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