Greater Shepparton Candidate Zahra Haydar Big gives a statement on the meaning of multiculturalism and the services required.
Greater Shepparton Council Elections
All candidates were asked to respond to these questions.
- What does multiculturalism mean to Shepparton?
- What specific services should Council provide to support these communities?
Responses in ballot paper order are given herewith without comment.
Zahra Haydar Big
What does multiculturalism mean to Shepparton?
Greater Shepparton is considered the most diverse and multicultural community in regional Victoria. The first groups of people to migrate the region were from Albania, Italy, Turkey and Greece. These people have contributed to Greater Shepparton in many ways with their positive attitude and great work ethics. We have seen many of them purchasing land and concentrating mainly on fruit production which made our region one of the most productive fruit growing areas in Australia providing employment opportunities for a large section of the local community.
Also the local Multicultural community have become constructive contributors in many ways. They have brought wonderful aspects of their culture and integrated them into our community. Sports, arts, food, multicultural activities such as the annual Albanian Harvest Festival. More recent new arrivals are mainly from Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa. They too have integrated successfully and are contributing in the same manner as the earlier arrivals. Greater Shepparton is widely viewed as a region that is an example of how multiculturalism should function. I am proud of being originally from the multicultural and diverse background also proud to be a Candidate of local City Council representing and advocating for the Multicultural and the wider Community in the region.
What specific services should council provide to support these communities?
As a local member settled here and working in the social and Community fields at Greater Shepparton for the past twelve years, I can say that the City Council cooperates with the local initiatives offering many support services to help the local members – especially the Multicultural Community – to integrate into the community successfully. Some of the initiatives City Council support and cooperate with are: Ethnic Council, SELC, Primary Care Connect, Uniting Kildonan and other organisations which need to continue supplying strategic information and educational program. There are a number of areas that should continue to be serviced, such as housing, educational opportunities, health care services, employment opportunities, cultural awareness and all the other social and Community opportunities exist in the region especially for the local youth whom should be more engaged in the local Multicultural functions and activities such as the St. Georges Road Food Festival, Culture Corner in Mall, any cultural festivals and more.
Source: Candidate’s statements supplied to Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District.