News

Employment and housing solutions needed for CaLD

By James Bennett

Better employment and housing are the two main priorities that have to be addressed for people of multicultural backgrounds.

Shepparton played host to a forum on Friday discussing what better solutions are needed.

The forum also identified where success has been achieved across the state for culturally and linguistically diverse people (CaLD).

Ethnic Council strategic engagement coordinator Sam Atukorala said although there were numerous other challenges for CaLD people, employment and housing stood out the most.

He said Shepparton had been a leading destination as a successful settlement region.

“We can share some of the good news stories we've had,” Mr Atukorala said.

“I think at the end of the day we'll achieve things.

“It's a well represented forum and the cross sector is here as well.

“Because these issues are of really huge concern that's why we want this forum in Shepparton.”

Guest speaker Mahir Momand, chief executive of Regional Opportunity Australia, said his organisation assisted moving refugees and migrants to regional Australia.

“There are people already here in Australia that are skilled, unemployed or underemployed in cities and there are opportunities in regional Australia and we want to be the bridge between the two,” Mr Momand said.

He said the Federal Government's new regional visas played a big role in trying to move people into regions, such as the Goulburn Valley.

“The government did recently change the definition that includes Newcastle and Gold Coast,” Mr Momand said.

“When you make those changes migrants and refugees have the options to move to those areas compared to real regional areas, but our work has not changed.

“The jobs we provide are permanent and long-term jobs, we're not interested in short-term or seasonal jobs.

“If you're helping new Australians move from metropolitan cities to regional Australia they should move there permanently.

“These people who we're helping to move are young families, the parents are today's labour force, but their children are the future of regional Australia.”