Letter from our newly elected Chair, Marta Terracciano

by Esther Lozano - Thursday, 7 December 2017

I would like to introduce myself as the new Chair of The Ethnic Communities Council of NSW.  

Thank you
I would like to thank all the members who attended the AGM.  I would also like to congratulate the Board, including all the new members, and Members’ Forum as well as the Deputy Chair Mr Jack Passaris OAM, the youth chair Mr Glen Falkenstein on their election.  Likewise, I would like to thank the Returning Officer, Ms Irene Ross for assisting and guiding the election process. To all the staff who have worked tirelessly to organise the AGM, my thanks goes out to you.  
A special thank you to Mr Peter Doukas for his work as Chair of the ECC since 2013.  Peter presided over significant achievements during this time as Chair and I would thank him for his hard work and dedication to ECC NSW.
Thank you to all the special guests who attended the AGM 2017.
Please be aware that the results of all the successful candidates are on the website www.eccnsw.org.au -under the ‘News’ Tab.  The Annual Review book with all our achievements and activities for 2017 has now been published. All organisations who are ECCNSW members will receive a copy in the mail. An electronic version is also available on the ECC website.
ECCNSW also participated in the 2017 FECCA Conference in Darwin. We presented some of our best people and projects, most importantly the SBS Media Mentorship Program with students from Macquarie University. 
ECCNSW also came out of the FECCA Conference with significantly higher representation on the FECCA national Executive. I would like to congratulate Siddique Panwala for being elected Treasurer, and Ms Catherine Poutasi on her election as Regional Chair. Most importantly, ECCNSW congratulates our Immediate Past Chair Peter Doukas on his election as Senior Deputy Chair of FECCA. This enables us to take the challenges of multiculturalism to the national stage and is a logical next step for Peter. I look forward to working with the FECCA Executive and its senior office bearers into the future.

My Vision
As the newly elected Chair my vision of ECCNSW is to:
1. Revisit the Strategic Plan as it ends in 2018 and re invigorate our position as a member based representative body in the multicultural space. We have made significant gains with our current Strategic Plan, but we will need to build on these accomplishments. Once again as we develop our next Strategic Plan we will undertake a review process, listen to what our member constituents are saying, and challenge our current thinking and ways of doing things for the ECCNSW to develop a subsequent Strategic Plan for the next 3 years. A Plan that paves the way for ECCNSW to remain an agile, robust, and competitive NGO.  We must recognise the changes in the environment and the challenges that face ECCNSW in the future, and we must work towards maintaining a very successful organisation.  To achieve this, we must increase collaborations across government and nongovernment sectors to extend our reach and effectiveness of community engagement.
2. With the help of the Board and Members’ Forum I will convene sub committees who will focus on specific issues facing our members and the broader CALD communities that includes languages education, youth, housing affordability, disability; aged care refugee settlement and for those most vulnerable - the inadequacy of the pension.
3. In the Ageing space I will bring my years of experience to the fore. Our CALD elderly, their families and their carers are in a state of confusion with the introduction of the new Aged Care Reforms. Through the operational work of the ECCNSW office via the CEO & Staff I will ensure that we are represented on key stakeholder consultations, government roundtables and have a CALD voice in the decision-making and policy making both at the State and at the Federal level.  
4. Given that our core business is maintaining social cohesion and community harmony I will maintain a rigorous campaign to ensure that the racial vilification and citizenship laws do not change to threaten our basic rights as citizens of this nation.
5. The acknowledgment and participation of our Indigenous communities in the work of the ECC is not to be neglected. We need to be more proactive in this space. I will ensure that a Reconciliation Action Plan will be developed that commits ECCNSW to restoring the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of this country to a place of equity, dignity and respect.

Members’ Forum 
Congratulations to all the new members who were elected on the Forum.  I look forward to working with you, due to the significant role that you have within the Ethnic Communities’ Council in strengthening our platform for continued growth, development and success, as the state peak body representing multicultural communities in NSW.
I wish to thank the Minister for Multiculturalism, The Hon Ray Williams MP for his recent visit to ECCNSW and for the ongoing discussions on the role of the Ethnic Communities’ Council, as the community arm to his portfolios.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season and goodwill throughout the year.
Marta Terracciano J.P.