary for Workplace Safety Bronwyn Halfpenny MP and Chair of the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council and experienced workplace injury lawyer, Liberty Sanger. It will include union, employer, and legal representatives, and will deliver its advice to the Government later this year.

Acting Premier James Merlino says, “A workplace that is not free from sexual harassment is an unsafe workplace. Inappropriate and dangerous
behaviour must be called out and acted on – and that starts with changing workplace culture.”

A new Memorandum of Understanding between WorkSafe and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) will also help to create a unified approach to address workplace sexual harassment.

Under the agreement, WorkSafe and VEOHRC will share information, refer inquiries and complaints to each other and collaborate on inspections, education, and promotional activities – leading to more coordinated response and greater support for workers seeking help.

WorkSafe inspectors will also undergo targeted training on best-practice responsesforsexual harassment incidents.

A new WorkSafe campaign, “Let’s Be Very Clear”, was also launched today. The campaign is a call to action to raise awareness of what workplace sexual harassment is, educate employers on their responsibilities and encourage workers to call out unacceptable behaviour when they see it.
Targeting high-risk industries, the “Let’s Be Very Clear” campaign will reinforce that protecting workers from sexual harassment in the workplace is every employer’s responsibility – and that failing to do so is against the law.

Report crime confidentially at the new Crime Stoppers website

Photo- Crime Stoppers

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 8 February 2021: Sharing what you want to inform Crime Stoppers confidentially has never been so easy and quick. The public shift to online services has meant that more and more people are choosing to share their crime information online. Since 2017 the number of online tips to Crime Stoppers has increased by an average of 20% each year. The new reporting system uses conditional logic, determining future questions based on the information the person provides.

What hasn’t changed is Crime Stoppers’ focus on anonymity. As with all tips to Crime Stoppers, we don’t want to know who you are, just what you know. Although comprehensive information is invaluable, the smallest detail can help solve a crime. Crime Stoppers Victoria’s CEO, Stella Smith says, “you don’t have to be 100% sure to make a tip to Crime Stoppers. If it is enough to make you suspicious, it is enough to let us know.”

Every day brings something new at Crime Stoppers, with the public sharing information about a wide range of crimes, including high-risk road users, illegal firearms, homicide, and the manufacture and supply of drugs in the community. In recent years high profile crimes have also prompted Victorians to flood the Crime Stoppers call center and website with information for investigators.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville says, “Reporting suspicious activity to Crime Stoppers is not only a huge help to police by saving valuable time and resources, but it also helps to keep the Victorian community safe.”
“The information which members of the public have provided through Crime Stoppers has led Victoria Police to arrest more than 26,000 people and layover 100,000 charges since it was established in 1987.”

Despite the overwhelming support the program receives from the public, sharing success stories of individual cases is a challenge. Stella Smith said “the commitment to anonymity means each tip is treated like it has the potential to divulge someone’s identity. If a criminal knew that police were tipped off with a call to Crime Stoppers, that might be enough for them to work out the identity of the caller and we cannot allow that to happen.”

To make the sharing of crime information easier for Victorians, the new reporting system uses simple illustrations and has been translated into ten languages including Mandarin, Hindi and Arabic.

The new-look website is still home to community safety campaigns and resources covering a range of crime prevention tips to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

The new Crime Stoppers Victoria website is also a place for the public to be amateur detectives. The website features hundreds of images of people police need help identifying.

Victorians can swipe through these images on their phones and quickly share what they know with Crime Stoppers. Every piece of information helps keep Victoria safe.

The new website was developed with funding from the Department of Justice and Community Safety. “The capability and security of this site was beyond what a not-for-profit organization could achieve on its own, so the support of the Victorian Government has been invaluable,” said Stella Smith.

Minister for Corrections, Youth Justice, Crime Prevention and
Victims Support Natalie Hutchins says, “I encourage all Victorians to use this new service from Crime Stoppers to help improve
safety in their communities. Language should never be a barrier to reporting crime. And we know being able to report crime confidentially is important to the community, as 70 percent of people who contact Crime Stoppers choose to remain anonymous.”

Victoria Parliament catering team’s meals milestone through charities


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 18 August 2020: The kitchens have reached a significant milestone during COVID-19, preparing 450,000 meals that charities have delivered to people most in need.

“Parliament’s catering team has been working seven days a week with a range of charities over several months to help ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community have received nutritious meals,” Legislative Assembly Speaker Colin Brooks said.

“Through this initiative we’ve supported the well-being of our community and we’ve kept people in jobs,” Mr Brooks said..

The meals initiative commenced in late March and is a partnership with The Salvation Army, The Lazarus Centre, St Peter’s Eastern Hill Anglican Church, Heaven At The Hill social enterprise, the Father Bob Maguire Foundation, Melbourne City Mission, St Vincent de Paul Society and St Mary’s House of Welcome.

“By the end of August more than half a million meals will have been prepared and distributed through this joint effort for our community,” Mr. Brooks said.

Parliament’s appropriation is being used to support the program with $476,563 spent in June and $344,303 spent in July. Funds have been directed to this initiative as some of the Parliament’s planned activities could not be undertaken due to COVID-19.

“The charities we have been working with have told us how much this meals initiative is assisting them to help people in need at a time of unprecedented demand for their services,” Legislative Council President Nazih Elasmar said.

“This is a wonderful example of Victorians working together for the benefit of our community,” Mr. Elasmar said.

Source: Parliament website, 11 August 2020.

Daniel Andrews announces $ 14.3 m more for multicultural communities, calling the pandemic the biggest challenge we ever had to face


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 13 August 2020: The Victorian Government is boosting support for multicultural communities across the state so that all Victorians can play their part, help slow the spread of coronavirus, and stay safe.

Describing the pandemic as a ‘great challenge’ Premier Daniel Andrews today announced an additional $14.3 million to reach out to more culturally and linguistically diverse Victorians and ensure they get the support they need, when they need it.

Premier Daniel Andrews told a virtual multicultural media conference today, “We are equal to this task, but it will only work if each and every Victorian plays their part – we’ve got to look out for each other.”
“This is one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever had to face, but by supporting one another, staying home and
slowing the spread of this deadly virus, we’ll get through to the other side,”he said.

The funding includes $6.9 million for expanded health messaging and support for multicultural organizations that work on the ground to deliver emergency relief, such as culturally specific accommodation and food for those self-isolating or in quarantine.

It will also ensure positive cases and their close contacts are cared for and taken through compliance checks in a culturally appropriate way, while also providing cultural advice to support the work of the coronavirus contact tracing team.

A CALD Communities Taskforce will also be established to help multicultural and multifaith communities through the pandemic, with representatives from the Victorian Multicultural Commission and various departments.

The funding package also includes $5.5 million to continue and expand the distribution of vital health advice that has been translated into 55 different languages, ensuring people understand and comply with restrictions designed to keep us safe, with a focus on supporting younger CALD members.

Support for multicultural communities has been rolling out since the beginning of the pandemic, with advertising campaigns on TV, social media, digital platforms, newspapers, and radio, as well as a series of community roundtables.

The latest in-language videos released earlier this week feature frontline health workers speaking about their experiences in Oromo, Vietnamese, Turkish, and Korean.

A further $2 million will go towards translation and interpreter services to meet the increase in demand.

This latest investment builds on the $11.3 million package that was announced in May to help multicultural and multifaith Victorians battle social isolation, engage young people and fund culturally specific family violence support agencies.