Annual Report – Year 2018

Maria Brown-Shepherd, President of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc., Regd. No A6321, delivers the Annual Report for year 2018 on 27 September, 2018.

Through increased funding the Ethnic Council is growing its service delivery capacity and the past twelve months have been again a very busy year with a diverse range of activities being undertaken in the community and in partnership with other organisations.

The Board is required to be well informed on the functions and the financial probity of service delivery particularly in a period of growth as exists at the moment. The Board receives monthly financial and activity reports from Management to oversight the Councils Financial and overall performance to ensure our financial viability and standard of service delivery.

Each Board Member makes a valuable contribution to the overall working of the Ethnic Council and I acknowledge the ongoing appointments of Board Members Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe, Matthew Walker and Omeni Ndlovu and staff member Betul Tuna to the Victorian Multicultural Commission Hume Region Advisory Council.

I have represented the Ethnic Council as a member of the Advisory Committee at Harmony Village, participate in Goulburn Valley Health’s Cultural Diversity Committee which oversights the Health Service Cultural Diversity Plan and advises the Health Board on multicultural issues. I am a member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia’s Rural and Regional Advisory Committee which meets via teleconference on a monthly basis and annually in person and I also sit on FECCA’s Healthy Aging Reference Group and I represent the views of our older multicultural communities in this important forum. These appointments are for two years and provides a good opportunity to influence FECCA policy and advocacy to Government.

I recently participated on the organising committee for the Australian Women in Agriculture national conference held here in Shepparton where I heard the views of women from across Australia and the South Pacific.

The Board maintains an excellent working relationship through Manager Chris Hazelman with our staff who are responsive to Board needs and provide information and support as requested.

Successfully achieving additional grants funding has provided a level of financial security which enables better strategic program planning and service delivery.

All of our current grants carry a requirement for partnerships and networking in the delivery of grant outcomes and each of the primary funds obtained last year require a consortium approach and evidence of collaboration between agencies and community organisations. As the total of our funding comes from government grants we recognise the risk that this entails as we are subject to changes in funding programs and policy direction so it is important that we maintain good relationships with our funding providers and take every opportunity to interact with the bureaucrats and elected representatives.

One such opportunity is the biennial FECCA national conference held in Darwin in October 2017 and attended by Board Members Omeni Ndlovu and Charles Oguntade and Manager Chris Hazelman.

I represented the Ethnic Council at the annual GOTAFE graduation ceremony and presented the award sponsored by the Ethnic Council and have attempted to attend the various function to which I am invited on behalf of the Ethnic Council.

Our end of year financial position is welcomed and the relationship with Auditors Stubbs Wallace indicates a level of compliance and understanding of the various components required for financial reporting.

Recent development in Welsford Street and the Court precinct adds pressures related to parking access and also encourages interest from developers keen to take advantage of our prime location. The Board will keep a watching brief on this issue and through the Manager have made contact with Scouts to ensure we share information and present a complimentary position.

I encourage all members to maintain the objectives of the Council and to remain a viable organisation providing advocacy and specific services for multicultural people.

Maria Brown-Shepherd,
Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc., Regd. No A6321
27 September, 2018






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