The Goulburn Valley’s African community leaders have partnered with Victoria Police in launching an African Australian Community Taskforce. The official launch, held on Thursday 24 January 2018 at St Paul’s African House in Shepparton, saw about 40 people from many local organisations gather to support the launch of the African-Australian Community Taskforce.
Goulburn Valley African Community chairman Charles Oguntade said although crime levels were not alarming, he felt the taskforce would prevent that from happening while improving other areas within the African community.
‘The idea is we don’t wait until there is data indicating there is an increase in crime but we realise there is quite a number of issues going on that need attention,’ Mr Oguntade said.
We felt as a group rather than waiting until we have a problem on our doorstep and start scratching our head and putting out spot fires, it is better for us to get on top of it now — and once we’re able to identify those issues then the next forecast would be dealing with those issues with the hope of preventing any form of social vices/crime that may occur in the future.
Mr Oguntade said some issues had already been identified and would be a focus from the beginning.
“Some of the things that have been identified as the key issues that will be handled by the taskforce are the health and well-being, youth engagement, youth unemployment, youth education and women empowerment and the improvement on the cultural values,” he said.
Mr Ogantude said the taskforce would look to organise various events and projects to improve those aspects and pinpoint any further existing issues.
‘From there we’re hoping to get a lot of things going in the future like getting involved in the community and projecting ideas and opportunities out there for our community.’
Mr Oguntade said he was delighted to have the support and partnership of Victoria Police, which had played a major role in getting the taskforce up and running.
“It’s been a very pleasant experience working with the Victoria Police along the way — everybody that is on board is taking the project very seriously, and not only that but there has been significant funding that has been provided to help with some of the projects that we will be doing.”
The Goulburn Valley African Australian Community Inc thanks every African community member who sacrificed their time to join in this emerging of our community, would also thank the members of the Victoria Police African Australian Taskforce who attended, the officers from Shepparton Police, Ethnic Council of Shepparton, The Greater Shepparton City Council, The St Paul’s African House and individuals who participated to mark this day.
The goals of the GV African Australian Community are, inter-alia,
(a) To act as the representative body in Goulburn Valley for African ethnic communities and advocate for the formulation of government policies that will contribute in the alleviation of social disadvantage and injustice.
(b) To encourage cooperation and full participation of Goulburn Valley African ethnic communities within the social, economic, political and cultural life of Victoria.
(c) To advise relevant agencies in the region on the social, legal, cultural, educational, health and welfare needs of residents of culturally diverse backgrounds with an emphasis on equitable access to services.
(d) To promote a greater awareness of multicultural values, the contributions and the specific needs of African community groups within the region.
(e)To represent our community to other communities, state and federal government departments and other agencies including joining with them, to achieve mutual goals.