CEO message: September

September has been a huge and inspiring event-filled month for CMY! Last week marked the official launch of Culture Spring, our youth-led business unit that was originally born out of the Futures Think Tank led by our Board back in 2020.  

Powered by CMY, Culture Spring partners with businesses and organisations to assist them in adapting to the evolving needs of our diverse Australian community, so that multicultural young people can thrive. They bring the perspectives and experiences of multicultural young people to the forefront of your work, organisation, project, or challenge, to ensure that it is culturally safe and inclusive.  

Over the past few years, the team has conducted extensive market analysis, using their lived and professional experience to co-design and test three key service offerings: Diversity Workshops, Consultation and Diversity Diagnostics. We’re so proud of the work they have done so far and encourage businesses and organisations to reach out to the Culture Spring team to discuss how you can partner together. Watch their video intro or read about the launch event here.  

Earlier this month we were delighted to be joined by The Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Women, to celebrate our 9th Annual MY Education Awards. We’re grateful to the Victorian Department of Education for their continuous support of the OSHLSP sector. This support enables us to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for students and their families, through our education programs Learning Beyond the Bell and the Refugee Education Support Program. 

The Awards, held at the State Library of Victoria, brought together Out-of-School-Hours Learning Support Program (OSHLSP) coordinators, volunteers and young people from across Victoria to celebrate their incredible achievements in the learning support program sector. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of the nominees and winners this year, and thank them for their ongoing efforts. Read more about them here.   

CMY hosted an inspiring evening of networking at Free to Feed for participants of Seat at the Table, a program designed to address the under-representation of young women from refugee and migrant backgrounds in leadership roles. Minister for Youth The Hon. Natalie Suleyman MP joined us along with Shelin David, Deputy Chair of CMY Board, and Keynote Speaker Khayshie Tilak Ramesh, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Strategist. The event was filled with warmth and energy, and gave the remarkable young women from Seat at the Table the opportunity to network, learn from and share their lived experiences with a range of women in leadership roles. Read more here.    

We were grateful to also be part of the Refugee Communities Association of Australia (RCAA) Conference last week, where I moderated a panel discussion on The role of Young Refugees in Advancing Multiculturalism. The panel featured our Shout Out Speaker and former Policy Intern, Sobur Dhieu, along with Cr Anthony Tran from Maribyrnong City Council and Mr Altaf Hussein, Project Coordinator RCAA Victorian Chapter Founder and Chairman of the Victorian Afghan Youth Association. We had an engaging discussion around how young people from refugee backgrounds play such a pivotal role in advancing multiculturalism in our state.  

Finally, this week we saw the resignation of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. I would like to thank the outgoing Premier for his considerable contributions to our state over the past nine years, and the ongoing support the Government has provided to CMY. Congratulations to the newly appointed Premier Jacinta Allan and Deputy Premier Ben Carroll, we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with you and your new cabinet once appointed.  

During the next couple of months, I will be taking long service leave to recharge and spend some time travelling overseas. During my absence, I am pleased to share that Soo-Lin Quek (Executive Manager – Policy, Sector and Business Development) will oversee CMY as Acting CEO. Under Soo-Lin’s leadership CMY will continue to be a critical partner in supporting multicultural young people in Victoria. 

Carmel Guerra OAM 
Chief Executive Officer