Victoria’s new Multicultural Affairs Minister Matthew Guy has told The News visiting Shepparton was on the top of his to-do list.
He introduced himself to about 50 members of Shepparton’s diverse ethnic community during an informal meet-and-greet at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE on Tuesday evening.
Representatives from the Iraqi, Indian, Sikh, Lebanese, Bangladeshi, African, Turkish, Hindu and Afghan communities attended along with the Ethnic Council of Shepparton, local police and councillors.
St George’s Rd’s Sweet House Cafe provided treats such as baklava and samosas free of charge to keep the conversation flowing. Mr Guy said he was excited to speak with Shepparton’s ethnic community.
‘Shepparton should be very proud of itself, it is an example to so many other parts of Australia about how multiculturalism is not just something that happens in the major cities,’ Mr Guy said.
‘The Greater Shepparton area should be congratulated for two decades of very solid commitment to multiculturalism and it is fitting that my first visit as minister is to come up to Shepparton.’
Sa’daat Foundation founder Imram Syed said the meeting was well attended. ‘Everyone said it was very worthwhile and that they enjoyed the meeting,’ Mr Syed said.
Mr Syed said the attendees had enjoyed speaking with Mr Guy about living in Shepparton. ‘They mentioned how they’ve been welcomed into Australia and how they would love to have the harmonious multiculturalism continue into the future,’ he said.
‘It was a very good initiative.’ Mr Guy also met with participants from the Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network yesterday.
Article and image courtesy Shepparton News