Message from the Chair

by Esther Lozano - Friday, 1 June 2018

Dear Members, Board Members and Friends of the ECC, 

As the Chair of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW, my role is to maintain and to actively promote the principles of multiculturalism, and to advocate for the development of a culturally inclusive society. 
Over the last 40 years the ECCNSW has committed to the principles of a culturally diverse society by delivering new initiatives that reflect innovation. It continues to demonstrate this commitment through its achievements implemented by the Strategic Plan, its good governance and its careful financial oversight.  We respond in a timely manner to controversial issues, build capabilities and opportunities in key areas.
In conjunction with the ECCNSW Board of Management, we support community members and represent ECCNSW in external bodies, communities and groups.  The Board plays an important role in informing and supporting effective advocacy by harnessing government relationships that empower our members and the communities they represent and that we serve and to maintain strong social cohesion.
We want newly arrived migrants to be successful and have opportunities, rights, responsibilities and to be part of Australian multicultural society.

Outreach and representation
Since my last Chair’s message I have represented ECC at many community events, functions and meetings including:
The Jewish Board of Deputies Yom Hashoah Holocaust Commemoration,
The Anzac Memorial service,
The Senior Rights Service, Elder Abuse Conference,
The FECCA Ageing committee meeting, established to identify and overcome barriers and challenges faced by older people from CALD backgrounds, accessing aged care supports and services.
Jashne Buzurg (Seniors Festival),
The Brazil Business Briefing & Networking,
Australian Mauritian Association to celebrate the Jubilee of the Independence of the Republic of Mauritius, I would like to congratulate the organisers for a very successful celebration and thank them for their warm welcome.
The 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Kingdom of Spain,
The face to face FECCA Executive Meeting in Canberra,
The Lord Mayor of Parramatta’s Welcome Reception for Parra masala,
The National Forum on Racial Tolerance and Community Harmony at the Human Rights Commission,
A Celebratory brunch for the Community Migrant Resource Centre’s opening of their Hills office.
Israel 70th Independence Day Cocktail Event.
I also had the privilege of attending the Premier’s Harmony Dinner in March and I would like to express my gratitude to the many ECC members who attended. It was heartening to see so many cultures and ethnic communities coming together to celebrate Harmony day
As part of our role as a peak body we have had the pleasure to receive a visit from the Federal Minister of Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs the Hon Alan Tudge MP. This meeting provided an opportunity for ECC to advocate for the needs of the CALD communities and to voice our concerns on current issues faced by migrant and refugee communities. 
We were also fortunate to receive a visit from a local Parliamentarian, Mr Mark Coure, the MP representing Oatley. Mr Coure showed great interest in the work of the ECC and has offered his support.
Members’ forums
I would like to encourage the member delegates who have been approved as members of the Members Forum to attend the Forum meetings that are regularly held at ECC. Social issues and community concerns are raised and ways to resolve these as a collective are discussed. Guest speakers are often invited to speak on specific issues. This collaboration benefits the organisations that you represent and enables ECC to advocate on common issues of concern.
Any ECC organisational member that is financial can submit a Nomination form for their delegate to be considered as a member of the Members’ Forum. We still have a few places available and if your organisation is interested please contact the ECC office to receive a Nomination form.
I wish to end my message with a special thanks to the new Board of Management for their commitment to date. As volunteers they give up their time to attend Board meetings and to represent ECCNSW. Recently the new Board undertook a Governance training day to ensure that our policies and procedures remain current and that risks are mitigated. I commend the Board for their professionalism and active participation on that day.
Thank you to all our member organisations and individual members of the ECCNSW who work tirelessly in their respective communities as a strong and vibrant voice.
Marta Terracciano