Cultural Competency Training Program

Over the past year, BRMC has developed a Cultural Competency Training Program with the support of the Victorian Government’s Strategic Engagement Coordinator program. Designed to be delivered by people from a migrant or refugee background, BRMC has trained 6 facilitators in Ballarat to facilitate training for audiences ranging from local community organisations, to businesses and service providers. Last month, we spent a week in the Wimmera training 3 new co-facilitators and delivering training in Halls Gap, Stawell, Horsham and Nhill.

Thank you to Kate, our project consultant, Sara and the team at the Wimmera Development Association, Mel and Annette from the Nhill Learning Centre and, of course, our new co-facilitators Thablay Mura and Tan! Thanks also to Flavia and Ven who contributed to our sessions.

Contact Annie Dunn on for more information about the program.

Thrive Garden Project

Recently Thrive distributed the first batch of Polybox Mini Gardens to households through the ‘Living Together Box’ program. When filled with compost, manure, potting mix and mulch, the polyboxes retain moisture and warmth, creating an ideal environment for growing shallow rooted vegetables like leafy greens. Our boxes were planted with coriander, spinach and silverbeet. As the plants mature, they can be harvested leaf by leaf, regrowing and replenishing the kitchen over a long period of time.

The Thrive Fundraiser Plant Stall at the Harmony Market last month was a great success. Thank you to our generous supporters who donated pots, potting mix, labels prior to the stall, and all those who propagated, raised seeds and potted up plants for sale. We raised $630 for the Ballarat Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Network (BRASSN).

Thrive is a pilot fresh food growing program at BRMC supported by The Ballarat Foundation and the Victorian Government. You can contact us at

Community Engagement Team

‘Developing Our Children Together’ program

To date, four workshops have been held in collaboration with the City of Ballarat, Ballarat Community Health and Centrelink, on the following topics:

  • Parent Place, Supported Playgroup, Storytelling class, Best Start program
  • Maternal & Child Health, Immunisation
  • Healthy Living, Head to Help (mental health program)
  • Centrelink (Children and Family services)

Three workshops are being prepared for the parents and children of Group A – 22 April: Baby Massage, 29 April: Playgroup, 6 May: Food is Free (community gardening session).

Currently we are recruiting participants for Group B, which will begin on 28 May.
Group B, 7 sessions: May 28 | June 4, 11, 18, 25 | July 16, 23
Time: 10am – 12pm

If you need further information or want to join, please leave your name and phone number to Community Engagement Team Leader, Heeyoung: 0410 760 618 or

‘Living Together Box’ program

Over three days on 23 February, 9 March, and 30 March, the BRMC Community Engagement Team provided the Living Together Box service to 15 families in need. Currently, a survey of the program’s satisfaction has been conducted with beneficiaries, whose feedback shows that the Living Together Box project, jointly developed by the Victorian Government, Ballarat Italian Association (BIA) and BRMC, gives hope during economic difficulties.

We hope the Living Together Box will be a small but influential starting move in this society to help families, who are desperate due to economic difficulties caused by COVID-19, overcome despair and rekindle hope.

Miniroos Soccer Program

This program, in partnership with Football Victoria, is for young people aged 6-13 (all genders). It’s a great chance to be active, learn new skills and meet other kids.

Dates: 16 April, 2 July, 9 July, 24 September, 1 October & 17 December
Time: 11am – 12.30pm
Venue: Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility (Morshead Park), 900 Pleasant St South, Redan

For more information contact Community Engagement Worker, Lunorphare: / 0413 572 541.

Good Governance Program

The Good Governance program offers free mentoring support to community organisations, cultural groups and associations looking for governance and compliance advice.

Meet Malcolm Sanders, Good Governance Mentor for South Sudanese Women and Children’s group Māl Kël loc Kël. His experience and knowledge, coupled with skilled mentoring of the group has helped the group organise their direction and purpose. This is what Malcolm has to say about his Good Governance mentoring experience:

“Since just before Christmas, I have been working as a mentor to the South Sudanese Women and Children’s Group, as well as their dance group Māl Kël loc Kël. It has been exciting watching this group begin their journey of forming and deciding how they will operate. The Good Governance program is working in partnership with BRMC to help develop the governance skills of some of the member groups here in Ballarat. Some people from the community (including me), have undergone training to help us learn to be good mentors for our organisations. Under the watchful eye of Sarabjit, the mentors were matched with a group to begin work at the end of 2020. We faced the challenge at first of only being able to meet on Zoom, but now we can finally meet face to face and work to develop and grow this new community group. Can’t wait to see what happens!”

Zoom Workshops – All are welcome to join!
These free workshops act as team building and realignment exercises for mentors and community organisations:
Topic: Conducting effective board meetings
Date & Time: Tuesday 28 April, 7pm – 8.30pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 420 751 2341
Passcode: C4P
Questions? Contact Sarabjit at

Community Volunteers: Migrant English Program

The skilled MEP tutors provide free online English learning support to clients in Ballarat, Beaufort, Ararat and Horsham. Kudos to our volunteer tutors who work tirelessly to empower individuals find better employment and social opportunities.

Meet Jan Angus, one of our fabulous MEP tutors:
“There is a rather ordinary word that I sometimes use. I have never thought too much about it… Lately, though, this solitary word has become of major significance both locally and globally. The word? ZOOM! As a volunteer English Tutor, and during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarabjit Kaur approached me with a very strange request indeed – would I be willing to tutor online on this “thing” called ZOOM? I had no idea at all what she meant, but being passionately wedded to tutoring, and without too much hesitation I said I would give it a go. Well here I am, months later, still Zooming along after a rather shaky start!”
– Jan Angus, Volunteer Tutor

To learn more about this learning community, contact Sarabjit at

Diversity Homework Club

We’ve had a successful Term 1. The students engaged in literacy, numeracy and science activities as the tutors organised fun-learning challenges for the group that kept everyone on their toes. As excitement builds to see how many students will win Reading Awards, our Reading Room tutors Vanessa and Anne dexterously tabulate the reading logs of participating students.

Meet Liseni Warnakulasuriya, our incredibly talented Diversity Homework Club tutor who joined the team as a Peer Tutor in 2020. Her ‘Word Play’ challenges had the students learning 21 new words in Term 1.

Let’s hear it from Liseni:
Just as COVID-19 brought our world to a halt, I joined the Diversity Homework Club. I was entering the biggest year of my life – year 12. Nonetheless, I wanted to give my time and join the wider community while I had the chance to volunteer as a Peer Tutor through Ballarat Clarendon College’s Community Service program.
The moment I joined that Zoom call, I was greeted with the most welcoming and supportive tutors. The first few sessions were filled with observation opportunities, where I learnt how to structure my lessons based on the students’ individual needs. I can’t express the joy I receive knowing that the DHC students have a safe and supportive atmosphere for finding their strengths. Whether it’s writing poems, creating lyrics, singing till their heart’s content, or just helping with schoolwork, DHC is always ready to take on a new adventure!
Participating in the DHC as a Peer Tutor and now, since I am a Uni student, as part of the team of tutors, is like a pocket of happiness I enter every Wednesday. Sometimes it’s challenging too, but we start and leave each session with a little game to brighten the day. Every week I make a little spelling game where I base 3 words with a specific theme, such as ‘dinosaurs’ or ‘space’. The DHC students love a good challenge!
I’ve had the privilege to witness the resilience and strength that my DHC students bring to every session. As a first year Uni student of Medicine, I hope I can do the same. I hope to continue teaching and growing with the Diversity Homework Club.

DHC’s virtual choir ‘A Better Place’ premiered online on 28 March.
The choir, collaboratively produced under the able tutelage of George and Geoffrey Williams of Virtual Soul Choir, celebrates the joy of togetherness and collaborative learning. Enjoy the heart-warming video here:

Social Support

BRMC Social Support celebrated the Maltese culture at March Multicultural Tucker. Our seniors feasted on a delicious three-course Maltese cuisine of pastizzi, stuffed zucchini and yummy cannoli for dessert. We had a full house with 93 clients attending the event!

For our first Bus Trip for 2021, we visited the beautiful Buda Historic Home & Garden in Castlemaine before enjoying a two-course lunch at the Cumberland Hotel and then a shopping spree at the Mill Market.

Seniors enjoyed a lovely afternoon at our March Seasonal Lunch. With a nutritious two-course meal and informative presentations on Tai Chi and a COVID Vaccine information session. Program Update: We are merging Health & Wellbeing Day with Seasonal Lunch.

April Programs

Tai Chi: April 20 & 27, 1pm – 2pm (reduced to $5)
Multicultural Tucker (Polish): Wednesday 14 April, 12pm – 3pm ($10)
Bus Trip (Mount Macedon): Monday 19 April, 9am – 5pm ($40)
Seasonal Lunch: Wednesday 28 April, 12pm – 2pm ($10)

All programs are held at Victoria Bowling Club, 231 Victoria St, Ballarat East. Bookings are essential.

If you know someone who would benefit from BRMC Social Support Services, contact Teresa on 0417 109 052 or

New Social Support Program: Carer Support Hub

Thursday 27th May, 10am – 3pm
Venue: Victoria Bowling Club, 231 Victoria St, Ballarat East

Volunteer with BRMC

Volunteering with BRMC is a great way to learn new skills, gain confidence, be part of a community, meet new people and make a difference!

Digital Mentor

BRMC is teaming up with Ballarat North Neighbourhood Centre to recruit and train Digital Mentors to support members of our community with limited digital literacy skills.

Digital Mentors will: work one-on-one in small groups with people from migrant or refugee backgrounds, participate in Digital Mentor training and commit to a minimum of 1 hour a week for six months.

Contact Heeyoung on 03 5383 0613 or

Administration / Reception Volunteer

Do you have one or two half days per week to be our receptionist? We have morning and afternoon shifts available, Monday to Friday. You decide which days and hours suit you.

Tasks include: greeting visitors, answering the phone, responding to emails, keeping records, filing documents and assisting with office tasks.

Contact Teresa on 03 5383 0613 or

Social Support Volunteer

Becoming a BRMC Social Support Volunteer is a way for you to give back to our local culturally and linguistically diverse community.

We have a variety of opportunities: Hospitality Assistant, Program Assistant, Driver, Home Visiting, and Administration / General Assistant.

Contact Teresa on 0417 109 052 or