CEO message: February

Last week saw a ‘week of action’ and the official launch of the ‘Yes’ campaign for the upcoming referendum on Indigenous Constitutional Recognition through a Voice to Parliament. CMY is proud to pledge our support of the campaign and you can read my full statement here.

This month we also welcomed the announcement from Immigration Minister Andrew Giles for around 19,000 people on temporary protection visas (TPVs) or safe haven enterprise visas (SHEVs), who are now able to apply for permanent residency. This significant and necessary policy change will be life-changing for so many in our community, and I express my gratitude to the Government for delivering on it. You can find important information about this change on Refugee Council of Australia website.

Since 6 February, we have watched in absolute horror and disbelief the impacts of the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, and the tragic loss of so many lives. CMY extends our heartfelt sympathies to those of you who may have been personally affected by this tragedy, and have ongoing concerns for the safety and wellbeing of people you know. We urge those of you who are able to, to please consider making a contribution to one of the emergency appeals that has been set up to support survivors of the earthquakes, like UNICEF Australia’s Emergency Appeal.

A year has passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with no end in sight. We need to take a moment to reflect on how so many people are still suffering and living in constant danger.

Victoria’s Pride culminated this month with a statewide celebration of our LGBTQIA+ communities. We applaud the State Government for the recent release of Victoria’s first whole-of-government strategy, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022-32. CMY will be exploring how we can support this strategy, through our recently established Diversity and Inclusion Governance Group sub-committee on LGBTQIA+ inclusion – one of four priority areas outlined in CMY’s three-year Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Stay tuned for more on this.

I would also like to highlight the release of MYAN Australia’s report, ‘Counting us in: MYAN report on the settlement experiences of LGBTQI+ refugee & asylum seeker young adults’. It provides insights into how LGBTQI+ refugee and asylum seeker young adults (18-30) arriving in Australia are faring in their settlement journey, and outlines a series of recommendations for service improvements and program design. Read the report here.

Finally, public submissions are now open for the Multicultural Framework Review draft Terms of Reference. Members of the public are invited to submit their comments on the draft by Sunday 19 March 2023. Find out more.

What a huge month it has been. Thank you for your ongoing support as we strive to create a society where multicultural young people feel connected and have every opportunity to reach their potential.

Carmel Guerra OAM
Chief Executive Officer