Latrobe City has seen a significant increase in the number of people from Burma arriving in our municipality; this includes Burmese sub-communities of Karen, Rohingya, and Zomi.
Following a collaborative approach in 2019 between Southern Metropolitan Settlement Service, Latrobe City Council, and Latrobe Community Health Service, visitors from Karen families arrived in Latrobe City to establish connections with local support, prior to moving to the area.
Settlement of Karen families to Latrobe City occurred following this collaboration as a “secondary movement”. New arrivals are eligible for Humanitarian Settlement Services for a duration of 6 months, with the Karen families having been eligible for this in Southern Metro area. With the secondary movement to Latrobe City, many families were no longer eligible for this service, and challenges were identified with individuals and families establishing themselves and accessing relevant supports and services. This community has established a mosque, the Light of Hidayah in Morwell.
Support for community members in Latrobe City area are being led by community leaders who have been connected with Victorian Police (proactive unit), Latrobe City Council and other CALD funded service providers and advocacy groups such as Gippsland Multicultural Services, Latrobe Community Health Service, Centre for Multicultural Youth and the Gippsland Ethnic Communities Council.
Latrobe City Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee
This was established in 2004 to provide advice to Council on matters relating to cultural diversity within the Latrobe City community. It is an Advisory Committee and has no delegated decision-making authority. The Committee assists with the development, implementation and review of the Council’s Cultural Diversity Action Plan and provides networking, information sharing and partnership opportunities for members and invited guests.
Membership of the Committee is drawn from:
- Peak/major organisations that service and support Latrobe City’s culturally diverse communities.
- Culturally diverse social groups, ethnic associations or agencies that support culturally diverse communities Latrobe City.
- Community members (individuals) with an interest in cultural diversity; and
- Co-opted members, as deemed appropriate by the Committee to help fulfil/meet the objectives and address any specific areas or gaps.
The committee comprises 15 members including two Latrobe City Councillors who co-chair the Committee. Members are recruited through an Expression of Interest process and are appointed for a three-year term.
Latrobe City Cultural Diversity Action Plan 2020-2024
This plan guides the Council’s activities in three crucial focus areas for cultural diversity over the life of the plan:
- Access and equity
Developed in conjunction with the Council’s Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee the aim of this action plan is to have a meaningful impact on improving the lived experience of culturally diverse communities in Latrobe City. This plan affirms the organisations commitment to meeting the challenges and opportunities of genuinely embracing cultural diversity in our municipality.
One of the actions that have been recently delivered from this plan is to ‘produce and appropriate directory of services, organisations and community (with translation on request)’.
The Latrobe City Diversity Advisory Committee Terms of Reference and the Latrobe City Service Directory for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities, including new arrivals, can be found on the Latrobe City website.