The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-02-24T06:10:09Z SydWest Celebrates International Women's Day in Blacktown 2020-02-24T06:10:09Z sydwest-celebrates-international-women-s-day-in-blacktown SydWest Multicultural Services is proud to announce that they will be hosting their International Women’s Day 2020 event at the Blacktown Arts Centre on Friday 6th March from 6pm. The program will feature the launch of Solace, a poetic documentary about the recovery process of three displaced female poets. We learn about the poets in the video through observing their creative process and their production of a group music video clip. SydWest is also pleased to announce that a group of high-profile women will join a Panel Discussion facilitated by Joanna Kalkstein. We will be discussing challenging stereotypes and fighting bias and discrimination, broadening perceptions and improving and celebrating women’s achievements. Our confirmed panellists: ·         Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens Senator for NSW ·         Sophie Cotsis MP for Canterbury and Shadow Minister for Better Public Services ·         Clr Carol Israel, Blacktown City Council ·         Clr Reena Jethri, Deputy Mayor of The Hills Shire Council ·         Saba Vasefi, poet, academic, film-maker ·         Elfa Moraitakis, CEO, SydWest Multicultural Services Entertainment during the event will include Hip-Hop artist Kween G, renowned for her potent content, she delivers a dynamic style as an MC, performer and Hip-Hop artist. Kween G makes music that excites, entertains, and enlightens her listeners – often described as “consciousness-raising”. Her fighting spirit – for women’s rights and those in disadvantaged communities – courage and humility have earned her respect across the country. International Women’s Day is an important opportunity for SydWest Multicultural Services to bring together local and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women to share in addressing the very real issue of gender equality and collectively finding solutions and ways forward. We hope that our IWD event will inspire each woman to make change and fight for equality. The event is a wonderful opportunity to network with leaders in the community and make new connections to support ongoing collective change. Many of our guests are also displaced women and this event will hopefully help them in their quest to find their place and identity in our society. SydWest AGM 2019 launches new media 2019-12-12T01:23:35Z sydwest-agm-2019-launches-new-media Following the SydWest Annual General Meeting, held 29th November 2019, the SydWest Annual Report for 2018-19 is now available. Copies can be downloaded from https://www.sydwestms.org.au/annual-reports/item/189-annual-report-2018-2019 During the AGM, SydWest’s guests also enjoyed the launch of our new photography exhibition, Capturing the Moment: Images of Making Australia Home by Elfa Moraitakis, CEO of SydWest Multicultural Services. The exhibition is a collaboration between SydWest Multicultural Services, English Conversation volunteer Tutor Judith Bennett and our clients in the English Conversation classes. The images show the shared experiences of refugees and migrants in the resettlement process and the impact that English Conversation classes have in helping make a new home. This exhibition is a visual accompaniment to the SydWest Stories of Making Australia Home published in 2017. SydWest also launched You are Not Alone, a short domestic violence support video featuring our newly trained DV Community Ambassadors. This project is part of the work undertaken by our Women & Families team, part of the Community Engagement division and working to make a difference in the lives of our communities who live with domestic and family violence. Our values of Accountability, Collaboration & Excellence is what defines our service delivery standards and I am proud to be part of a team of colleagues that are dedicated in making an impact into people’s lives. Our AGM was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the work we do every day and share in the successes that our Board, Staff and clients all experienced during the last year. In 2019, our Chair for the last three years and Board Member for six years, Robert Fitzgerald, stepped down from the Board of Directors of SydWest Multicultural Services and we thank him for his leadership and vision. He has been succeeded by Raquel Ricafort-Bleza as Chair of the SydWest Board of Directors. The new Board is as follows: Raquel Ricafort-Bleza: Chair Bridget Sarris: Vice Chair Chandrika Subramaniyan: Treasurer Secretary: Moninder Singh Director: Vish Viswanathan Director: Tamara Giles Director: Karin Mckay Director: Noel Hiffernan Our AGM guest speaker was Joanna Quilty, CEO of NCOSS, who presented findings from the new NCOSS report Mapping Economic Disadvantage in NSW. SydWest Multicultural Services is a leading organisation for all cultural diversity issues responding to community needs and opportunities. Established more than 34 years ago, SydWest provides a range of services to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities services to assist with settling and living productive and independent lives in the community. We offer flexible and integrated service models across the life course of refugees and migrants, supporting the self-determination and empowerment of our diverse communities. SydWest is an innovative employer of choice, with passionate, qualified and experienced bilingual and bicultural staff who are sensitive to the languages and cultures of the communities we represent. With locations in Blacktown, Mt Druitt, Penrith and Rouse Hill, we cover all matters of cultural diversity in the region. SydWest continues drive to accelerate New Opportunities for Job-seekers in Blacktown 2019-11-28T03:50:59Z sydwest-continues-drive-to-accelerate-new-opportunities-for-job-seekers-in-blacktown SydWest Multicultural Services has partnered with Blacktown City Council, SSI, TAFE NSW, Uniting, Salvation Army and Lenity Care to undertake another Blacktown Employment Accelerator event aimed at improving economic outcomes for job seekers from refugee and migrant backgrounds, as well as people with disability in the Blacktown LGA. The event will be held on Thursday 28th November from 11am – 1pm at the Maria Locke Centre, TAFE NSW Blacktown, Main Street, Blacktown. This event will assist people from diverse backgrounds who are job-seekers to make new connections, connect with sustainable employment opportunities and expand their networks and increase their employability chances. Leaders from the business community will come together with job-ready job-seekers from refugee, migrant backgrounds and people with disabilities for speed-dating recruitment meetings to accelerate employment outcomes for everyone involved. Our corporate partners include Coles, Extreme Solution, Global Traders Aus Ind, Australia Security Services Guards Pty Ltd, Thrive Refugee Enterprise, Cleantastic Cleaning, Reach Quality Care Pty Ltd and NECA Training and Apprenticeships SydWest Multicultural Services CEO, Elfa Moraitakis is encouraging people of all backgrounds to join in this unique initiative: We are excited to be hosting our third annual Blacktown Employment Accelerator, which provides an excellent and efficient format for both employers and job-seekers. We know that many of our new arrivals, including refugees, are often highly qualified and experienced but local experience is a key barrier to employment. By connecting employers and job-seekers together, we know that real, sustained employment outcomes can be achieved at this event. Blacktown Employment Accelerator 2019 continues to showcase the wealth of experience and expertise on our doorstep and accelerate the connections necessary for successful employee recruitment. About SydWest SydWest Multicultural Services is a leading organisation for all cultural diversity issues responding to community needs and opportunities. Established more than 34 years ago, SydWest provides a range of services to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities services to assist with settling and living productive and independent lives in the community. We offer flexible and integrated service models across the life course of refugees and migrants, supporting the self-determination and empowerment of our diverse communities. SydWest is an innovative employer of choice, with passionate, qualified and experienced bilingual and bicultural staff who are sensitive to the languages and cultures of the communities we represent With locations in Blacktown, Mt Druitt, Penrith and Rouse Hill, we cover all matters of cultural diversity in the region. Celebrating Refugee Contributions in Western Sydney: a world of stories #WithRefugees 2019-06-19T23:56:46Z celebrating-refugee-contributions-in-western-sydney-a-world-of-stories-withrefugees People of all ages and backgrounds are invited to the Blacktown City Refugee Week Celebration 2018 events in Mt Druitt, Thursday 20th June, 2019 from 12.30pm. SydWest Multicultural Services is again celebrating the successes of refugees, in a collaboration with local community services to deliver an inclusive and inspirational celebration for the achievements and contributions that refugees make to our local society. The event will be held at Westfield Mt Druitt, corner Luxford Road and Carlisle Avenue and in Dawson Mall in Mt Druitt starting at 12.30pm. The event will start with Welcome to Country by indigenous elder, Uncle Greg Simms and officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of Blacktown City, Tony Bleasdale with a very special Welcome to Country by Uncle Greg Sims, indigenous elder. Guest speakers include CEO of Refugee Council NSW, Paul Power, and inspirational youth speakers Rahila Haidary, 2018 WA Young Australian of the Year Nominee and James Hoang Nam Tran, youth motivational speaker. The event will showcase entertainers from around the world, including traditional dancing from the Punjab, Ethiopia, Pacific Islands and Turkish belly-dancing;  children’s activities including a visit from Rooby Roo and the Reading Tent; community services information stalls; young performers, a free BBQ and much more. Around 300 people are expected to attend this free event and enjoy the opportunity for communities to come together, connect, share and unite in welcoming and supporting our refugee neighbours as well as share a meal. SydWest Multicultural Services CEO, Elfa Moraitakis is encouraging people of all backgrounds to join in the Refugee Week celebrations. Refugee Week 2019 is a very special opportunity for the whole community to come together, to celebrate and share the success of the refugee settlement journey. Our Blacktown City event is that unique chance for everyone to share in the spirit of unity and to acknowledge and respect each individual who has had to leave his or her home country for fear of persecution. It’s also an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the fact that we can call Australia our home, she said. The Blacktown City Refugee Celebration Event is a collaboration of government, community and not for profit organisations including: SydWest Multicultural Services, Blacktown City Council, MECA Mt Druitt and community partners. SydWest participating in Blacktown City Council’s Streets Alive & Parade Day 2019 2019-05-20T05:27:17Z sydwest-participating-in-blacktown-city-council-s-streets-alive-amp-parade-day-2019 The Streets Alive and Parade Day will take place on Saturday 25th May 2019 in the Blacktown CBD. The event is always a lot of fun for everyone, with many different types of entertainment and stalls on offer. The event features 6 performance and activity areas, art and craft stalls, free amusement rides, animal displays, dog shows, wildlife displays, roving entertainment, and plenty of attractions for the entire family to enjoy. SydWest’s staff, volunteers and clients will be participating in the vibrant and spectacular Street Parade that will travel through the CBD, highlighting Blacktown’s multiculturalism, history and diversity, starting at 11am. Lookout for No. 22 and the colourful SydWest team! As a multicultural community services group, SydWest will be trying for the Best Dressed award too. SydWest will also have our marquee in the street, alive and ready for the public to drop by, get some information on our services, meet some of our staff and hopefully engage. Elfa Moraitakis, CEO at SydWest Multicultural Services said: We are always very pleased and proud to be supporting colourful community initiatives such as the Blacktown Streets Alive & Parade Day. Our staff, volunteers and clients all enjoy being a part of the Parade and engaging with the local community along the route. We invite all to come along and enjoy Saturday in Blacktown. We look forward to seeing there! Celebrating Volunteers with Minister for Multiculturalism 2019-05-16T03:04:09Z celebrating-volunteers-with-minister-for-multiculturalism SydWest Multicultural Services will be celebrating and recognising the contributions of our volunteers at a special event to be held Wednesday 22nd May 2019 from 10.30am at the SydWest Blacktown office. Special guest to the event will be new Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans, The Hon. John SIDOTI, MP. SydWest Multicultural Services is pleased to be welcoming the new Minister to meet with some of SydWest’s volunteers and learn more about their contributions to our diverse work to connect cultures and build community. Every day, our volunteers donate their invaluable time through English conversation, homework help, learner driver practice, social support, special outings and other among numerous activities that support culturally and linguistically diverse peoples (CALD) live healthy, integrated and productive lives in their local community. Each volunteer will be presented with a certificate and small gift in appreciation by the Chair of SydWest Multicultural Services’ Board, Chief Inspector Robert Fitzgerald. The event will also feature a short presentation by one of our dedicated volunteers, Judith Bennett, who has been leading English Conversation classes for newly arrived refugees at SydWest. She will be sharing her experience of volunteering and what it has added to her life. Judith said: In my voluntary work with SydWest, I give English conversation classes to migrants and refugees in Blacktown and Mt Druitt. They are remarkable people who have lived through extremely challenging times, and it is very rewarding for me to get to know them and to help them to gain confidence in speaking our language.  Elfa Morakitakis, CEO of SydWest Multicultural Services said: SydWest is grateful to the role that volunteering plays in helping us create a stronger, more connected and resilient Australian community. Our volunteers give of their time and expertise and their contribution makes an incredible difference in the lives of people we work with, as well as being role models for our clients. SydWest Multicultural Services is a large community services organisation providing services & supports covering Settlement, Aged Care, NDIS, Women & Families and Youth. Statement Ends Media Release: International Women’s Day 2019 Blacktown Celebrates 8th March 2019-02-28T06:14:41Z media-release-international-women-s-day-2019-blacktown-celebrates-8th-march International Women’s Day 2019 Blacktown Celebrates 8th March #Balance for Better SydWest Multicultural Services is pleased to announce that they are hosting a special celebration for International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March 2018 from 10am at Max Webber Function Centre, Blacktown Library, Blacktown.   The event will feature inspirational women including: ·         Esta Paschalidis-Chilas, Government & Member Relations Manager with Settlement Services International (SSI) will give the keynote address on More Powerful Together ·         Anyier Youl, founder of Miss Sahara, the only National Beauty Pageant for Women of African heritage in Australia, a young woman of South Sudanese background will address Empowering young women from multicultural backgrounds ·         Clr Kathy Collins of Blacktown City Council, representing the Mayor of Blacktown, will speak briefly on the theme of #balanceforbetter ·         Glenwood Women’s Group to perform the Giddha, an entertaining traditional dance that they have been perfecting since forming their dance troupe in late 2018.   SydWest Multicultural Services is also pleased to announce that Claudia Taranto, Producer with ABC Radio National, has kindly agreed to perform the MC duties for our event. Claudia has worked at Radio National since 1988 on a variety of programs including Life Matters, Street Stories and The Listening Room. She also taught radio production at James Cook University. Claudia enjoys the intimacy of radio and has a passion for making radio features about the kaleidoscope of ordinary life.   The event’s program will feature presentations and performances, blended with group discussion activities and food. A Butterfly Wall will be produced by the guests at the event and reflecting what the women like most about themselves, part of the activities to continue to empower and inspire.   CEO of SydWest Multicultural Services, Elfa Moraitakis said: We are exciting to be hosting this year’s event for Blacktown, where exciting new women entrepreneurs will be showcasing their offerings through food and gifts during the day, part of the SydWest showcasing of our Women Taking Care of Business program. We are looking forward to continuing to inspire and empower the multicultural women of the Blacktown area, to celebrating the achievements of women and the rich diversity and strengths of women in the Blacktown area. SydWest Driving New Opportunities for Job-seekers in Blacktown 2018-11-19T01:16:02Z sydwest-driving-new-opportunities-for-job-seekers-in-blacktown SydWest Multicultural Services has partnered with Blacktown City Council and Settlement Services International (SSI) to undertake another Blacktown Employment Accelerator event aimed at improving economic outcomes for job seekers from refugee and migrant backgrounds, as well as people with disability in the Blacktown LGA. Leaders from the business community will come together with job-ready job-seekers from refugee, migrant backgrounds and people with disabilities for speed-dating recruitment meetings to accelerate employment outcomes for everyone involved. Our corporate partners include Hire-Up, Thrive Refugee Enterprise, Meat processors group, Coles, AimBig Employment, Regional Workforce Management. This event will assist people from diverse backgrounds who are job-seekers to make new connections, connect with sustainable employment opportunities and expand their networks and increase their employability chances. The event will be held on Friday 23 November from 11am – 1pm at the Blacktown Workers Club, 55 Campbell Street, Blacktown. SydWest Multicultural Services CEO, Elfa Moraitakis is encouraging people of all backgrounds to join in this unique initiative: We are looking forward to continuing to drive accelerated employment outcomes for our new arrivals – including refugees, who are often highly qualified but experience barriers to employment – by bringing employers and job-seekers together, we believe real, sustained employment outcomes can be achieved. It’s a win-win for everyone! Blacktown Employment Accelerator 2018 continues to showcase the wealth of experience and expertise on our doorstep, and accelerate the connections necessary for successful employee recruitment. As SSI CEO, Violet Roumeliotis noted in 2017 on the importance of employment to the settlement process:  Finding employment is not only one of the highest priorities but also one of the biggest hurdles during the settlement process for refugees and migrants SydWest Multicultural Services is the largest and most diverse community services organisation in the Western Sydney region. Established more than 33 years ago, SydWest provides a range of services to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities services to assist with settling and living productive and independent lives in the community. This event is proudly sponsored by BREED and the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber   STATEMENT ENDS / For further information contact Vikki Hine, Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, SydWest Multicultural Services on vikki.hine@sydwestms.org.au or 9621 6633. SydWest’s AGM 2018 heads to Rouse Hill 2018-11-01T00:41:28Z sydwest-s-agm-2018-heads-to-rouse-hill Community members, service providers, government agencies and elected representatives are invited to the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM), a special event being held in Rouse Hill for the first time since SydWest Multicultural Services was established in 1985. The SydWest Multicultural Services Annual General Meeting is being held on Friday 9th November from 2.30pm in the Patrick White Room of the Vinegar Hill Memorial Library & Community Centre. Guest speakers for the AGM include Clr Dr Michelle Byrne, Mayor of The Hills Shire Council and SydWest clients, Ed Yousef and Iakram Abdalla. ·         Clr Dr Michelle Byrne has more than 10 years’ experience in local government and first elected as Mayor since 2012. She has research interests in health and enjoys promoting a healthy lifestyle to the residents of the Hills Shire ·         Ed Yousef is a hard-working young man from Syria who arrived here in 2013, seeking a safe place to live away from war and destruction and looking to start a new life with better opportunities. He is currently studying at UNSW majoring in Pathology. He is also a tutor, having first volunteered with SydWest’s study centre program for young people from refugee and other migrant backgrounds. ·         Iakram Abdalla is a young Sudanese woman who has been in Australia for 14 years and is currently participating in the SydWest Small & Emerging Leadership Communities project. The AGM event is an excellent opportunity to hear about SydWest Multicultural Services recent achievements and its vision for the future. Meet with our team, network with key stakeholders across the region and get your copy of our 2018 Annual Report. This year, we’re also hosting a pre-AGM tour of our new premises on the Ground Floor of the Community Centre, where you can hear more about our new services and support for the region. SydWest Multicultural Services CEO, Elfa Moraitakis is encouraging people of all backgrounds to join in the AGM celebrations. We are pleased to be expanding our profile in The Hills area and to sharing our diverse work in region. Our AGM is a wonderful opportunity to welcome and celebrate with new and old friends alike. SydWest Multicultural Services is the largest and most diverse community services organisation in the Western Sydney region. Established more than 33 years ago, SydWest provides a range of services to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities services to assist with settling and living productive and independent lives in the community. SydWest Hosts special Business Breakfast in Blacktown 2018-09-13T04:32:45Z sydwest-hosts-special-business-breakfast-in-blacktown SydWest Multicultural Services is hosting a special event for employers to learn more about the many benefits of employing people from refugee, migrant backgrounds and people with disability. The Blacktown Business Breakfast is being held on Wednesday 26th September 2018 from 7.30am – 9.15am at the Blacktown Workers Club. The event will also be a great networking opportunity for everyone participating. SydWest is pleased to be building its corporate partnerships to address employment challenges in the region and welcomes new employer representatives to the program and this event. We know that securing employment is not only one of the highest priorities but also one of the biggest hurdles during the settlement process for refugees and migrants. We know that 80% of jobs are accessed through networking and other unofficial channels – this of course is a key challenge for new arrivals, as they do not yet have the established networks required. By educating and engaging with employers, SydWest is hoping to address some of the barriers to sustainable employment. Our guest speakers for the morning include: ·         Job Access, who will be speaking about the supports available to employers who recruit people with a disability ·         Department of Social Services will be explaining about the incentives and wage subsidies available to employers who recruit eligible participants ·         BE Campbell and Cleanforce will share their positive experiences in employing refugees, migrants and people with a disability ·         Client voices who will share their story of getting job-ready and finding sustainable employment SydWest is grateful to the support and input of the event partners: Settlement Services International (SSI), Blacktown City Council, TAFE NSW and ESG Matchworks. SydWest Multicultural Services is the largest and most diverse community services organisation in the Western Sydney region. Established more than 33 years ago, SydWest provides a range of services to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals and communities and assists clients with settling and living productive and independent lives in the community. STATEMENT ENDS  Blacktown Community Services Expo 2018 Announced! 2018-08-30T07:30:12Z blacktown-community-services-expo-2018-announced Whether you are new to the Blacktown district or a long-term resident keen to know more about the local services on offer, then don’t miss the Blacktown Community Services Expo on Wednesday 12 September. More than 80 community services providers will converge on Bowman Hall on Wednesday 12 September, 10am – 2pm, for the 2018 Community Services Expo. These community groups and service providers who are keen to touch base with the community about their many services, programs and events. The Community Services Expo is a FREE community event and will include kids’ activities and a sausage sizzle on the Village Green throughout the day. SydWest Multicultural Services CEO, Elfa Moraitakis said that the Expo will offer something for everyone, whether you are new to the Blacktown area or a long-term resident keen to know more about the many services available. “We have organised this event as a way of informing, empowering and connecting our local community with the many diverse community services in and around Blacktown,” she said. Find out about the many free and informative services and programs available to you through organisations like SydWest Multicultural Services, MECA, Relationships Australia and the Western Sydney Family Referral Service to name a few.  “Meet with the staff at SydWest and discover more about our youth, family, aged care and disability programs. Talk with the experts from NSW Fair Trading about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer; learn more about how to access services under the NDIS; discover how to get involved in the many free programs at Blacktown City Library, receive a free hearing screening from Australian Hearing Services and much more. Meet the people behind the Blacktown City Council, the Department of Human Services and the Blacktown Local Area Command Police and check out educational opportunities available through TAFE NSW’s Nirimba Educational Precinct and Macquarie Community College. ” The event is organised by SydWest Multicultural Services in partnership with Blacktown City Council, Ability Options, Australia Government Department of Human Services – Mt Druitt, Blacktown Police LAC. Community Resource Network, Family Referral Services, MECA Mt Druitt, Multicultural Problem Gambling Service, National Disability Coordination Office, Philippine Australian Community Council NSW Inc, Relationships Australia, Settlement Services International, STARTTS and TAFE NSW. News Local Western Hub and SWRFM are proud media supporters of the event. Sharing insights from innovative refugee youth project 2018-08-13T01:15:55Z sharing-insights-from-innovative-refugee-youth-project-2 Professor Peter Shergold was keynote speaker and launched the Navigating Resettlement Project Research Report in Blacktown on Wednesday 25th July 2018. SydWest Multicultural Services is pleased to advise that the research report, prepared by Western Sydney University on the Navigating Resettlement youth project, was launched at a special event being held at SydWest’s Blacktown offices. The Navigating Resettlement project was an innovative engagement between settlement services sector and the academic sector, which introduced new ways of collaborating. Navigating Resettlement Matched Mentoring and Creative Media Design with Refugee and Migrant Youth in Transition Greater Western Sydney Research & Evaluation Report will provide insightful recommendations for other community services and government, as they consider best approaches to supporting youth aspirations and creativity moving forward. On the program for the launch event also was the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP and young people from the Navigating Resettlement project, who shared their experiences and how the project has impacted their lives. I feel that this pilot project is a significant step towards recognising the need to invest in our future leaders. We can facilitate successful settlement by providing safe spaces where refugee and migrant youth feel comfortable tapping into their dreams, are allowed to believe in themselves, and feel confident enough to express themselves in a variety of ways while being mentored and inspired by the power of education, said Elfa Moraitakis, CEO at SydWest Multicultural Services. SydWest is pleased to share the findings and eight key recommendations from our Navigating Resettlement pilot project – the project continues to inform much of the youth-focused work that we do, know that a multi-dimensional approach is required to be effective in driving youth leadership and career aspirations, she concluded. SydWest hopes this research report will inform the design of future programs that target newly arrived youth from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The event is a great opportunity to hear and see what has been happening in the SydWest-Blacktown Youth space, as well as network with key stakeholders in the region. For further information on SydWest’s Youth Services and for your copy of the Navigating Resettlement Matched Mentoring and Creative Media Design with Refugee and Migrant Youth in Transition Greater Western Sydney Research & Evaluation Report, visit http://www.sydwestms.org.au/services/youth-services