About the Strategic Engagement Coordination program
The Strategic Engagement Coordination (SEC) program works to strengthen settlement outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) through a strengths-based community engagement approach. It is collaborative in nature engaging a range of key stakeholders across the sector including government, community services and community members to identify and understand the issues, needs, gaps and barriers that prevent migrant, refugee and asylum seeker communities from achieving social and economic mobility. Our work is part of a state-wide initiative in which SEC’s collectively advocate for and find solutions to achieve greater sector coordination, collaboration and service delivery outcomes for migrant, refugee and asylum seeker communities.
An SEC project that is currently operating is our CALD Women’s Mentoring Project. Community consultations and sector service mapping identified a strong need for CALD women to have access to intensive, face-to-face, regular support in the form of supportive mentoring to overcome barriers to education and employment. Our experience shows that well trained mentors can provide support that helps CALD women navigate education, training, employment and the complex cultural expectations and barriers that impact their lives.
“It has been wonderful to meet a woman from a different cultural background to my own and work towards achieving her vocational goals. I am also enjoying learning more about educational and employment services available to unemployed migrant women and assisting in a very practical way in the job search process,” – Mentor.
Funded by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, our Women’s Mentoring program was co-designed with CALD women and is delivered through the SEC program.
We have recently received additional funding to expand our SEC program to further respond to the increasing numbers of newly arrived community members settling in the south east region of Melbourne. This funding will allow us to engage in new strategic discussions and drive further improvements that will benefit our local community.
About the Strategic Partnerships program
We partner with the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre (SMRC) to deliver the Strategic Partnerships Program (SPP) bringing together our strengths and networks to better collaborate with ethno-specific communities and groups.
The Strategic Partnerships Program assists the Rohingya, Burmese, Tamil, African and Afghan communities across the Southern Metropolitan area to identify, plan and implement community-based programs while building leadership capacity.
The objectives and intended benefits of SPP are to:
- Promote community harmony and social inclusivity with broader society
- Build on existing community strengths
- Build capacity and increase sustainable participation and inclusivity in education, employment, family relationships and health activities
- Recognise and respond to community needs through advocacy and information sharing with mainstream organisations.
The program also collaborates with mainstream service providers to improve access for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
The Strategic Partnership Program is funded by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.