Tag: Robin Scott

Inter-faith prayers for drought-affected Australian farmers

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 21 September: Supported by the Andrews Labor Government, Victorian-based faith leaders have come together in a show of solidarity for the drought-affected Australian farmers.

Members of the Victoria’s Multifaith Advisory Group (MAG) said the group wanted to come together on the International Day of Peace in a show of faith and offer their prayers to demonstrate and encourage broad support for Australian farming communities.

Faith leaders with Multicultural Minister Robin Scott. Photo: VMC

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott says, “We understand the plight of farmers in drought-affected communities and are helping them through a variety of funding programs which allows farmers to consider their own personal circumstances and seek support.”

Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Baha’i, Muslim and Buddhist leaders and members of their congregations joined the Day of Prayer and were joined by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott and the Victorian Multicultural Commission. The faith leaders will continue prayers and encouragement of donations and other support through their respective congregations and communities.

Chaired by Chairperson of the VMC Helen Kapalos, the MAG comprises 27 religious leaders from various Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Baha’i communities. The MAG assists the government to understand and respond to faith-related issues in Victoria and to support people from a diverse array of cultural and religious backgrounds.

Chair of the Multifaith Advisory Group and the Victorian Multicultural Commission Helen Kapalos says, “While the leaders here today represent several different faiths and denominations, they also represent one humanity, underpinned by the values of compassion, understanding, support, and hope.”

Big support for Nepal-Australia Business Forum 2018


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 30 June: The Nepal Embassy and the Consulate General of Nepal organized a day-long successful Nepal-Australia Business Forum 2018 at the Mantra Bell City Hotel today. The largely attended event explored trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. Afternoon and evening sessions were attended by many VIPs and community leaders.


Earlier in the day the forum was inaugurated by the Victorian Multicultural Minister Robin Scott by lighting the traditional lamp. Lamps were also lighted in the evening by Bruce Atkinson, Craig Ondarachie, Peter Khalil, Frank McGuire, Felicia Maraiani among others. They also addressed those gathered.

Traditional dances were also performed amidst the debate and discussion to enhance business opportunities between Nepal and Australia.

Victoria interpreters to be paid better

Paykick-1 final
Photo: Vic. Govt.

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 25 June: Victorians from linguistically diverse backgrounds will soon have better access to health, education and other critical services with the boost of funding for interpreter services from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott announced $21.8 million over four years and $8.4 million per year ongoing to improve the pay and working conditions of the contractor and casually employed interpreters.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott says, “All Victorians have a right to access government services, regardless of their English language skills. Interpreters are vital to enabling this access.”

Paykick-2 final
Photo: Vic. Govt.

The boost is the largest single funding increase for interpreter services in Victoria’s history.
Interpreters enable linguistically diverse communities to better access health, education and other critical services, also facilitating better communications between professionals at service providers and their clients, yet interpreter remuneration has been static for over 15 years.

This decrease in real terms has seen many experienced interpreters leave the sector due to concerns about job security, remuneration and working conditions.

To redress this decline, and support a high quality and professional interpreter workforce in Victoria, the Andrews Government is reforming its procurement of language services. The changes ensure better rates are paid to interpreters, and that the right incentives are in place to keep them performing their crucial role in the delivery of government services.

“With Victoria’s increasing cultural diversity, interpreters have never been more important. It is essential that we ensure a professional, high-quality language services industry to meet the needs of Victorians,” the Minister says.

From the 1 July, minimum rates of remuneration will be guaranteed for all contractor and casually employed interpreters who provide services to the Victorian Government.

The reforms are the result of an extensive consultation with interpreters and other industry stakeholders and independent evidence-based reviews.

A new Victorian Language Services Quality Committee will be established to advise the Government on industry sustainability and quality issues into the future.

Opposition talk of law and order “totally cheap”, says Daniel Andrews


By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 10 May: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today came down heavily on the opposition for talking around about the ‘law and order’ situation in the state. The latest budget, he said, has more money for more police and the last two crime statistics show “we are turning it around”.

Answering to a pointed question during a budget briefing at the Parliament House today by SAT, the Victorian Premier said the opposition’s talk on the subject was “totally cheap” as “we inherited a mess” but have given more resources for special firearms, more drug tests and all support to the Police Commissioner.

“9,300 applications had recently applied for positions in the Victoria Police,” he disclosed.



Addressing the media, Multicultural Minister Robin Scott said, “Culturally diverse communities in Victoria will benefit from a record boost of $43.6 million in multicultural funding, as part of this year’s Victorian Budget.”

“The funding will ensure every Victorian has the opportunity to celebrate our state’s rich cultural diversity, “said Minister Scott.


Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan said, “the budget includes a massive investment in the Suburban Roads Upgrade of $ 2.2 billion package to upgrade 13 arterial roads across the northern and south-eastern suburbs.”

“We’d all rather spend more time with family and friends than stuck in traffic – that’s why we’re fixing the suburban roads people rely on every day,” he said.


Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos disclosed that Victoria will be the first state in Australia to provide an additional $18 million to give at least 3,000 children attending state-funded kinders the opportunity to learn a language other than English for the very first time.

“The project will start in a few months and which languages form part of the scheme will be decided after community consultation”, she said.

Andrews govt. Council to chart road map to identify and address key South Asian issues

Victoria’s Multicultural Minister Hon. Robin Scott addressing the media at the Parliament House. Photo: SAT/NN.

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 28 November: In a major initiative to boost its connectivity to the South Asian communities in Victoria the Andrews Labour government has decided to setup a South Asian Ministerial Advisory Council. The announcement was today made by the Multicultural Minister Hon. Robin Scott at a media conference at the Parliament House.

The proposed Council will include Multicultural Minister Hon. Robin Scott, the chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission Helen Kapalos and 25 South Asian community members.
“The community members will include representative’s from Victoria’s Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Nepalese, Bhutanese and the Republic of Maldives communities,” Minister Robin Scott said. The question if Afghans should also be included in the Council will be examined, he said.

Addressing the media Minister Hon. Robin Scott said, “We want all South Asian Victorians to have a say in their future and be empowered to speak out about the challenges they face. South Asian Victorians know the challenges they face and how to best solve them.”

“We want to engage directly with South Asian communities and work together to enrich Victoria’s dynamic multiculturalism,” he said.

This initiative comes in the background of the Victorian Premier Hon. Daniel Andrews recent announcement that the state is developing it’s ‘India Strategy’ to enhance business and trade relations. The Premier is to lead a business delegation to India in January next year.

The rising strength of the South Asian communities in Victoria is being seen as the driving force for the Andrews government’s array of decisions to interact with them and solve issues social and economic facing these communities.

The decision to set up Indian cultural precinct’s in Dandenong and the West and continue to fund the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) were earlier welcomed by the South Asian communities.

VMC Chairperson Helen Kapalos in a media statement says, “Victoria’s diverse South Asian communities contribute to our identity as a vibrant and cohesive society. The VMC
is determined to ensure their voices are heard as they build an even stronger future in Victoria.”

It needs to be mentioned here Mr. Manoj Kumar was recently pre-selected to be the ALP candidate for the prestigious and marginal seat of Forest Hill for the 2018 state elections. Manoj is the first India born South Asian migrant to contest the seat as a Labour candidate. Earlier, Vasan Srinivasan had unsuccessfully contested the seat as a Liberal candidate in 2002.

Talking to SAT, Manoj Kumar said, “I welcome the initiative as this will help the South Asian communities to directly engage with the Victorian government to identify their issues and plan to effectively deal with them.”

“A key objective for the Council will be to develop a South Asian Communities Action Plan – roadmap for the future by identifying and addressing key issues,” says the media release from the office of the multicultural Minister.

Key issues for the South Asian communities include employment, parent’s migration, domestic violence and assimilation in mainstream Australian society. Though another key issue remains the almost no political representation for South Asian’s in elected bodies including the State and federal Parliament.

Victorians interested in nominating for a voluntary Council position can submit an expression of interest and CV to community.participation@dpc.vic.gov.au by 22 December 2017.