The City of Ryde declared itself a Refugee Welcome Zone in April 2013 and is proud of its status as one of the State’s most culturally diverse communities, with more than 110 different nationalities living in Ryde.
Multicultural Ambassador Program (MAP)
With an increasing number of Ryde residents speaking a language other than English at home, combined with a lack of bilingual workers and translated materials for local support services, another avenue is needed to ensure the safe, easy and comfortable settlement of new arrivals in Ryde.
The Multicultural Ambassador Program (MAP) aims to recruit, train and skill and support a group of bilingual volunteers to become Multicultural Ambassadors who will provide information and referral to the City of Ryde’s linguistically diverse communities, especially new arrivals. Through the establishment and implementation of the MAP, residents will have better access to support services, specifically those appropriate for culturally and linguistically diverse groups. The MAP will also provide volunteer and professional development opportunities for Ryde residents, empowering existing and emerging community leaders. The program is a joint collaboration between the Community Migrant Resource Centre and the City of Ryde.
Multicultural Working Group
The primary role of the Multicultural Working Group is to provide advice to Council to ensure that Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) residents in the City of Ryde are welcomed and able to participate actively and inclusively in all aspects of community and civic life. This working group will also support Council to recognise and value the diversity of the community.
English Conversation Classes
English Conversation Classes are for adult learners who speak first languages other than English in an interactive class environment. They are being held weekly during school term at Ryde Library and are free of charge.
Make a stand against racism is the successor to the City of Ryde Racism It Stops With Me campaign partnership and allied to the Racism Not Welcome campaign.
Through the Racism It Stops with Me campaign, we have been actively promoting community awareness on racism, and how to identify and call out racism for a better and safer community. The City of Ryde has partnered with Macquarie University to produce a series of resources to give community members information about: What is racism? Different types of Racism, How to respond and report Racism, and where to find support.
We also wanted to better understand the experience of discrimination and racism among international students within our community. An investigation in this area was conducted in 2019 in partnership with Macquarie University. The International students experience of racism report can be found on Council’s website.
The City of Ryde also became a member of the #RacismNotWelcome campaign in 2021. The campaign is a community-led, grassroots initiative intended to acknowledge the existence of racism, validate people’s lived experiences with racism and normalise conversations about racism whilst igniting change. Since becoming a member, the City of Ryde has installed 46 #RacismNotWelcome street blades across the LGA.
Make a stand against abuse
City of Ryde, Ryde Hunters Hill Domestic Violence Committee, Ryde Police Area Command, Eastwood & Gladesville Liquor Accord, Community Migrant Resource Centre, and the Purple Nail Tribe – Lisa Harnum Foundation work in partnership to deliver the City of Ryde Make a stand against abuse campaign. Make a Stand activities are centred around the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. An annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The City of Ryde also created a podcast series – Tune in to Make A Stand podcasts – where people can learn about domestic violence and abuse, the experiences of survivors, and domestic and family abuse support services. Podcasts are also available in different community languages: English, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and Farsi.
Ryde Intercultural Network is held quarterly online with numerous multicultural service providers. The objectives of the network are:
- To increase diversity awareness and promote inclusion and accessibility in the community
- To improve local networks, strengthen referral pathways, and understanding of existing facilities and resources that assist community members in the Ryde and Northern Sydney regions
- To facilitate discussion on a range of diversity-related issues impacting the areas
The network discusses current issues, identifies gaps in the community and share updates, and provide networking opportunities. The network also provides professional development training to service providers throughout the year and sets different topics for each meeting, i.e., employment, mental health, and disability.
Community Events: Throughout the year, the City of Ryde is hosting numerous events to celebrate our rich cultural diversity. Some of the events we celebrate are Lunar New Year, Harmony Day, Refugee Week, Diwali, and Moon Festival. We have been working closely with different community groups, not-for-profit organisations, and government departments to host interactive information sessions, meaningful workshops and cultural performances, and arts activities for the community.
People of Ryde: City of Ryde teamed up with Macquarie University’s Department of English. Together, we reached out to those who live in or have a close connection to the City and we asked them to tell us their stories in their own words. Much like communities, the stories of others offer a sense of connection and belonging. They give us the chance to celebrate our differences and to reflect on the things that unite us all. As well as memories of life in our City, each of these stories touches on different themes such as personal development, cultural identity, and community service.