FECCA gives full support to SBS

29 March 2018

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today expressed its full support for SBS, following the announcement of an inquiry into its structure and operations.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Ms Mary Patetsos, said that SBS television, radio and online broadcasting continue to embody a modern Multicultural Australia.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today expressed its full support for SBS, following the announcement of an inquiry into its structure and operations.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Ms Mary Patetsos, said that SBS television, radio and online broadcasting continue to embody a modern Multicultural Australia.

“These SBS services reflect a diverse and enriched Australia,” Ms Patetsos said.

She said that the announcement today of the Federal Government’s so-called ‘competitive neutrality’ inquiry should not be used as an opportunity for commercial broadcasters to attack SBS’s quality programming.

“Commercial broadcasters provide quality media to market segments. Equally, a broadcaster like SBS targets markets that otherwise miss out.”

“The news, information, entertainment choice and language options available on SBS are vastly different from those offered by commercial broadcasters.

“And this is the way it should be. SBS provides an essential service to millions of Australians as well as everyone across the nation who seeks high-quality news and entertainment.

“SBS provides a huge public benefit to Australian society at a comparatively small cost to the taxpayer, reaching 13 million people every month on its TV channels,” Ms Patetsos said.

She said that SBS’s in-language programs were increasingly valuable in aiding migrant participation in Australian life, with about 1.5 million podcast downloads of SBS in-language programs every month.

“We believe that our political leaders should ensure the continuation of SBS, which is a vigorous and visible embodiment of the ongoing success of Australia’s great multicultural society.”

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australians from CALD backgrounds. Our role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of our constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0424 910617/ emma@fecca.org.au

 

Harmony Day

21 March 2018

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia today joined thousands of community organisations, businesses, schools, workplaces and governments in celebrating Harmony Day.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Mary Patetsos, said that Harmony Day was an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia today joined thousands of community organisations, businesses, schools, workplaces and governments in celebrating Harmony Day.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Mary Patetsos, said that Harmony Day was an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world.

“Today is the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” Ms Patetsos said.

“In Australia we mark this date by celebrating Harmony Day and the benefits which have come from the economic, social and cultural contributions that all migrants make to the Australian community.

“Our harmonious and vibrant multicultural society is a source of great national pride.”

Ms Patetsos said that Australia’s diverse society and acceptance of people from other cultures should be protected and enhanced so that all Australians can fully participate in the community.

“We take this opportunity, on Harmony Day, to remind our political leaders that Australians of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background should have equity and access to Government services as well as equal opportunities in the Australian economy and society,” Ms Patetsos said.

“Legislation and policies should balance and protect the rights and responsibilities of all Australians regardless of cultural, linguistic, racial or religious background.

“The granting of Australian citizenship is symbolic of acceptance into the Australian community and is cherished by everyone in Australia’s migrant communities.

“FECCA believes that Australians of CALD background should have the opportunity to become citizens as early as possible in their migration journey,” Ms Patetsos said.

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australians from CALD backgrounds. Our role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of our constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0403 044 216 / emma@fecca.org.au

Homelessness figures

14 March 2018

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) said today that Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing rates of homelessness for people of overseas origin were a cause for great concern.

The ABS figures show that in 2016, people who were born overseas and arrived in Australia over the previous five years accounted for 15 per cent (17,749 people) of all the homeless on Census night.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) said today that Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing rates of homelessness for people of overseas origin were a cause for great concern.

The ABS figures show that in 2016, people who were born overseas and arrived in Australia over the previous five years accounted for 15 per cent (17,749 people) of all the homeless on Census night.

In 2016 there were also 9,514 people living in ‘severely crowded’ dwellings who were born overseas and who had arrived in Australia in 2011 or earlier, up 61% when compared to 2011.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Ms Mary Patetsos said: “These figures show how vulnerable newly arrived migrants are when they first come to Australia.

“The early years are when they most need help—and proposals to extend the waiting periods for welfare support will put these people at even greater risk.

“People of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background often face discrimination when applying to rent a home as well as when trying to find work.

“All of this contributes to their risk of homelessness and exclusion.

“We need to help them through first challenging years in their new land, not make settlement more difficult for them,” Ms Patetsos said.

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australians from CALD backgrounds. Our role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.

Contact: 0403 044 216 / emma@fecca.org.au

Communication tools for organ and tissue donation

14 March 2018

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today encouraged culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to make use of updated communication tools to inform their members about organ and tissue donation.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Mary Patetsos said that research showed that more than two out of three (67pc) of Australians were willing to become organ and tissue donors.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today encouraged culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to make use of updated communication tools to inform their members about organ and tissue donation.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Mary Patetsos said that research showed that more than two out of three (67pc) of Australians were willing to become organ and tissue donors.

“However, many Australians of CALD background are not fully aware of what being a donor means or how to go about registering their decision,” she said.

“This set of communication tools is part of a community grant received by FECCA from the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) to engage CALD leadership on organ and tissue donation.

“Put simply, we have developed a valuable kit which CALD communities can use to engage with their members and supporters. We urge community leaders to make full use of them.”

The communication tools include:

  • Recent facts and statistics
  • Religious statements supporting donation
  • Links to resources in multiple languages
  • When and how to have a discussion on organ and tissue donation
  • Conversation starters
  • Ideas on how to help getting the message out and how to find out more.

A special edition of the magazine Australian Mosaic on FECCA’s website gives details of the tools and resources to help start discussions on organ and tissue donations. The information is also on the OTA website.

“We urge people in CALD communities to discover the facts about organ and tissue donation, make an informed decision to become a donor, register that decision—and discuss that decision with people close to you,” Ms Patetsos said.

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and their organisations. FECCA provides advocacy, develops policy and promotes issues on behalf of its constituency to Government and the broader community.

Contact: 0403 044 216 / emma@fecca.org.au

International Women’s Day

8 March 2018

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) said today that International Women’s Day was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women world-wide and to reflect on the challenges which remain.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Ms Mary Patetsos said that FECCA, as the peak body representing culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people in Australia, was keenly aware of the issues facing CALD women.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) said today that International Women’s Day was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women world-wide and to reflect on the challenges which remain.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Ms Mary Patetsos said that FECCA, as the peak body representing culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people in Australia, was keenly aware of the issues facing CALD women.

“We’ve come a long way and women of CALD background should be proud of what they’ve achieved in their new country. However, we are determined to work hard to achieve equal opportunity for women in all aspects of life including employment, healthcare, aged care services, housing and transport,” Ms Patetsos said.

The Women’s Chair of FECCA, Ms Sandra Elhelw Wright, said that equal access to employment remained a key issue for CALD women.

“Employment is an important part of the settlement process, providing migrant and refugee women with access to economic security and interaction with the broader community,” Ms Elhelw Wright said.

“Achieving secure jobs and the opportunities for advancement of the women we represent is a major focus of our work.”

Ms Elhelw Wright said that FECCA believed Australia should eliminate all discrimination and harassment against women, whether on the grounds of gender, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, race, ethnicity or age.

“FECCA works actively with a broad range of organisations, including the Australian Public Service Commission, to examine ways to ensure CALD women are represented in senior levels of public and private organisations,” Ms Elhelw Wright said.

“And we are proud to have a female Chairperson of FECCA, the national peak body representing Australia’s CALD communities.”

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and their organisations. FECCA provides advocacy, develops policy and promotes issues on behalf of its constituency to Government and the broader community.

Contact: 0403 044 216 / emma@fecca.org.au

FECCA urges fairness in citizenship

7 March 2018

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today urged the Federal Government to maintain fairness and justice in any proposal to increase the English language requirements for Australian citizenship.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Ms Mary Patetsos said that FECCA had always recognised that English language skills are critical to integration but that new arrivals should be treated fairly and justly.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) today urged the Federal Government to maintain fairness and justice in any proposal to increase the English language requirements for Australian citizenship.

The Chairperson of FECCA, Ms Mary Patetsos said that FECCA had always recognised that English language skills are critical to integration but that new arrivals should be treated fairly and justly.

“FECCA strongly supports the integration of new migrants into our society through employment and education as well as English skills,” Ms Patetsos said.

“We support the Government in providing adequate resources to support these goals.

“Integration has been successful where people have been invited to be citizens early in their migration journey and where families are encouraged to join them.

“Migrants need to be supported not just in their efforts to learn English but to get an education and find jobs. Measures that make it harder for them to become citizens are counter-productive.

“FECCA believes that if English language tests are too stringent, many current Australian residents who have functional levels of English will, unfairly, be denied the rights, opportunities and protections that are enjoyed by citizens.

“The fact is that for many decades, a great number of migrants have arrived here with limited English skills but have contributed hugely to Australia as citizens,” Ms Patetsos said.

“Given the bipartisan commitment of Australia’s political leaders to multiculturalism over many decades, we urge the Government to ensure that we remain a fair and humane society, inclusive of all.”

FECCA is the national peak body representing Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and their organisations. FECCA provides advocacy, develops policy and promotes issues on behalf of its constituency to Government and the broader community.

Contact: 0403 044 216 / emma@fecca.org.au