Blue Mountains City Council

Multicultural Services
Multicultural Services

Download the Multicultural Service and Resource Directory below

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Multicultural Services

The Blue Mountains is home to people from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

The traditional owners of Blue Mountains are the Darug and Gundungurra peoples, who have strong and ongoing connections to their traditional lands, cultures, heritage and history.

Migration to Australia over the last 220 years from more than 200 countries has made Australia one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. The 2006 census indicated that approximately 6.3% of the Blue Mountains population was born in a non-English speaking country.

Residents from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds living in the Blue Mountains are scattered throughout the LGA with people from European, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Latin American countries.

Blue Mountains City Council supports initiatives that contribute to a safe, caring and inclusive community through the implementation of a range of community safety initiatives, community diversity celebrations, and the provision of support for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Download 2006 Census Data for Blue Mountains residents born in non-English speaking countries and dependent children with parents born in non-English speaking countries, at right.

Information

  • Blue Mountains Multicultural Service and Resource Directory
    The aim of this directory is to assist service providers and community members with CALD specific service and resource information in the absence of locally based multicultural services. It is also hoped that by making this information available it will encourage local services to meet their access and equity commitments to CALD residents; and CALD community members will have greater access to available services, resources and information.

    This directory was developed and produced as a result of a long standing campaign to provide better Access and Equity for the CALD community living in the Blue Mountains. It was conceptualised by Mountains Community Resource Network (MCRN), Sydney West Area Health Service Multicultural Health Network Western Cluster, Mountains Multicultural Interagency and Blue Mountains Multicultural Residents Association (MRA); and was researched and developed by Julianne Abood in her capacity of MCRN project worker, and produced by MCRN in partnership with Blue Mountains City Council.

    Download a copy of the directory, at right.

  • East Meets West
    East meets West: Exploring Cultural Diversity in the Blue Mountains, a research project funded and overseen by Sydney West Area Health Service, came about in response to concerns among service providers in the Blue Mountains about engaging with and providing culturally appropriate services to local residents from CALD backgrounds, in the absence of locally based multicultural workers. The project's report details extensive qualitative research findings and recommendations, which include the recommendation for the development of 'a directory of CALD specific programs, services, multilingual groups and voluntary associations and source points for CALD specific and multilingual information' (Recommendation 3.2.6:10), and which led to the development of the Blue Mountains Multicultural Directory - see above.

    The East Meets West research demonstrated that, despite stereotypes of a mono-cultural tradition, the Blue Mountains is home to people from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds, whose contribution can be seen in the rich and diverse range of artistic, cultural and business enterprises across the area.
    Download a copy of the report, at right.

Events and Celebrations

The Blue Mountains' annual community Harmony Day celebrations in March are an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity in our community, and give all Blue Mountains residents the opportunity to meet and share with people from many cultures in our community.

Refugee Week is coordinated nationally by the Refugee Council of Australia to celebrate the contribution refugees make to our community and raise awareness about the issues faced by refugees.

  • Carnavale - November

    Blue Mountains Carnavale celebrations are held annually in November.

Local Multicultural Groups and Services

Group Description Contact details
Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group Provide support and advocacy for asylum seekers and refugees in the Blue Mountains.

George Winston (02) 4782 7866 or Wayne Buckman (02) 4751 5062

Email: bmrsg@aapt.net.au  

English language classes at TAFE NSW

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provides students from Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE) with English language skills to enhance their access to, and participation in further education, employment and the Australian community.

Classes are offered at Katoomba and Wentworth Falls campuses of Blue Mountains TAFE.

Jann Dillon (Head Teacher of General Education, Blue Mountains TAFE) Phone: (02) 4753 2128

ESOL classes are also offered at Nepean TAFE Penrith and Kingswood. Contact: Maria Reid (Head Teacher ESOL, Nepean TAFE) Phone: (02) 4724 8264

Interpreter and Translation Service (TIS National) TIS National provide a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week nationwide interpreting and translating service. Phone: 131 450
Migrant Residents Association (MRA)

Blue Mountains Migrant Residents Association initiates and supports cultural projects and events to promote and celebrate the benefits of a vibrant and culturally diverse life in the Mountains.

Membership and participation in MRA activities is open to all members of the community.

Beatriz Cardona

Email: b.cardona@uws.edu.au  

Mountains Community Resource Network (MCRN)

Mountains Community Resource Network is the local peak organisation for the Blue Mountains community organisations.

MCRN works with funded and unfunded groups and disadvantaged communities developing social justice collaborative networks and infrastructure.

www.mcrn.org.au  

Phone: (02) 4759 3599

Mountains Multicultural Interagency (MMI) Mountains Multicultural Interagency is the Blue Mountains interagency forum addressing multicultural community issues in the Blue Mountains. MMI meets bimonthly in Lawson.

C/- MCRN www.mcrn.org.au  

www.mcrn.org.au/bm-community-services-sector/mmi  

Multicultural Playgroup

FREE playgroup for migrant families living in the Blue Mountains. Come and meet with other migrant parents and young children (aged 0-5 years) in a safe and supportive environment.

When: Fridays, every two weeks during school term between 10:00am and 12:00pm

Where: Blue Mountains Family Support Service, 2 Station St, Katoomba

Yola on (02) 4782 1555 or

Jill on (02) 4739 5963 for dates or more information

Nepean Migrant Access (NMA) NMA is set up to provide relevant services and programs to address the needs of migrants, refugees, humanitarian entrants and long term residents from CALD backgrounds in the Nepean Region.

www.nma.org.au  

Phone: (02) 9833 2416

Older Migrant Social Group

Come and share your culture and your stories with this friendly lunch group.

When: 1st Tuesday every month

Where: Mid Mountains Community Centre, Lawson

Mary Clements, Blue Mountains Food Services Phone: (02) 4759 2811
TAFE Outreach

Outreach provides 'second chance' education opportunities and return to work training at various community locations within the Blue Mountains.

Outreach enables participants from language background other than English to improve employment skills or move onto further education opportunities.

Denise Newton (acting Outreach Co-ordinator) Phone: (02) 4759 2039
TAFE Multicultural Adult Education Advice and Support for People with Language Background Other than English (LBOTE) For advice on Overseas skills and qualifications Recognition, advice on Educational pathway, advice on Temporary Residence Visa status, Learner Support to assist with English language and course content, Bilingual services, support and referral to interpreting and translating services and organising and running vocational English courses. Dennis Smith (Institute Multicultural Education Coordinator) Phone: (02) 9208 9595 Email: dennis.smith@tafensw.edu.au