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