We approached Danny White who is running for Division 5 in the Moreton Bay Region. He shared with us his thoughts on a multicultural Moreton Bay Region. You can read his response below.
Danny and his wife Sue moved to the Redcliffe Peninsula 35 years ago, and have called it home ever since. Danny's responses below come directly from his heart and from his experience with the community.
MACS Inc. asked Danny what plans he has to contribute to building cohesive and more resilient communities?
Danny: I believe all people in our community and country should be treated equal regardless of their background, ancestral or cultural. Australia as a whole, and the Moreton Bay Region, are blessed with such a diverse cultural community.
I believe the most important tool to help break down barriers and misconceptions is knowledge, awareness, and, most importantly, interaction. People are afraid of what they don’t know.
MACS Inc. asked Danny how he intends to support community grassroots organisations, such as MACS Inc, in delivering culturally rich and diverse experiences for residents and visitors alike; as well as establishing and maintaining projects and initiatives that help culturally and linguistically diverse communities grow and thrive?
Danny: Being a Chef and local business owner for more than 20 years, while running the Scarborough Lights community volunteer group, I have been a part of developing, organising and participating in many promotions and events. If our volunteer group, working closely with our local businesses, did not lay the groundwork, then nothing would have been done. I believe it is Council’s job to liaise with and support those who bring their ideas and proposals to the table.
Individual groups and associations in this area all have their own unique offerings, which either individually or collectively, could create opportunities to showcase their cultures and diversity through events, displays and experiences to share with the public. This is one area that, with the right support, will always provide a successful way to interact with the community. People travel from all over South-East Queensland to experience a cultural event. Paniyiri - the Greek Festival in Brisbane - is one of many examples of groups and organisations working together with local Councils to successfully deliver culturally rich and diverse experiences for everyone to enjoy. I understand from experience that it is a lot of hard work that is also very rewarding in so many ways.
MACS Inc. asked Danny if there are issues he has personally identified in the Region, from a multicultural perspective, that she feels require attention and solutions?
Danny: Again, I think there has been a lack of support and promotion for events from multicultural organisations. More consultation, and the creation of a Liaison Officer to work with Council-sponsored events, would be a good start. Any successful event is a great benefit to the whole Moreton Bay Region.
MACS Inc. asked Danny what his plans are for supporting the migrant and refugee business community?
Danny: As stated previously, we have had our own business in the Moreton Bay region for 20 years. Every day is a challenge. Through the diverse range of multicultural organisations in the region, and in conjunction with local business groups (eg your local Chambers of Commerce) and Council representatives, forums could be arranged by your organisations to identify markets, strategies and goals.
MACS Inc. asked Danny is he believes it is important for Moreton Bay Regional Council to create and implement a Multicultural Action Plan?
Danny: I believe multicultural groups you represent should approach Moreton Bay Regional Council with their ideas for short and long-term projects. It is no good Council representatives implementing an Action Plan without extensive collaboration. You need to be the driving force, and then it’s up to Council to listen to your ideas. If I were elected as Councillor, I would certainly listen, while at the same time appreciate the effort and time that goes in to organising and supporting our various multi-cultural groups and organisations, and appreciate the richness of diversity they represent.
You can learn more about Danny and what he stands for by visiting/contacting:
Facebook page: facebook.com/dannywhitediv5
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Danny. #unityindiversity
We introduce you to Stephen Huxtable. He running for Division 11. Below is what he had to say regarding his thought on multiculturalism.
Stephen has a background in defence in aviation and has lived in a few countries around the world over the years and consequently experienced several different cultures.
What Stephen had to say:
My background is defence and aviation. To that end I have lived in Oman for around 3 years from 2000 to 2003, then Kuwait from 2003 to 2006 and several times in the United States in places like California, New Mexico and Oregon. I was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan supporting Australian troops in the war on terror. I have also worked from the Shetland Island to Singapore. I have seen and lived with many different cultures.
To put it simply I have grown to understand and accept many different peoples for what they are and what they can offer. In short, I will do whatever I can to assist in helping people to integrate into the Australian way of life but also celebrating their heritage.
Let’s make it fun and enjoy each other’s past.
You can learn more about Stephen and what she stands for by visiting:
0419 738 249
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Stephen. #unityindiversity
We approached Division 12 Candidate Trevor Lewis to ask him about his stance on a multicultural Moreton Bay Region Below is what he had to say
Trevor is a local resident of Elimbah and has lived in the region for more than 10 years with his wife Anja who is a Registered Nurse at the Caboolture Hospital.
Here is what Trevor had to say:
I was born in Melbourne which is known for its vibrant multicultural societies. Growing up there, I was able to see first hand the fruits of diversity and acceptance. Many of my school friends were 1st generation immigrants and I was always welcomed into their home with open arms.
This exposure to other cultures started a deep ambition within me from a young age where I yearned to see more of the world. As the saying goes; "Traveling is the only way you can spend money and become richer." This is even more true in our beautiful brown land as we reside virtually alone in a corner of the globe without any border countries.
Now at 38, I can say I am a better person for my extensive travel experience. I was always drawn to places that are outside of western norms and sought ways I could mingle and immerse myself with people in their day-to-day lives away from the usual touristy corridors that generally blinker real insight. The most recent expedition being a solo circular trek around the continent of South America in the middle of last year.
Contrasting these experiences and insights to what we know as Australians coupled with my keen interest in government has given me a much broader and deeper perspective of what's truly important to all of us; regardless of colour or creed - opportunity, acceptance and inclusiveness or what we used to refer to as "a fair go".
From a local government perspective, I am able to use the same paradigm and would naturally encourage and promote ways for our communities to celebrate diversity. Examples of this recently were the government grants for community groups and sports clubs to drive inclusiveness, particularly aimed at minorities.
As an elected official, my job would be a conduit from community to government and i would always take action on the best advice available to me in the interest of collective community voices such as yours. It's my commitment to be available to listen with an open mind.
You can learn more about Trevor and what she stands for by visiting:
0402 954 414
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Trevor. #unityindiversity
We approached Division 2 Candidate Karen Harris and asked her thoughts on a multicultural Moreton Bay Region. Below is her response.
Karen has a background in Community Development, as an Administrator, a Co-ordinator, and in Sales & Marketing.
What Karen had to say:
Firstly, I believe there is no level of Government more “grass roots” than local Council and “grass roots” is all about people and community. I am entering this opportunity to represent the people and communities of Division 2 with eyes and mind wide open, with genuine passion for connecting people and with the energy to make a difference. I have attached a copy of my resume for you to share along with my response as I feel it is important for locals to gain a better understanding of my background, which as you will note involves working for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as a Field Officer on the frontline.
This role has given me great insights into the diversity that exists within the region and the data collected for the ABS assists us all recognising the challenges and needs faced by CALD citizens.
Come 28th March there is likely to be many new faces forming the Moreton Bay Regional Council, and there will be a fresh new Mayor. I see this as a opportunity to advocate within Council for a symposium to be held at the earliest point to assist all newly and/or returning representatives to gain a better understanding of the needs of the CALD community across the region, including the migrant and refugee business community. If elected, I will most certainly be championing this within Council with the goal to be a Multi-cultural Action Plan to take our region forward in the right direction.
To address your questions as a single agent would not, in my view, do justice to the needs of CALD people of Division 2. Rather, it is the combined efforts of local leaders across the different sectors that need to come together to develop strategies and solutions that directly address the challenges faced by the CALD community. As they say, it takes a village.
There are a number of points however I would like to touch on. You ask how I will contribute to building cohesive and more resilient communities? I hope that my track record of working for my community demonstrates the passion that I have in keeping people connected. I have been instrumental in bringing U3A to Beachmere, advocating for marginalised people for a better quality of life, leading community groups focused on bringing the community together, and lobbying for better infrastructure and services to meet local needs.
I am also excited about the opportunity to help create a region whereby young people are embraced within their communities and, in particular, I recognise the challenges faced by refugee, migrant or Australian-born CALD adolescents.
I am a firm believer in building upon what already exists in our communities to make them more vibrant and cohesive. This involves having a good understanding of the vulnerabilities that exist within the community and leveraging community assets to create better access, spaces and opportunities for all. At the heart of every community must be something worth bringing the community together and this is the exciting prospect of the future for residents that exists. I am so keen to be part of this. It is more important than ever before to ensure the focus of this next Council is on building resilient and strong neighbourhoods across communities so that challenges and stressors are addressed and overcome.
Karen has welcomed the opportunity to visit MACS Inc. over the coming weeks. We look forward to meeting Karen.
Karen thanked us for the opportunity to speak to the CALD community in the region. We thank her for responding.
You can learn more about Karen and what she stands for by visiting:
0402 114 201
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Karen. #unityindiversity
We approached Amy Smith who is running for Division 3 in the Moreton Bay Region Elections. Below is what she had to say about a multicultural Moreton Bay Region.
Amy first moved to the Moreton Bay Region in 1992 and have resided in Caboolture since 2009. has worked in the legal industry for over 18 years and is currently studying a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry Major).
MACS Inc. asked Amy what plans she has to contribute to building cohesive and more resilient communities?
Amy: I think ensuring that all people feel welcome in our community is important. All residents are valued members of our society and as a Councillor, it will be my job to ensure that I listen to the whole community and make sure everyone is included and appreciated no matter their background.
MACS Inc. asked Amy how she intends to support community grassroots organisations, such as MACS Inc, in delivering culturally rich and diverse experiences for residents and visitors alike; as well as establishing and maintaining projects and initiatives that help culturally and linguistically diverse communities grow and thrive?
Amy: As a Councillor I will help fight for fair funding of these services, as I understand that our region is being underfunded when compared to other areas. These types of services are very important as it helps provide the tools for people to exceed and excel in our community.
MACS Inc. asked Amy if there are issues she has personally identified in the Region, from a multicultural perspective, that she feels require attention and solutions?
Amy: I understand that funding levels for our Region are being under funded. I would intend to advocate and fight for the same level of funding as other regions to ensure that the important services that are needed are properly funded so that our residents are being supported properly so that they can thrive in our community.
MACS Inc. asked Amy what her plans are for supporting the migrant and refugee business community?
Amy: To ensure that we have in place specialised services, which may include a website in different languages or specialised support staff to support our business community in their dealings with Council.
MACS Inc. asked Amy is she believes it is important for Moreton Bay Regional Council to create and implement a Multicultural Action Plan?
Amy answered YES to MBRC implementing a Multicultural Action Plan. We asked how she will make sure this happens during her time as Councillor?
Amy: I would do this by prioritising this matter, especially given the fact that we are lagging behind other Councils in our area, and by engagement with the community to ensure that the plan is implemented properly.
You can learn more about Amy and what she stands for by visiting:
Website - https://greens.org.au/qld/person/amy-smith
Email - email@example.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Amy-Smith-The-Greens-100636498106021/
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Amy. #unityindiversity
We made contact with Barbara Cook who is running for Division 2 and asked her about her stance on a multicultural Moreton Bay Region. Below is what she had to say.
Barbara is a mother and partner who has lived in this area since 1981. She is am a Registered Nurse and Midwife working in Brisbane.
What Barbara had to say:
My background is I grew up in an isolated rural community near Rotorua on the North Island called Rotoehu Forest or Pongakawa Valley. Dairy, beef and sheep farming and later kiwifruit mixed with a State forest. Because of its isolation and poverty, my primary school mates were a few pakaha and many Maori children. We were equals in every sense and embraced our culture. Later embracing the Tokelau forestry workers and their families when they migrated into our community. I actually identified as more more Maori as I grew up. I still have a strong connection to my whanau.
After doing my NZ general and obstetric nursing training at Tauranga I moved to Melbourne ‘for love’ in 1979. Greg and I have been together for more than forty years. We moved to Deception Bay, living in a caravan in 1981. We are now in Burpengary East after a brief spell Tamworth NSW.
We have two adult children, Robin and Katreena who are now happily settled with their families at Newport and Sydney. Our children went to local schools finishing at St Columbans and Southern Cross Catholic School.
I must acknowledge the First Nations indigenous people as having a significant role to play within our community. I support all efforts to ensure their culture is preserved, supported and continued through the generations.
I was the inaugural secretary to the setting up of the Deception Bay neighbourhood Centre early 90’s. Community cohesiveness comes from within our community, initiated and supported by us as residents.
I firmly believe the diversity of our nation embracing people’s from the world has had a positive influence on Australia and Australians. No matter what country you have come from you should be able to access services. Australia is full of opportunities and it has been kind to me and my family. I became an Australian in 2000. My work involves ensuring respectful, safe cultural care for all peoples, all ages, all backgrounds. I have learnt much from the people I attend in my role as a midwife and Registered Nurse.
If elected to Division 2 I would strongly support the work of the Multicultural Association of Caboolture and Surrounds Inc.(MACS Inc). I would be asking many questions and would support a review of community services throughout MBRC. I have had many interactions with translating services in health. To be informed is about having access to information. If elected I would strongly urge Council subscribe to a translation service to support residents. Our libraries should have sections available for those of other nations to be able to source information in their language. I also believe the community may also be able to provide CALD translation or economic services if an organisation such as MACS is funded and supported.
Successful and healthy communities are about being inclusive, respectful to all residents and creating a sense of belonging within the community. I would embrace Council supporting significant special cultural events. I would consider right for a Councillor to attend and support such functions. Citizenship ceremonies would continue to be funded and supported.
I have had experience supporting Queenslanders after the Emerald, Central Queensland floods in 2010-11. I have had resilience training in supporting communities who have suffered loss or trauma. Being listened too, respected and understood goes a long way in supporting communities. I acknowledge some immigrants to Australia have been through trauma and have great difficulties and encountered many barriers in settling.
I have significant experience with the Pacific Islander groups -Samoan and Tongan families of Deception Bay and attended the Motu Fono opening. I strongly support them in their efforts. Quietly and respectfully going about their business. Their community garden they are creating with Council support will provide them a great opportunity to grow their foods, share their crops and enhance the community.
I would support Council employees at induction to the organisation have multi-cultural education understanding the diversity of all the various communities in MBRC and know where to seek specialist advice such as translator services.
I would propose greater connections with all community groups, improved cohesiveness with all multi-cultural groups throughout MBRC such as the Multicultural Association of Caboolture and Surrounds Inc., Caboolture Malayalee Association, Moreton Bay Multicultural Action Network, Moreton Bay Murri Network, Brisbane North Chinese Association by having regular Council multi-disciplinary community meetings established. Individual Councillors should have set time to meet individually with leaders of any community. Re-establishing regular community meetings for all residents would be a priority if elected Councillor Division 2.
Migrant and refugee business communities and opportunities in MBRC I would totally support. I confess I would need to learn much more about this aspect if elected. I support any business to be set up in Division 2 as gainful employment enhances the community well being.
I would strongly support the employment of a Council diversity officer for employees and residents. Employment of an economic officer to explore employment opportunities and diversification. This role would ensure appropriate sourcing of funding to implement various programs to support jobs, for all. If MBRC does not have a Multicultural Action Plan then let’s create one.
You can learn more about Barbara and what she stands for by visiting:
0412 658 124
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Barbara. #unityindiversity
We approached Jason Snow who is running for Division 2 and asked him about his take on a multicultural Moreton Bay Region. Below is what he had to say.
Jason and his wife Debbie settled in the region after they married, and 20 years on, they still call Moreton Bay Region home, and have four beautiful children.
Jason has worked as a carer for people with intellectual disabilities for almost 19 years, within that time he has undertaken various courses about communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds.
MACS Inc. asked Jason what plans he has to contribute to building cohesive and more resilient communities?
Jason: I intend to be out in the community as much as possible if I am elected. I will consult with as many people in that community and with their contributions I am sure we can build a community that will be welcoming to everyone.
MACS Inc. asked Jason how he intends to support community grassroots organisations, such as MACS Inc, in delivering culturally rich and diverse experiences for residents and visitors alike; as well as establishing and maintaining projects and initiatives that help culturally and linguistically diverse communities grow and thrive?
Jason: I am all for the inclusion of people from diverse communities, I am passionate about coming out and learning about different cultures and allowing them to express to others about their beliefs and what their culture is all about.
MACS Inc. asked Jason if there are issues he has personally identified in the Region, from a multicultural perspective, that he feels require attention and solutions?
Jason: I have found while talking to people that there are some who are afraid of people from other countries, I intend to do my best to close that gap. I will welcome leaders from all the communities to come together and help solve this problem.
MACS Inc. ask Jason what his plans are for supporting the migrant and refugee business community?
Jason: I am a big believer for the right person for the job, no matter where they come from or what colour skin they have, I will be doing my best in breaking down those barriers.
MACS Inc. ask Jason if he believes it is important for Moreton Bay Regional Council to create and implement a Multicultural Action Plan?
As Jason answered YES to MBRC implementing a Multicultural Action Plan, we asked him how he will he make sure this happens during his time as Councillor?
Jason: First of all I want to be able to obtain as much details as I can before putting anything forward, then with all this information I can present this to council and get the wheels in motion.
Jason has indicated that he feels his skills and patience will be well suited for the job of Councillor of Division 2 in the Moreton Bay Region. He also stated that in recent times the Papua New Guinea community have come out in support of him personally and his campaign.
You can learn more about Jason and what he stands for by visiting:
0480 169 610
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Jason. #unityindiversity
The MBRC Elections are at the end of the month. We thought it was important for you to get to know your Candidate in relation to their stance for supporting a culturally diverse Moreton Bay community; one where people feel accepted, included, welcomed, and embraced. Please see Troy's response below and then make your own decision as to whether she should get your vote this coming election.
Sandra Ruck is running for Division 5 and describes herself as a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Business Partner, Teacher, and Community Volunteer.
I understand the importance of Cultural and Linguistical Diversity [CLD] with having had over 38 years’ experience as a teacher. It has always been important to me both within the classroom and as a colleague to ensure that the school environment embraces this range of cultures.
The First Nations folk are an important feature as this will assist all other CLD’s in the MBR and make all our lifestyles more harmonious, tolerant and understanding. As a teacher, I promoted an inclusive classroom which offered a caring, safe and secure environment thus enforcing community values - a community where we can feel safe, learn and be treated with respect.
As a teacher in the MBR, where for many years I wrote curriculum, I know it is important to research, know and understand current statistics regarding CLD [see below] but I would be keen to meet you to learn and understand more. Current statistics are tabled below which you of course would know but I still feel is important to emphasise here that 9.2% of people living in the Moreton Bay Region speak another language other than English at home. There are 157 different languages spoken in the region including:
This CLD would be representative of Division 5 also I would think.
Encircle, an organisation which I know well through my volunteer work with the Rotary Club of Redcliffe Sunrise, is a valuable form of support for the CLD community.
As your new Councillor, I would look forward to working with and representing you and the CLD Community across the MBR and ensure that you are fully and fairly represented with my support for such events as Harmony Day, NAIDOC etc, which I have supported in the past.
MACS Inc. asked Sandra what plans does she have to contribute to building cohesive and more resilient communities?
Sandra: I would like to meet with you after the Local Council elections to discuss how I can support you and understand your needs. As a MBRC Councillor it would be important for me to ensure that I could support you to be best of my ability. Understanding the true meaning of harmony and diversity is so important and the community as a whole must be respectful of a range of cultures.
I would welcome workshops with each of the CLD communities within the MBR. I know the Samoan Community meet regularly at Scarborough and NAIDOC week is the first Sunday in July. NAIDOC week is considered to be an important celebration in Division 5 and I have always celebrated it in the school environment as a teacher with my students. Events such as Harmony Day on 21 March, MB Multicultural Fiesta on the 29 August and of course Diwali, Festival of Lights on 7 November (which I witnessed in Chennai a couple of years ago) are important.
I am keen to understand and learn more and I would like to become more involved in the CLD communities as I take on the role of Councillor.
MACS Inc. asked Sandra how does she intend to support community grassroots organisations, such as the Multicultural Association of Caboolture and Surrounds Inc., Caboolture Malayalee Association, Moreton Bay Multicultural Action Network, Moreton Bay Murri Network, Brisbane North Chinese Association and so many more; in delivering culturally rich and diverse experiences for residents and visitors alike; and establishing and maintaining projects and initiatives that help culturally and linguistically diverse communities grow and thrive?
Sandra: As a schoolteacher, I worked with CLD students at Redcliffe SHS (24 years) and Southern Cross Catholic College (7 years). Many students under my instruction excelled in their studies many of whom I have run into later in life and what a pleasure that is. I would like to engage with MACS and other organisations mentions above to continue to support your needs via the Grants process including the forthcoming Harmony Day.
I understand that the MBRC provides a series of Cross-cultural Training Workshops for the community - I would ensure quality improvement through ongoing monitoring and evaluation as guided and communicated by the key stakeholders and I would ensure the continued success of Harmony Day.
MACS Inc. asked Sandra if there are there issues she has personally identified in the Region, from a multicultural perspective, that she feels require attention and solutions? What are they and how does she plan on tackling these issues?
Sandra: The First Nations people have lived in this area for many thousands of years and if we can further support this community then I feel all the other CLD communities will benefit. By utilising the ‘grassroots’ organisations as mentioned in 2 above to plan festivals and celebrating the unity through diversity we can all benefit as a community and improve tolerance and understanding. If you have any specific areas that I have omitted to address here, then please let us meet and discuss these needs and I can then champion these when elected into Council.
MACS Inc. asked Sandra what her plans are for supporting the migrant and refugee business community? How will electing her help these business owners implement better strategies internally and improve how they service the Moreton Bay Region community?
Sandra: I would work with both our State and Federal representatives to support Migrant and Refugee Community Leaders in order to gain access to free training and support through the MBRC and Community Network Meetings. I would be looking for feedback in order to make quality improvement to better support all CLD communities and with your help identify and close cultural gaps.
I would champion an updated booklet and web page to make it easier for you and other CLD’s to find the necessary support. I have been involved for many years in Rotary supporting ENCIRCLE, CHAMELEON HOUSE, ZONTA and the list goes on and I will support / champion wherever it best fits for your community group across the MBRC area.
MACS Inc. asked Sandra is she believes it is important for Moreton Bay Regional Council to create and implement a Multicultural Action Plan?
Sandra: When looking and comparing with other local Councils, there is always room where the MBRC can work on quality improvement and the MBMAP is one idea along with Caboolture NHC for support.
I understand the funding process is difficult but I would endeavour to work with you to find ways to support you and other CLD’s and I am more than willing to listen and learn.
Sandra thanked us for the opportunity to answer our questions and said she looks forward to meeting with us and community leaders should she be elected as the new Division 5 Councillor.
You can learn more about Sandra and what she stands for by visiting:
Call 0437 443 114
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Sandra. #unityindiversity
The MBRC Elections are not too far away. We thought it was important for you to get to know your Candidate so sent each of them an email requesting the tell us their stance in relation to supporting a culturally diverse Moreton Bay community; one where people feel accepted, included, welcomed, and embraced. Please see Troy's response below and then make your own decision as to whether he should get your vote this coming election.
Troy Fernandez is running for Division 5. He lives in the Region with his family and has done so his entire life, having been born at Redcliffe Hospital.
In my view equality, inclusion and acceptance are all vital to the cohesion of any community. One in four people (26%) in the Moreton Bay Region are born overseas from 184 countries. More than a third of people (36.2%) in the Moreton Bay Region stated either both or one of their parents was born overseas.
As the son of two migrants, one of a Latin American origin, and my wife being Sicilian. I have affinity with non-English speaking Australians. I also understand that while Argentines and Italians have a-lot in common, they each have very different levels of community support networks here in Australia. I don't presume I know the needs of each cultural group; however, I am open to listening to any group in the region. I am aware that in Division 5 there is a large Polynesian community and I have also met with and spoken to some of the Indigenous community groups about what they are trying to achieve.
Moreton Bay has a number of multicultural events that are not only good for greater community education, by showcasing individual cultures. I also personally enjoy a number of them. Already this year Redcliffe has hosted the Blessing of the Waters with the Greek Community and Waitangi Day celebrations with our Maori Community. I would like to see the continuation of Moreton Bay Regional Councils support of these events.
I have seen a number of gaps with Councils provision of information on its services in languages other than English. I’m also aware that Council no longer employ’s a community liaison officer to assist community groups with resources and information on how to assist their clients/members. I think these are just some important initiatives to assist members of our community and our community cultural groups prosper in our community.
In relation to your questions about a multicultural action plan and supporting specific businesses. While during the course of this election I have not turned my mind to dealing with the specific issues you have raised. I understand that new Australians find it tougher to get by due to language and other barriers. I am always happy to listen to community proposals and I have an open mind on the solutions to these very complex issues.
You can learn more about Troy and what he stands for by visiting
We wish you all the very best with your campaign Troy. #unityindiversity
On March 23, 2019, the Multicultural Association of Caboolture and Surrounds Inc. hosted a Candlelight Vigil to honour the victims and lives lost in Christchurch.
Bernard Raffaut, our Vice President, was among a number of speakers who spoke at the vigil. Below is what he said.
We live in a cruel world. A world filled with hatred, racism, violence, bullying and religious persecution.
All of these have become so commonplace in our society. Everyday we turn on the TV, we expect the news to report the next tragedy... it’s become so commonplace, that we are no longer shocked... in fact, some might say we are numb to it.
If we keep going the way we are going, we run the risk of beginning to accept these occurrences as the norm, and there in lies the danger for us.
I don’t want to live in a world where violence and racism and religious persecution are the accepted norm!
I have hope. I have faith... that one day I will be able to turn the TV on and see something good for a change.
I have this hope because of all of you. You are all here today. You are the difference I want to see the world and you all can make a difference one day at a time, one person at a time.
Essentially, you are the collective voice and together we can drown out the bad in the world and uplift and celebrate the good in our world.
Celebrate life, love, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, diversity.
The Multicultural Association of Caboolture and Surrounds Inc. for the last 20 years has been a beacon of hope for our multicultural communities. We promote the harmonious coexistence of diverse cultures. In fact, we champion cultural diversity!
We run events and initiatives aimed at raising cultural awareness and celebrating cultural diversity.
As you can imagine, it's a big job and we can do with all the help we can.
If you were moved today and feel like you want to make more of a difference and help our community embrace unity, inclusion and diversity, I ask that you join us.
There are three ways you can help us.
There is a fourth way also. That is, to continue doing what you’re doing. Be the voice of change and stand up for what is right in our world. Only you can change the conversation and affect change in our community.
If any of this interests you, please come see me or anyone of our team. There are membership forms at the MACS table at the back.
Thank you for joining us today to honour the victims and lives lost in Christchurch. Thank you for attending our Harmony Day celebration. Thank you to all those who helped make today possible. dusk Australia for donating all of the candles, Minuteman Press for the beautiful posters on the walls and to the MACS team of amazing individuals who help pull all this together. I also thank the Moreton Bay Regional Council for supporting this event.
I wish you all a happy harmonious weekend.