At the December Council Meeting, Greater Shepparton City Council noted the success made in the third year of the Greater Shepparton Multicultural Strategy 2019-2022 and voted to adopt a three year Multicultural Action Plan moving forward.
The 2019-2022 Strategy was Council’s third strategy aimed at supporting and promoting Greater Shepparton’s multicultural communities. The Strategy was guided by three themes of enabling contribution and participation, accessing opportunity and valuing cultural diversity. Several key achievements were reached under each theme in 2022, including:
- Council’s Dates of Acknowledgement/Significance
- The delivery of a Pledge Event at Greater Shepparton Secondary College as part of 2022 Refugee Week
- Continued support for Converge on the Goulburn and St George’s Road Food Festival
- Formation of new partnerships with organisations including the Friendship Café, Greater Shepparton Secondary College Pledge Event and water safety education programs
- Continued support and coordination of multicultural and intersectional events and programs including Iftar and Ashura – significant Muslim days, Women’s Health Expo, Community Capacity Development Workshops and Wear it Purple Day
- Funding for St Pauls African House to support the Taste of African Culture event
With the next Strategy now due, Council voted to diversify the document into a three year Multicultural Action Plan that is integrated into the broader Council Plan. The new Strategy would be supported by an Annual Implementation Plan with clear actions and deliverables that provide for flexibility to respond to community needs. Development of this Action Plan will involve extensive community consultation which is expected to commence in February.
Mayor, Councillor Shane Sali said this three year Action Plan would be an important document for the region.
“Greater Shepparton has a large multicultural community with 15 per cent of the region’s population born overseas,” he said.
“We are very proud of our long migration history which has resulted in Greater Shepparton being a large, culturally diverse community. Considering this, it is important Council highlight its commitment to cultural diversity by continuing to develop a strategy that has a direct focus on multiculturalism.”
The new Multicultural Action Plan will also include an action item for the Mayor to acknowledge key culturally significant festivals observed by the multicultural communities in Greater Shepparton and issue a greeting message to the respective communities on the festival day.