Women’s Business Incubator Launch

BRMC gathered partners and supporters online to launch our Women’s Business Incubator on 6 September.

The Women’s Business Incubator, located at the Ballarat Welcome Centre, has a very particular role – to promote, support and catalyse women’s businesses and livelihood, and to provide a place that brings together women of diverse backgrounds to collaborate and support each other in business, job seeking, skills training and creativity.

The planning, preparation and retrofit of the Women’s Business Incubator was funded through the Regional Development Victoria Stronger Regional Communities Program.

Thank you to our local Members of the Victorian Government, the Hon. Michaela Settle MP and the Hon. Juliana Addison MP, for ongoing support and for speaking on behalf of the Minister for Regional Development.

Stepping Stones Empowerment Pathways Program

Calling all women from migrant and asylum-seeking backgrounds, and women 50+ of any background.

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

For further information, contact Deborah Klein: d.klein@brmc.org.au or 0457 934 728.

Good Governance Program

The first pan-pilot Good Governance Mentors’ Community of Practice meeting took place on Tuesday, 14 September. Mentors across the three regions of this pilot, Ballarat, Albury Wodonga and Mildura, met to discuss governance mentoring for community organisations.

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.

To find out how you can participate, contact Sarabjit at s.kaur@brmc.org.au.

Community Volunteers: Migrant English Program

Our Volunteer Tutors participated in a Community of Practice session on 18 August 2021. Two of our students, Dalliany Alencastro and Suganthini Neelavannan joined the session to share their language learning journeys with the group. Tutors Cathy Leslie, Pam Oxlade and Rita Holt shared their tutoring tips with the group.

Many congratulations to Dalliany, who has since passed the qualifying language test (PTE) and can now chase her dream of working as a nurse!

If you’d like to know more about this free service offered by BRMC, contact Sarabjit at s.kaur@brmc.org.au.

Meet the tutor: Colin Palmer

Col has been volunteering with the English Tutoring program for several years. It is heartwarming to see his students learn and grow with him. In the words of one of his mentees, “Col is the best teacher anyone can get. He helped me with English and also with everything that I should know about Australia and about Ballarat.”

Here’s Colin, sharing his experience with the English Tutoring program:
“Volunteering as an English Tutor to adults has been one of my best life experiences. No doubt the readers of this newsletter know what I mean already but in brief it feels good to be a volunteer. I began tutoring as my way to give a bit more to the community. Volunteering has been a lifetime commitment for me but my focus has occasionally changed.
Tutoring provides a weekly challenge. What will this week’s session be about? Will it be focused on obtaining a forklift licence, the intricacies of Australian Rules Football or the use of metaphor in a pop song? As long as we are talking, writing and reading; accent, fluency and vocabulary look after themselves. Occasionally I have been able to assist with explaining cultural issues, those odd intricacies of Australian customs that I was not aware of until they were pointed out by someone from another culture. This has all been part of the fun of tutoring and why I am looking forward to volunteer tutoring into the future.”

Diversity Homework Club

MY Education Awards

Diversity Homework Club was declared Out-of-School-Hours Learning Support Program (OSHLSP) of the year Regional/Rural 2021 in an online award ceremony held online on 7 September.

Diversity Homework Club, run by Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council, is one of the largest regional clubs in Victoria, supporting over 50 students, primarily from African and Asian backgrounds. Over the last 18 months, the Diversity Homework Club have reached out to the community in a variety of innovative ways to address their social and emotional wellbeing, and learning needs. These include monthly nutrition kits, a tech-access program for families, an online choir, STEM projects, a reading club, and weekly sessions which provide fun and engaging academic tasks for students.

Out of the 7 nominated tutors, the following were shortlisted:

  • Timothy Walton
  • Heather Ann Stewart
  • Liseni Warnakulasuriya

Out of the 15 students nominated, the following were shortlisted:

  • Nivashini Neelavannan
  • Martha Tuany
  • Nivetha Neelavannan

Timothy Walton, DHC Tutor, runner-up – Outstanding Volunteer Regional/Rural
Timothy has been a volunteer tutor with the Diversity Homework Club in Ballarat for over 5 years, which has allowed him to get to know and devise highly effective tutoring strategies for his students. Within the club, Timothy is known for his inspiring and patient nature, which encourages even the shyest of students to have a go, helping them reach their social and academic potential.

Nivashini Neelavannan, runner-up – Outstanding Secondary Student
For the past four years Nivashini has been a cheerful and engaged student at the Diversity Homework Club in Ballarat. She has a great optimism and love of learning, which has been demonstrated in her participation in planned activities and her contributions to the homework club through sharing her research and knowledge with her peers and tutors.

Martha Tuany, winner – Outstanding Primary Student
Martha is in year 5, and has been attending the Diversity Homework Club run by the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council for 2 years. In that time, she has shown great initiative in creating activities for her fellow students and continues to be a ‘ray of sunshine’ in online sessions. Martha has navigated her learning with pride and confidence, and has been an inspiration for many students to sign up for the program.

We are proud of the talent, skill and resilience demonstrated by all our students and tutors. They make the magic happen – week after week.

DHC Peace Ambassadors

Amid all the doom and gloom prevailing in the world today, our Peace Ambassadors shared their hope for the future through colour and creativity. Twenty DHC students participated in the 23rd Annual Peace Pals International contest, winning participation certificates for their creativity. Here are some warm rays of hope and love from DHC Peace Ambassadors.

Water Safety Workshop

DHC students are all set to welcome Spring-Summer with their water-safety skills. A Life Saving Victoria (LSV) session was organised for DHC families on 18 August 2021. Kudos to the LSV team for tailoring the online interactive session especially for Diversity Homework Club team.

We thank our Peer Tutoring partner Ballarat Clarendon College for their ongoing support.

Want to know more about Diversity Homework Club? Contact DHC Coordinator Sarabjit at s.kaur@brmc.org.au.

Social Support

Thank you to everyone who attended the launch of our new program Carer Support Hub on 19 August. Special thanks to Phillip Moore (Assistant Treasurer, BRMC Executive Committee) for his attendance and heart felt speech, Melinda Muscat (local artist) for the wonderful plaster paint workshop, and Barrie McCausland (musician) for entertaining us with beautiful tunes during the event.

We are sorry we can’t be together during September. The BRMC Social Support Team will continue to stay in touch with you through phone calls and home deliveries. We hope you enjoy having Multicultural Tucker brought to you!

If you know someone who would benefit from BRMC Social Support Services, contact Teresa on 0417 109 052 or teresa@brmc.org.au.