BRMC Business-in-Residence

The partnership of Mat Tetni – Mary Deng and Mary Top – are the newest business-inresidence to move into the Ballarat Welcome Centre.

Mat Tetni

Mat Tetni is focused on creating a signature line of aprons combining upcycled denim with exuberantly colourful pops of Ankara wax cloth, as well as offering traditional South Sudanese-style beaded necklaces fashioned by Mary Deng.

An early participant in the A Pot of Courage social enterprise and graduate of the Ballarat 2019 Stepping Stones to Small Business Program, Mary Deng joined with her friend Mary Top in 2020 to establish Mat Tetni as a home-based business. With Winter biting at their ankles, the partners are very happy to be able to move from their garage ‘workshop’ into the warmth and space of the Ballarat Welcome Centre.

Mat Tetni’s durable and beautiful ‘kitchen couture’ and jewellery can be found at local farmers / makers markets and online at

Stepping Stones Empowerment Pathways Program


The new online Stepping Stones Empowerment Pathways Program is seeking women from migrant and asylum-seeking backgrounds, and women 50+ of any background.

From 5 – 21 October 2021, the 6-session Empowerment Program will engage women from the Ballarat, Central Highlands, and Grampians Region, as well as the communities from Ballarat to Melton in a fun and interactive group-based program designed to increase the confidence and skills needed to pursue your transition to employment, education or entrepreneurship.

The Empowerment Pathways Program is also actively recruiting women from across Victoria’s Wimmera District to participate in the Program from 26 October – 11 November 2021.

For further information for either of these opportunities, please contact Deborah Klein: or 0457 934 728

Good Governance Program

BRMC’s Good Governance program offers free governance mentoring support to community organisations, cultural groups and associations looking for governance and compliance advice. Experienced and trained volunteer mentors support committee members with management strategies to help them realise their vision for their communities through ongoing mentoring, advice and governance support.

Whether you are a board member, committee member or someone in the community – there’s something to gain for everyone. To find out how you can participate, contact Sarabjit at

Community Volunteers: Migrant English Program

The Migrant English Program offers free English tutoring to empower individuals with the language skills required for their social and professional growth.

Migrant English Program Tutor

Christian Brown joined the team in 2020. He generously offered his time and expertise to deliver a training session on Respectful Relationships for our Diversity Homework Club tutors before going on to mentor his student by helping them get closer to their language learning goals. Christian’s friendly demeanour and thoughtful lesson planning have gone a long way in instilling confidence in his student who says, “I am very happy with Christian’s teaching style. We meet once a week and he helps me by providing books and lessons that help me improve my English. Learning English from Christian has helped me a lot. Thank you for the help.”

Let’s hear from Christian what he has to say about his tutoring experience:
I have been an English tutor with BMRC for approximately two months. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to support my student and am proud to be working to make a positive difference in my community. I was born in Ballarat and I feel a strong obligation to give back to the town that raised me. The support that Sarabjit has provided me is first class and I am lucky to have her knowledge and practical advice to guide me.
I am learning about and from my student every week. Already, I have developed a greater understanding of what it is like to move across the world to live in Ballarat. I am inspired by my student’s courage and dedication to learning and am hopeful that I am helping him develop his English skills.

To participate/ volunteer with the Migrant English Program, contact Sarabjit at

Diversity Homework Club

Diversity Homework Club is a welcoming community of students and tutors from diverse backgrounds. We are delighted to see our students actively participate in the learning activities, whether it’s writing poems, debating or reading to win Good Reader awards.

Here’s an insight into the fun learning community:

Diversity Homework Club Tutor

Timothy has volunteered with Diversity Homework Club for more than five years. He has been unwaveringly committed to improving learning outcomes for students from CALD backgrounds. Tutors’ planning meetings are enriched by Tim’s contributions as he has his hand on the pulse of the students’ abilities and readiness to learn. He adapts and customises teaching plans to make them work for the students in his small groups. He often breaks the sessions by sharing fun facts or by throwing achievable challenges to the students. Currently, in addition to adding insightful observations based on the ‘fact of the day’, Timothy runs the weekly ‘times table Bingo!’ session that the students enjoy and participate in with great enthusiasm.

“Tim is a driving force in the group, always ready to share his expertise in all things including the use of technology and hints on how to inspire the students into joining in particularly students who may be a little hesitant. Tim is always bright and cheerful and brings an energy to all the group, both tutors and students.” – Vanessa, Tutor

“Timothy is always looking for and finding really good ways to engage the students particularly in the Maths and science areas. He must spend some time on line finding great things to present to them.” – Anne, Tutor

Timothy shares his thoughts on Diversity Homework Club:
Diversity Homework Club: a living community and what a joyous learning experience for all concerned! We meet conveniently online weekly to facilitate learning, each week with unique gems of learning moments, for instance: ‘What word of the day will the students choose today?’ ‘Which students will bring their reading logs and excel towards their reading awards?’ ‘What numbers will the times table bingo reveal?’ We tutors meet online, discuss and prepare a framework before each homework club session for the value of all.

Diversity Homework Club Student

DHC student Bryan Nguyen is a sensitive DHC student who listens carefully and responds thoughtfully. His quiet demeanour generates a peaceful learning environment in the breakout rooms he participates in. The students in his working groups always have something to learn from his insightful responses and steady ‘staying on task’.

Here’s Bryan, sharing his thoughts:
I enjoy Diversity Homework Club. I get to do work and make new friends. I know how to write haikus and couplets. I write short stories and participate in Kahoot! I learn how to spell new words and sometimes I win a challenge in word-play. I am happy that I have won two reading awards – one Gold and one Bronze.
I enjoy sharing stories from the books I read. My favourite author is Anh Do whose book ‘Weirdo’ is fantastic. It’s about a boy whose first name is Weir and last name is Do. The author Anh Do is from Vietnam. He is a refugee who is resilient, strong-willed and writes wonderful books.

I was also born in Vietnam. Here is a haiku about Vietnam:
It is very hot
It has yummy food, O yes,
I like Vietnam.

Want to join this learning community? Contact Sarabjit at

Social Support

New Program: Carer Support Hub

BRMC Social Support will be launching our new program Carer Support Hub on Thursday 19 August, 10am – 3pm at the Brown Hill Cricket Club, 30 Reid St. Special guests include our brilliant local artist Melinda Muscat and the very talented Stella Savy.

Carer Support Hub allows carers to take a break from their daily routines. The program provides carers an opportunity to meet up with friends, do some shopping or simply have some quiet time at home. Our Team appreciate that it is sometimes difficult for a carer to leave their loved one in the care of others, understanding this we welcome carers to participate in the program.

If you know someone who might benefit from our Carer Support Hub or one of our Social Support Services please contact Teresa at or 0417 109 052.

August Social Support Programs

Bookings essential – call BRMC office (new direct line) 03 5331 1123.

Tai Chi: 17, 24 and 31 August, 1pm – 2pm ($5) Brown Hill Cricket Club
Carer Support Hub / Social Hub: Thursday 19 August, 10am – 3pm ($5 Social Hub, $10 Carer Support Hub) Brown Hill Cricket Club
Health & Wellbeing Seasonal Lunch: Wednesday 25 August, 11.30am – 2pm ($10) Victoria Bowling Club
Bus Trip (Winchelsea): Thursday 26 August, 9am – 4.30pm ($40) Victoria Bowling Club

Please note that all programs are subject to COVID-19 restrictions and may be postponed with short notice.

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

Become a Social Support Volunteer

Make a difference to the lives of so many in our community by volunteering with us at BRMC Social Support.

We at BRMC celebrate diversity and welcome all. As a Volunteer you will be an essential and valued member of the BRMC Social Support team.

Contact Teresa on 0417 109 052 or